Some Write It Hot

February 9, 2011

Sucker for Love by Lauren Fraser

Filed under: Who we are — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

Well with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching love is in the air, the stores are filled with hearts, chocolates and flowers and it’s got me thinking about what it is that makes a great love story.

Now as a romance writer, I have to admit I’m always thinking about love in all it’s forms. I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that I’m a HUGE sucker for a happy ending but for me, part of the fun of a love story is watching the couples journey to their Happily Ever After. Following the journey from those initial sparks and zings of attraction all the way to the big L-O-V-E, through all the ups and downs of should we or shouldn’t we. How they handle all that sexual tension and angst.

Although I am a sucker for the happy ending, I have to admit I do enjoy when it’s a bumpy ride to get to the admission or realization that this is the person they are supposed to be with.

I think part of why I enjoy love stories that have some bumps to them is it makes the characters more real for me, more human. I feel like I can connect with characters so much better when they are at least a little flawed, like me. LOL

For most of us the road to finding our partner was a little bumpy. They don’t say you’ve got to kiss alot of frogs to find your prince for nothing.

Then you have to factor in can you see past all your own crap to realize that the person standing in front of you is the perfect person for you. Oy, sometimes it’s amazing we get it right. LOL But when they finally realize and everything comes together. It’s magic. Yep, a bumpy ride is a beautiful thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do like my fair share of fantasy in my romances but I like a little reality woven in.

What about you? As a reader do you prefer the romance in your stories to be a bit smoother, more of a fantasy rather than reality or are you like me and like when the couple has to work at least a little to find “The ONE”?

Read about what else Lauren is thinking on her website

February 7, 2011

Are Book Trailers Effective? by KevaD

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Two years ago The Wall Street Journal asked that very question.

To no one’s surprise, the answer was a resounding ‘probably not’ – “There is scant evidence . . . that the average book trailer actually has much impact on book sales.”

Consider this; you watch a trailer on YouTube and are interested in the book. Can you click on the trailer to buy the book? No. Read the back cover blurb? No. Read an excerpt? No. Click a link to the author or publisher’s web sites and bookstore? No.

In fact, you have to note the title, author, and in many cases, the publisher, in order to locate where the book is available for purchase.

Not to mention… how did you find the trailer on YouTube to start with?

That’s right – you probably didn’t. Unless you linked to it from an author or publisher’s site that provided all the other information anyway. In which case, you no doubt clicked on the trailer for no reason other than to watch it – entertainment.

As yet, there is no credible method of tracking the impact of book trailers on the average consumer. However, publishers and authors are feeling the need to provide trailers to those very potential customers. Because, after all, many trailers are well-done and quite enjoyable to watch.

Which brings us back to the original question – does the trailer aid in your decision as to which book to buy?

That’s what I hope you’ll share with us today. Please leave a comment and tell us if book trailers weigh in your decision about buying a book.

Now I’ll answer one of my own questions. Can a book trailer impact which book you buy or read?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” But not in the manner you’re thinking.

Book trailers are a marketing tool – another method of getting a product to consumers. Enter the marketing specialists, such as Circle of Seven Productions.

For a set fee, companies like cosproductions.com will put an author’s trailer in front of 300+ booksellers and 5,000+ libraries – the primary purchasers of books.

That’s correct. Book trailers have added a whole new chapter to the concept of book catalogs.

Does the book trailer ensure the book is well-written or will sell well? Not any more than spiffy cover art can guarantee sales. But it can catch a bookseller or library purchasing agent’s eye. Catching the client’s attention is still the salesman’s proverbial foot in the door.

By the way, Circle of Seven noted on a blog that links to a site where your book is for sale can be implanted with your trailer: “You can indeed make a live link from YouTube. You need to put the http:// in front of the www. in the description area.”

I haven’t tried it. Nor am I promoting Circle of Seven. I needed information regarding trailer marketing, and I stumbled across cosproductions.com. Don’t know how effective or efficient they are at what they do.

So, tell us what you think about trailers. And while you’re deep in thought, here’s a trailer I made:

See what else KevaD is up to at his blog

February 4, 2011

Tom’s Story Continued–Chapter Eight by Debbie Vaughan

Filed under: Free read — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , , ,

Just in case you need to catch up:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven


“Sa, we needs to get a move on, if’n ya wants to make the dock. Sa?”

I rose at his insistence, a little light headed. When my eyes focused I saw the probable cause. Stoneware jugs littered the wood and sand inside the hull. I had never been much of a drinker. Apparently even second hand liquor still had some effect. I pushed Paul’s wrist out of my face and rose. “No Paul, I’ve fed from you twice.”

“Which means what ‘zactly? I feels fine, bullet wound done healed itsef like I t’warnt never shot.”

How did I answer his question? “Never more than twice, Thomas.” That was what Mariska had said, but not why, like she hadn’t told me exactly how to go about making another of our kind. I didn’t remember her taking blood from me but the once, before she gave me hers, but that time was hazy in my memory. She had taken near all of it when she fed, not leaving enough for my heart to pump. Paul hadn’t been as far gone, but still…

“I can’t answer your question, Paul. There are rules I must abide by, same as you. I can’t feed from the same person more than twice.” I didn’t mention the blood I gave him. Instead I asked, “When did you wake? Have you eaten?”

“‘Bout noontime, I reckon, feelin’ spray as a young buck!” He cackled a laugh. “I done had me some of them sand crabs. Beat the shucks off canned beans.” A wide grin split his face.

Relieve washed over me and I smiled in return. No harm done if he was able to be about in the daylight. “We better saddle up then.”

“Yessa, if’n ya expects to gets a bite afore ya gets aboard, we best hustle. Should be easy pickin’s on the warf.” He bent to retrieve the saddle, his shirt riding up in the process.

“Hold!” He froze to the spot, saddle in mid air. Removing the saddle from his grasp, I turned his back to the firelight. His skin was smooth, the whip marks, gone. He gasped when my cool hand spread across his back. My blood healed not only the bullet wound but his old injury as well? How could Mariska not know of this?

“What is it, Sa, a spider, a leach?” Paul dusted his hand over his back, then both hands, his eyes growing twice their size and welling with tears. “Them scars be gone too.”

“So it appears.”

“I gonna be likes ya, Sa? Not that be a bad thing, I gist askin…”

“No, I don’t believe so. You were out in the sun–”

“Meanin’ you didn’t know this here was gonna happen? Sa, meanin’ no direspec, seems to me, ya sho don’t know much.” He shook his head and took my saddle.

I picked up the McClellan and tossed it on Silas without a word. When I started to mount, a hand on my shoulder stopped me. I turned to find Paul grinning.

“Sa, ain’t no white gentleman gonna go ridin’ in to Portsmouth on a gov’ment mule while the likes of me sits tall and proud on that fine mare. No Sa! Ya takes Miss Merry, me and Silas we do gist fine.”

-Read more >

February 2, 2011

Free Read Gato Negro Chapter 5

Filed under: Free read — practicalkatz @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Copyright 2010 by Stella Price
No stalling today. Here’s Chapter 5

Cover Art copyright 2010 by Stella Price.

Cinco

Carlos found the place where the poachers’ vehicle had been parked–two men, gone now, but not long. The smell of their exhaust still lingered. They’d probably fled when they heard the Jeep drive up to the roadblock.

They’d left a wake of litter and torn vegetation. He sifted through some of it, looking for a hint to who these men were or which village they’d come from, but found nothing that would stand as evidence. He’d need to come back here with the right equipment to clean up. After propping up a few saplings that might be saved, he tracked their path into the forest to survey the extent of the damage.

This was why TE’ele brought him here–to stop these men, two of hundreds driven as much by need as greed. The job was like trying to halt a landslide one pebble at a time.

Before he’d gone far, Beth ran up to him out of the trees.

“I got a flat tire,” she said, hanging her head. “I thought I’d be safer with you than alone on the track trying to change it.”

Speechless, he stared. How did she find me?

The trees whispered the answer. The forest had delivered her to him. His heart soared with gratitude. Could this mean TE’ele approved?

Still, Beth had taken too big a risk. He opened his mouth to tell her so, but took her in his arms instead. “They’re gone.”

“Thank God!” The relief on her face was palpable. “What damage did they do?”

“They got a couple capuchin babies, I think. Hear the mothers wailing?” Each mournful hoot the tiny monkeys voiced tore at his heart. So little left after five hundred years of man, yet the rape of his forest continued. “The price they will get for those babies will keep two families for a year. Other than that, probably birds. A breeding pair of scarlet macaws nests in the area. I would like to know they’re safe before calling this in.” He glanced up, checking the light. “We have two hours before we will have to start back. Would you help me try to find them?”

They walked a ways, heads up, checking the canopy for the brilliant plumage. At the sound of running water, Carlos took her hand and, clearing a path through the dense foliage, led her to the river’s edge.

“Look,” he said, grinning and pointing as she stepped onto the rocky bank right behind him. “Ara macao cyanoptera.”

* * * *

“Show off.”

A little upstream, the jungle encroached on a crystal pool carved into a layer of moss-covered rocks by three waterfalls cascading over gray cliffs. The lush greenery, scent of flowers and the susurrus of running water brought instant tranquility.

Where Carlos pointed, a pair of scarlet macaws perched, decorating the cliffs in bright reds and blues.

“They eat the clay from between the rocks,” he said.

“You knew they’d be here, didn’t you? Is this the place you wanted to show me? It’s beautiful, Carlos.”

“No, we will save that place for another day. Come. Do you swim? No current here.” He was teasing her. She hadn’t thought it possible.

“Last one in is a rotten egg,” she shouted, stripping off her shirt while running sure-footed over the rocks.

Beth dropped to a seat on a large flat rock at the edge of the pool and was still struggling with her boot when Carlos appeared on the ledge between the two upper falls. She gasped. All the blood in her body rushed to her sex. She couldn’t move.

He was wet, having parted the waters of the smaller fall, and he was naked. Head thrown back, he let the spray sluice over his face and body in an act akin to worship. Mouth agape, she followed its course from his shoulder to his feet over a form sculpted by imagination.

Even as her eyes took in the powerful muscles of chest and arms, the long sinews of his thighs, the flawless skin stretched taut over all, she thought such perfection could not be part of the natural world.

On the return trip, her gaze lingered at his groin. His relaxed scrotum hung loose from its dark nest, his flaccid cock resting neatly between his balls. As she studied him, it stiffened and pulled away to stand on its own an inch or two from his thighs.

When she discovered him watching, she flushed, embarrassed to be caught examining him, but the expression he wore held no amusement, just a hint of concern that confused her a moment.

With a downward glance, he dove gracefully into the pool.

He took to the water like an otter, coming up for air and diving back to the bottom. When he came up the second time, he swam over to her with strong, smooth strokes. The sight of him stole her breath away.

He rested his arms on her rock, watching, with his upper torso above the water. His long black hair washed back to reveal the whole of his face. Heart-shaped, with a small widow’s peak at the hairline. But it was his eyes that held her, wide-spread, golden orbs, deep-set and shadowy. He had a dangerous look about him.

“Kiss me, or stop looking like that at me.” His voice was silk over gravel.

Eyes locked to his, she slowly finished removing her boots and socks and slipped out of her shorts. Down to swim trunks and bra, she rolled onto her stomach, and taking his head between both hands, had her way with his mouth.

At first, he stood still for her gentle nibbles and licks, lips parted, wearing a tiny smile. She grew bolder, sucking. His taste was cool, fresh. She wanted more and took it, invading the moist warmth, exploring every crevasse. Deep inside, the smoldering coals of her desire ignited.

On cue, he took possession of the kiss with a needy hunger of his own until she had to come up for air.

She rolled onto her back and lay over the boulder so she could inspect his face, upside down.

“I dream about you,” she admitted.

“What do you dream?” His fingers played with her hair, unraveling the braid, combing through the long locks until they flowed over the mossy rock and touched the water below.

“I dream you come to my room in the dark and make love to me.”

His eyes widened a little and locked with hers. The silence went on too long. Had she made a mistake, baring such an intimate detail?

“Do you enjoy these dreams?”

For a moment, she hesitated, fearing this was too much too soon. But Beth didn’t want to settle for the dream any longer. “Very much. I’d like them even better if they were real.”

To avoid seeing his reaction, she pulled him into an inverted kiss.

The earth moved. He took her mouth with slow, sucking strokes until her lips parted for his tongue. Fingers entwined in her hair, he held her to his mouth like some ripe fruit and supped.

He lowered her head to its mossy pillow and kicked away from the rock. Throwing himself backward into the water, he floated, staring through the canopy at the sky.

Beth sat up to watch, holding her knees to her chest. What was he thinking? Any minute now, he’d come back and tell her it was all a misunderstanding. He wanted to be friends.

But when he did come back, he pulled himself out of the water and stood over her in all his naked glory, inviting her eyes to feast as long as they cared to.

“What you see is what I have to offer, colibrí.”

She glanced up, eyeing his beautiful body on the way and bit back the glib response she had prepared. He was dead serious.

“Will it be enough?” he asked.

Her gaze slid back to his impressive erection jutting from its nest of black curls. He couldn’t possibly be asking…

Not quite understanding, Beth had no answer.

“Because, when Antonio returns, I must leave.” His voice had lowered to a hoarse whisper.

A dagger twisted in her heart. She believed him. “What if I don’t want you to leave? What if you don’t want to go?”

“Already I don’t want to go.” There was pain in his voice and in his eyes. “But I will.”

She reached for his hands and pulled him to the ground beside her. For a long time, neither said a word. Her fingers toyed with his hair, then traced the curve of his neck and shoulders, his arms, finally her hand splayed over his heart, she asked, “Is it a deal-breaker?”

“What?”

“Your secret–will it change how I feel about you.”

“Yes.”

She paused only a moment at the honest answer given without hesitation. Her eyes swept over him and all rational thought escaped. “In that case, I don’t want to know. Make love to me.”

Still he hesitated, so she took the initiative. Getting to her knees, she straddled his legs, took his face between her hands and laid her hungry mouth on his.

Carlos caught her around the waist and stood in one smooth move, lifting her with him. Holding her tight, he invaded her mouth with persistent pressure of his ravenous tongue. Blood rushed through her veins like distant thunder.

Beth hadn’t noticed her feet didn’t touch the ground until he set her down. His hands trembled against her back. The clasp of her bathing suit released, spilling her breasts against his chest. She shook the top down her arms and tossed it aside.

Carlos broke the kiss, standing back to look.

She lifted her eyes to his face and forgot to breathe. Unfiltered lust darkened his brow as he bent to take a turgid nipple between his lips. His arms caught her as she swooned into the rising tempest his mouth created in her.

With kisses and nips to her torso, he lowered himself to his knees. He tugged at her trunks, baring her bottom to his caresses as his tongue circled and plunged into her navel. Tugged lower, and buried his face in the nest of curls at the juncture of her thighs.

His chest expanded in a slow, deep inhale as his hands on her ass pressed her tight. His tongue reached out, licked a path through the wiry curls, delved between her lips and found her clit. A few strokes set her body trembling.

“Carlos, please.” She didn’t know yet if she begged for more or less.

He lowered the shorts to the ground, lifting one foot free, then the other, replacing them at a distance that left her open to the tickling warmth of his breath against her sex. A fresh wash of arousal bathed her secret parts. His hands stroked the back of her legs firmly on the way up, slipping between her thighs at the top, spreading her swollen labia.

His tongue reached to capture the moisture.

Her legs turned to rubber. “Carlos.” Afraid to fall, Beth clung to his shoulders, trembling, sure now she couldn’t take any more without crashing to the ground.

Cool hands glided up her body, leaving chills in their wake as he rose to his feet. Imprisoning her wrists behind her back, he pulled her tight against the blazing heat of his naked flesh.

It was so right, this heat, his rock hard cock gliding against her belly as he rocked, unthinking. His balls tapped, tapped at the apex of her thighs like a slow, pulsing orgasm.

He dipped his head to take her mouth, the kiss hard, demanding, possessive.

Too soon, he drew away. His lips moved over hers whispering, “Follow me.”

Still holding one hand, he took her to the edge of the rock, met her eyes as he let go and dove. A few seconds later, he surfaced in the middle of the pool, shaking the water from his face. With an intent expression, he said, “Don’t make me wait.”

She dove in after him.

The water was clear as crystal and warm. She searched for him below the surface and found his legs by their gentle movement. Swimming to him, her arms circled his thighs and smoothed up the swell of his buttocks. Her cheeks and lips brushed his erection. As she kicked to the surface, the water surged between them in a full body caress, while her breasts grazed him from knees to chest. He gave her a second to breathe, then covered her mouth with his.

Breaking the kiss, Carlos wrapped an arm about her and kicked them to the side of the pool. The muscles of his chest stretched and bunched with each single-armed stroke. Water cascaded around her as he floated away and pulled her to the rocks between the falls where she’d first seen him. Letting go, he lifted himself onto the ledge and reached down to pull her up beside him.

“Here,” he said, over the roar of the falls. He pulled her through the bridal-veil where an overhang left a small, mossy place just wide enough for two bodies to lie close. He lowered her to the spongy bed and knelt beside her. “I want to make love to you here.”

One arm stretched above his head, resting against the overhanging rock. The other shoulder captured an occasional splash from the water falling just inches behind.

Beth found herself mesmerized by the way the rivulets ran over his body. She let her fingers trace their paths over dark pecs and nipples, then leaned in for a taste. The cool, clear liquid captured a bit of the salty flavor of his skin. She lapped at the flow over his rippled abs, drinking her fill.

Her gaze and fingers skimmed his torso, awed by their power to raise a storm of quivering muscle along their path.

Even in daylight, with the evidence plain before her, something deep inside expected to wake from the dream. And she would. She believed him. Six weeks from now when he left, she would wake alone in her bed one morning, and this little time they’d had together would be a vaporous dream.

The others would probably say he dumped her. She would feel dumped, but in the end, the memories would keep her. She intended to make as many as possible in the few short weeks they had.

Her caress traveled lower; her gaze followed. She cupped his balls in one hand, testing the weight of them. Her thumb explored their size, their silky texture and their slippery movement within the scrotum. He had a beautiful erection, not huge, more than sufficient, curved slightly upward. She ran her lips over the silky surface of the exposed glans and felt him gasp.

When she sought his eyes, they were closed. Lips parted, just the slightest crease between his brows, fists clenched, he waited.

She sent her tongue out to explore, licked a drop of pre-cum from the surface and delved for more with the tip of her tongue in his slit. Her efforts were rewarded. The sharp, metallic bite of his semen burst in her mouth and filled her head. His scent was clean, pungent, and sent a wash of heat straight to her core. She might come just from the musk of his arousal and the gruff sounds of his pleasure.

When she gripped his cock in her hand and took the head into her mouth, circling with her tongue, he quaked. Every muscle tightened and a low moan sounding like pain escaped. His back arched bringing his hips closer, sending his cock deeper. She sucked. He growled.

She didn’t rush, but took the time to savor his sweetness, his scent, the hot satiny texture of his crown against her tongue–all suffused with the fragrance, the taste, the cool caress of water falling around them.

Holding him between her lips, she sent both hands to explore the hard muscles of his ass. One finger drew the length of its cleft and farther to the baby-soft skin behind his balls. His scrotum shrank, cradling his testes tight to his body. His cock swelled as she opened her throat for him and his flesh quivered beneath her touch.

He thrust once, hard and deep, then hesitated. His thighs trembled. With a whispered moan, his hand cupped her jaw to free himself. His body tensed, brow furled in concentration. His chest heaved with long, hard, controlled breaths.

Beth removed her hands, not wanting to break his concentration.

He leaned over her and his hot, hungry mouth covered hers. Hand in her hair, he lowered them both to the mossy bed.

Beth stretched out. Carlos stretched beside her, engulfing her in his arms, pressing flesh to flesh along the lengths of their bodies. She lay breathless in his embrace while his mouth moved over hers with gentle passion. His cock, hard and demanding, pressed at the cleft between her thighs.

Lacing their fingers together, he raised her arms above her head and pinned them to the ground. Her back arched, pressing her breasts hard against his chest. He dipped his head to lay gentle lips on her shoulder, her neck, back again, then lower, following the curve of her breast to its turgid nipple. His tongue played, circling, flicking. His wet hair dripped cool beads of water onto her chest.

Beth moaned, a long, hard sound, and arched further. His lips covered her and sucked.

A current of lust flowed to her center and overflowed, bathing her pelvis and thighs. Imprisoned by his hands, breathless with desire, she had nothing but her body to speak for her, to beg for him. It undulated against the hard press of his flesh, yearned toward the granite hardness of his cock still pressing for entrance at the apex of her thighs.

She opened slightly, making room for his cockhead to slide through her slickness until it grazed her opening. She rode the length of him, while he sucked and grunted his pleasure upon her breast.

“Carlos. Now. Please.”

But he was already responding to the pulse in her sex that heralded her orgasm. He rolled, pinned her body to the mossy rock with his own and on his next thrust, his cock slid beyond her threshold. His mouth covered hers. He stiffened. She wrapped a leg around his thighs and pulled him in, deep, deeper, every inch punctuated by his helpless grunts echoing off the back of her throat.

His thickness glided through her swollen, overheated flesh. The muscles of his powerful thighs bunched as she brought the other leg up, around, gripping him tightly with all she had to hold him. Heat coiled around her core, tightened.

Carlos read her need. He thrust and thrust again, following her body’s rhythm.

The orgasm shuddered through her, fierce, and he took her cries into his mouth as he tried to bury himself in her cunt, each thrust sending her higher, each more erratic than the last until he stiffened, gasped. Every inch of him trembled.

He cried out, plunged deep, and stopped.

And again, and shuddered. She felt every pulse along the length of her body. Her tongue invaded his mouth, delving deep, mimicking his movements. Hot cum bathed her tunnel. And again, until he sobbed into her mouth with each spasm. And again.

The second orgasm took Beth by surprise. She came apart in a sinuous, writhing dance beneath him, driving her hips against his, accepting his thrusts with a burning emotion that could only be joy.

He released her arms and rolled them onto their sides still locked together. She, buried in his arms; he, buried in her cunt. Water rained over them.

Chapter 6 in a couple weeks.

Thanks for reading.
ali
http://www.a-katz.com

Purchase

For Kindle @ Amazon.com

For other readers (.epub) @ Goodreads

and, oh, if you’ve already read, a couple stars would be appreciated. Better yet, stars and a review 🙂

January 31, 2011

Releasing February 1–Masters of the Shadowlands Five: Make Me Sir by Cherise Sinclair

== Blurb for Make Me, Sir =====================================

Her job is to make his life miserable. His job is to make her submit. Whose heart will surrender first?

Across the country, rebellious BDSM submissives are being systematically kidnapped, one from each club. When her friend falls prey to the slavers, FBI victim specialist Gabrielle volunteers to be bait in a club not yet hit: the Shadowlands.

She finds that being a bratty sub comes naturally, especially when she gets to twit the appallingly conservative Master of the trainees. But she soon discovers he’s not as stuffy as she’d thought. Or as mean. She’d expected punishment, even humiliation, but she sure never expected to fall in love with a damned lawyer.

Courtesy of a prima donna ex-wife, Marcus loathes disobedient submissives. When the club owner insists he admit an incredibly bratty trainee, he’s furious. But as he comes to know Gabrielle and sees the alluring sweetness beneath the sass, he starts to fall for her.

Unfortunately, Marcus isn’t the only one who believes the feisty redhead is a prize worth capturing. And in the world of the slaver, such treasure is worth a hefty fee.

===Excerpt for Make Me, Sir =======================================

The model-gorgeous guy in the suit didn’t like her. Gabrielle saw that already, but no real problem. The only one she had to impress was Master Marcus, and hopefully the suit wouldn’t tell on her. The man positively oozed rich and powerful, so he must be a big shot in the club. “I guess I’d better get back there before my boss arrives.”

“Who?”

“Master Marcus. I’m waiting for him.”

“You most certainly possess a poor idea of how to wait.” He stared at her for another minute, disapproval radiating from him. “I have a notion that introductions are in order before you work your way further into trouble. I am Master Marcus.”

She choked. Oh, no. This day is so not going well. “Ah.” She cleared her throat and tried again. “Nice to meet you. Um –”

“And might I ask your name?” he asked politely. Too politely.

She took a second look at him, at his fancy tailored suit. Dark gray with pinstripes. Oh please, like she’d really believe he was a dom at all? “Gabrielle Anderson. Are you sure you’re Master Marcus?”

He cocked his head. The guy was way too good-looking. Tall, broad-shouldered, lean. His hair, a rich brown shading to gold on the ends, was flawlessly styled. Definitely a perfect person like her parents. Gag. Even his tan wasn’t leathery, but just dark enough to set off incredibly blue eyes. Very sharp blue eyes, in fact, and turning colder by the second.

“Why would you think I’m not Master Marcus?” he asked.

Well, good grief. She waved a hand at him and kept the duh from slipping out. Just in case he really was Master Marcus. Maybe he hadn’t changed yet or something. “The suit? Where are your leathers or latex or…biker jacket or vest? And black? Did you forget to wear black?”

He stared for a second, as if she’d turned into a drooling idiot, and then simply roared. Deep, full laughter — amazing coming from someone who looked like he should have a stick up his ass.

She felt heat flooding her face and decided she really didn’t like him. Maybe he was the club accountant or administrator or something. Shifting her weight, she looked past him. Hopefully the Marcus guy would arrive soon. She needed to get all established before the arrival of the kidnapper — the unsub, as a real agent would call him. She frowned. Unsub sounded too much like fake submissive. That would be me. Maybe she’d call him a perp instead.

“Best you tell me about your previous experience in BDSM,” the suit said, and damn but he appeared totally different when he smiled. How many women had he destroyed with that devastating dimple in his left cheek and crease in the right? “Was it mostly in downtown clubs? Perhaps of the Goth variety?”

“Well, yeees. Why?” Several years ago too, but that’s not what she’d written on her application.

He motioned for her to precede him down the hall, and when she stepped in front of him, his hand closed on her nape. Firmly, as if she were a stray dog. “I do believe you’ll find a private club a mite different. A wider age range, diverse incomes, assorted tastes. Many doms here wear leathers and black; some prefer other attire.”

Her stomach sank with the authoritative way he’d gripped her neck. No accountant from the back would act like this — she’d run into a dom. In a suit. Who called himself…? “You really are Master Marcus?”

“I’m afraid so, darlin’.” He stopped at the place where chains hung from the low rafter and released her, only to walk around her slowly as if she stood on a display stand. “Is all your experience in public clubs?”

“Uh-huh.” In her college days, she’d pop into a club, have some fun, and maybe take someone home. But she hadn’t indulged since then. She’d set her sights on the FBI from day one and wasn’t about to mess up her chances by doing anything less than respectable.

“I see.” He tapped the ribbing on her bustier. “Remove that, please.”

She stared at him. Just like that? I only met you, dammit. She hesitated, but the merciless look in those blue eyes kicked her into gear. After undoing the hooks, she tossed the bustier onto a chair outside the ropes that fenced off the scene area. She forced her arms to stay at her sides and tried to ignore the air-conditioned draft on her bare breasts.

“Very pretty.” When he brushed sure fingers over her shoulder, into the hollow below her collarbone, and over the upper curve of one breast, her body woke up from her breasts all the way to her pussy — and that was damn disconcerting considering she didn’t even like the guy. But he had that ruthless attitude going for him — the dominant edge that put butterflies into her stomach as if she’d swallowed fluffy bugs.

“And did you play somewhere else?” he asked. “Privately?”

Her cheeks warmed. “Not…really. I might have gone home with a man after, but for kinky stuff, I stayed in the clubs. More public or something.”

“I see. You didn’t trust any dom enough to let him restrain you without other people around.”

“Ah.” She’d never thought of it like that but — okay. He was right. She nodded.

“I prefer to have verbal answers,” he said ever so softly. “‘Yes, Sir’ will serve for now.”

She couldn’t keep the shiver from running down her spine. The guy wielded a razor-sharp voice, no matter how soft it was. “Yes, Sir.”

“That sounds very pretty, sugar,” he said, and the caress in his voice turned all her bones into a seriously mushy state. Until he added, “Remove the skirt, please.”

She looked up, and his eyes could be just as lethal as his tone. Why did he bother to say ‘please’? She stepped out of the skirt, wishing she’d done more time in the gym. Done any time in the gym. Maybe walked a little at least. Nothing like a fat ass to impress a man.

But hey, this wasn’t about impressing the fussy dom. She’d come here to lure a kidnapper — a killer — into a trap. She shivered.

His eyes narrowed. “Do you have a problem with being unclothed?”

Hell. Keep your mind on business, Gabi. “No, Sir. Just cold, Sir.”

“Um-hmm.” He walked around her again, inspecting her as if she were the star at a dog show. Totally insulting — and yet she felt her nipples contracting to dagger points and a disconcerting wetness between her thighs. She shifted to put her legs closer together.

“Master Z requested I take you on. Did you read the rules for the trainees?”

“Um. Yes.” She caught the hint of ice in his eyes and added a hasty, “Sir.”

He unhooked a set of golden-colored leather cuffs from the back of his belt. After buckling them on her wrists, he carefully checked the fit and then attached her left cuff to a chain dangling from the rafter. “The safe word for the trainees is red,” he said as he reached for another chain and did her right arm. He kept the chains long enough her arms could remain at waist level. “I want for you to use it if you become overwhelmed in any way, from fear, pain…whatever. It will bring the dungeon monitors a-running.”

“If I use a safe word, does that mean everything is off?” She couldn’t afford to blow this.

His face softened. “No, sugar. It means I stop whatever we’re doing and we sit down and chat for a bit.”

“Oh. Okay. Good. Um, Sir.” Can I really see this through? This lethal dom wasn’t anything like the ones she’d played with in the downtown clubs. Fear wavered inside her, and she shoved it away. Mostly.

She saw his gaze on her and realized her fingers were tracing the scar on her cheek. He pulled her hand down and enfolded it in his warm one. “Gabrielle, do you have a problem with bondage you didn’t mention on the application?” he asked.

“No, Sir.” When he didn’t move, she added, “Really. I’m just a little nervous, Sir.”

“All right then.” He walked to the wall, and the chains attached to her wrist cuffs began to tighten, pulling her arms over her head. He stopped before she had to go up on tiptoe.

She tried to be grateful for the small concession, but suddenly she felt…naked. Really naked, much more than when she’d taken off her clothes. Then she’d worried about how she looked. Now…now she felt the intensity of his gaze as he strolled around her again.

“What…what are you going to do?”

“I’m fixin’ to acquaint myself with my new trainee’s body as we have a chat.”

* * * * *

Buy from Loose Id

Read more from Cherise her website: www.CheriseSinclair.com
Dominant Males, Sizzling Tales
Author of Masters of the Shadowlands series

January 28, 2011

Tom’s Story Continued–Chapter Seven by Debbie Vaughan

Filed under: Free read — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Just in case you need to catch up:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

“You best be steppin’ lively,” he cackled. “Or as light as a dead man can.”

I cast a disparaging glance over my shoulder as I got my bedroll. “You’re not worried you might upset me, Paul? I can’t figure if you’re that brave or just stupid.”

“Bit of both, I reckon.” He cackled louder. “But then I ain’t the one that’s fixin’ to lay me down in the dirt for a nap, while a body I don’t know keeps guard over me and mine.”

He put a fine point on my own thoughts, but my choices were few and dwindling fast. Dawn was about to break. I unrolled my blanket into the trench he’d fashioned in the sandy loam then, stretched out on it. I raised a brow as he flapped another blanket to unfurl it.

“This here will keep the topdressin’ from getting you over dirty.” He spread the blanket, smelling strongly of mule, over me. “Rest easy, Massa Tom.”

“I am no one’s master,” I said aloud—I thought. The sound of hands moving soil and mulch grew faint and then– nothing.
*****
I awoke to the bitter sweet smell of chicory. What Paul used for coffee. I had survived the day with body intact and my companion still with me. I rose slowly, letting the soil and debris shift from the blanket before I removed it. Popping it into the air removed the remainder.

“Be whit’cha in a bit. Jist finishin’ up dinner.” Paul held his plate high, shoveling the beans in his mouth.

The sight of him left me lighthearted. He was a man of his word. I stretched my arms and cracked my back. “Take your time. Have the animals been watered?”

“Only a wee bit Sa, just a sip from the canteen. I daren’t leave ya to go to the crick.”

“That’s right good of you, Mr. Monroe–.”

“Paul, Sa—jist Paul be fine.”

“Paul, you finish your meal and I’ll water the stock.” I untied Silas and Merry and led them the twenty or so yards to where a brook babbled merrily over tree roots and stones. As they drank, I washed the parts I could, rinsed my mouth and wet my hair, running my fingers through in place of a comb. When finished, we returned to the campsite.

Paul sat studying his wrist. He looked up as we entered the fire’s glow. “Don’t that beat all?” He held his wrist up for inspection. “If’n I din’na know no better, I’d said I done dreamed this whole biznez.”

I took his wrist in my hand, no sign of my bite remained. Only a scar of an old rope burn marred his brown flesh. So, not just animal hide.

“You seem surprised Sa. Ain’t this how it always is?”

“Truth-be-told Paul, I don’t honestly know. I don’t normally stay around after feeding.” I raised my eyes and a brow to look into his face. “I knew our spit could stop the bleeding, but not that it healed so completely.”

-Read more >

January 26, 2011

Speak like an Aussie Day by Lillian Grant

Filed under: Who we are — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , ,

Today, January 26th, is Australia day, a day when Aussies celebrate the arrival in 1788 of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from the UK. The day the British flag was raised and occupation of the eastern half of our continent began. England’s largest jail was born.

Now, whilst this may be a minor event on the planetary calendar, not coming close to the Superbowl or Macy’s Christmas Parade, I still think the world should pause, reflect and celebrate with the inhabitants of the world’s largest island.

If Disney’s reinterpretation of the Pirate genre can give birth to ‘Speak like a Pirate Day’ then surely something as monumental as Australia Day should garner a similar response. Therefore, I think this holiday should be renamed, ‘speak like an Aussie day.’

To help you all get in the swing of it I shall endeavour to give you the heads up on the most useful Aussie expressions and pronunciations. Now any of you who watched that movie with Meryl Streep where she declared, “a dingo ate my baby” are at a disadvantage…we really don’t sound like that.

First things first, an Australian will tell you they come from Austraya, note the word has a silent L.

When meeting an Austrayan the native will greet you with, G’day mate, the universal acknowledgment of your existence and acceptance as friend rather than foe.

If he offers you a ‘snag’ do not be offended or concerned, he is merely offering you a sausage, usually from the barbie.

The average Austrayan will pepper his language with words that may appear profane to the uninitiated. For example if he calls you a bastard it is a usually a term of endearment, unless you happened to let slip some unfortunate information about your parentage. ‘Oh bugger’, denotes that something has clearly gone wrong. If an Aussie were to drive into the back of your vehicle with his Ute (a car with a tray on the back instead of rear passenger seats and a trunk) his first response would usually be ‘oh bugger.’

Austrayans have many affectionate terms for those they love, mate, cobber, and dag. Dag being reserved for the times when his mate is being stupid. If you spill beer down yourself and make an Aussie laugh he may well call you a dag. Should you hasten to Wikipedia for a translation you may be insulted to discover the word dag denotes a fly blown, shit encrusted piece of wool hanging below a sheep’s butt, however, to an Australian it is an acknowledgment that you are amusing and just plain stupid.

Clothing here has its own names. At the beach, the male of the species can be seen wearing budgie smugglers, you may call them a banana hammock or perhaps swimming trunks. Dacks are pants and underdacks, are obviously underwear. Women have been known to wear frocks and men singlets rather than wife beaters. A skivvy is a roll neck jumper and thongs go on your feet.

As well as their being generic words recognized the country over, each state has its own nuances. For example should you meet an Austrayan who ends every sentence with ahy, thus turning every comment into a question, you can be assured you are in the company of a Queenslander. Should your tame Aussie keep telling you everything is grouse then you are the proud owner of a Victorian.

Having lived here for many years I have learned to understand and even mimic the Aussie so well that I have blended into my habitat. I grew up in the UK but became an Austrayan citizen as soon as time allowed, there is no where else in the world I would choose to call home, despite the drought, flooding and kookaburras who seem greatly amused by something in the trees outside my bedroom window at 5.30 in the morning. Although I do like Paris, maybe I could do Paris. Hmmm.

See if Lillian moved to Paris

January 24, 2011

Reward of Courage by DH Starr–Coming Soon

Filed under: Coming soon — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

The story is releasing soon from Ai Press

Blurb

Derek Thompson and Scott Thayer met in high school. Facing challenges and overcoming obstacles that would make lesser young men fold, they now have the chance to forge a life together. As they enter college, they finally have the time and space to discover each other sexually and give their virginity to each other. However, in spite of the erotic thrill of exploration, there are still challenges ahead, challenges that will test their love and devotion…

While Derek wants to live as an openly gay man, Scott wishes to maintain a degree of privacy. Not only that, but another freshman, Tyrell Jackson, becomes infatuated with Derek and wants Derek for his own. In the face of these threats to their burgeoning relationship, Derek and Scott are forced to look within themselves and make difficult decisions which will change both of their lives forever.

Is their relationship strong enough to bear the strain of balancing their needs as individuals and as a couple? The only way Derek and Scott will attain their ultimate reward is by finding the courage to face their fears. Will they rise to the challenge?

Warning the following excerpt is m/m x-rated!

Scott shot Derek a victorious glance, then the corner of his mouth began to creep up into his sly grin which would soon create a potentially embarrassing situation for Derek if his mother didn’t leave soon. Luckily, Claire turned and left just before Derek’s arousal became visible, pressing against the crotch of his jeans. When she left the room, Scott got up from the sofa and walked over to Derek. “I just thought of what we could do to kill some time before we go to Beck’s.”

“What? And could you please not do things that turn me on when my mom is around? My cock started dancing the Macarena when you flashed your grin at me.” Derek reached into his pants and dramatically readjusted himself.

“I forgot, all I have to do is say one or two words and you sport wood. It’s really very flattering—”

“Okay, enough,” Derek said, cutting him off. “What is this idea that you have?”

Scott walked over to the window and looked out. “I was thinking…oh, there are your parents getting into the car. Good! I was thinking we could take a shower together before heading over to Beck’s. We both stink and, well, the only showers we’ve taken together were in the locker room at school with a ton of other guys.”

All of Derek’s blood ran to his cock. Why hadn’t he thought of that? It was like Scott had a sixth sense. Just when Derek was beginning to feel doubt or concern about the two of them, Scott’s alpha male side would emerge and turn Derek into a puddle of longing at his feet. Without bothering to readjust himself, he dashed for the door, calling over his shoulder. “I’ll race you to the bathroom.”

Having the house to themselves, they didn’t have any concerns about being interrupted. They undressed hastily in Derek’s room, tossing their clothes to the floor, and tumbled across the hall into the bathroom. Stepping into the steamy interior of the enclosed shower, they embraced each other, allowing the hot water to slick their bodies. Scott ran his hands up and down Derek’s back, gently caressing his skin, as Derek ran his hands over broad chest muscles and defined abs, then leaned in and tilted his head up, bringing his mouth to Scott’s, as water washed through their hair and down their faces.

Needy hands gripped Derek’s ass, pulling him closer and grinding their now rigid cocks together. “Before we get too far into this, you know that we aren’t going to do anything more than petting right?”

Derek was too lost in the heat of the moment and water and by standing naked next to Scott to argue. “Yeah, yeah. I know the rules. Not until we get to college.”

Satisfied, Scott returned his attention to touching Derek. “I love the way your body angles down from your shoulders towards your waist and how your ribs ripple your sides, but disappear into you’re your lats. Your muscles aren’t too large, but they’re so clearly defined. I could spend days just looking at and touching you.” After delivering his praises, he lowered his head and captured Derek in a hungry kiss once again.

Derek had fantasized about showering with Scott hundreds of times, but even his most explicit dreams didn’t come close to the reality of standing under the rush of hot water as he held the only boy who had been able to draw him out of his shell. Pulling out of the kiss, he stared at Scott. Beside the dazzling blue-green eyes, Scott had shaggy blond hair which was now matted to his forehead and clinging to his neck. His skin was naturally bronzed and he had a strong jaw line which gave him a rugged, masculine appearance. A bit of scruffy stubble completed the image nicely.

Rising onto his toes, Derek placed his lips at the crook where jaw met neck and slowly kissed his way down the lean cords of muscle until he reached the collar bone. Glancing down, he gasped at the sight of his bulging pecs and flat abdomen and, defined ridged abs. All other images and thoughts vanished as soon as he saw Scott’s cock which stood fully erect between their two bodies.

The combination of running water, slick skin on skin, and seeing Scott’s naked body in the full light of the bathroom sent a new wave of excitement through Derek’s body. “Remind me why we haven’t showered together before?”

Scott bent his head so that his forehead was resting on Derek’s shoulder touched Derek’s, his hands still securely planted on each butt cheek. “She’s called Claire and if she ever caught us doing this, she’d lock up that chastity belt she’s got on you and throw away the key forever. Once we get to college we’ll have all the time in the world to do this and much more without worrying about your mom.”

Taking some body wash, Derek applied a generous amount to the loofah which hung from the shower nozzle and began to clean Scott, forming a rich, thick foam as he did so. “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” He snickered and continued his scrubbing. “Can we stop talking about my mom now? I’m sure we can find other things to focus on.”

Allowing water to wash away the soap he had applied to Scott’s body, Derek lowered his lips to one nipple, closing his mouth around the succulent bit of flesh, running his tongue in circles as the nub hardened.

Scott groaned and placed a hand on the back of Derek’s head, holding him there. Needing no further encouragement, he bit down, using his teeth to increase the stimulation. Over the past few months he had learned exactly how to drive Scott wild. Stimulating his nipples was one of the most effective ways. As he teased, moans filled the bathroom as his erection pressed against Derek’s stomach.

As if choreographed, they both reached down and wrapped their fingers around rigid shafts at the same time. Slowly tugging at each other, they began to increase their motion, still locked in a fervent kiss. Tension began to build up in Derek’s balls and his core muscles began to quiver in fast, ticklish spasms of pleasure. “Scott, I’m…going…to…come.” With a loud moan, he tilted his head back, water crashing onto his face, as his cock erupted under Scott’s skillful manipulation.

As soon as Derek’s release subsided, Scott’s breathing became heavy. Derek quickened his pace as he jerked at his cock.

Scott grabbed Derek behind his neck and pressed their foreheads together tightly. Has his cock pulsed, releasing ribbons of cum into Derek’s hand while staring he stared directly into his eyesat Derek. His moans were not as loud as Derek’s had been, but they contained an animal ruggedness, almost as if he were growling.

Derek felt the lingering spasms of Scott’s orgasm as his cock pulsed in his hand. Leaning heavily into Scott’s body, he rested his head on the rounded shoulder muscle and sighed. After a moment, Scott wrapped his arms around Derek. “That was incredible.”

“Mm,” was all Derek could manage. Bending down to pick up the loofah which he had dropped at some point, he had no idea when. He was rewarded with a sharp gasp from Scott.

“I forgot how fuckin’ amazing your ass is. I don’t get to see it nearly enough.” Scott’s voice had regained some volume, but still contained the ruggedness which sent ripples of electricity through Derek.

Standing and applying reapplied soap to the loofah, Derek laughed. “Turn around. Let me get your back.” Scott turned, exposing the smooth tanned skin of his back and. Derek allowed his eye to roam down the tapered lines of his body until they rested on his firm, rounded ass. While it didn’t have as much bubble as his own, Derek still found the sight alluring.

Read more from DH Starr at his website

January 21, 2011

The Importance of Proofreading by Lauren Fraser

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Now we’ve all heard how important it is to proofread your writing before you submit. I’ve heard numerous editors say the worst thing an author can do is not proofread their submission and query letter before they send it.

That being said we’ve all seen those headlines in the newspaper that just make you stop and go huh? The funny thing is even though you know it’s wrong you still feel the need to go back and read it again just to make sure LOL

Check these headlines out…

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Wow, how’d he manage that?

———————————————————-
Tiger Woods plays with his own balls, Nike says.
Hmm, good to know.

———————————————————-
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Now that goes above and beyond the call of duty.

———————————————————-
Statics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after 25 .
Go figure!

——————————————————
Caskets found as workers demolish Masoleum. “We didn’t know anyone was buried there.”
Huh, what did you think it was for?

———————————————————-
Missippi’s literacy program shows improvment
Apparently that doesn’t extend to the paper. LOL

———————————————————-
Federal Agents raid gun shop, find weapons
I’m shocked

———————————————————–
Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
Ummm, yeah you can keep that.

———————————————————–

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Deade
Yikes, how’d that happen. LOL.

———————————————————–

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Where can I buy that tape?

———————————————————–

Well it’s official proofreading is important. LOL

Read more from Lauren on her website

January 19, 2011

Free Read Gato Negro Chapter 4

Cover Art copyright Stella Price 2010

Gato Negro, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com. and other readers, in .epub format, at Goodreads.

Without further adieu, Chapter 4

Oh, R-rated content warning!


Cuatro

In the dream, he came through the window, soundless as the cat, a silhouette against the black of night. His naked shadow stood over her, unmoving, except the eyes. The dark hid them from her, but she felt their path. Where his gaze fell, her skin sizzled.

Tonight, when she reached for him, her body obeyed. She pushed herself up. Her arms wrapped around the shadow, drawing him to lie beside her.

Slowly, carefully, he settled into her capricious bed, turning her gently to spoon against her back. His hard cock burrowed between the cheeks of her ass. His hands explored what his eyes had already taken in.

Her body responded with a gush of arousal. His mouth descended to her shoulder, biting, then licking away the sting. The hammock creaked beneath their combined weight, swaying to the movement of her hips as she rubbed against his hardness. Cradled in its soft fabric, their bodies tried to meld into one.

Rough hands cupped her breasts, thumbs petting the nipples until they tightened into hard little kernels. The empty, throbbing place between her legs ached to be filled.

Perfectly timed, he pulled her leg over his and penetrated her with the length and breadth of two fingers. Thumb on her clit, he plunged into her wetness, bringing the ache to a demanding need.

She wriggled against him, begging for more. Pitiful, whimpering sounds escaped her. She’d never begged to be fucked. Tonight she did, her only fear that she’d awaken too soon.

With a roll of his hip, he brought his cock to her opening, pressed, stretched, filled her. She cried out as the first spasms struck her before he had even seated himself within her.

His teeth brushed her shoulder. A low growl sent vibrations coursing through her, electrifying every nerve. He rocked, gliding through her slickness with easy, careful strokes, fueling the flames.

A solid lunge and she boiled over into a maelstrom of pleasure. His arm against her belly pulled her tight. He drove her to the peak and beyond, gnawing at her shoulder and neck, growling in her ear. When she fell limp in his arms, his hand slid to the apex of her sex, gathered moisture from their joining and caressed her clit.

The hammock rocked precariously as his thrusts grew more heated. Sharp, barking grunts pulsed against her neck.

Until that moment the dream was hers–all about her pleasure. But now her shadow lover lost control, thrusting hard and deep and long with her squeezed in his arms. His finger on her clit brought her back to a state to match his own. Between them, civilization vanished. In the pitch-blackness, only He and She, sweat-slick flesh and the liquid sounds of their most primal need.

He shuddered when he came, his thighs quivering against hers, his body quaking. The sound he made tore through and out of her in explosive spasms.

When the hammock finally came to rest, he turned her onto her back, slipped between her legs and started again.

* * * *

From the shadows, Carlos leaned against a mossy trunk watching the woman who’d yanked him from the comfortable oblivion of his most basic nature to this–this semblance of humanity. A masquerade so skillfully wrought he himself fell to its allure.

She sat on a rock behind a camera and tripod, downwind of several clumps of bright orange blossoms, observing through binoculars. Now and then, she penciled something into the notebook in her lap or snapped a shot of a feeding hummingbird. He’d found her like this at seven and again at ten. It was now noon.

At long last, Beth stretched, set the notebook aside and stood.

He coughed softly to alert her before speaking. “How do you sit so still for so long?”

Her face turned in his direction already wearing a brilliant smile. Her unabashed happiness at seeing him tugged at his heart.

Exiting the shadows, Carlos moved one step closer to taking the leap he’d avoided for a hundred years. He was about to let himself fall in love. It was inevitable. The only question remaining was would she go home happy for his attentions.

“Sitting for all this beauty isn’t hard,” she said, walking toward him. “For instance, I could sit and stare at you all day–would be no chore at all.” Reaching up on her toes, she planted a welcoming kiss on his cheek that burned through to his loins. “This is my project, heliconia and hummingbirds–at least in part.”

The expectation in her face prompted a question. “What are you looking for?”

“The unfortunate likelihood of losing two species because one is going extinct,” she said. “Let me get my camera.” She returned to her abandoned perch and began packing the equipment away. “Heliconia beckneri is dependent on the Sabrewing for pollination,” she continued. “But, the flower is on the endangered species list. I need to determine if the relationship is as strong in the other direction–if Beckneri’s demise will affect the hummingbird population–and extrapolate the extent of the damage.” All packed up, she stood in front of him expectantly. “It doesn’t look good, actually.”

He took the pack from her hands and slid an arm about her waist. They walked together toward the compound.

“So, the Sabrewing will be no more,” he said. “Sad to hear.” Another notch in his belt of failures.

“It is a beautiful bird–worth saving, if possible. It might adapt, but Beckneri nectar has a much higher nutrient value than the other heliconia I’ve tested. But you know all this, don’t you?”

He answered with a grin.

“I thought so. You could probably write my thesis for me right now.”

“No, the research so far proves only the relationship. Yours might save a beautiful creature from extinction,” he said, in no way wishing to subvert her enthusiasm for the project. If only he had a thousand more like her.

His answer pleased her. The way her face lit up when she smiled stopped his breath.

“But you didn’t come looking for me to talk about birds and flowers, did you?”

No, he came to court a broken heart and, in all likelihood, one for her as well. “There is a place I want to show you. Are you working this afternoon?”

“You mean, like a date?” She grinned. “How does after lunch sound?”

“A date after lunch sounds good. You’ll need your swimming clothes–no fords this time.”

* * * *

The Jeep bounced over a rutted track, hardly a road at all, in a direction Beth had not taken before. At first, Carlos’s efforts to maintain his half of a conversation were obvious and endearing. He loosened up after a while, but his answers to any personal questions, though forthright enough, provided little information.

“No family,” was all he said when she asked.

“How old are you, Carlos? Carter told me you’ve been around at least as long as he has, but you can’t be that old.”

“Older than I look.” The playful grin he threw in her direction softened the obvious avoidance.

They came to an abrupt halt a few feet from a fallen tree blocking the road. Carlos leaped out to investigate.

“You can’t imagine you’ll move that alone. Is there a way around?”

“Wait in the car,” he said.

She ignored the instructions. “Could we use the Jeep to push it out of the way?” she asked, coming up to him where he studied the end of the log.

“Poachers. See how the end is cut, not broken. This is fresh.” He took her by the arm and led her to the driver’s seat. “I have to take care of this. I want you to drive back to the compound.”

“No, I’m coming with you.”

“No, you are not.” He dug around in the back of the Jeep for his daypack and pulled out a gun and holster that he donned low on his hips. “Poaching in the reserve is a serious crime. These men will be dangerous.”

“How will you get back?”

He pointed. “The compound is less than eight kilometers in that direction.”

“Through the jungle? No way. I’ll wait here, and we’ll go back together.”

“Beth, do you see the roadblock? They may be watching us now. Get in the car and drive. I have lived here all my life. I know these people.”

Beth stopped arguing. This was his job. Rather than continue to give him a hard time, she climbed back into the Jeep and started the engine, but watched as he disappeared into the trees.

She hated leaving him. She threw the car into reverse and stretched to keep her eyes on the road behind. Backing up was not her strong point, but the rutted track was too narrow and overhung to turn around. She moved backward at a snail’s pace until she found a spot wide enough, maybe, for a five-point turn. Carefully, slowly, she eased the rear end to the right.

The vegetation muffled the loud bang when the tire blew.

She slammed her hands on the steering wheel and cursed.

What choice did she have? Beth snatched her pack from the back seat and set off after him.

 

Look for Chapter 5 of Gato Negro in a couple weeks.  Of course, if you just can’t wait for the next installment, you can always download the book, and the beautiful cover art by Stella Price.

For Kindle @ Amazon.com

For other readers (.epub) @ Goodreads

Sorry, they wouldn’t let me price it any lower than ninety-nine cents.

Thanks for reading.
ali
www.a-katz.com

and, oh, if you’ve already read, a couple stars at Amazon would be appreciated. Better yet, stars and a review 🙂

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