Monday, November 29, 2010

Opening Scene for The Enchanted Flute!

The Enchanted Flute released right around this time last year. This steamy short story will always hold a special place in my heart for being my first published work and because of the creative inspiration behind the tale. In celebration of my anniversary as a published author, I decided to share the entire opening scene! Enjoy!

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a handsome flutist named Ayre. No one could say exactly when the young boy began to play, but tales were told of how he grew up with the flute at his mouth from a very early age. When his parents died tragically in a fire, the young man turned to his flute for comfort. Alone in the world, he began traveling from place to place playing for an ever-growing audience of admirers. His musical talents became so well known people would travel from all over to hear him.

When he played his music many were moved to tears of joy, cheerful laughter or even awe inspired silence, but no one left his presence unmoved by his songs. The flutist loved pleasing the people with his music, but he truly played for himself. His love for his flute drove him to play whether he had listeners or not. Women swooned, throwing themselves in his path and men admired his skill, but the flutist did not play to impress anyone.

He simply had to play. Morning, noon and night, he would practice until his lips or fingers were too tired to move. He loved no one or nothing, but his flute. One evening after another long day of playing for a huge crowd, Ayre walked until he came upon a secluded lake miles away from the town. Weary from his travels, he gazed at the beautiful blue water and longed for a leisurely swim. Although reluctant to place his beloved flute down for even a moment, he searched for the perfect spot to strip off his tunic.

After a quick, furtive look around to ensure the trees provided plenty of cover, the flutist placed his instrument in his leather case and quickly undressed before plunging into the cool turquoise depths of the lake. He swam with steady strokes, enjoying the sound of the frogs and crickets filling the air. Floating on his back, he watched the beginning of the sunset as the horizon began to dissolve into swirls of orange and red.

Inspired by nature's beauty, Ayre came out of the water and grabbed his flute from the shore. He began to play, filling the forest with a sweet, stirring melody, his fingers flying over his instrument as the song flowed from him.


Lanai stretched her limbs, gracefully standing on the thick branch of the huge tree she had been napping in. She swayed with the wind, listening to the rustling green leaves surrounding her and the lilting music that had awakened her. Lanai had never heard such beautiful sounds and she was curious about the musician playing so skillfully. Climbing down the tree with the agility of a cat, Lanai moved silently toward the source of the music. She held her breath as she took in the sight of the man before her.

Never had she seen such beauty in male form. His body was a work of art, each tight muscle moving in rhythm to the tune of his song, the water falling in tiny rivulets down his dark chocolate skin. Carefully moving forward from her hidden spot in the tall grasses, she allowed her gaze to travel from the top of his bald head, to the curve of his pectoral muscles as he lovingly fingered the keys of the wooden instrument. She couldn't take her eyes off the thickness of his thighs or the girth of his cock as he continued making musical magic with his flute.

She stood riveted by his skill as a musician, her body responding with every measure of the intoxicating music. Swaying to the hauntingly beautiful melody, she stepped into plain view. An enchantress never revealed herself to humans unless doing so served her purpose or was absolutely necessary, but she could not stop her body from heating up with desire. Every step brought her closer and closer to the music and the man captivating her keen interest.


Ayre heard a noise and reacted instantly, turning to see an incredibly shapely woman dancing to his music several feet away. Still playing, he watched her sensuous approach as she swayed her hips in perfect rhythm to his song. He faltered for a second on his instrument, her exotic beauty taking his breath away. Her looks far surpassed any other woman that had danced to his music before and there had been many.

Her eyes were the color of amber; her lips captured the color and essence of a rose in full bloom. He couldn't take his eyes off her hair, which fell in thick russet waves to her backside. Captivated by the exposed creamy butterscotch flesh beneath the skimpy scraps of cloth covering her breasts and sex, he moved stepped toward her. He loved the way her hips undulated to the underlying beat as he played. They held eye contact with each other and in that moment, Ayre desired her more than he had ever desired any other woman. The blood raced through his veins as she turned in dizzying circles around him. He caught a glimpse of her breasts as she dipped toward him and he faltered again for a split second as his fingers fumbled across the keys.

Watching her was almost as intoxicating as playing his flute . . . almost.






Find out how the story ends!
The Enchanted Flute is available now
with Noble Romance Publishing, Amazon, ARe and more.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is almost here! I still haven't finished buying all my groceries. Why do I always find myself running around like a chicken...turkey with its head cut off?

This time of year is always hectic, but I don't mind. I'm thankful for my family, friends, food on the table and story ideas to keep me busy long into the New Year.
I hope this holiday finds you healthy and happy!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interracial Dating-One Man Shares His Heart


NG: Today, I'm thrilled to have Tobi Mann, creator of the popular group: I'm tired of the debate! Black women are BEAUTIFUL! White guys LOVE you! Welcome, Tobi! First, I want to thank you for talking with me. You are my first non-author guest! I'm excited to have you on to talk about IR dating. For those of you scratching your heads, IR stands for Interracial. :)

Tobi, why are you attracted to black women?


TM: “I desire and want what I am not.”
I’m blond, blue-eyed and light-skinned. Black women are exotic. The colour of their skin, their hair (braids in particular) the shape of their lips, their deep mysterious eyes are incredibly attractive. Being attracted to black women doesn’t mean that I don’t find women of other races attractive. I do have children with a white woman.




NG:
Have you always been into IR relationships? What sparked the interest?

TM: I guess I have. The things I just mentioned. Opposites attracts.

NG: Have you ever actually been involved with a black woman?

TM: My ex-wife was black, so was the girlfriend before her.

NG: If so, what did you feel was the biggest challenge to overcome from dating outside your race?

TM: There was no challenge for me. I just did what my desire and heart told me to do. I think IR dating is different depending on where you are located. It’s not a big deal at all in Europe. Black women are very sought after here. “Hot stuff” it you like. :)

NG: What do you feel is the biggest misconception about a white man dating black woman?

TM: That we (white men) just want to have the “black woman experience.” I’m on a crusade on Facebook to prove that that is wrong.

NG: What do you feel is the biggest misconception about a black woman dating a white man?

TM: Maybe that she somehow would be “denying her roots or heritage.” That she would somehow “betray” her own “race” or that she’s doing it to get financial stability (gold digger.) Once again IR dating is very different depending on were you are located. I have sensed that there is still a lot of anger in some places of the US because of the horrific way black people were taken there as slaves. That’s why there is this feeling of resentment from certain black groups when a black woman dates a white man. The black groups want to have the racial hate burning so that the immense wrongs of the past won’t be forgotten.

The white groups (KKK or Neo-nazis) needs no explanation to what they want. Interracial relationships is the biggest threat there is to these groups because that is like saying “we (white people) treated you in way that is too horrible to even comprehend. Let’s fall in love and show that we are all equal instead.” I think there are racists in all ethnic groups. Racism works in all directions.

NG: Why do you think many white men are afraid to approach black woman?

TM: Deep down I think it’s related to the reasons I just stated in the question above this one. It’s wrong to generalize however. There must be as many reasons as there are men.

NG: What advice would you give to white men ready to approach a black woman?

TM: Just do it, and make sure the woman in question understands that you really are interested and attracted to her in serious way. Show her respect and make her understand that you aren’t out to get the “black woman experience.” Don’t give up.

NG: What advice would you give to a black woman ready to approach a white man?

TM: Same as the question above. We aren’t that different. :)

NG: What would you say to those who'd frown upon IR dating.

TM: I have nothing to say to them because they are clearly stuck in some ugly past. They are relics and on a lower level. They are emotionally and intellectually unevolved.

NG: What would you say to black woman afraid to step outside their race to find love?

TM: That she might very well be missing the big love of her life. I hate that word anyway! There aren't races, just people! Different, beautiful people! :)

NG: Different, beautiful people, I love that, Tobi! Imagine if the world could understand that. Our entire planet would change. Let's lighten things up a bit. What's your idea of the perfect evening?

TM: That’s hard to say.:) It might be anything and everything. One thing I don’t like though is a dress code (lol!;) Sometimes I like the unusual and different. Other times the traditional.

NG: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving and if so how?

TM: Yes we do, but it’s called something else here, and at different date (I can’t translate it). It’s celebrated the same way. Dinner (social gathering) with family and loved ones.

NG: You've allowed me to ask all the questions. Any parting thoughts you'd like to share?

TM: Yes. Do you know that you can love yourself just as much as you are supposed to, but still feel lonely because you aren't together (in a relationship) with someone (regardless of what the joint relationship "experts" of the world say?

Of course you do! That isn't rocket science! You know that because you have been lonely (no matter how good looking you are) and because we are supposed to walk through life in pairs. That's why there is male and female to begin with, regardless of "the war between the sexes" and all that.

Do you also know that opposites attracts? That it's like a fundamental natural law of the universe no matter how much some people try to convince everybody otherwise? I mean if that law affects all matter in the universe then it's pretty reasonable to believe that it will affect people too...since we are all made up of the same matter as the universe...right?:)

Of course that doesn't mean that every person has to feel that way (there are quite a few other natural laws in action as well so other people are probably affected by those) but it means that it (IR dating) is not wrong. It never was and it never will be! At least not as long as this universe exists and it's supposed to hang around for another trillion gazillion years or so.

In other universes it might be different (there are many) but since I haven't been to any of them (yet;) I can't say what the deal is there.

NG: I imagine in other universes race was never an issue. Thanks so much, Tobi, for being open with me. I'm so glad you shared a little of your heart with me here today.

TM: Thank you for having me! It was fun! This is my fave topic! Black women hold a special place in my heart. :)



Click the picture to find Tobi's Facebook group!


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ninja Assassin

Over the weekend I finally saw Ninja Assassin. I had high expectations for the film because of what I've heard about it from friends and I wasn't disappointed...well, not terribly, more on that later. I love movies about assassins and martial art films, so joining the two is always a nice blend for pure entertainment enjoyment. Ninja Assassins is very graphic, so be forewarned to flinch and cover your eyes. Well, that's what I did for some of it.
Anyways, let's discuss Rain. I'd never heard of him, a bonafide pop sensation in South Korean but I know his name now. I'm not typically into the slender build type of guy. I'm drawn to men built like linebackers even though I'm not into football. Rain, is lean as they come with muscles, rippling, sweaty, blood-soaked muscles for days. This guy is ridiculously ripped! Watching his athleticism on screen was a very enjoyable experience. :)

Naomie Harris lit up the screen with her beauty and realistic screams of terror. I'm waaaay behind on movies and this was the first time I've seen her. I thought she and Rain had chemistry and I wanted to see sparks ignite. That's my biggest disappointment with the movie. I know Raizo was more focused on avenging his childhood love horrific death and getting his life back, but I still think there was room for romance between him and Mika.

Mika almost dies trying to help Raizo and there wasn't even a kiss at the end between the two? Tragic, just tragic. My husband said the film lacked depth in story and I agree for that reason. There was something missing. For me it was a building sexual tension between these two characters that could have exploded and taken the movie to the next level. I was waiting for this hot IR couple to burn up the screen with passion. Never the less, I was entertained and I just might go back to re-watch that scene where Raizo is doing a wicked delicious workout routine. Mmm MMM mmm!

Coming up on Simply Sexy Stories a very special guest! I talk with Tobi Mann, creator of the popular FaceBook group: I'm tired of the debate! Black women are BEAUTIFUL! White guys LOVE you!

Come see what he has to say about IR relationships. Join the conversion and you could win one of my IR erotic romances! That's coming up Friday, Nov. 19th!

~NG

Friday, November 12, 2010

Simply Sexy Stories Welcomes Kari Gregg!

NG: Hello, Kari, welcome to Simply Sexy Stories!

KG: Hi! Thanks for having me!

NG: What genre(s) do you write and why?

KG: I write contemporaries, fantasy and paranormals. I like working out the intricate storyworlds in paranormals and fantasy. Why does that world work the way it does? Actually, you can say the same of my contemporaries. I don't want uber rich, super sexy alpha males with Barbie-esque heroines. I'm drawn to authenticity – characters who struggle to pay bills, work blue (or pink) collar jobs, and have lousy relationships with their families. They're flawed, some of them broken. Yes, it's a modern setting, but how did their world come to be? How do they make it work?

NG: Authenticity is key. Why are you drawn as a writer to M/M, M/F/M stories?

KG: M/M is easy – two heroes for the price of one. Can it get any better than that? I think not, LOL. Same goes for ménage stories except there's also the added challenge of balancing how that complex relationship would work within a real-world setting.

NG: What do you enjoy the most about being a writer?

KG: Building new worlds (be those worlds paranormal, contemporary or fantasy) brick by brick and watching my characters come to life within those worlds always gives me the biggest thrill. There's nothing quite like that first rush of discovery. Like falling in love. Hey, if I don’t fall in love with that world and those characters, I certainly can't expect readers to.

NG: What do you find the most challenging about being a writer?

KG: Time! I work part-time, but I also volunteer very heavily in my community with outreach programs for the needy and at-risk kids. Add in family and some days, there's not much left in the creative well. Which is why I adore coffee. ;-)

NG: I love that you're giving back to your community, Kari and I adore coffee too! Where is your favorite place in the house to write? Favorite time?

KG: I do my most-focused, productive writing in my bedroom, curled up with my laptop. When depends on my schedule, but generally speaking, I lock myself away during weekends and nights when I don’t have meetings.

NG: How long does it take you to complete a book?

KG: It can take years for a storyworld and the characters who live inside it to gel inside my head. Or, was the case with Spoils of War, it can pop into my head fully realized and only take three weeks. How long a book takes depends on how sharply that world and its characters come into focus for me.

NG: How do you celebrate writing 'The End'?

KG: You're supposed to celebrate? LOL. I've written eight books. I celebrated the first one because at the time I wasn't sure I could do it. I may have celebrated the second. Now? Clean it up as rapidly as possible, ship that bad boy out, then on to the next story.

NG: The holidays are fast approaching. What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

KG: My mother's stuffing. OMG, it's practically its own food group! Sausage and giblets, celery, onion…My mom's stuffing is the one dish we're guaranteed not to have leftovers of, year after year after year.

NG: Favorite holiday dessert?

KG: Cranberry-pumpkin bread. I know. Should involve obscene amounts of chocolate (in which case, chocolate volcano cake fits the bill), but I only make cranberry-pumpkin bread during the holidays.

NG: Sounds very yummy! Ok, let's talk about your latest release Spoils of War. What's this sexy story all about?

KG: It's a capture story of a different flavor. Set in ancient Babylon, which I confess I've taken great fictional liberties with, Micah was enslaved as a boy when Herra (my Babylon) invades his homeland. The Herran king holds Micah hostage to keep his countrymen in line – when they stir against Herran rule, Micah pays the price. Horrifically so.

Micah is truly a broken young man by the time his father, the King of Alekia, sends Eli to rescue him. Micah's become institutionalized by his slavery and the abuses he's suffered, though. Freedom terrifies him.

What makes this book sexy is how Micah's life begins in brute ugliness, but is transformed into aching beauty by Eli's care and compassion. In spite of its brutal context, Spoils of War is really a rather sweet love story. And hot. Mustn't forget hot. LOL.

NG: I love the premise! What inspired you to pen this sexy tale?

KG: The Book of Daniel, in the Bible. In the ancient world, taking aristocratic sons hostage and educating them in the manners and customs of the conquering nations was common. I started playing a game of what if? and Spoils of War popped into my head, fully fleshed out. Like a movie. Spoils and it's sequel (which I'm working on now) both, actually. Writing Spoils was akin to taking dictation; I'm hopeful that the second stage of Micah's journey with Eli will come as easily – and as quickly. ;-)

NG: What’s the one thing readers can always count on when they pick up a book written by you?

KG: I was about to say the resiliency of the human spirit and that love redeems all because that's a theme I enjoy exploring, but I think maybe the element of surprise may be even more pervasive. In my work, appearances are always deceiving. The character who seems to have it all together on page one will be revealed to the biggest mess by book's end. The strongest? He or she will be the most fragile. In Spoils, for instance, Micah begins the book as a damaged, emotionally stunted slave. Weak. Powerless. I hope by book's end, the reader has come to appreciate the core of strength he drew upon to endure his captivity and the courage he musters to emerge from it.

NG: It's been a pleasure Kari, thanks for stopping by!

KG: Thanks for having me!


Blurb:
Enslaved during the invasion of the rival King of Herra, Micah cut off his emotions and adapted to his new life in servitude. Xerxes, the Herran King, abuses his captive to keep the neighboring kingdom of Alekia under his yoke, but after Micah nearly dies when plague sweeps Herra, the Alekian King sends Eli to bring his beloved son home.

Institutionalized by his slavery, unable to cope with his freedom, Micah seeks to please the new master he's found in Eli throughout their harrowing journey to a homeland he no longer remembers. Eli protects the young man and introduces Micah to the pleasures denied him as a prisoner.

Will Micah accept his noble birthright when they reach Alekia, and more importantly, can he accept Eli as the devoted slave his father has given him rather than the master he's come to love?

Caution! Scintillating Excerpt Below:

Eventually, my abductor shifted me behind him, stringing my thin arms around his neck and clasping my thighs about his thickly muscled waist. My body felt frozen, like the blocks of muddy ice stored in the kitchen cellars, but I could not swim so I hung on as best I could. He pushed away from the protective cover of our tree, striking toward the dark riverbank with supple and efficient strokes. When we’d almost reached it, he rose up out of the water. I clung to his back as he strode onto dry land and into the veil of trees skirting the shoreline.

“Can you walk?”

I shook my head against the blade of his shoulder, shivering again as a night breeze skimmed over my wet skin, spiking into my bones through the wet layer of clothing he’d provided me.

He marched through the trees, his steps sure. Certain. I both envied his self-assurance and feared it. Envy, because I’d never been confident of anything except my servitude. Fear, because . . . I knew not how to please my new master, and I desperately needed to please him. I could accept this change and my new lot with the hulking stranger. I could wrap my mind around it, but only if I satisfied what he required of me. He’d demanded so little and the lack of instruction balled my stomach.

He abruptly halted and stooped to a crouch, untangling my arms from his neck. My thighs sprang open. My backside settled to the hard ground. I lolled, the sparse reserves of my body depleted by the harrowing journey.

“Xerxes will not expect his own people to hide you so we travel with a band of merchants to the border.” He pivoted and yanked at my sodden clothing. “But we dare not enter camp wet.”

I could not force my leaden arms and legs to cooperate, but he made short work of stripping me until I sprawled under him shivering and naked. Gooseflesh pebbled my fair skin, which glowed in the miserly light cast by the fingernail moon. He stretched to the side and unfolded a blanket, tucking it over my nudity before his hands rose to remove his own drenched clothes.

Ah.

He’d plow me.

My curious eyes watched him peel his shirt over his head and kick off his boots. I admired the bunch of muscle, his broad shoulders, the sculpted expanse of his absurdly large chest. My glance darted from him, heat creeping into my cheeks, when his fingers plucked at the laces of his breeches. Even I, practiced whore that I was, would never be so bold as to examine his prick until bidden to do so.

When his hands fell to the wool blanket covering my thin chest, I startled nonetheless, my stare returning to him. Rather than groping for me, those hands set to a brisk rub. He scoured the blanket over my chilled skin, throat to groin, then back again. The touch wasn’t unpleasant. The impersonal caress was actually rather . . . enjoyable. My wicked heart skipped a beat at the forbidden delight of his big hands warming me, but I resisted the urge to squirm.

Immobile.

I must forebear.

I must do as my new master willed of me.

His attention focused to the left, his fingers yet working the blanket over my flesh. “Miriam comes. She will tend to you.”

I stiffened.

Blood roared in my ears.

A woman?

I was to be given to a woman?

Shrieking anguish lanced through me, locking the air in my chest. I had never been bedded by a woman, never been touched by one. I’d seen them in the kitchen, of course, but I’d been commanded well away from them and they from me, which I’d been secretly glad of. Females perplexed me. I knew men shoved their pricks inside them, that they were plowed as I was, but I’d never wanted to do the plowing and the idea of placing my mouth to them made me shudder in revulsion.

Surely, my new master didn’t expect me to–-

The stranger’s eyes softened at my quick sound of distress. He smiled and playfully tugged the fat yellow braid that slid and dripped down my shoulder. “To tend to your hair, little prince. Only that.”

Fresh worry curled in my gut.

My hair?

What of my hair?

I had no rights, no privileges. None knew that better than I, but I had never been able to squash vanity over my unique coloring. Everyone else’s hair was as dark as their eyes, either brown or black, their skin tan and swarthy. Not me. I was a novelty, every hair on my body a rich yellow the same shade as honey, and my eyes shone with the sparkling luster of emeralds. I knew this to be so because my masters often told me. They unplaited my hair and fisted it in their hands as they rutted with me, fanned it over their chests and stroked it when they’d finished. They kissed my eyelids and praised my odd coloring. They enjoyed stroking my creamy skin, murmuring in wonder at the stark contrast of my small pale body against theirs.

I was a slave and the lowliest among them, but I was also prized by my masters, my physical weakness forgiven by virtue of my exceptional coloring and my compliance to the demands of their pricks.

My stomach churned.

The threatened woman eased from the surrounding trees, short like me but very round. She carried a crude basket. She stared at me and this time, I did wriggle under my blanket, though the stranger’s hand patted my bony arm, as though to soothe me.

The woman’s mouth thinned. She spoke to the man in a tongue I did not understand. My eyes narrowed as they conversed in low voices, the rolling cadence of the words familiar yet at the same time foreign. It seemed I should know this language and indeed, a niggle in the back of my mind suggested a translation for a word or two. But when the female looked at me, spoke, I could only stare at her, mystified.

“She needs you to sit up, my lord,” the stranger supplied.

I sat up.

She scurried to my rear, twitching my braid over my shoulder and when my eyes focused with alarm on my abductor, he lifted a palm to cup my cheek. “Easy, little one. It will grow back.”

Terror squeezed my belly. My hair had never been cut. But if my new master bid it then cut it would be. He could shave me bald, advertising my whore’s body to the world if he chose, and I concentrated on my gratitude that he didn’t require that much. Tears burned my eyes, though, when I felt the gentle tug on my braid and I whimpered at the lightening pressure on my scalp as the woman cleaved the thick hank of my hair through. Wispy ends escaped the ravaged tail of my braid to brush my neck.

A single tear slid from one eye.

He threaded his fingers through the hair above my temple, helping the woman free what remained of my hair from the loosened plait. “It will grow back,” he repeated when I opened my eyes.

My gaze lowered.

I nodded.

The woman spoke again and the stranger translated once more. “Lean back.” When I did, a horrible rancid scent clogged my throat and a hoarse, pained moan worked from my chest because I knew that scent, too–-dye.

“Only temporary.” My abductor stroked the line of my jaw and smiled at my cringe as the female worked the foul mixture into my newly shorn hair. “After we’ve crossed the border, we’ll wash it away. I swear to you.”

“Keep him dry or the stain will run. Xerxes’ soldiers will search for the yellow-haired boy-man first, but they’ll arrest anyone small enough who’s leeching dye onto their clothes.”

I blinked in surprise, momentarily shocked from my misery.

She could speak Herran.

Oddly, that made me cry harder.

“He’ll be fine.” The man switched to the other, almost-familiar language and the two of them talked while her fingers kneaded the stain into my shorter hair, bunching it in her fists to evenly distribute the color. My abductor’s fingers stroked my tears from my face as soon as they fell, silently comforting me though his resolution as to what the woman did to me did not falter.

I let the sounds of their conversation roll over me, a soft buzz in the back of my mind as I wept. I wanted to stop. Eventually, my new master’s patience would wane and he’d tolerate my sniveling far less now that I was ugly. But the horrible pressure in my chest didn’t loosen. Every caress of the woman’s hands in my hideous hair lashed another stripe into my heart.
My exhaustion married with my grief and both overwhelmed me.

The woman disappeared into the trees when she finished. The stranger retrieved dry clothes from a neat pile nearby, and he dressed me like a child’s doll, cinching me into thick robes. I wept, though the material brushed sinfully indulgent against my skin and the sleeves draped to my wrists and ankles instead of dwarfing me as my wet tunic and breeches had. I wept while my captor shrugged into his own robes, belting the sash around his waist, and I wept when he bent to scoop me into his arms, cradling me against him.

He tucked my head into the crook of his shoulder and carried me through the trees into his camp. He dropped to one knee next to a crackling fire and laid me upon a pallet of blankets beside it. He stretched out behind me, pressing his front to my back. “Now you will be warm.” I squirmed when his breath tickled the sensitive skin at my exposed nape, but the heat of the fire felt so good. His warmth to my back sandwiched me in a delicious cocoon of security.

I sniffled.

His heavy arm settled over my hip. “Sleep.”

I slept.


Spoils of War is available now with Noble Romance Publishing!
ARe Link
Amazon Link


**CONTEST**
One lucky commenter will walk away with
Spoils of War!

You must leave your email addy
to qualify...good luck!

A winner has been selected!! Congratulations to Amy Ramsey!
I'd like to thank all of you for stopping by!

Still curious about Kari Gregg? Visit her website: www.karigregg.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Best Way To Enjoy A Cookie!

The holidays are right around the corner which means kitchens all over the world will soon be filled with the delicious aromas of desserts to be shared and enjoyed. Cookies are one of my favorite things to make. I have a wicked shortbread recipe I make every year that my family loves. I usually make some version of sugar cookies and of course gingerbread men!

There are many ways to eat a cookie. You can shove it all in or nibble it slow. Maybe you like to dunk the goodie in a glass of milk or spiked egg nog. All of these methods work, but I think my own personal method maximizes the cookie experience.


1) Select your cookie and lightly run your finger over the top of the sweet. Marvel at the soft texture or crispy goodness you're about to enjoy.

2) Lift the cookie to your nose and take a delicate whiff of the fragrant delight. Do you smell cinnamon, anise, vanilla, or chocolate? Feel your mouth begin to water as you anticipate that first taste.

3) stick out your tongue and lick the surface of your cookie. Feel the anticipation build as you prepare for that first mouthful!

4) Take a small bite and savor the cookie in the warmth of your mouth. Does the cookie begin to melt or does it require more to experience the full flavor? Chew slowly, thoughtfully. Become a part of the cookie. Listen to what the cookie is telling you as you take it into your body. Tears of joy might very well spring to your eyes!

I promise if you follow these steps your overall cookie experience and enjoyment will double...no triple! ;)


On a diet?
Check out my Naughty Nibble, The Gingerbread Tryst available with Noble Romance Publishing.
It's fat free with all the guilty pleasures you expect from cookies!
Psst...you should enjoy with a cold glass of milk!





~NG

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Simply Sexy Stories Welcomes Gianna Simone!

NG: Hello, Gianna, welcome to Simply Sexy Stories!

GS: Thanks! I’m very excited to be here.

NG: What genre(s) do you write and why?

GS: I’ve always loved romance fiction – my mom turned me on to Catherine Coulter when I was a teenager and I was hooked ever since. One of my favorite things to do was (is) get lost in a really good, heart-tugging love story, and I devoured every romance novel I could get my hands on. The jump to writing my own wasn’t a very large one - I’ve always written stories, and I completed my first full-length novel when I was 14, and I used to write what I didn’t realize at the time was fan fiction. Every one of those stories was romance focused in some way. As I got older, I found my way to RWA and began to work on my writing in earnest. And with the way the market has expanded in the last ten years or so, so has my taste for the more erotic romances. I especially love to read and write about the physical side of that romance, that’s just so much fun!

NG: Your journey to writing is similar to my own! Why are you drawn as a writer to paranormal stories?

GS: I love magic and immortal beings, the possibilities really are endless for what can happen. Magic can be used in so many ways, some mundane, some extraordinary. You can open a door, or you can tie someone up! Immortal creatures such as vampires, or someone cursed to walk the earth for eternity – my mind starts spinning with thoughts of what could happen when someone like that meets the one person they are truly destined for. And after that, how does the otherworldly aspect affect them? Just thinking about this is giving me all sorts of ideas! :D

NG: What do you enjoy the most about being a writer?

GS: Most enjoyable is feeling the characters come to life. When I’m writing a scene and it just flows and the characters interact with very little input from me, and I sit back and realize what I’ve learned in channeling these people through words. It’s very rewarding to read something back, and watch the story unfold, and often it’s not something that hits me until after I’ve finished writing the scene or chapter to see how well it works.

NG: What do you find the most challenging about being a writer?

GS: Time! I work full-time for a global electronics company, and I travel a bit for my job. And I have two children, (three if you count the DH!), who needs quite a bit of my attention, though lately the 13 year old daughter would rather I wasn’t around, I think! ;) Most of my writing is done at night, after everyone’s tucked in for the night and no one needs my immediate focus.

NG: Same here! How long does it take you to complete a book?

GS: It depends, a lot of it on scheduling. I have my spurts where I write like a demon for a few weeks and have been known to get to the 90-100K mark in a month for a first very rough draft. But then I end up spending at least two to three months revising and polishing, tossing and rewriting. On average, with family and work obligations to a minimum, I’d say it can take anywhere from two to six months. It’s been known to take longer, due to major changes I may need to make. And most of my books tend to be about 100K words, I can overwrite a bit too! 

NG: Writing 90-100K even in a rough draft within a month is very impressive! Do you use beta-readers or critique partners?

GS: I have several beta readers that I’ve worked with in recent years, and I also have a critique group that I have been part of for probably close to 20 years now. Those ladies have seen or heard everything I’ve ever put to paper, and if it wasn’t for their guidance and support and help (lots and lots of help! LOL!), I’d never have published anything.

NG: Which is harder to come up with...the blurb or the title?

GS: In my eyes, they’re both pretty damn agonizing. Blurbs are killer for me, I have such trouble writing short. Period. I have a couple of trusted critique partners that help with that. But titles just might be worse. I’ve had some pretty bad ones. I have a previous title published under the name Gina Rosavin, and my working title for that one was pretty atrocious. The publisher came up with the final title.

NG: How do you celebrate your first sale?

GS: It’s weird, I haven’t done anything real special – I shared some champagne with some friends, and did have a nice evening with the DH in honor of it as well.

NG: Hey, champagne with friends is always a nice way to celebrate! Now for a little Gianna Simone trivia! Favorite romantic movie?

GS: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney.

NG: Favorite love song?

GS: Hmmm, tough one. The first one that comes to mind is Peaches and Diesel by Eric Clapton. It’s an instrumental.

NG: Favorite dessert?

GS: Anything with lots of chocolate!

NG: Hear! Hear! lol. Let's talk about your latest release, In The Devil's Arms. What's this sexy story all about?

GS: Helene Gaudet, my heroine, has been broken in a lot of ways, her magical skills are damaged, and her ex-husband has cursed her. She’s resigned to a life alone, convinced no one could want her with all of her problems. But she’s always had fantasies about the hero, Devlin Marchand, when she really shouldn’t. When they were teenagers, Devlin was responsible for her near-death at the hands of an evil sorcerer. But Devlin was forced into his actions, and also harbored a secret attraction for Helene. But after the traumatic events that changed their lives, they moved on in very different directions. Now Helene is divorced, Devlin’s widowed, and he finds out, in a rather underhanded way, that she is interested in BDSM. Since he is a Dom, he decides to finally make a move on his long-buried desires. Of course, as it turns out, he’s also indirectly related to the other traumatic events of her life, namely the curse that has left her sterile and unable to have children.

NG: Oh, wow, this story sounds wickedly intense! What inspired you to pen this sizzling tale?

GS: A lot of things – I’ve always liked the idea of people from opposite ends of the spectrum being destined for each other, no matter what their logic may tell them. The city of New Orleans has always been a magical place to me, I’ve had several ideas for books set there but none of them felt right until this one. I wanted to write about magical people, but with my own little twists – the idea of a powerful witch using a cell phone or laptop always makes me grin. I freely admit my magic is more along the lines of Charmed or the Harry Potter series, rather than the real Wicca practiced by so many today.

NG: In The Devil's Arms contains BDSM elements. What would you say is the biggest misconception about this lifestyle/fetish?

GS: The first thing people think is that the person in the submissive role is weak. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I believe the submissive, male or female, is probably stronger than the Dominant in many ways, no matter that the Dominant is in control. The other thing that kills me is the assumption that people who live the lifestyle, whether it be full-time, or just sometimes, are freaky abnormal people. People would be surprised how many normal, business-suit wearing corporate types are in the scene. I know people that find it especially abhorrent that a woman would willingly submit to the activities practiced in the lifestyle, which I find ironic, since it’s not uncommon to find a woman who wields power in her business life or other areas of her life, but willingly submits to her Dom in the bedroom. It’s very freeing to give up control, someone who has to be in charge of everything all the time needs a break from that. BDSM can provide that freedom.

NG: Great answer, Gianna! The term BDSM scares off many people, but I think erotic romance is broadening the minds of adult readers in this area. What’s the one thing readers can always count on when they pick up a book written by you?

GS: It’s going to have a lot of sex and likely a healthy dose of kink! But I also like to get deep into the characters’ emotions as well. I try very hard to convey that heart-wrenching angst or gushingly tender romantic declarations of love.

NG: Thanks for stopping by, Gianna!

GS: Thanks for having me. This was fun! And I will be giving away a copy of In The Devil’s Arms to a random commenter here.


You must leave your email addy to be eligible to win! Good Luck!
Blurb: Helene Gaudet is finally free of her past—a rage-filled ex-husband whose curse has left her unable to have children. Helene shares those past agonies with no one—certainly not with a Marchand.
Her lonely life is upended when she encounters who she believes is her perfect Dom in an Internet chat room. To her shock, her Dom is none other than Devlin Marchand, the very person who handed her over to a dark sorcerer to be killed.

Yet Devlin proves himself to be a loving Master, and lust and love grow with each tormenting, releasing, encounter. But guilt over his past betrayal is multiplied when he learns the curse that has dogged his lover for years comes from the trove of magic created by his very own family. Devlin fears all he has built with Helene will be destroyed.

Can they overcome the past to have a future together?
Caution! Scorching Excerpt Below:

Helene paced the length of her porch, taking several deep breaths as she moved along the wooden boards. The humid night air increased her anticipation. The sun had set hours ago, yet the temperature remained unseasonably warm. A bead of sweat trickled between her shoulder blades, and she forced herself to sit in the rocker in the corner, to calm herself with the gentle motion.

Her disjointed thoughts were interrupted by the crickets and cicadas of the bayou, their song occasionally silenced briefly by the calls of owls in the cypress trees. She glanced at her watch. Ten more minutes.

Why had she done this? She should never have given him her phone number.
She let her gaze settle unseeingly on the thick pillar candles burning on the stand, casting shadows in the darkness. She should be inside, but her tiny cottage felt too confining. But coming outside hadn’t lessened the sensation of being suffocated.

The cell phone in her hand buzzed, and she glanced at the display. Unknown caller. Dragonslayer. She let it buzz again, clasping it to her chest. What was she thinking? It buzzed again, and somehow this time the vibration seemed sharper, more intense, perhaps because she held it so close to her pounding heart. With a deep breath, she flipped the phone open and put it to her ear.

"Hello?"

A brief silence. "Goddess?" A hushed voice, hovering above a whisper. Her heart slammed into her throat. She gulped.

"Y-yes. Dragonslayer?" The sensation of his name felt foreign in her mouth.

She sensed his smile. She had no idea what he looked like, yet she found herself picturing a face. His face. Her hands shook. She rocked more insistently on the chair.

"Yes."

Silence fell again, and Helene’s heart continued to race. She clenched her fingers.
"Talk to me. I want to hear you." His camouflaged voice sent shivers along her spine.

"Um, well, what do you want me to say?"

A chuckle, then the same hushed tone, soft yet with a steely edge. "Tell me what you’re doing."

She glanced around and had the sense of being watched, even though she knew no one intruded on her privacy. A strange thrill ran through her at the thought she could be wrong. "All right. I’m sitting on my porch, talking to you."

"Where are you sitting?"

The chair still moved in an uneven rhythm. "Um, on the rocking chair." "Are you comfortable?"

"Yes. It’s one of my favorite places to relax." Her heart settled. Finally.

"Good. So tell me, Goddess, have you been thinking of me since our last chat?" She hesitated. "Yes." All the damn time.

"And what were you thinking?" His words were still muffled, just clear enough to hear if she listened carefully, as if he spoke through some sort of voice distorter. Why? He’d pushed for this, now he wanted to hide? The errant thought scattered as he asked again. "What were you thinking about, Goddess? What did you imagine about me?"

She suspected where he led her, and she squeezed her eyes shut as she decided how to answer. Oh, what the hell? When had she ever done something so exciting and risky and completely insane?

"About you touching me," she whispered.

"What? I didn’t quite catch that." A hint of laughter tinged his muted voice.

She cleared her throat. "About . . . about you touching me."

An approving sound, igniting a burst of pleasure in her belly.

"Really? That’s very good. Because I’ve been thinking of touching you too."

She held her breath, her heart exploding into a staccato beat that left her trembling. "Have you now?" She wanted to shout with triumph at the steadiness of her voice.

"I have. There’s just one problem."

A sudden twisting of her gut left her breathless, for a different reason, as a note of disappointment blended into her anticipation. "What’s that?"

"I’m not there. I can’t touch you. Not the way I truly want to. Shall I tell you how I would touch you?"

Her dry mouth made it difficult to form the words. "If you want to."

"You’ll have to ask me nicely, Goddess."

She sucked in a sudden gasp, his responding chuckle sending another shiver through her. "Would you . . . tell me how you imagined touching me? Please?" She’d added the plea at the last second, sensing what he wanted.

"Since you said please."

His voice, low and sensual, resounded in her head. The hint of French woven into the slow drawl of his southern heritage left her panting, as he told her how he wanted to touch her. In her mind, she could see his hands sliding over her skin, up her abdomen to cup her breasts, flicking at the nipples. Her free hand slipped under her shirt, mimicking the motions he described.

"Can you feel it, Goddess? The way my finger circles your nipples, teasing them, making them ache to be touched?"

Helene circled her finger around the tip of her breast, imagining his fingers touching her, the straining nub doing just as he said. The intensity exploded in her breast as she ran her finger lightly over the pink tip, and it tightened further beneath her caress. The fiery heat shot through to her pussy, throbbing already in anticipation. She squeezed gently, surrounding the heated flesh as he spelled out what he would do to arouse her. Her hand imitated his descriptions, massaging and patting, until the heat inside threatened to leave her in ashes on the porch.

"I can’t wait to explore the rest of your body, bound and held open for me."
Despite the muffled tone of his voice, the words sent a flood of longing to her core. She bit her lip against the cry trying to escape at the image he projected in her mind. Would he continue?

He revealed his intended path, and her hand slid down over her belly, as if he had commanded her, her muscles twitching at the teasing strokes, just as he described. She pushed aside her wrap skirt, her fingers pausing at the edge of her panties. Just below, her heated pussy swelled and grew wetter and wetter, and she pressed her thighs together to try and soothe the ever sharper craving.

"Do you want me to touch you, Goddess?" The silky question slid over her, and she moaned aloud that time.

Her fingers trembled, waiting for his command, even though he’d never actually given her one. But she could not resist the need to let his words guide her, and she had the feeling he knew it. The thought served as more tinder for the fire growing in her core.

"Yes," she hissed.

"Yes, what?"

Now a teasing note, and she inhaled sharply, the sweet juniper scenting the air like a drug to her already frazzled senses. "Yes, I want you to touch me."

"Where?"

She couldn’t answer, bit her lip against the sudden plea. Where had that come from? Her fingers curled against her skin, frozen as she awaited his next words.

"Tell me, Goddess, where do you want me to touch you? Your pussy?"

She moaned again. "Yes, please."

"I don’t know if I should. You’ve been a naughty girl, haven’t you?"

She stiffened, the haze of desire clearing a little. Still, her hand hovered near her heat, waiting for the moment of contact. "What?"

"I never gave you permission to touch yourself."

Her heart lurched out of its beat for a moment. "What?" She sounded like a mindless fool.

"You’re touching yourself."

She glanced around again, but the cottage’s location, snug and hidden in the darkness of the cypress grove, ensured her isolation. The trespassing protection spells remained securely in place; she’d know if someone had breached them. Yet, the idea of being watched as he talked her through bringing herself off notched the arousal up, lifted it like the fog rising off the water.

His voice, still muted, took on a hard tone. "You are already touching yourself, when you know I can’t. When I haven’t given you permission. Do you know what such blatant disobedience deserves, Goddess?"

"I—uh, no . . . I—"

"Don’t try to hide it from me. I can hear it in your voice, the way you’re breathing. You’re doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing."

Her face burned, but her hand remained just above her mound, fingers twitching against the trimmed hair.

"We’ll have to work on your rebelliousness. Starting now. You’re going to follow my instructions. If you don’t, you’ll be punished."

He didn’t ask, his order setting her heart to racing again. She could barely contain her eager agreement. The heat climbed higher in her body, and she clutched the phone tightly.

"Do you want me to touch you?"

"Yes," she whimpered, caught in the fever of passion he aroused in her. Hearing
him instead of reading the words on a computer intensified her yearning, a thousand times more incredible than she’d imagined. His voice now made him truly real, and the connection between them just as tangible. His next words shook her, sending shocks of excitement along every nerve ending.

"I bet you do. All right then, Goddess. Do it. For me. Touch that hot little pussy for me."

He continued to speak, and once again, her fingers followed his guiding voice,
sliding slowly along her slit, back up to flick her clit before resuming the exploration of her folds. Helene could barely breathe, the pleasure overtaking her as she continued to toy with herself.

"Fuck yourself with your fingers, Goddess. Make yourself come." His voice grew strong and demanding.

She gave a broken cry as she obeyed his order, shoving a finger deep inside, her thumb grinding against her clit. She cried out, her hips jerking as she imagined Dragonslayer between her legs, stoking this inferno himself.

"That’s it, you’re getting close, aren’t you? Don’t hold back, Goddess. I want to hear you, let me hear you come."

She cried out as the pleasure rioted in her body, taking her with violent shudders,
her body bucking wildly against her fingers, the orgasm rippling endlessly through her.

Each hoarse cry torn from her throat rasped in rhythm with the quaking of her body.
His voice soothed her when the roaring in her ears finally died down. She imagined his arms around her, holding her tightly. She let out a deep breath, her scattered wits slowly reassembling.

"The next time you come, it will be in my bed."

"What?" A thrill overcame her, tempered by a hazy apprehension.

"You heard me, Goddess. When?"

Her pleasure-dazed senses refused to focus. "I . . . what do you mean?"

"I want to meet you. I want to be the one to make you come like that next time. I want to see your face when you explode; I want to feel your body as you come in my arms. Tell me when."

The thought of making his words a reality overtook her. "I . . . uh, next Friday?"
What was that? She hadn’t meant to say that. "No, wait!"

He proceeded as if he hadn’t heard her protests. "Next Friday, Goddess. I expect you to be there. I’ll send you an email with the time and details of the location."

"No, wait, that wasn’t what I meant. We can’t, I mean . . . ."

"Oh, we can, Goddess. And we will. You’ll see. I can’t wait."

The line went dead, and Helene stared at the phone, aware of her hand still buried in her pussy. As she pulled free, another rippling aftershock tore through her. Never in her life had she experienced such a powerful orgasm. Her gut told her if she agreed to let Dragonslayer touch her like that, the pleasure would be even greater. She yearned for that delight, to banish the last few years of loneliness.

What would it be like to submit to him in reality? Now, she might actually find out.

Mon Dieu! What had she just gotten herself into?


In The Devil's Arms is available now with Noble Romance Publishing!
Pick it up today here!


Still curious about Gianna Simone?
Stop by her blog here: http://giannasimone.blogspot.com

Gianna has selected the lucky winner of In The Devil's Arms and so without further ado....that person is...Sarah!!
Congratulations and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Perfect Pumpkin Martinis!

Ahhh!! I love this time of year! The changing leaves are so beautiful and I can't believe most of them have already fallen. The holidays are seriously right around the corner. Where has this year gone? If you're like me, it flown right on by in a blink of an eye. I'm looking forward to 2011. 2010 has been a dousy, but I'm thankful for friends, family and my husband. They've all helped me keep things in perspective.
Where perspective fails, Perfect Pumpkin Martinis prevail!

My husband came up with the idea to use my coffee creamer and the result was DELICIOUS! You must try these!

2 Shots of Vanilla Vodka

1 Shot of Pumpkin creamer or Pumpkin pie mix

1 shot of milk or Pumpkin coffee creamer

Edge glass with crumbled gram crackers and garnish with a lil' whip cream or nutmeg!


These are so good and you can change it up with Eggnog creamer for Christmas...ect.

Enjoy!

~NG
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