Something about the nearness of him, the combination of steam rising from their bodies awoke something deep within her. Rain dripped down the back of her neck and she shivered at the sensation. Her senses were awash with the combination of his scent and the moist forest around them.
Matt’s gaze left hers for a moment, traveling down the length of her rain-soaked figure. He grabbed his jacket from her hand and tossed it aside into the forest debris like a blanket. Jess glanced down. Her nipples were puckered and stiff, protruding through the wet material of her blouse and her thin bra. She was obviously aroused and yet she didn’t feel any shame. Not with him. His gaze raked over her like fire.
“I…we…we should be getting back….” She began. Her brain was foggy with desire. She wanted him, wanted his hands on her. Why was it so hard to think?
“Your eyes are incredible,” Matt whispered, moving closer until she could feel the tickle of his warm breath on her cheek. “Expressive. Stunning.”
“They’re just brown,” Jess answered. She leaned back against a nearby aspen. Her legs felt like water. What was she doing?
“They’re much more than that. There are gold flecks in them that dance when you smile.” His fingers stole underneath her chin and tilted her head up. His full mouth hovered near hers. “I want to see you smile. I want to see you….”
Naked, she wondered?
She wet her lips with the tip of her tongue as a soft rumble escaped from him. The sound sent liquid heat between her thighs.
“I’m going to kiss you, Jess.” It wasn’t a question. He leaned in, his fingers raising her face to meet him. “I’m going to show you why you came to Montana.”
“Oh.” She knew why she was here. To prove that love can’t be distilled into a computer profile. She sighed. “This is crazy.”
He ducked his head, his lips brushing hers. “Give in to it.”
She had to. She craved his mouth on her. Jess wound her arms around his neck as she opened her mouth, allowing him deeper access.
His mouth covered hers, his tongue probing into her with soft, slick repetition that overloaded her senses. He sampled her bottom lip, nipping lightly at them with his teeth.
She ignored the fact that she’d just met him and surrendered to the feeling of his insistent kiss. The bark of the trunk scraped her back. She tilted her head as his tongue stroked hers, probing deeper into her mouth. A soft moan escaped from her lips as she widened her stance, wobbling a little in her boots.
His hips ground against her as he lifted her body against the tree and took her mouth. Every nerve ending was on fire and attuned to the feel of his body against hers. He unbuttoned his shirt and she gasped at his muscular, tanned physique. Matt looked as if he could have carried her halfway to Wyoming and back without breaking a sweat.
He cradled her in his arms, his mouth tugging at her bottom lip. She was suddenly very glad that she hadn’t retreated to the structured safety of the lodge. She clutched his triceps and wrapped her legs around his waist, desperate to feel him against her aching core. Matt flexed his buttocks, and his arousal nudged her swollen mound through their clothing. She bit back a groan. He felt so good. If only they were naked. On the ground where his jacket was spread. Or her room…the room with her bed and…her investigation file.
Oh, God, her investigation.
“Matt,” she whispered through the haze of desire that clouded her thinking. “We shouldn’t be doing this.” She really didn’t want him to stop. “I don’t know what to think about this.” How was she going to list this in her notes?
“Don’t think. Just feel.” His voice was muffled.
His hands crept up and unbuttoned her blouse. The soft calluses on his fingertips teased her skin as he slid her bra strap off her shoulders. One touch, then two and she was lost. It had been so long since she’d felt desirable. With a half growl, Matt trailed kisses down the sides of her neck and throat, his tongue blazing a white hot trail across her flesh. Cool air assaulted her bare skin when his hungry mouth lifted. Her breathing became ragged as he flipped back her sodden clothing and palmed her breasts through the thin fabric of her dampened bra. An eager wetness blossomed between her legs as raindrops and Matt’s kisses trickled down in a staccato across her breasts. Her nerves sizzled with anticipation and desire.
“You taste so good,” he said. He bent his head, his dark hair curling around his face. Jess gasped as she felt his teeth gently brush her nipple. “So sweet.”
Don’t think. Just feel, he’d said. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
Matt’s hardened arousal pressed against the sensitive cleft between her legs.
“Oh, yes.” She shifted her hips subtly directing him to the right spot. White spots of lightning flashed behind her eyelids as he licked and suckled her through her thin rayon bra. His tongue flicked impatiently between the fabric and her skin before his hands pawed the material aside. She gasped as the cold air raced over the responsive nipple and then he recaptured it in the heat of his mouth.
Want more? Pick up your copy along with 9 other tempting romances for every taste in the upcoming Shades of Desire box set.
Spend an evening with some of the freshest voices in romance! Raise a glass and rub elbows with award-winning and best-selling romance authors, get your favorite books autographed, and enter for specialty raffle prizes.
Participating authors include: USA Today Bestseller Kieran Kramer (contemporary), Jeni Burns (paranormal), J.A. Coffey (contemporary), Caroline Lee (historical) and Elizabeth Michels (historical).
And as always, enjoy the exceptional wines featured at The Wine Cellar, including The Dirty Dozen—twelve specially chosen wines at a discounted price. Wine and romance, what a perfect pairing!
Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1580695005548234/
Very excited to be a part of this special event in Cornelius, North Carolina. It’s going to be a fantastic group of award-winning and best selling authors. If you happen to be in the area on April 18th, drop by The Wine Cellar and say hello!
With my latest manuscript sent to editors and beta readers, I find myself diving right in to the next one. Usually, there’s a bit of down time, where I get over the “creation pains” of completion, but for some reason, I’m so jazzed about this series, that I just kept going. 🙂
There’s going to be some celebratory giveaways and promos in March surrounding the release of my next hot contemporary romance PANTS ON FIRE (available for preorder on Amazon), but you can score your copy for free by subscribing to COFFEY TALK, my VIP newsletter. Just hit the subscribe button in the menu and take the leap into love and awesomeness. Fans of Carly Phillips may really enjoy my sexy Southern Seductions series.
Speaking of, there’s some exciting news that I can’t share yet, but be sure to sign up to be the first to hear, ya hear?
Lots of great things going on this year…I can’t spill the beans just yet, but stay tuned for more exciting things regarding my romance books. 🙂
And if you haven’t had a chance to pick up your FREE copy of the debut, LIAR LIAR, you may want to snag your copy while you can. The promo won’t last, so get yours today!
Also, very excited to say that I booked my flight to attend Romance Writers of America’s 2015 conference in NYC in July. It will be so wonderful to catch up to old friends and greet new ones. And there’s a fabulous book signing for readers, so be sure to check it out!
Well, I can hardly believe that 2015 has begun. Where does the time go? Aside from making a major life change, packing and moving our entire household, and getting ready to see my first darling through his senior year, 2014 was pretty uneventful…. 😉 I’m looking forward to a new year and releasing some new books. This is the year!! (At least that’s what I pinky promise myself in the bathroom each morning).
If you have a hankering to connect, don’t forget that you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and various and sundry other places. I’d love to hear from you, but in the meantime, it’s back to the books.
Happy New Year!!
Sometimes, Yoda nails it.
Words have meaning.
What we say, we become. This is a mantra even of self-improvement gurus, but it goes double for authors.
I was chatting with someone at a local writers meeting who said to me that she was “trying to be a writer”. This is someone who has completed a novel and is working through the process of a second round of editing. I asked if she wrote regularly, and she stated she did. I replied that she was already a writer, whether it was a page, a chapter or a complete manuscript.
She paused and then nodded.
And inside, my brain echoed the sage words of Master Yoda: “Try? There is no try. Do or do not.”
Words, both internal and spoken have power. The power to change our minds or our mindset.
“I find myself drawn to this girl,” Sappho said, moving to stand by me. “She is young and clever. I have need for such a girl at present. Will you sell her to me?”
I was dumbstruck. When sense returned to me, I found Aesop considering Sappho with an expression not unlike my own. He shook his head.
“I cannot, fair poetess. She is bound for Xanthes the Samian, by order of Iadmon himself.” He placed a hand in the small of my back and drew me nearer to the colonnade.
“To what end? One sale is as good as another. There is somewhat about her expression—there, you see it?—in the eyes. I could learn to love such a face, I think. You will not deny me.” She smiled sweetly, very sweetly indeed.
Aesop furrowed his brow further. “I cannot, dear lady. I gave my word.”
“Then take the words back again. For me.” This time Sappho’s smile did not quite reach her eyes.
“No, Poetess. I cannot take back my promise.” Aesop gave a slight bow. “Not even for you. My words are all of what I am.”
I just loved Aesop and judging from reader reactions, they did too. Aesop stands by his assertions. He’s a man of words and a man of his word. He’s the consummate storyteller. The great fabulist.
I try to do the same. Writers write. On their own schedule, in their own time, in their own way. Tell a good story. Live with meaning.
Who knows? Perhaps years from now, someone will find something that touches them in what I had to say.
Try not to let anyone’s standards define you, in anything that you do.
Thrace! Some readers have commented to me privately that they weren’t exactly sure where Doricha, the protagonist of HETAERA: Daughter of the Gods, hailed from.
Originally, Dori was from Thrace, an area northeast of Greece with somewhat nebulous borders. Thracian people were roughly segregated into tribes or villages and are considered by some to be “noble savages” (loud drinking, singing and fighting) and athletic peoples. In the map above, the Rhodopis mountains are highlighted. I tried to depict them as large and lusty, and authentically passionate about their lives and their gods which seemed to fit the story.
Wikipedia has a pretty succinct description of the area:
The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. Noteworthy is the fact that, at an early date, the ancient Greeks employed the term “Thrace” to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians,a region which “had no definite boundaries” and to which other regions (like Macedonia and even Scythia) were added.In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into “Asia, Libya, Europa and Thracia”.
Typically, Thracians did not think of themselves as such, but in order to define herself as different than the neighboring Greeks, I had Dori making the distinction between Thrace and Greece throughout the book. I don’t consider that to be out of context. Even in modern times, people define themselves by their indigenous culture–whether it’s the country they hail from or the sports team they “pull” for.
And speaking of sports (of a sort!) one of the most infamous Thracians was…Spartacus!
Spartacus was a Thracian auxiliary soldier who deserted from the Roman army, was captured and enslaved, and led a revolt with an army of escaped slaves and gladiators that defeated many Roman legions in the Third Servile War. Gladiators were employed as a common sport of that time to amuse audiences with their physical prowess.
I loosely modeled Dori’s father Delus off stereotypical “Spartacus” characteristics. Is it any wonder that Dori considers her father to be the finest soldier in the world? Looking at the new trailer for the new STARZ series, it’s no great surprise that Dori’s mother would be moved to join herself to Delus and sneak off from the temple, eh? Sign me up!
In a completely tangential coincidence, another famous Thracian was 5th century Greek physician Herodicus (tutor of Hippocrates) who is considered the “father of sports medicine”. Ha!
I feel like I should be a classic television journalist, because I need to state “sorry, we’ve interrupted this broadcast to bring you an important message….” because my life has been a bit “interrupted” lately.
Those of you who know me are aware that my work situation has been a bit difficult since May, when my beloved director retired. It let a gaping whole that begged to be filled.
I won’t bore you with the details, but this holiday my family gave me early gifts of freedom and time. The freedom to resign from my day job and time to focus on my writing. I have been put off for many months from writing, and this is a very precious and much needed gift! Happy Merry to me!
So, for now, it’s full time author status and a renewed focus. I hope to have something for you to read soon.
British voice actress Sherill Turner has done a simply lovely narration. I’m so blessed to have been able to work with her. Give her a listen!
So, my latest big hurdle in working through SEMIRAMIS is being indecisive. In this case, it’s a good problem to have, but I need your help in deciding which cover to go with! Let me share that it took hours to create the cover for HETAERA and that is time that could be better spent putting words to paper. I’ve opted to farm out the job to the fabulous fella who created my romance book covers and website header.
So, after sending some specs, the fabulous James from GoOnWrite (love him!) has created the following proofs for my next historical fiction novel which is a painfully beautiful legend of a Babylonian queen. I adore each for various reasons, so before I influence your vote, let me show you what’s got my tail feathers in a twist:
I know, I know they are gorgeous aren’t they?!! And so hard to choose between….so, please help me out. Vote by leaving a comment here on your preference, or you can vote on my Facebook page by commenting there!
Just leave your preference as a single fave #1, #2, or #3…or rank all three in the order of your preference!
As I work through some of the earlier chapters in SEMIRAMIS, I discovered a little known fact. Dogs were bred in ancient times as protectors of flocks, herds and peoples—even to point of taking down a fully grown lion! Check out Anatolian (aka Assyrian) Shepherds here.
Since the days of Babylon, the large, powerful dogs with the massive heads were living on the Anatolian Plateau. They were used as fighting dogs in the battles, as well as for hunting large animals, even lions and wild horses. This interesting scenes are depicted on the well-preserved Assyrian bas-reliefs, presented at the British Museum in London.
In his homeland The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was not only grazing the cattle, but also he was guarding the flock, walking around it or climbing the high observation posts from which he could better see and sense a dangerous predators. Once Anatolian Shepherds see a moving object, even if it is a car – they are building a chain and run forward like a wind. Such a tactics of attack are naturally developed in this breed.
Anatolian Karabash is a large dog, and a highly reliable keeper!
Since ancient times and until now this dogs are used to guard the sheep herds in Turkey. This is a working breed, a dog, that is enthusiastically defending the family of the owner and his properties, and his cattle.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog quickly learns, he is faithful and affectionate with his owner, close friends of the family and children. Strangers should be carefully presented to this dog. (taken from Veanimals at http://www.veanimals.com/dogs/breed-encyclopedia/335-anatolian-shepherd-dog-karabash.html)
And Kangals are even larger! They’re currently being used to protect herds from cheetahs, thereby helping to preserve the wild cheetah population from extinction (less attacks on herds means less herdsman killing cheetahs).
The Kangal dog is an ancient breed of livestock guardian dog bred over centuries to protect the flocks of shepherds in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Kangal is an intelligent, noble and hardy breed more than capable of fulfilling its job as a guardian. The Kangal and the other livestock guardian breeds of Turkey are the foundation breeds for the American Anatolian Shepherd. Contrary to the term “shepherd,” Kangals and Anatolians are not herding dogs, but strictly guardians that take their jobs very seriously. (from www.kangalkopegi.org)
In SEMIRAMIS, the protagonist learns how to survive the delicate balance of nature assisted by a wayward pup from a litter of her father’s favorite hunting dog Kalbatu. I have her naming him Dannu, which means “strength”.
I think it’s pretty apparent from this video that the size and speed of Assyrian shepherds is more than a match for lions. And without the smooth breeding practices, these massive mastiff-like dogs may have been even more fierce, with some reports of them being almost as large as a horse!
Dannu isn’t quite that large, but he’s a constant companion for Semira. Pretty cool, eh?