Book tour: ALMOST A BRIDE by Sarah Mayberry

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Hello folks! It’s been a couple of months since I’ve posted here – mainly due to the demands of family and life outside writing. But I’m delighted to be back, and today I’m featuring fellow Aussie author, Sarah Mayberry and her new release, ALMOST A BRIDE. Read on for the sexy excerpt…and the chance for a GIVEAWAY!

Blurb

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00003]Tara Buck has always been the good sister, level-headed by comparison to Scarlett, her flaky, impulsive twin. But when Tara learns her fiancé has been cheating on her with one of his school students, the orderly world she’s created for herself suddenly feels as if it’s falling apart. For years she chose the safe option, but from now on she’s going to live a little, stretch her wings…be a little daring. And if that means acting on the long-suppressed feelings she’s always had for Reid Dalton, then so be it!

Reid has wanted Tara from the moment he met her, but she’s always been out of bounds. Not only is she his patrol partner at the Bozeman PD, she’s also engaged. But then her relationship blows up, and Reid finds himself battling his own instinct to stake his claim with the finest, hottest woman he’s ever known.

Even if anything did happen between them, it would only ever be temporary – Reid’s a born wanderer, while Tara’s roots run deep in Marietta. So even if things are good between them, it seems their romance is destined to be short and sweet…

Tara’s twin sister, Scarlett, also has a Spring Brides story: look out for Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey. Details from montanabornbooks.com

She pulled away, instinctively licking her lips to soothe them. Reid’s gaze followed the movement, and she was close enough to see his pupils dilate and his nostrils flare.

She went very still. And then she did something she’d been wanting to do for a very long time: she leaned close and kissed him, properly this time.

His mouth was warm, and she could taste the sweetness of the lemon meringue pie he’d had for dessert. She waited for him to respond, to do something, but he seemed to be waiting for something else. Something more.

Feeling bolder than bold, she ran her tongue along the closed seam of his lips, asking for entry. There was the smallest of pauses, then some of the tension went out of him as he opened to her, his tongue stroking hers, his mouth starting to move at last. His hands found her waist, his fingers gripping her warmly as his kiss became more demanding, more urgent.

Author Bio

sarah-mayberrySarah Mayberry is the award-winning, best selling author of more than 30 novels. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. Sarah picked up a love of romance novels from both her grandmothers and has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and Literature. It took her ten years and multiple attempts before her first book was accepted. During that time, Sarah worked in magazine publishing and the television industry, contributing to the internationally known Australian serial drama “Neighbours” and co-creating teen drama series “Karaoke High”. Sarah currently splits her time between writing for television and writing novels.

She lives in Melbourne by the bay with her husband and a small, furry Cavoodle called Max. When she isn’t writing, she loves reading, cooking, going to the movies and buying shoes.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Tule Publishing

Giveaway

Sarah will be awarding a digital copy of ALMOST A BRIDE to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So please comment here on this post, and then follow the tour HERE to increase your chances of winning!

Want to join Jennifer Lynne’s Street Team?

ST button round_Jennifer LynneAre you interested in erotic romance books? Do you like giveaways and book swag? If the answer to either or both of these questions is yes, and you’re over 18, then we’d love to have you join my Street Team – Jen’s Immortal Messengers.

So, what is a Street Team and what do we do? Well, as an author, I want my work to be read by as wide an audience as possible. The best way to get the word out is via word-of-mouth, which is why I need Street Team members who are happy to help spread the word about my books.

My Street Team, Jen’s Immortal Messengers, is a private Facebook group in which there’s a (voluntary) mission each week designed to help spread the word about my books and my “author” brand. The missions aren’t compulsory, but if you join the group you do need to complete at least one mission per month to remain in the group.

There is a welcome pack for new members including book swag (bookmarks, pens, postcards and more) and monthly prizes for active members. There are Advance Review Copies (ARCs) of upcoming/new releases, exclusive sneak peeks at book covers and excerpts, exclusive swag designed especially for the Immortal Messengers, and essentially lots of fun and giveaway prizes.

So far this year, giveaways have included:

iPhone 5 CoverBook swag Jennifer Lynne 20140128_163308Wine Charm Set_Gods of Love

  • Gift Cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Cover flats
  • Erotic calendars
  • Notebooks
  • Wine glass charm sets
  • Pens
  • USB memory sticks
  • Signed copies of my print books
  • digital copies of my eBooks
  • iPhone covers
  • Key Rings

So, what do we do? Missions might include:

Online

  • Tweeting
  • Facebook promotion
  • Goodreads promotion
  • Google + promotion
  • Author interviews or posts on your website/blog
  • Sharing honest reviews on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads or at your place of purchase

In Person

Buy my book/s in the first week of release (this can help getting onto a bestseller list)

Share book swag (e.g. bookmarks, cover flats, pens and more) to places as diverse as:

          • Book Stores
        • Libraries
        • Book Clubs/Reading Groups
        • Giveaways on your Blog
        • Friends, Family & Co-workers
        • Adult stores (for those game enough!)
        • Lingerie stores
        • Florists
        • Chocolate stores
        • Coffee shops and cafés

Handing out promo is entirely voluntary for the Immortal Messengers. However, if you do, please ensure you get permission from an employee or manager first…and please remember that my material is erotic and therefore suitable for those aged 18+ only!

Sound like something you want to explore? Please do! Request to join by clicking the button at the top of this post, or CLICK HERE and ask to join. Thank you!

GODS OF LOVE Wine Charms – Giveaway on Facebook!

Wine Charm Set_Gods of LoveI’m just stopping in to let you know I have a Rafflecopter Giveaway running this week over on my Facebook author page. If you missed out previously on winning one of these gorgeous sets of BOOK COVER WINE CHARMS (designed by the talented Megan at Swagmaster Designs), then here’s your chance to enter the draw.

The contest is open until 14th January 2014 and there’s an easy entry just for liking my Facebook page! Click HERE to enter the draw.

Season’s greetings and a resolution for 2014

Christmas baubles at beachHi all, I’ve been a little scarce on the blog lately since I started a new day job a few weeks ago. It has been a huge learning curve, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it – and best of all, the new work schedule allows plenty of time for writing on a regular basis!

I just wanted to stop by and thank all of you for following my blog this year, and to wish each and every one of you all the best for 2014.

My plans and resolutions for the New Year are mostly writing-related. DEMON OF ENVY and ICE QUEEN are almost ready for edits, LEGACY OF THE OUTLAW – a contemporary romance and my first novel-length work – is in edits right now, and I’ve received an invitation to join an erotic romance anthology with an awesome group of authors.

So that’s at least four new releases for 2014 if all goes according to plan. I can’t wait – especially now that my day job allows time to write!

Happy holidays from Melbourne, Australia, where we are about to celebrate Christmas in the (hopefully not too extreme) summer heat :)

Do you have plans, hopes or dreams for 2014 that you’d like to share here? Please comment on the post and let me know.

WIN a set of wine glass charms featuring romance covers

Wine Charm Set_Gods of LoveI can’t contain my smile right now. The lovely Megan at Swagmaster Designs has created this gorgeous set of wine glass charms – just in time for the festive season too. They feature the six book covers from my GODS OF LOVE erotic romance series.

If you’d like the chance to win yourself a set of these charms (and other great prizes!), there are TWO ways you can enter the draw.

Firstly, you can join my Street Team over on Facebook – a group of generous people who have come together to help promote my books and build my name as an author. Each month there are different prizes on offer for active members, and with only one simple task per week it is quick and easy to participate.

I’m giving away TEN wine charm sets to the most active participants of the team during the month of December. Sound interesting? Click here to join my Street Team (but of course, only if you enjoy erotic romance books and are over 18 years of age!)

Alternatively, you could enter the draw by signing up for my quarterly e-newsletter. Yep, only four issues a year with the latest news about my books, works-in-progress, upcoming romance releases, and of course, giveaways. I’m about to send out my December issue, and to be in the running for prizes including this wine charm set, an iPhone cover, USB stick and more, you just need to be signed up to my e-newsletter list.

Sound easy? It is! Sign up for my e-newsletter here.

If you haven’t caught up with the GODS OF LOVE series, why not check them out? Each novella-length erotic work is stand-alone, with the Greek gods of desire (the erotes) and their mother Aphrodite as a common theme. The series can be read in any order so if one takes your fancy over another, feel free to dip into it first! Find out more or buy a copy here:

PLATINUM PASSION

APHRODITE CALLING

SEX CLUB SECRETS

IMMORTAL SEDUCTION

DEMON OF ENVY (coming soon)

ICE QUEEN (coming soon)

Author Imogene Nix on changing it up

ABarInParis_LargeI’m delighted to welcome Imogene Nix to the blog to showcase her brand new contemporary romance, A Bar in Paris. But first, she talks to us about changing things up, in life, as a reader and as a writer!

Here’s Imogene:

In the last 12 months, I’ve been making a change. It’s taken some time, but I’ve decided that writing in one genre (SciFi) is great but not enough. It’s like I’m missing something out.

A bit like a fine wine, I’m not yet full bodied enough *winks broadly* because I haven’t investigated every type of grape and whether it’s got that right… oh sorry, wrong blog entry! I meant to say I haven’t tried every genre that interests me… yet!  But I’m getting there.

At the end of our children’s education, we tell kids to gather a range of skills, to try out new stuff and not settle for the one thing they know as they come to the end of schooling. We explain patiently about rounding out their skills to make them more employable. That it’s for their own good. That it will possibly be their entree in to the world of commerce/business or whatever field they wish to pursue.

It should be no different for a writer. For an author, it’s really easy to become pigeonholed. “Oh you write that hot Science Fiction.”  Does that make us a better author? Maybe, but it limits our capacity to look at new ideas. To try out things that will stretch our wings.

For the reader, the end result is, you may not go looking for any more books by this author, because, after all, you only write in one genre. Right? Let me be clear, I’m not saying that every author should do this. For some, their research/writing or other skills won’t allow them to attempt this. A word of warning, the writing should never be about the possible financial gain as a reason to swap genres either. It should be about trying out something new. Stretching your wings.

For me, it’s not that I went out looking for other genres to write in. Because I didn’t. But what I did do, is open myself to a range of genres. I read a lot of books (though not as often as before I began writing) so I allowed my mind to be open to a range of ideas. That’s something that made me feel I could try a new genre.

For example: What happens if I have a vampire in a contemporary city…?  What about a Celtic Brownie who moonlights as cupid? A murderer on the loose, trying to regain the one thing that will let people find his identity? See what I mean? My current work in progress is a sweeping historical tale set in 1878 India. I’m enjoying the challenge (and boy to ensure the historical accuracy, I’m spending a lot of time researching!)

You know what, though? Not only has it allowed me to try out new storylines, but I’m loving it. It’s letting me play with all the various different ideas… to test my own skills out and to expand the way my mind works. To expand my own interests.

So the next time you are stuck for a story… why not check out a book in a different genre? One you wouldn’t ordinarily read. Oh! Make sure you check out all the titles by your fave authors too! They might surprise you with some books written in other genres as well. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for new to you authors! There are so many places to try.  Check out the Dark Siders Down Under, Science Fiction Romance Brigade and hunt out blogs that deal with book reviews! You never know just what you’ll find.

A Bar in Paris Blurb

Turning 30? All alone? A commitment-free weekend in Paris should help…shouldn’t it?

What does a single woman do when she’s turning thirty? She takes a weekend trip to Paris looking for commitment-free sex. Or that’s what Davina Chandler does, anyway.

Enter Johnathon, a tall, charming Englishman. How can she possibly resist his magnetism and that sexy dimple?

What starts out as a lark quickly becomes so much more, but can one weekend turn into a lifetime? And will a lie of omission bring everything into jeopardy?

Excerpt

The waiter smiled and I sighed. “Time to go.” As I prepared to rise, gripping my bag in my hand, the bell above the door rang and I watched with interest as the sexiest man I’d ever seen entered. The cool blonde on his arm was scowling and he pried her fingers from his arm then walked away. For a moment, she wobbled on her stilettos before she sneered in her super chic French way only they can pull off and stalked out the door. It slammed so hard the panes of glass shuddered.

The man scowled, but to be honest, it didn’t hurt at all. He was tall and well built. Blond hair with gray eyes.

My mind screamed that this man could probably satisfy my needs. He didn’t appear even slightly inebriated and he was obviously single now, if that little carry-on was to go by. Perhaps this was my chance? I smoothed down my black dress, making sure my cleavage was just peeking out, then I sucked in a deep, deep breath and stood, hoping to catch his eye.

I watched the man stalk to the bar and order in perfect English-accented French. “Une bière, s’il vous plait.

My toes curled at his voice and the waiter hurried to do his bidding. Mr. Sexy’s voice was cultured and deep. I like voices, particularly men’s voices. They can make me go gooey at the knees, and this one warmed my insides to the consistency of thick, warm honey. And I knew he was the one I wanted to be with all night long.

The server handed over a bottle of beer and a glass, but Mr. Sexy looked at the bottle, grimaced, and then took a long pull.

The other men at the bar started talking in low voices, putting aside newspapers. They paid their money and left. I didn’t want to think it was because of the dangerous aura surrounding the man. It was, after all, three in the morning. No, there had to be something else. But I was sure it wasn’t the time to ask these questions.

The small bar was quiet now as I was waiting alone with the mystery man. The waiter disappeared to the back. Obviously, with only two patrons left, he could do other things.

I sucked in my confidence, folded it around me like a coat, and approached the man. “Hi. Mind if I join you?”

He grinned and gestured to the seat beside him. I slipped onto the small stool, perched uncertainly. Then I wiggled my bum a little, thrust out my chest, and gave him my very best come-on smile.

“Looking for a hook up, are you?” His voice caused a curl of heat to gather deep inside me.

I nodded slowly. Better to be honest from the start, I thought. I didn’t have time to say a word. The next thing I knew, he had me thrust against the bar, his lips on mine and his tongue halfway down my throat. But man, what a tongue it was.

He played me like a violin until he lifted his head, casting a wicked smile in my direction. “Your hotel or mine?”

“Umm, yours.” Right now, I felt the rosy glow of arousal roaring through me. Sexy and quick to catch on. Yep, I was sure this guy was a winner.

YouTube trailer

Where to buy A Bar in Paris

Beachwalk Press

Biography

Wife, mother and nutty bookstore owner all describe Imogene Nix, but the real secret is Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance with a hefty dose of Romantic Suspense is what she adores. She is dedicated to high quality romance, with a dollop of erotic interactions, and has dipped her toes into Science Fiction, Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance featuring feisty headstrong female leads and the odd Romantic Suspense.

She lives in rural Queensland where she happily raises two daughters, lots of chickens, a couple of cats and her super-pup Teddy. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s hanging out with her husband, acting like a techno-geek or cooking and making wine.

Where to find Imogene Nix

Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads     Blog     Hotter Than Hades     Website

Swag and eBook Giveaway at Riverina Romantics

RR giveaway FBThis is just a short post to let you know that I’m participating in a mega giveaway over at the Riverina Romantics blog, where 52 awesome prizes are up for grabs!

There are eBooks, print books, Gift Cards and swag on offer – including a GODS OF LOVE swag pack from yours truly.

There will be 52 winners, so if you like romance books, it is worth entering the Rafflecopter giveaway at Riverina Romantics.

An interview with Ellora’s Cave author – Gail Bridges

Gail Bridges Author Photo smallToday I’m interviewing the lovely Gail Bridges. Not only is she a talented author who writes for the Ellora’s Cave Exotika® line, she is also an award-winning jewellery maker and successful musician. Below is an excerpt from AMERICA’S DARLINGS, but first, here’s the interview:

Welcome Gail! Can you share a little about your journey to publication?

There is a rather humorous story about how I came to be published in erotica. I’d never written anything sexy in my life – in fact, even though I’d written numerous novels and short stories, I found myself shooing amorous couples behind closed doors and making them do their thing in private. I would sweat over a simple kiss or caress. I knew I had to address my blind spot as a writer, so I challenged myself to write a sexy story: I would go all out, to be as explicit and hot and outrageous as possible, no holds barred.

Guess what? I loved it. No – I adored it. Who knew that writing sizzling, burning, passionate sex would be so easy, so fun! The words flew from my hands so quickly I could barely keep up. To my amazement the first erotic story I ever wrote, PAINT JOB, was shockingly good, so I submitted it to the best publisher of erotica and erotic romance around, Ellora’s Cave. And they accepted it.

How long did it take to get published?

There are two answers to this question. First answer: It took about…oh…eight years to be published, give or take. Second answer: It took about a week! Writing PAINT JOB, revising it, polishing it, and sending it off to the Ellora’s Cave submissions editor was quick and exciting, a whirlwind. After that, it was several months before I received the official “yes” and the contract, and after that, about six months more until it came out in eBook form.

Do you have a favorite genre in books (to read and/or to write)?

Surprisingly, I do not read much erotica or erotic romance. My tastes in reading are more mainstream – I loved GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, for instance. I also have a soft spot for Science Fiction. Octavia Butler – oh, she’s wonderful. And I thought WOOL by Hugh Howey was amazing.

Tell us about your latest release.

AMERICA’S DARLINGS is the story of…wait for it!…SEX in the Olympic Games! As in, a sport, complete with teams and coaches and judges and scoring markdowns. I had more fun writing this admittedly outrageous concept into a daring novel of Olympic Athletes whose sport is a bit…shall we say…unusual.

Can you tell us a little about your current WIP?

INN ON THE EDGE is going through final editing with my lovely editor at Ellora’s Cave. It will soon hit virtual bookshelves everywhere!

I’m so excited about this novel that I can barely contain myself. INN ON THE EDGE is erotic horror – a challenging combination to say the least. In the book, my newlywed characters have just checked in to a lovely bed-and-breakfast Inn on the Washington Coast, only to find they’ve been taken captive by a sex demon.

Sounds like one I’ll have to add to my TBR list! So, what is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

I was so excited about this review! It was for PAINT JOB, my first book, the one I spoke of earlier. Book reviewer The Jeep Diva wrote: “Short, yet incredibly erotic, the ménage scenes are detailed and unbelievably hot. I’ll definitely read more by this author after picking this one up!”

What made you want to be an author? At what age did you start telling stories and then writing them down?

I have a detailed memory of myself, age twelve, making up novels with huge casts of characters and convoluted plot lines and clever titles. Every morning, on my way to school (I walked about half a mile, but seemed much longer), I let myself get lost in dreams of my future adult self – the world-famous author!

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?

It’s supposed to be fun. Write because you love it, because you love creating something where nothing existed before.

Erotic romance or erotica – what is the difference in your view?

Good question. Someone at a recent Romance Conference (the Emerald City Writers Conference) just asked me this – and luckily, I had a good answer for her. Erotic Romance is hot and explicit and may have as much sexual action as straight-up erotica, but the story lines of all Erotic Romances follow the arc of the romance. If there was no romance, there would be no story.

Erotica, on the other hand, follows a character’s sexual journey. There may be romance and many of the same elements found in erotic romance, such as great storytelling – but the romance itself does not take center stage, the sexual journey does. In my mind, this opens up a story for more interesting plot lines.

I write erotica, in case you’re wondering.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Thank you so much for this interview! I’ve enjoyed thinking about these insightful questions and writing about my work. My books can be found here:

AMERICA’S DARLINGS

PAINT JOB

My website: www.GailBridges.com

My Blog: http://gailbridges.blogspot.com/

My Twitter: @GailWBridges

americasdarlings_msrAMERICA’S DARLINGS

Leah Collins is a sexual gymnast, a brilliant athlete poised to compete in the Mexico City Olympics Games of 2112. She takes pride in her advanced skills in the sexual arts, but performing Courtesan’s Treat and Raging Volcano in front of thousands of cheering fans is no easy task, especially when sexual malfunctions threaten.

At her side, a pillar of strength and compassion is her best friend, Benson White. He is the one who scrapes her from the ground when her self-destructive tendencies surface. Benson is a talented sexual gymnast in his own right, the other half of America’s Darlings.

They hope for a gold medal. What neither of them expects is to fall in love.

EXCERPT

“Whore! Whore of Babylon!”

I turned.

A red-faced woman stood behind the barrier rope, screaming.

I recognized her. She had been lurking at the airport late the night before when I had arrived in Mexico City with the sexual gymnastics team. Despite furious coaches and horrified airport personnel, she had flung her sign reading “Save our Olympics!” back and forth, pointing and jeering and calling us dreadful names as we passed by her on our way to catch the subway to the Olympic Village. Her worst insults were directed at me. I am, you see, the female half of America’s Darlings.

Surely you’ve heard of America’s Darlings?

Benson and I earned the moniker last year when we won the Internationals in Moscow. The media went crazy for us, couldn’t get enough of us, wouldn’t leave us alone. The sportscaster covering the event, a guy named Ryan Markham, had coined the name America’s Darlings—and it had stuck. No-one had asked Benson and me whether we liked it or even wanted it. Luckily, we do like it. At least I do. The extra attention earned us the adoration of a nation enchanted with our brand-new sport, millions of fans intent on following our every move.

I’m still not used to it.

It throws me when people recognize me. Complete strangers call me by name, act as if they know me, comment on my performances, give advice or offer to help me to practice, and it gets me every time.

But I like it. I do.

As America’s Darlings, the nation’s highest-ranking sexual gymnast duo, Benson and I were the team’s best hope, probably the only hope, for a gold medal in the Olympics—and the public never let us forget it. My face—and Benson’s—had been plastered everywhere for months.

Of course the woman knew who I was. How could she not?

Now here she was again.

“Jezebel! Porn-Monger! Sex fiend!”

Sex fiend? Really?

Buy AMERICA’S DARLINGS at Ellora’s Cave.

Book Release Blitz: OUTCAST by Kiru Taye

Paranormal / Fantasy / Romance

Available now from Amazon US & Amazon UK
FREE Kindle Download from November 2 to 6
Available for $0.99 / £0.77 afterwards until 30 November 2013.

Blurb

Ugo’ji is an outcast, an untouchable. She lives on the fringe of society as the lowest
of the low, a living sacrifice to the gods. The only person she interacts with is her aged grandmother Nne who nurtures her powerful gift of healing. Until the day she meets Ebube a strange warrior to their lands. He  ignites a yearning within her she’s unable to ignore.

Ebube is drawn to the young maiden with the emerald green eyes who possesses the body
of a goddess and the healing touch of an angel. But he is forbidden from mating
with a human and the consequence is the wrath of the gods. Moreover he is on a mission. If he fails, the gates of hell will be opened and the earth plunged into darkness. He cannot stay and she cannot go with him.

Excerpt

Help me…Do whatever it takes…Keep the gates of Alammuo sealed.
Darkness tugged at him and threatened to pull him into its murky depths. With a jerk, Ebube sat up on his pallet. The creaking wood and thumping of his heart echoed in his acutely responsive ears. Danger seeped from the nightmare he couldn’t remember into the air, leaden and oppressive. His breath heaved as he choked, his throat clogged with the fetid stench of death. On reflex, he extended his right arm, grabbing the scabbard he always kept within reach, the pitch shadow no hindrance for his sharp eyesight. As a leopard-shifter, his vision was excellent, night and day. He didn’t need to look at his hands to see the extended claws. Sharp tips dug into his palm. He ignored the sting and his awkward grip on the carved wooden hilt of the single edge sword.
His beast came to the fore, clawing to take over, an instinctive response to potential threats. Muscles tensed, Ebube fought the shift. Sweat streaked down his body in rivulets. He swiped his face with his left palm, stopping the liquid from dripping into his eyes.
Sweeping his gaze across the large, airy chamber of his sparsely-decorated home, he sought the source of danger setting off his internal alarm.
Apart from the raised bamboo sleeping platform covered in padded deer hide and the wooden trunk that stored his personal belongings, the only other items were his tools of warfare – his spears, shields, machetes and scabbards. They hung on the single-rung mantel against the burnt-umber rock wall, gleaming with polish and sharpness, ready for use.  Undisturbed.
A tingle ran up his spinal column, the way it always did when he sensed something out of place. Something terribly wrong. He swung his legs around. Cool unglazed stone flooring met his bare feet. The muscles on his back tensed, primed for action. Slowly, he stood to his full height and walked through the room.
His home consisted of two chambers, one for sleeping and the other for entertaining guests. Though as a guardian, a special warrior of the gods, he could live as luxuriously as the gods did, they had agreed communally to live as simply as humans of the era so as not to draw attention to themselves as supernatural beings.
Nothing was out of place in his rooms, no stray, malevolent being in the vicinity. Yet the tingling in his bones didn’t dissipate. When he found nothing inside, he grabbed the wooden knob, opened the door and walked onto the corridor linking his residence to the rest of his family’s. Their homes were hewn out of Amauwa rocks, a hill range in the middle of the rain forest.
He stopped in front of the last house, the tension on his shoulders increasing. Nothing lurked inside it, living or inanimate. Yet the memory of the previous occupant flooded his mind, hitting him low in the abdomen, spreading pain through his body. Gritting his teeth, he shook his head and turned his back to the building and its unwelcome memories.

About Kiru

A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket during lights-outs in boarding school. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book.
During the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual, atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and children.
You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.
Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website: http://www.kirutaye.com

Contest

Kiru is giving away 2 x $5 Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash and 5 x ebooks of the follow-up story Sacrifice. Complete the rafflecopter to enter the prize draw.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kate Belle on Eros: writing authentic love

I’m delighted to hand over the blog today to talented Aussie author, Kate Belle (THE YEARNING). She is talking about a subject close to my own heart (and featured in my GODS OF LOVE series) – Eros and his sexy brothers, the erotes. Here’s Kate:

KateBelle-glam LShiresEros. The ancient god of love and the main man when it comes to writing any kind of romantic fiction. With him around the sheets are likely to be set on fire and everything gets a bit sticky. Eros is usually depicted as Cupid, that cute cuddly son of Aphrodite and Mars carrying his cheeky golden bow and arrow, looking for any pair of unsuitable mortals to throw together in a tumult of love. He is also known as one of the earliest creationist gods born out of Chaos, an essential part in the building of the human psyche.

But True Love requires more than love and beauty. Eros can’t operate alone. Did you know he has three brothers? Together they are known as the erotes, a group of ever-young, winged gods responsible for the different aspects of love. They are often depicted as the cherubs circling Aphrodite in old paintings.

Without the full complement of love gods active in a tale any romance is likely to fall short on sizzle. When a writer understands each of them and brings them to life in their characters a romance story will literally steal the reader’s heart and here’s why.

Love is a complicated thing. There’s a push and pull in the forming of a new relationship that makes the whole experience tantalising and excruciating. The pleasure and pain of first love is divine torture because the primitive parts of our brains are programmed to respond to certain basic human urges, each represented by the erotes.

Firstly there’s beloved Eros, god of love and beauty. He is the spark of attraction at the heart of every love story. His love poison blinds us so that we only see the very best, the most beautiful, in our lover. Even if the reader can see the love interest’s faults, the lover can’t. But this alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. We also need…

Pothos, god of longing and yearning. It’s one thing to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, but quite another for Pothos to settle in our heart. Pothos drives us nuts. We obsess – should I call? Is it too soon? I want to talk to him/her, but we only spoke an hour ago. What should I do? Without the intense longing of Pothos we may never find the courage to leap that first frightening hurdle to go in hot pursuit of our love interest.

And why do we feel compelled to pursue?

Because of Himeros, god of lust and uncontrollable desire, stirs the coals of our loins. Himeros is the drive to overcome whatever obstacles we encounter so we can express our love for our beloved in the flesh. Himeros is a call to action. We want to possess, own, penetrate, take our lover for our own.

But what if our lover denies us?

Then we turn to Anteros, god of returned and unrequited love. He loves a lover who loves back, but scorns and avenges those who do not return love (where was he when I needed him?). He reminds us that love can fade. A quick tap on his shoulder and your haughty love interest will be sorely punished for not acknowledging your passion for them.

All four of these delicious deities must be present in the tooing and froing of a romantic relationship if it is to feel authentic. My personal favourite is Himeros, but he’d get awfully depraved and lonely without the other three.

Who is your favourite love god and why?

Yearning lo resTHE YEARNING by Kate Belle

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.

Read an extract here.

Buy THE YEARNING

Ebook: Amazon or iTunes or Kobo

Print book: Target, Kmart, Myer, Collins, Dymocks, Big W, Eltham Bookshop and other independent bookshops (http://www.truelocal.com.au/find/book-shop/) and major airports. If not in stock just ask.

Reading group questions here.

About Kate

Bloom by Kate Belle - loresKate is a multi-published author who writes dark, sensual contemporary women’s fiction. She lives, writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her much loved partner and daughter and a menagerie of neurotic pets.

Kate holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for three days.

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