Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Review for Powerful Moves

Available at Siren-BookStrand

Powerful Moves by Tonya Ramagos instantly swept me up into the story and did not let go until the very last sentence. The reader is immediately dropped into a future parallel world as Tavius Zolan tracks – and loses track of – Regulus Le Mort, the most evil and dangerous vampire ever known. When Le Mort leaps through a portal to present day earth, Tavius follows instantly, materializing out of nothing in front of Elena Cabot, out for a moonlight run in the woods she loves so much.

Neither one is prepared for the sudden burning sexual attraction that plagues their every step for the rest of the book , a desire that seems a perilous distraction from their very urgent task to stop Le Mort before he destroys the entire earth. Sometimes I cringe when I run into romance characters who have an instant off-the-charts physical attraction, because it can seem unreal. Tonya Ramagos accomplished much more than just make it convincing and inevitable. Her capacity to convey Tavius and Elena’s deep turmoil plunged me into their inner worlds, pulling me into a story I could not put down.

Of course, all is never as it seems, and I was unprepared for the high speed twists and turns in this stunning plot as the would-be lovers enlist their apparent allies, throw their combined brilliant brainpower into solving the perverse clues, and pursue their quarry across time and distance. I loved every minute.  

A perfect blend of suspense,  fast action, explosive sexual tension and sizzling attraction that will not be denied, Powerful Moves is a  well-crafted story that will leave readers both deeply satisfied and begging for more.
~ Reviewed by Adriana Kraft ~

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hi and welcome to Fiery Friday! Yes, I know it's really Saturday. I haven't lost my mind that badly yet. :) I did, however, miss yesterday. My apologies to my guest, Total-E-Bound author Willa Edwards. Please join me in welcoming her today!

Welcome, Willa! We’ll start by letting the readers get to know you. So tell us about yourself.

My name is Willa Edwards. I’m an erotic romance writer with Siren Publishing, Total-e-Bound Publishing, and many others. I write almost every kind of romance out there, from heterosexual, ménage and lesbian, contemporaries and historicals. I’ve been published for over three years now, and love every minute of it. I’m working hard to one day be a fulltime writer, but as of right now I still have an evil day job that takes up way too much of my time (but not nearly as much as my boss thinks :D). I also have two adorable kitty furbabies, Immy and Cordelia, who are my world and take away the rest of time, usually distracting me by laying across my keyboard.

Now for the questions:

What do you feel is critical to developing a novel that will glue the reader’s ebook device in their hands until the last page?

You need characters that the reader routes for and falls in love with, combine with a conflict that keeps them interested in turning each new page.

Women relate to women and, more often than not, we’re left shaking our heads at men. As a woman, how do you write your male characters in their point of view and make them the hot alpha heroes us romance readers fall in love with?

I’ll be the first to admit I have a hard time writing heroes. I’m much better with the heroine. For me to write the hero I need to get into his voice, including using the type of words men use and the way they talk (often in shorter more direct statements). Once I get that voice in my head then I can write the hero. To do that, sometimes I’ll watch action movies or male focus television shows (like PTI or ESPN) to get into that frame of mind.

Why romance? Do you believe it exists in the real world?

Of everything in the world to write about, I think love is the most important. Love has the most conflict, it give you the most to fight for and is one of the scariest things we all experience in life.

For real life, I can’t really say if romance exists. My own personal experience hasn’t been all that successful. But I continue to have hope, and my writing helps me keep that hope alive.

What is your idea of the perfect hero? Heroine?

I think the most important characteristic in a hero or heroine is passion. Whether it’s for their profession, their family or even the other character, passion is essential for a good hero or heroine. It’s that passion that gives us a keyhole into the character and makes us route for them. It’s also that passion that often gets them into trouble.

If you could have dinner with any three people in the world, who would they be and why?

Stephen King, I think he’s brilliant, Kathy Griffin for a little humor, and Joely Sue Burkhart. I’ve known her online for years, and I’d love to finally meet her in person.

Who is you favorite character that you’ve created and why?

This is such a hard question. I love all my characters each for their own reasons. But if I have to choose, Amy Spear from Foolish Desire is one of my all-time favorite characters. She definitely has a huge chunk of me in her, but I was amazed when she started talking to me and telling me all the things she wanted to do, like get dirty in public and to be the center of at least one person’s attention, her hero’s. It seemed so out of character for her, but when she started talking, it just made sense. I learned a lot from writing that book, and I had a great time.

You wake up one morning and realize you’re suddenly a kid again, but you remember everything about being an adult. What advice would you give yourself?

Take chances. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want. And invest in Apple :D

Did you have a predetermined plan when you began your writing career and, if so, has that plan changed since your books have been released?

I knew I always wanted to be a writer. I’ve never wanted to be anything else. But I had no plan for what happened after I was actually published, besides of course J.K. Rowling like success. I really had no idea what I was doing in the beginning. But since then I’ve learned a lot, and my plan at this point is just to write great books, and try to publish at least once a quarter, to keep giving my readers the great books they enjoy.

Aspiring authors are always eager to hear advice. What would you say to them?

My number one piece of advice for writers, aspiring and otherwise, is persistence and perseverance. Wandering Off the Path, my most recent release, was the first erotic romance I ever wrote way back in 2009. I submitted it three times, revised it more times that I can count, and finally last year it found a home with Total-e-Bound Publishing. If you keep pushing and you keep trying, eventually you will succeed.

What’s your favorite sexual position

Doggy style. I don’t know why, but I find it very sexy.

Have you ever had to step away from the computer for some much needed air during or after an erotic scene?

Absolutely. Especially when writing my release for next month, Reunion Makes Three. I never realized how sexy two men could be together until I wrote that book.

What’s inside the drawer of your nightstand? (If you don’t have a nightstand, what would be in your drawer?)

I’m frugal so I don’t have anything very exciting. Why pay for expensive toys, when you can get the job done yourself for free ;)

What’s the sexiest thing you’ve done in the name of research?

I often watch porn for research purposes, to try and find new and interesting positions to put my characters, especially when there’s multiple people involved. I also spend a decent amount of time on sex toy websites. That’s why no one’s allowed to touch my laptop without my say so. You never know what webpage might be up at any given time.

Does size really matter?

It’s definitely not the most important aspect of a relationship, or even a sexual encounter. But it certainly doesn’t hurt. Or sometimes it does, but that can be good too.

Available at Total-E-Bound

On a moonlight walk down a shadowy forest path, Abigail discovers all she’s ever dreamed of in the form of one sexy Wolf.

Abigail has always wanted more than a quiet life living with her grandmother has offered. The only thrills she has are her monthly trips to market. While returning from one of these excursions with a basket full of goodies, she is approached by a stranger on the road. He offers her all the pleasure and excitement she could ask for, if she’s willing to wander from the safety of the path. Too frightened to take advantage of his offer, Abigail flees, afraid of what will happen if she strays from the path she knows.

But Wolf isn’t willing to let this interaction, with the fiery, curious red-caped woman, be his last…no matter what he has do to convince her otherwise.

When Abigail returns home her grandmother is missing and the alluring stranger has taken her place. As Wolf shows Abigail exactly how much pleasure and excitement he can give her, she finds staying on the safe path increasingly difficult. But if she gives into his offer will she be forever pushed beyond the way she knows, never to return again…or will she receive all she’s ever wanted and more.

Find me Online: www.willaedwards.com

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fiery Friday with M.J. Kane

Welcome to another Fiery Friday! Today's guest is M.J. Kane.

I'm so gland you stopped by M.J.! Why don't we start with you telling us a little about yourself?

My name is M.J. Kane and I am a stay-at-home mom, turned Amazon Bestseller of The Butterfly Memoirs published by 5 Prince Publishing. My debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken was published September, 2012, and has had a great response from readers. The second novel, Jaded, is scheduled for release in March!

When not listening to my creative muse or characters, I write a blog, Author M.J. Kane, where I share advice and what I’ve learned about writing, querying, life, and my experiences of being an author.  I also introduce authors from a wide variety of genres to my readers by conducting interviews and sharing guest post and promotions to help promote my fellow writers.

Now for the questions:

What do you feel is critical to developing a novel that will glue the reader’s ebook device in their hands until the last page?

Telling a story that engages the reader’s emotions and touches on personal experiences is key. Spending too much time on back story or setting up a scene will lose a reader. Witty dialogue that showcases the main character(s) personality is also important. No one wants to be read about a boring character.

Women relate to women and, more often than not, we’re left shaking our heads at men. As a woman, how do you write your male characters in their point of view and make them the hot alpha heroes us romance readers fall in love with?

Wow, men are a challenge to write. I take the time to get to know my heroine first. From there, I deduce what type of man would aggravate them, yet demand their attention at the same time. Then I take those qualities and imagine what type of reaction that man would have to this woman.  Lots of personality research and imagination goes into this! It also helps to have a variety of males to watch, so people watching and movie watching also helps.

Why romance? Do you believe it exists in the real world?

Romance exists, but not the fairytale kind.  Everyone is searching for someone they can relate too, take comfort from, receive and give encouragement to in their lives. Some are looking for it more than others. Some never know it’s what they truly want until it smacks them upside the head. Either way, the journey and discovery of finding love can change our lives for the better….or worse, if we’re not careful.

What is your idea of the perfect hero? Heroine?

Perfection is not all about looks or bank account.  I like a bit of imperfection to. A little jealousy, insecurity, making mistakes, and watching a character learn what not to do to avoid them in the future, it’s what makes characters interesting. Let’s not forget about those little quirks that could get on your nerves! The more realistic they are, the more endearing they can be. That’s what makes a hero/heroine perfect to me.

If you had access to a time machine, what year would you travel to and why?

Without a doubt, it would be the early 80’s when my father was still alive so that I could take more time to enjoy having him in my life and remember what it was like to have two parents in who loved and cared for me.

If you could have dinner with any three people in the world, who would they be and why?

J.R.R. Tolkin, J.R. Ward, and George Lucus. I know  that’s a very diverse group of people, but ones I admire. Tolkin was a literary master. His ability to take his personal experiences and create a world that doesn’t exist, but not only that, create races, language, and cultures is amazing! For Ward it’s all about her ability take the ‘vampire’ novel, in my opinion, to a whole new level with stories that are not just about sex (it’s Erotica) but be about true and deep character development. Her guys are not only warriors, they are tortured souls who battle daily with insecurities, drubs, and personal demons, yet manage to find love that changes them.  And for Lucus, his ability to take an idea and turn it into a multi-million dollar business is one you can’t help but respect, whether you like the movies or not.  Who wouldn’t want to learn from that???

Who is your favorite character that you’ve created and why?

Yasmine Phillips, the heroine of my second novel. She is my favorite because she is a bit misunderstood (intentionally written that way) in my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken. Her story, Jaded, allows readers to get to know her and explore the depths of a woman’s heart and soul who has been misunderstood for a majority of her life. Because of that, it’s made her callused when it comes to the idea of romantic relationships. Despite it all, she silently fights with the idea of being alone without love for the rest of her life. I don’t make her attempt at love easy. She has to work to get her HEA…it involves tears, sacrifice, and the willingness to trust another with her heart.  I love the ride and I hope readers will feel the same.

You wake up one morning and realize you’re suddenly a kid again, but you remember everything about being an adult. What advice would you give yourself?

Oh wow…Listen to others and don’t be so determined to do stuff your way all the time.  You still have a lot to learn and no, you won’t know it all by the age of 18…25…32…or even 38! The point is, you NEVER STOP LEARNING! So get use to the idea and start listening!

Did you have a predetermined plan when you began your writing career and, if so, has that plan changed since your books have been released?

The only thing I predetermined was being determined to write a complete novel, from beginning to a satisfactory ending. The first time I wrote the words, “The End”, I cried, because I had started a project and saw it through to completion. Now, I write those words and sigh in relief! Everything has been about learning the art of writing and discovering myself along the way. Yes, my plans have changed as I aim for bigger things. One day at a time.

Aspiring authors are always eager to hear advice. What would you say to them?

Don’t give up, no matter what anyone else has to say. If people read your stories and tell you they need work, ask them what they didn’t like and listen. Put on a thick skin! They may not be saying they don’t like your work, but only want to offer you ways to improve it. Sometimes having that outside opinion can make a HUGE difference in your writing!

Where do you think is the most romantic place on Earth?

Hawaii or any island for that matter. Just give me a beach and beautiful sunset and I’m ready for love!

You’re writing your latest romance novel when things start heating up. Do you ever get the urge to open the bedroom door and see what’s going on inside?

I do open the door!!!  In fact, since I write in 1st person, I’m already there! But I don’t focus on the erotica part of it, I focus on the erotic. Mindset, mood, feelings, and emotions. Believe me, it’s as hot and heavy as describing exactly when point B slides into slot A!

You’re sitting at a bar or walking through the grocery store when you spot Mr. Hunk-a-licious. What’s the first thing he can say or do to sweep you off your feet?

I’ve read one of your books. Care to act out one of those love scenes?’ ROTFL!!! No, seriously, ‘Can I pay for your groceries?’ Oh yeah, that’s hot! J

If you could choose any man to sit with by a warm fire on a cold winter night, who would it be and why?

It would be my hubby. We’ve been married for nearly 19 years and I still love him. I couldn’t imagine being with another man.

If you knew the world would end tomorrow, how would you spend today?

With my family. I’ve finally discovered myself as a writer, said what I needed to say in my books, and touched people with my words. With that said, I feel fulfilled in a way that’s so personal it’s hard to explain. But in the end, it’s my family that matters most.

Available at 5 Prince Publishing

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge. 

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

More about M.J. Kane:

M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free.  Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

No longer a television addict, if M.J. isn’t reading a book by one of her favorite authors, she’s battling with her creative muse to balance writing and being a wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her high school sweetheart, four wonderful children, and two pit bulls. MJ can often be found hanging out at the local library where she is director of a local writer’s group, or online connecting with readers and other authors. Other activities she enjoys include: creating custom floral arrangements, assisting her children in their creative pursuits of music and art, and supporting her husband’s music production business, 3D Sounds.

MJ’s debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, Book one of the Butterfly Memoirs, became an instant Amazon Bestseller in Multicultural Romance and African-American Literature and Fiction within hours of publication. It has also spent time on the African-American Women’s Fiction and African-American Romance Bestsellers lists.

You can find MJ on social networking sites, sharing writing tips, talking about music, life, and family. She’s always excited to meet new people. Connect with her via the websites below. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Taste Test Tuesday with Mitzi Szereto

I'm handing over my blog today to guest author Mitzi Szereto. Take it away, Mitzi!

Thanks, Tonya. Ask any fantasy reader and you’ll be told that epic fantasy has been around for a long time. But thanks in large part to the popularity of George R.R. Martin’s bestselling novels from his A Song of Ice and Fire series and more importantly, its racy HBO TV series spinoff Game of Thrones based on the novels, it has taken off in an even bigger way. The television series has attracted people to fantasy who were never interested in it before. And this has been my goal with Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire, my new anthology inspired by the TV series—to attract not only fantasy readers, but readers who may never have read fantasy or, for that matter, anything remotely resembling “erotic fiction.”

As an author and creator/editor of numerous anthologies, it’s always been my goal to attract new readers and, in the process, dispel any preconceived notions they may have about genres in general. I believe that I have achieved this with Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire, providing readers with a taste of epic fantasy that’s flavored with lots of spice.

Please join us at the book’s website, where you can listen to several of the talented contributors reading from their stories. http://mitziszereto.com/thronesofdesire/author-readings/.

Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire
edited by Mitzi Szereto

About the book:
Where lust and legend abound, and adventure, passion and danger entwine...

Think mystical lands and creatures, kings and queens, knights and renegades, heroes and villains, warlords, maidens and princesses. Think battles and danger, honor and dishonor, good and evil. Most of all, think hearts filled with passion and secret desire. This is a place where romantic chivalry is alive and well, but so too is romantic wickedness. This is a place where the good do not always win, and the bad are often more captivating and desirable than their altruistic counterparts. In these lush and timeless landscapes, the battle for flesh can be as important as the battle for power.

Intrigue, sorcery, revenge, lawlessness, dark secrets and mysterious elixirs; entanglements with supernatural beings—everything is possible in these magical mythical landscapes. Inspired by "Game of Thrones" these imaginative steamy tales transport the reader to fantastical realms.

Edited by Mitzi Szereto, Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire includes a special foreword from legendary fantasy author Piers Anthony.


From "Hot as a Dragon's Blood" by Eric Del Carlo


Her voice carried tranquilly. He looked up and found her in the doorway, backlit by the candlelight. She had shed her scarlet robes and stood nude. Her body was robust. Was she really so different from the supply clerk with whom he had so foolishly dallied earlier today? Her breasts were smallish but as firmly molded as the rest of her. Yet there between those taut thighs was only the moist dark of her curls. It was an absence, or so it seemed to Caffax.

“I want you to take my salt dragon,” he said. “I do, but…”

She came to him. “You are a brave man, Caffax.”

“Maybe not brave enough.” He blinked up at her. “Is there some other way?”

She bent and softly stroked his cheek. “In Mavvan it is taught that a dragonmaster must give of himself completely in order to bond with his dragon. It is the same when that bond is transferred. You must give of yourself. To me.”

Her mouth moved toward his.

Caffax closed his eyes. And felt the touch of her lips. They were moist and velvety, and they moved against his without insistence. She tasted of the liquor they had both been drinking. He let his mouth answer back, giving in to instinctive responses, not thinking of this person as a woman, a female, merely as a friend, someone who had been kind to him.

Her hands were in motion once more, tugging the shirt’s sleeve from his wrist so that his torso was bared. He thought she would reach for his crotch again, and tensed; but she instead set about caressing his upper arms, his chest, even as they continued to kiss. Her fingers found his nipples and grazed them, which sent a shiver through him.

When those fingers caught his aroused buds and applied a mounting pressure, Caffax groaned against her mouth. At that same moment her tongue invaded him. Again he allowed himself to respond spontaneously. His body’s deep instincts took over. After all, he was a human, and humans had been designed to reproduce. Some part of him, despite his own private proclivities, had to answer that primary urge.


From "Of High Renown" by Janine Ashbless

She remembered how she had misused him.

It was an unending struggle to keep him alive. The venom in his blood seemed to have destroyed his body’s sense of equilibrium and threw him between burning fever and frigid tremors every few hours. Emlhi cleaned and bandaged the deep puncture wounds in his shoulder, but after that she simply tried to keep his temperature on an even keel—stopping the fever boiling his brains at one moment, piling blankets over him to maintain some vestiges of warmth the next. She fed and watered him, cut fresh bracken every morning for his mattress and, when she was not watching over him, tried to keep up the work of her smallholding. She snatched her own sleep during his chills, dozing in her father’s old room.

Between fire and ice, the knight would have passages where he seemed to be lucid but completely exhausted. Then as the fever flared up afresh he’d begin to talk and sometimes try to rise from his bed. He stared at the ceiling and spoke to people who weren’t there. He raved about battles and campaigns and the horrors he’d witnessed until Emlhi wanted to stop her ears for sorrow. Sometimes his hallucinations grew worse and in terror or fury he would lash out at her. If he hadn’t been so weakened by his illness, he might have been really dangerous.

It went on for days, and there were times she couldn’t understand why he did not die. She might have called in an older female relative to share the labor of care, but she guarded her sole right to Gareth possessively. 

Exhausted, she took strength from his stubbornness.

And she took more than strength.
The first time it wasn’t her doing. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, tending him as he burned. She’d been wiping his face and chest with a damp cloth, dipping it in fresh water every few minutes and waving it about to cool it. He was twisting in discomfort, tossing in a delirious dream, his hands scrabbling convulsively across his belly. When she touched his cheek with the cloth he would turn his face toward it, like a baby seeking the teat. She ran it down the midline of his torso and he grabbed her hand, knotting his fingers around hers. Gently she freed the cloth with her other hand and continued to bathe him. He kept his grip on her. His head was thrown back, his larynx working. Then he pushed her hand into his crotch.


From "Eyekeeper" by Aurelia T. Evans

Lydia stood in the middle of the cell. The floor under her bare feet was nothing but dirt and hay and dust mixed with disintegrated rat droppings. She had long since removed the cloth belt from between her legs where it held her skirt up away from her feet like pants. It was easier to creep around when skirts could not snag on corners, but she was not creeping now. She had been caught, betrayed by a man who should know better, sentenced to burn by the king whose coffers she pilfered, and shut away in the castle dungeon to await her execution at dawn.

The sky through the window slit revealed stars. She could not yet smell the morning fog, and she still smelled ale and sweat on the breeze, which told her evening was still upon the city.

There was a moldy pallet in the corner, next to a bucket. Lydia used neither, simply stood. Her clothing was ordinary and her face was smudged with dust. But something was different; something was wrong. It was a feeling in the gut, like looking into a forest and knowing there was a creature staring back, something silent and unseen. She smiled, the curve of her lips almost imperceptible.

The woman whom the king called Witchthief waited.

After the bell tower chimed ten, the warden entered. He could not look her in the eye, but his strong, narrow jaw was set, his fists inadvertently tight. He bore marks of distress and distraction—there were deep circles under his eyes and his stubble smudged his cheek like charcoal.

“Good evening, Hann,” she said.

He bowed slightly. The gesture was automatic and somewhat mocking. “Lydia.”

“You have had a good evening, have you not?” Lydia asked.

“Very lucrative.”

He shut the door behind him. His keys clinked in the lock. “Where is the rest?”

“You ‘rescued’ the bag when Micah alerted the king I was digging through his treasure room.” Lydia stepped forward. Her left ankle dragged behind a bit, laden as it was with an iron shackle that attached her to the wall. “You failed to inform me that Micah kept a Scrying Glass in there.”

“I have been told that an artifact was also removed,” Hann interrupted. The timbre of his voice was official now. Cloaked in his profession, he found the fortitude to meet her eyes.

“Is that what Micah told you?” Lydia’s expression remained placid and slightly bemused.

“The king ordered me to search you for any additional items stolen.”

“I am sure it will be such a chore.” Her smile became perceptible.

“Damn it, Lydia, where is the Oculum?” Hann shouted, grabbing her by her arms. When he shook her, he made her chains rattle. She just laughed, the low, husky sound vibrating over his flesh.

“Search me.” She peered up at him through her dark eyelashes.

“Words cannot describe how glad I am you will burn on the morrow,” Hann said. He pulled at the ties of her bodice, spreading it open before him with nothing but her light chemise underneath. As her skirts moved and brushed against her legs, the clink of metal on metal was more apparent. She could no longer cover it with the sound of her shackle. When Hann heard it, he raised an eyebrow.

“Really, Lydia. What did you think you were going to do with the treasure? Bribe the ferryman to take you the other direction?” Hann asked. Slowly, he slid the bodice down and loosened the final ties so that the material of her dress slid down her legs. There was a heavy clink as the full pocket-lined skirts fell to the stone floor.

Lydia said nothing, nor did her smile falter. She could see sweat forming above his lip as his gaze traveled from the ridge of her collarbone down to the shapes of her breasts under the thin chemise. Her remaining clothing was silent as he moved his hands over the full arms, down the back, against the skirts, now pressing against her firm thighs.


From "The Widow's Man" by Nyla Nox

Our queen was in a lighthearted mood that night.

She joked and laughed as she asked for my help in taking off her elaborate dress. She had sent her maids home early, “so we would have more time.”

The dress had many layers of white and cream, decorated with stylishly exaggerated flowers that looked a little menacing to me but that I was told were the envy of all the ladies at court. Our queen was thinking of taking the designer under her wing.

Perhaps, she said, there would be a need for a larger dress, particularly in a certain area…

I could not help getting confused with the hooks and eyelets when I heard that. For a moment I started to put them back together again by mistake, until my queen turned around and playfully slapped my hand.
“What are you doing?” she said. “Is this how you are going to serve me?”

My turn to laugh now, lightheartedly. “Maybe I was caught up in a dream,” I said.

I was indeed. At this very moment the assassins were watching the shift change of the royal guard from the vantage points I had revealed to them.

The queen put her arms lovingly around my shoulders.

“Is it your dream, too?” she said.

Experienced as she was with the daily deceits of the royal court, she couldn’t hide her sudden joy. I suppose she always felt, deep down, that something was missing in me, in spite of my imaginative attention to the details of our frequent celebrations in her bedchambers. I never had any trouble showing my admiration and respect, in every way. You taught me superb control, my Lady Widow. And I know I never said anything that could give her the slightest clue to my real passion. I never talked about it to anyone. Not even to you.
No sounds from outside. Your assassins were true experts. Or else they had been discovered and our plans destroyed. I had no way of knowing.

The queen gripped my buttocks with her strong, workmanlike hands. She is no ethereal beauty like you, my Lady Widow, her body bears witness to her descent from a long line of provincial farm wives. She pulled me in as deep as she could. Had she chosen this night of all nights to make me come inside her?
In all the time I served in her bedchamber, she never replaced me with another lover, although of course, as our queen, she always had a few men on the side, a well-designed cross section of our population who kept her in touch with current thought and fashions as well as current lovemaking. She had no reason to assume that I would be anything but delighted to share even more of her life and contribute to the history of our illustrious city. What man would not love to father the queen’s child?

Well, perhaps the man who, while embracing her, reassuring her with soothing words and making love to her with her precious gown still half hooked up, flowers all crumpled and sticking out in awkward places, exposing only her magnificent breasts and, if pushed up far enough, her smooth strong thighs, feeling the softness of the silk against his belly and the softness of her inner body tightly around him, knows that he has already betrayed her to her enemy and expects the assassins to enter the bedchambers any moment now using the key that he himself supplied.
In spite of all that, I obeyed. 

Find out more about Mitzi and her books at the following links:
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire: http://mitziszereto.com/thronesofdesire/

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Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog: http://mitziszereto.com/blog

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