Category Archives: SENSUALITY

How to Write Hot Sex Scenes by Alexis D. Craig (romantic suspense and erotica author)

Give Me Shelter COVEROur guest blog today is from Lachesis author Alexis D. Craig. Alexis writes and sultry and spicy romantic suspense (Give Me Shelter and Imminent Danger) featuring the brave men and women in law enforcement.  She also writes super hot erotica featuring sexy cops (Undercover Seduction). Today, Alexis shares her tips on writing a hot sex scene! Take it away Alexis . . . 

Okay, so you’re writing a romance novel and you have characters whose chemistry has come to a boil. They want to take the next logical step, and you want them to, too, but you’re not sure about writing the scene. Here’s where I come in to help.

Let’s start with a few simple dos and don’ts.

Don’t get uptight about it. You want it to flow naturally and the pace with which it does is dictated by your characters and the context of the scene.

Don’t rush it. You don’t have a set series of points you have to reach in a specific amount of time. The journey is just as important as the destination.

Don’t be afraid to get dirty with it. Sex is messy, the language can be quite vulgar and if your characters are feeling it, go for it. You obviously don’t have to use words that make you, the author, uncomfortable, but the very nature of the scene gives you more leeway in terms of propriety.

Don’t, under any circumstances, get too florid with the euphemisms. I’m not saying that everything has to be perfectly scientifically proper (e.g. ‘penis’, ‘vagina’, clitoris, etc…) BUT if you get too wild while beating around the bush (ahem) you’ll take the reader out of the head space you’re attempting to create and may, or may not incite laughter/cringing.

Do write in a space that makes you comfortable. I have found that writing sex scenes in Burger King tends to make me feel a bit self-conscious. It just doesn’t lend itself to the mood I need to create in the same way that my living room does.

Do use music to help feed your muse. I always talk about music in my posts, I know, but I find that the correct series of songs does carry a scene quite well from my head to the page. I’m not saying we have to bust out the Prince/Marvin Gaye/Usher, but if that’s where your characters are mentally, go with the flow.

Do get up and take short breaks when the scene just isn’t coming (ahem). Get up, walk around, walk away from it on the page and in your head. Take a minute, get a snack, come back to it and keep going. If you force it, the reader can tell the moment the scene switches from a hot sex scene to an ‘insert tab A into slot B’ instruction manual. Unless you’re writing that type of thing, I’m pretty sure that’s not what you’re going for in this case.

Do, for the love of all that is holy (including, but not limited to, little fishes, cats, Nilla wafers, and graham crackers), make sure that the things you write are, in fact, anatomically possible. Nothing ruins a good sex scene like written visuals that make no sense physically. I have, on occasion, solicited assistance to make sure that what I’m writing and what I’m seeing in my head actually work. Alas, there have been occasions where the writing and the limitations of the physical body bore no relation to one another. I put that book down and wanted nothing more to do with it.*

*Caveat to the previous, if you’re writing about non-human entities, the dead, the undead, or formerly alive but not a zombie, shifters, whatnot, those rules are a bit looser. Given the amount of disbelief already suspended by the reader, you could probably push it a bit more, but still, keep in mind that you never want a reader to be thinking, “WTF?” while reading about your characters effing.

Finally, some important points overall:

This is about your characters and their physical expression of their feelings for each other. Keep in mind that just because it’s hot doesn’t mean they have to act differently than they would under other circumstances.

If you’re writing about kink, it would behoove you to read about the kink in which you’re interested. Lack of research becomes painfully obvious, and quickly, if you don’t take the time to do it. Understanding of the subject matter, context, and how the reality differs from the outside world’s perceptions of it will all lend an authenticity to the scene that will elevate the hotness to blistering heights.*

*Caveat, or rather, an illustrative anecdote. During a conversation recently with a friend of mine, she expressed her beef with the 50 Shades series. Paraphrasing, “It’s not realistic. Especially the after care. After care is so important when scenes are over, due to their level of intensity and potential (mental/emotional) trauma to the sub. You cuddle them, clean them up, help them come back to themselves and feel safe and secure again. You don’t just have an intense scene and then walk out like you don’t give a fuck. That’s just asshattery, that’s not BDSM.”

As a follow up to the previous, the aftermath of a sex scene is vital for really illustrating your characters. They’re emotionally vulnerable, physically spent, and disinclined to maintain their facades they show the world. To that end, the partner, and the reader, can really see the character for who they are. Capitalize on that.

Obviously, if you’re writing and you just cannot get over the mental hump (ahem), you can always cut to action off screen (so to speak), and then move on to the next scene.

Finally, the thing I’ve found to be most important when writing the scenes: if it makes you hot while writing it, it’ll make the reader hot reading it.

Connect with Alexis D. Craig on her web site/blog and on facebook, twitter and goodreads.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
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Filed under CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, EROTIC ROMANCE, EROTIC ROMANTIC THRILLER, EROTICA, Lachesis Publishing, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, SENSUALITY, SEX, SEXUAL CONTENT, SEXY, SUSPENSE, SUSPENSE THRILLER

So You Want To Be A Bestselling Author? Part 6 (Q and A with bestseller Cathryn Fox)

cathrynfoxCathryn Fox is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes sexy contemporary romance, erotica, and hot paranormal romance. New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster describes Cathryn’s books as, “sizzling, irresistible and wonderful”. USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean calls Cathryn, “The next Queen of Steamy Romance.” National bestselling author Sylvia Day says, “A Cathryn Fox book is a must-read great escape!” 

Cathryn is our guest today and she’s got a lot to say about what it takes to be a bestselling author!

What do you love about being an author?

I honestly love being able to write down the stories that are in my head.  I also love the flexibility of my job. I was able to be home with the kids when they were young, and my husband is a shift worker, so if he’s off during the week, I can take a day off and just make up for it on the weekend.

Tell us the backstory of how you hit the bestseller lists – for which book (s)?

tornbetweentwobrothers_lgI’ve been on the USA Today list three times, and New York Times Twice, and let me say, the second and third times are just as exciting as the first. My book, Torn Between Two Brothers was in the Love in Disguise boxed set and hit USA Today. Yours To Take, was in Unraveled and hit USA Today AND New York times, and in July, Torn Between Two Brothers hit both lists in the Spice Boxed set. yourstotake_lg

How long have you been writing and how long did it take you to get on a bestseller list?

pleasurecontrol_mmI’ve been writing full time since 2000.  I hit my first big bestsellers list last year with my Pleasure Games Trilogy, a special three-book bundle for Costco and Walmart! I hit The Globe and Mail top ten!

How much time do you spend on social media every day? And what are some of the things that you do on your social media sites to engage with readers and fans?

histroubleintallulah_lgI am on facebook and twitter everyday. I would say for about an hour. In an effort to engage readers, I post pictures of numerous things, such as the deer who are currently eating all my fruit trees, the fire pit we just put in, the sailboat in the harbor near the boardwalk I walk in the evenings. I think readers want to hear about the ‘authors’ not just the books. I also recently started FOXY FICTION, it’s a facebook street team where I give sneak peaks, share excerpts, deleted scenes and will soon hold a contest where the reader can get THEIR name in my book. I’m seeking new members, so if any of your readers out there are interested in hanging out with me, please come by!

What if an author is starting out in social media – on facebook and twitter etc…or what if they haven’t gotten much buzz – what are some things an author can do to create a buzz or get more followers?

There are many facebook groups that host promotional parties. Definitely try to get involved. It’s great for exposure, especially when it’s a multi-author party. During your time slot offer incentives, perhaps a draw for a free ebook, to all those who liked your facebook author page, joined your street team, or newsletter. Other facebook places offer page takeovers and this way you get a chance to interact with their readers. I will be taking part in the Twin Sisters Rockin Book Reviews page takeover on the 18th of August 7-9 Eastern. If anyone out there is interested to see how it’s run, please stop by.

Based on your own experience, do you think it’s a good idea for an author to invest in his or her own promotional and marketing budget? If so – what are some of the important things that an author should consider?
 
crashingdown_lgMarketing is so important today, especially if you are indie publishing. Without a publishing house behind you, everything is left in the author’s hands. What good is it to write a book, put it out there, only for no one to know about it?  It doesn’t always have to be expensive. (especially since most things can be done digitally today!) You can reach out to goodreads reviewers and give them an advanced copy of your book to generate early reviews. You can ask friends to tweet or post on facebook for you. You can also purchase some fairly inexpensive ad space at places like Storyfinds, Ereadernews Today, Digital Book Today, Kindle Fire Department, Romance Reads, Fresh Fiction.  If you have a higher budget you can reach out to marketing and public relations specialists like InkslingerPR.  

Do you do brick and mortar book tours? If so, do you arrange them on your own or do you go through your publisher or an agency? Why are book tours still important in today’s huge e-book market?

I have done a few locally that were arranged on my own. I think it’s important to get out there and make that face-face connection with readers. During a tour you can also sell your book digitally, so it doesn’t matter if the reader likes print book or ebook, they can still walk away with your shiny new book.
 
Do you do online book tours? If so, do you go through agencies or arrange them on your own? What do you like about online book tours?

I’ve done online blog tours and they were arranged by both me, for my indie books, and my publisher for my traditional books. Goddess Fish is who I used. I enjoy it because I can do either, questions and answers, or write a blog post on a topic of my choice. My work/name gets put in front of many, many readers.

What do you think it takes to become a bestselling author?

knockingondemonsdoor_lgHard work, dedication, drive, ambition, knowledge of the industry, and a little bit of luck! It also takes a good book, good cover and a great support group behind the scenes who is willing to read and reread that book until it’s perfect!

A great writer or a good book doesn’t necessarily translate to hitting a bestseller list. What do you think the bestselling authors do differently than authors who don’t sell as well?

You are right. I’ve read lots of excellent books that have not hit bestseller lists. I think bestsellers study the market, are always evaluating the changes in the industry and are willing to change with it. I also believe they are prepared to try new things, even at the risk of failing.

Thank you for stopping by!

Thank you for having me!

You can connect with Cathryn Fox online at her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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Filed under Best-selling authors, Bestselling Authors, LOVE STORY, PARANORMAL, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, SENSUALITY, SEX, SEXUAL CONTENT, SEXY

ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL by Melodie Campbell (time travel fantasy romance)

Rowena200TUESDAY’S REVOLVING BOOK is the time travel/fantasy romance (comedy) ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL by Melodie Campbell (BOOK 1, LAND’S END series).

WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Rowena-Through-Wall-Expanded-ebook/dp/B007B4Q868

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/rowena-through-the-wall-expanded-edition/BOgKHlqLe0KUJSnX100hCA?MixID=BOgKHlqLe0KUJSnX100hCA&PageNumber=1

itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rowena-through-wall-expanded/id699387362?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rowena-through-the-wall-melodie-campbell/1103948449?ean=2940045246057

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/351683

BOOK TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pJCwQF1rXg

SYNOPSIS

“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”

When Rowena falls through her classroom wall and lands in a medieval world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped ―not once, but twice, dammit― and the stakes get higher as the men get hotter. Unwanted husbands keep piling up, but that doesn’t stop her from falling for the wrong brother. Not only that, she has eighteen year old Kendra to look out for and a war to prevent. Good thing she can go back through the wall when she needs to.

Or can she?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melodie Campbell

Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Winner of nine awards, including the 2014 Derringer (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels.

Melodie got her start writing stand-up. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. Her first book, Rowena Through the Wall, was an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller (All books) in Sept. 2014.

Melodie has a commerce degree from Queen’s University, but it didn’t take well. She has been a bank manager, college instructor, marketing director, comedy writer and possibly the worst runway model ever. These days, Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

REVIEWS:

ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL: Amazon Top 100 Bestseller, All books! Sept.2014

“A hot, hilarious, romantic fantasy that enthralls you from the first line. If you enjoy Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, you’ll adore Rowena and her riotous romps in an alternate world…” ―Midwest Book Review, Betty Dravis, author of Dream Reachers

“Time-travel romance with a rollicking sense of humour…A new dimension of romance in a parallel universe.” ―Lou Allin, author of She Felt No Pain

“Filled with brutal, sword-swinging danger, yet sexy and funny, you’ll be rooting for Row as she uses her head to stay alive and her heart to find love.” ―Kelsey Lewis, author of Hot and Bothered

“Multi-published author, Melodie Campbell is a talented story teller. Her award-winning short stories pack a powerful punch and her alternate world fantasy novel, Rowena Through the Wall, is a rollicking, sexy romp through time.” ―Dee Lloyd, award-winning author of Out of Her Dreams

“Rowena through the Wall is a wild ride of fantasy, with a lusty lady who male readers will wish had walked through a wall to them.” ―Mark Alldis, former editor Distant Suns fantasy magazine

“Rowena is the most interesting, unique fictional character to come along since Lisbeth Salander. She is smart, witty, raunchy and down-to-earth…I can’t wait for Book Two!” ―Cathy Astolfo, author of Seventh Fire

short snippets:
“Total escape! Bawdy Lusty & Fun”
“It’s Game of Thrones Lite “
“Perfect blend of romance, sex, comedy, adventure”
“Castles and swordfights, fun, sexy & dangerous love”
“Hot and hilarious”
“A cross between Diana Gabaldon & Janet Evanovich”
“hot, steamy, seductive and hilarious”

CONNECT WITH MELODIE ONLINE:

www.melodiecampbell.com
@melodiecampbell
facebook.com/melodiecampbellauthor

Blog tour being organized! Info will be posted on www.melodiecampbell.com

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Filed under FANTASY ROMANCE, LOVE STORY, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC FICTION, SENSUALITY, SEXUAL CONTENT, TIME TRAVEL

Sneak Peek of Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order (paranormal)

S FALL COVERToday’s Sneak Peek is from Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order (paranormal/historical) by Lachesis Publishing author David Lee Summers.

What it’s about:

Three vampyrs. Three lives. Three intertwining stories.

Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books after becoming a vampyr, the Dragon, Lord Desmond, searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.

Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampyr sets her free, but then, she must pay the highest price of all . . . her human soul.

An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.

Three vampyrs, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, rogue vampyrs, and their ultimate nemesis—Vlad the Impaler.

EXCERPT:

From the writings of Desmond, Lord Draco.

The years 558-560:

As I continued through the Germanic lands, I began to hear legends that people told of dead friends and relatives that would die, and then come back to life—to drink the blood of those left behind. I heard the word neuntoter a few times, but I also heard new names: nosferatu and vampyr.

After leaving Lucilinburhuc, I continued along the Moselle until I came to the Rhine. There I turned south until I came to a land called Mainz.

Winter was rapidly approaching, so I decided to stay there for a time. I learned that the Graf of Mainz, like the Prince of Lucilinburhuc, was a rather benign ruler.

Soon I found and occupied a small wattle and daub hut not too far from the fortress, but deep enough in the woods that no one took a strong interest in my presence.

During my first nights in the region, I heard tales of a nosferatu that was hunting in the region. In the years since Wolf’s death, I began to despair of ever meeting another of my kind. I was still new enough to the region and careful enough on my hunts that I doubted any of the rumors I heard were of myself.

I discovered there was a small tavern near the fortress of Mainz and I began to frequent it so I could hear what stories I could of this nosferatu. As it turned out, the ale at the tavern was quite good and I found that if not for the debilitating effects of the alcohol itself, the rich malty liquid came close to sustaining me.

As I listened to stories, it became clear to me that there was a pattern to the nosferatu’s attacks. They seemed to occur most frequently near an old burial ground in the vicinity of the fortress itself. As such, most people tried to avoid the fortress in general—and that burial ground in particular. I decided it was time to investigate the burial ground.

I found the place easily enough. It was in soft earth on one side of the fortress. Crude stone markers had been erected to mark the places where the departed lay. I found a place near a tree and waited. As the moon began to rise—about two hours after midnight—my keen ears caught the sound of shuffling footsteps on the grass.

Turning toward the sound, I saw a creature who, at first glance, reminded me of Wolf. He was bald and his skin was very gray. I tried to hail him, but the figure ignored me.

Standing, I ran to him.

As I approached, I discovered he had a very earthy smell and his clothes were a shambles, much as mine became when I dug down in the earth for shelter from the sun’s rays.

“Hallo,” I tried calling in the strange Germanic tongue that people of the region spoke.

The creature turned and, as though seeing me for the first time, bared its teeth and hissed like an enraged cat. His eyes were bloodshot and open very wide.

I opened my mouth, revealing my own fangs to the creature.

Becoming very agitated, he ran at me and knocked me to the ground. “Halt, halt!” I cried. “Ich bin Nosferatu.”

The creature lunged at my neck, but I put my hand up under his chin and slammed his jaw shut. A terrible growl-like noise came from somewhere down deep in his throat. He reached out to grab the wrist that I had on his jaw, and that movement, in turn, caused him to unbalance himself.

With my free arm, I pushed him off me. I stood and brushed myself off. “I am like you,” I tried to say, but the creature pushed himself to his feet and rushed at me again.

This time, prepared for his attack, I dodged to the side, then ran for a nearby tree. It was clear to me that this creature—though a neuntoter or nosferatu like me—was quite mad. The cause—living alone or whatever else—I did not know.

I grabbed a tree branch and pulled with all my might until it snapped off. As the creature ran at me, I swung the branch and knocked him to the ground. Before he could get up again, I forced the branch through the creature’s chest, pinning him to the ground.

I dropped down beside him and sat there panting. Tears came to my eyes as I looked at that poor, mad creature that I truly believed had simply been defending himself.

The sound of running footsteps came from the fortress. I looked up to see a pair of guards. They looked at the body on the ground and then they looked at me. “You’ve killed the nosferatu,” one said.

“I think the graf would like to see you,” said the other.

I sighed, but pushed myself to my feet. “Very well.”

The Graf of Mainz proved to be quite impressed with the story of my nosferatu slaying. He offered to let me remain on his lands, rent-free as long as I was willing to defend his realm from such creatures. I kept my composure as best I could and accepted the graf’s offer. I was already prepared to stay in Mainz. However, I did find irony in the idea of being a nosferatu that slayed other nosferatu.

Connect with David online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL, SENSUALITY, SEXUAL CONTENT, SUPERNATURAL, VAMPIRE

5 Star Review of Just Perfect by JoMarie DeGioia (Regency historical novella)

Alexis D. Craig who is a Lachesis Publishing author of romantic suspense and erotica, reviewed the Lachesis Publishing Regency novella Just Perfect by JoMarie DeGioia (Book 3 in the Dashing Nobles series) and posted it on amazon. Here’s the review . . .

Lexie gave Just Perfect 5 stars!

Resurrecting Regency (on amazon)

just-perfect-500x724I have to admit, it’s been a looooooong time since I’ve read Regency Romance. I loved historicals as a tween/teen, but eventually, I gravitated towards contemporary romantic suspense and never looked back. That said, this one caught my eye. I really love Constance and Williams, both separately as characters and together as a couple. Constance is a plucky young thing, determined and not at all flighty or annoying, as Regency heroines can sometimes be. William is ‘perfect’, but that flawlessness is a facade for a guy just trying to get by in a rigidly structured society framework. Together they’re sweet and devoted to one another, and I loved the sweetness of the story the most. The hot love scenes, of which there were a few, were the perfect blend of sweet and heat, like jalapeno chocolate. In all, I’d read it again and I’d like to read the rest of the series.

About Just Perfect:

William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, might be the perfect gentleman, but his feelings for Constance Bridgewater are anything but gentlemanly. Constance Bridgewater, the daughter of the late Earl of Bridgewater, might be the perfect lady, but her feelings for the Earl of Chester are anything but ladylike. They both know that if they were together, everything would be just perfect.

So what is keeping them apart?

You can buy Just Perfect on amazon (.91 cents e-book)

Or you can purchase a copy at Lachesis Publishing. (.99 cents e-book)

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Filed under book reviews, HISTORICAL, HISTORICAL ROMANCE, Lachesis Publishing, LOVE STORY, REGENCY HISTORICAL, REGENCY HISTORICAL ROMANCE, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, SENSUALITY, SEX, SEXUAL CONTENT, SEXY

Sneak Peek Monday: New View by Lynn Jenssen in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology (women’s fiction/romance)

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVER-300x466I had the pleasure of editing  the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk (Lachesis Publishing author of Passion’s Race) and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

What It’s About:

Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.

Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest

Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.

In “New View” by Lynn Jenssen, a couple’s vow of “for better or worse” is tested to the max under the threat of overwhelming work stress, and marital misunderstandings. But when a danger threatens to tear them apart for good, they face their biggest trial of all.

In “Identity” by Christine Mazurk, a young woman embarks on a complete life-change after losing more than 100 pounds, and through a twist of fate finds herself training for a marathon under the guidance of a super sexy coach. But when she starts falling for the hunky trainer, can she trust her new-found confidence to take her to the finish line?

In “Shaman’s Shell” by Jeanine Duval Spikes, a spunky young woman finds a mystical Native American artifact that could change the course of an archeologist’s career. He wants what she’s got. She doesn’t know if she can trust him. But as an attraction builds between them, the mysterious artifact propels them to discover what they both truly need.

In “Moving Pictures” by Annette Blair, a down-but-never-out woman lands a much-needed job working for one of the top advertising agencies in the country. Her boss is an award-winning exec whose focus has been solely on work for the past few years, to the exclusion of everything else. She doesn’t know why, and he isn’t prepared to tell her. The more reclusive he is, the more determined she is to draw him out, but how can she fight the haunting ghosts of his past?

EXCERPT:

SOS. Her Sisters of Spirit. Whenever they got together, they giggled, and shared, teased, and played. Good times with good friends.

Marina laughed as she put on her whimsical beachcombing find—a pair of red children’s sunglasses with heart-shaped eyepieces—and modeled them for her friends. “How’s this? It’s a new look for me.” She primped her hair and struck a pose.

“Stunning! Who’s the designer?” Bryce teased.

“Seein’ life through rose-colored glasses?” Clara threw out a line.

“What about ‘blinded by luv?’” Anastasia added her quip.

Marina laughed and followed her friends as they made their way to the car. But the good-natured chatter between the friends soon faded as her vision fogged over and a scene flashed in her mind. Cameron, her husband of seven years, as white as the sheets he lay on, unmoving, unconscious. Fear and panic sickened her stomach and stole her breath. The antiseptic smell of a hospital stung her nose. The emotion-laden picture burned itself into her memory, then faded, and the buzz of her friends’ banter returned.

She took a deep, shuddering breath. What happened? She dared not tell the girls. They’d ask questions. They’d guess the truth.

The vision clung to her psyche, though she hid the disquiet behind a smile to her friends who continued the quips back and forth. She flipped the glasses onto her head, holding her hair away from her face, and concentrated on navigating the dirt road to avoid the biggest of the potholes. She listened as the others talked about their finds, but remained distracted by more than the road conditions.

Once they returned from their outing, the friends separated. Clara and Anastasia walked to the small market in search of ingredients for an impromptu dessert while Marina and Bryce stayed home to start dinner. She suspected they contrived the dessert trip to leave her alone with Bryce, who poured them each a glass of wine.

“Mare, what’s going on? I’m getting turmoil from you. Are you the one who sent the SOS?”

She sipped her wine, taking time to choose her words carefully. “That’s the problem. I don’t know what’s going on. But Cam and I . . . we . . . it’s not the same.” So much for careful word choice. Come on, Marina, be specific. She took another sip. Bryce waited. “We’ve always shared stories about our day when we get home. We laughed together. We listened to each other as we went for a walk or got dinner started.” That’s how it had always been.

She covered the salad and put it in the refrigerator. With the steaks marinating and the salad made, they moved to the deck to enjoy the spring breeze. Bryce prodded, “It feels like there’s more to the story.”

Marina sat on the chaise lounge and curled her legs up under her. “Since Cam got his promotion, things have changed. He comes home later, so we miss our chance to walk together, and I’ve already fixed dinner, sometimes eaten mine without him. He’s quiet and tired. We don’t share our day’s happenings. When I ask or try to talk, his response is minimal, like I’m an effort to talk to. He travels more than ever, and that’s been a strain, too. It’s getting worse. We’d hoped this new promotion would give us the financial stability to do the things we want and be together more. Instead we’ve grown apart; everything feels distant.”

She hated that her voice wobbled—she took another sip of wine to collect herself, but the liquid burned her throat as the tears pricked in her eyes. “I miss the old Cam. The one who laughs at my silly jokes, who makes me smile with a simple wink, the one who sends tingles down my spine with a single look. What’s happened to us?”

“I felt something troubling you.” Bryce reached over and took her hand. “I understand. What are you going to do?”

“Keep talking to him. I don’t know what else to do.” Sadness sat in the pit of her stomach. Bryce squeezed her hand and nodded. But Marina wondered about the vision. Did it symbolize his love for her had died?

Laughter and chatter came from the walkway leading to the house, so they knew the others were back from their mission, ending the conversation.

She took a deep breath and pulled herself away from her friends and quickly texted Cam. Marital concerns aside, she needed to know he was okay. A quick response—‘All’s well.’

With her friends on the island, she planned to enjoy their company and get re-invigorated by her writing. Tough writing romance when your own lacked. She didn’t want to dampen the mood, so she tried to hide her worries by smiling and keeping the attention focused on the others.

It didn’t work with Clara, who cornered her in the kitchen after dinner while they were washing dishes. “Are you okay? You seem kind of quiet this weekend.”

“Things with school, Cam’s new job is hectic, and a little overwhelming. We’re still trying to find a balance.” All true statements, but not the whole truth . . . though she wasn’t even sure what that truth was.

“Have faith. It’ll work out. Remember why you fell in love in the beginning. Keep that first in your heart.”

Later on, Anastasia rubbed Marina’s back and shoulders. “You’re tense. If you want to talk, you know I’ll listen.” Each of her Sisters recognized her heart’s disquiet and each in her own way offered support without prying.

As she tidied the house after their weekend on the island, the red sunglasses she’d found fell out of her jacket pocket. She smiled. “Seeing life through rose colored glasses . . .” She put them on her writing desk in the office. Maybe they’d inspire a happy love story next time she came out to the island to write.

They rushed to close up the house and catch the evening ferry. Marina had one more look around before locking up. “Bye, Mom. I’ll be back soon.” A touch of melancholy hit her. Still home.

Connect with Lynn Jenssen on her web site and on facebook.
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FRIDAY’S FANTASTIC FIND: WARRIOR LORD by NANCY J. COHEN (paranormal romance – with fantasy elements)

WarriorLord_w8513_750FRIDAY’S FANTASTIC FIND is the paranormal romance (with sci-fi/fantasy elements) WARRIOR LORD by NANCY J. COHEN (THE DRIFT LORDS SERIES, BOOK 3)

WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT:
AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Drift-Lords-Nancy-Cohen-ebook/dp/B00MAUCB3W

AMAZON PAPERBACK: http://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Lord-Nancy-J-Cohen/dp/1628304456/

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=831

WATCH THE TRAILER:
http://youtu.be/91cdYSftbmU

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Pottery sculptor Erika Sherwood has no idea her televised wedding in Las Vegas is for real until an official confirms she and the stranger she’s just met are legitimately wed.

A Drift Lord and warrior of the Tsuran, Magnor tricks the redhead into marriage because she’s one of six women prophesied to save Earth. But as he’s forced into her company in their race against the apocalypse, he wonders if he risks his heart more than his life.

Can a free-spirited ceramic artist and a fierce swordsman trust each other enough to prevent disaster?

EXCERPT:
She tugged at his elbow. “Why are you being like this?”

His gaze met hers and then skittered away. “Like what?”

“Like you don’t want to talk about us and where we stand. Look, I said I’m sorry for not telling you about my trust fund. I-I really do want to give our marriage a chance. If it makes you feel better, I’ll refuse my inheritance.”

She’d thought about it long and hard, and that was the only offer she could make that would show him how she felt. Maybe they’d be short on money for a while, but she could apply for a scholarship and earn her education degree that way. And she still had her pottery studio.
She just couldn’t stand to lose him. He completed her and made her feel safe and cherished. She’d be devastated if he abandoned her. Erika clung to his arm as though the physical contact would convince him to remain.

“You would give up your family’s money for me?” A muscle in his jaw twitched as he gave her a sideways glance.

“If you’d decide to stay as a result, yes, I would.”

“I see.” Still he didn’t respond other than with terse words. His lips compressed, and he maintained his forward pace.

Maybe she’d been wrong about him. Maybe he didn’t really care about her at all. His mission was what mattered, and she’d merely been a means to an end. As soon as they vanquished Loki, he’d be free to return home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at conferences, libraries, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.

ACCLAIM FOR WARRIOR LORD:
“Cohen’s third book in her Drift Lords series is an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish. She effortlessly blends fact with Norse mythology and fiction to create a fabulous tale, layered in detail and rich in texture.” Muddy Rose Reviews

FIND OUT ABOUT NANCY’S LATEST CONTEST: http://nancyjcohen.com/fun-stuff/contest/

CONNECT WITH NANCY ONLINE:

Website: http://nancyjcohen.com/
Blog: http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nancyjcohen
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91508.Nancy_J_Cohen
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-J.-Cohen/e/B000APL5DG
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/njcohen/
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Google Plus: https://google.com/+NancyJCohen
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Yb2zOkXEQ6xmAeYv8Jp5w/

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