CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS?
To start, Trevor of course was far different in the first draft, he was originally from a poor family and was unseen by his town. He was generous and sweet and he had two sisters. But something told me to make him spoiled and arrogant, I kind of like those characters more because I feel like they have more to learn.
Then we have Arjan, the gentle giant of a Siren who we learn about in the first few chapters of the book. He will have a prequel coming out soon so you can learn even more about him. Arjan originally had a very tiny role in the story but as time went on, and I crafted his backstory, I fell in love with the character and I think most people will too!
Lastly, I’ll talk about Labyrinth, Labyrinth is a lot of fun to write! He’s very child-like and his innocence is refreshing compared to Trevor’s brash arrogance. His design was fun to imagine as well and I can’t wait to write more about him in the next few books.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER FROM A BOOK:
Okay, so, he doesn’t originate from a book but he’s in a few and it’s Luke Skywalker. I think he’s my favorite fictional character ever and I do aspire to write a character like him one day.
I think he’s one of the best examples of great development as he went from a nerdy farm boy to a powerful Jedi and he didn’t feel out of character by Return of the Jedi.
This is something I’m striving to accomplish with Trevor; he has a lot to learn and no one wants to see him become all powerful overnight, they want to join him on his journey as he learns about himself and how to use his abilities (which you’ll learn of in the series :D)
Legacy of the Mask Schedule
kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours
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OUT NOW IN AUDIO—Moonstone by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) and Narrated by Frankie Holland (@voiceoffholland) #eroticromance #reverseharem #rh #whychoose #rhromance #audio #audiobooks #audible
Christmas gifts aren’t the only surprises Ginny is going to get this year.
Moonstone Guinevere ‘Ginny’ Miles is in Silver Springs visiting her parents for the holidays. They moved to the town five years ago, and adore their new life here. Used to the hustle and bustle of London, England, Ginny isn’t convinced at first—what’s so great about a small town in Upstate New York, anyway? Despite her own opinions, it’s clear to Ginny the move has done her parents the world of good—they look years younger. There’s clearly something magical about this town.
Following some exploration of her own, Ginny discovers Silver Springs has its charms—Jewels Cafe is amazing, for starters, as is its pumpkin spice latte. Ginny’s drunk a lot of lattes in her thirty-three years, but nothing quite like this.
Her taste buds are still tingling from the tasty treat when she comes across a broken-down truck on the way back to her parents’ place. And when she spots the three gorgeous guys with the vehicle, it’s not just her taste buds that are tingling.
Is Ginny’s vacation in Silver Springs about to get a whole lot more interesting?
Moonstone is a standalone contemporary reverse harem romance. It is part of the Jewels Cafe series.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Hx4r5p
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HA8TAm
Audible UK: https://adbl.co/2TxNl9G
Audible US: https://adbl.co/35GfO2P
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/id1528498339
Barnes & Noble: https://www.nookaudiobooks.com/audiobook/1019852/Moonstone
*The audiobook is also available via many library systems, so if you listen through your library, please do contact them and find out if Moonstone can be added to their catalogue!
Moonstone Guinevere Miles—known as Ginny to people who didn’t want to incur her fierce and everlasting wrath—heaved her suitcase off the luggage reclaim belt with an “Oof!” and placed it on the floor, a sigh of relief escaping her. At least the thing had wheels—she didn’t really have the energy for carrying a heavy suitcase all the way through Customs and out to Arrivals. The long, tiring flight had seen to that.
No matter how much she tried, no matter how exhausted she was, she simply could not fall asleep on a plane. Ever. Eye mask, ear plugs, meditation, bloody whale music—nothing helped. She’d long since resigned herself to staying awake while snores from other passengers emanated around the cabin. At least it had only been about seven and a half hours since taking off from Heathrow—she couldn’t imagine what state she’d be in if she ever flew any longer than that—to Australia, New Zealand or somewhere.
Doubtful that would ever happen, though. It had taken long enough for her to get her backside out to the east coast of America, where her parents had been running a retreat since retiring five years ago. But then, things were different now, weren’t they? Which was why she was even here in the first place—it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Thinking of her parents brought an inevitable smile to her face, and inserted a little more spring in her step. Despite the energy and mood suck that had been the flight, she was excited to be here. She was eager to see her parents, and to find out exactly what they’d built up over the last five years. She’d seen photos and videos, but it wasn’t the same as actually being there.
When they’d first announced they were using their retirement nest egg to open a retreat in Upstate New York, she’d been floored. Who the hell retires, only to take on a massive project like that? Surely the whole point of retiring is to wind down, enjoy some free time, relax? But no, her mum and dad—who, to be fair, had never been what one would call conventional—had set their hearts on it. They’d had a huge purge of their belongings, sold their cars and house, and jetted off across the pond, leaving Ginny shocked and not a little bereft. She’d been used to having them close by and had quickly realized just how much she’d taken that for granted.
At the same time, her career as a chef had taken off and she’d become so busy that her parents’ sudden distance hadn’t made the blindest bit of difference. She barely saw the inside of her own flat, never mind her friends and family. This was the first Christmas she’d had off work since then, too, and she was looking forward to spending it with her parents more than she could put into words. They’d been big on the festive period ever since she was a baby, and as such, Ginny’s brain was stuffed full of warm, fuzzy memories of Christmases past. They’d been useful to get her through the last five crappy ones, too, where a microwaved ready meal was the best she could hope for, if she hadn’t managed to wangle a free meal from the place she’d been working at at the time.
Her smile widened, and she walked faster still—God, just how big is this bloody airport?—desperate to see her mum and dad and start the Christmas holiday with a bang. Anticipation rushed through her. They’d have turkey and roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, mounds of vegetables, desserts laden with enough calories to last them until Valentine’s Day, Christmas carols, amazing decorations, a beautiful tree, fairy lights…
And Santa Claus. Two of them, in fact, jumping up and down enthusiastically and waving wildly at her, with not a rotund belly in sight.
Ginny was so excited, she couldn’t even be bothered with the embarrassment she might have felt at being greeted in a public place by her parents dressed up in Santa outfits. Plus, nobody knew her here anyway, so who cared?
She scurried around the barrier, almost flipping her case in her haste to turn a corner, then covered the remaining distance between them in seconds flat and released the handle of her suitcase. A series of squeals and exclamations went up—from all three of them—and then everything went dark as Ginny was enveloped in a warm, fluffy embrace, her face crushed up against what she suspected was the white fur trim on her mother’s jacket, and kisses rained down on her. It was all she could do to suck in oxygen as she was squeezed and squeezed them right back. She was assailed by the scents of clean clothes, shampoo, perfume, and cologne—all perfectly lovely smells by themselves, but somewhat overwhelming all at once. Unintelligible murmurings reached her ears, but she didn’t bother to reply since she had no idea what was being said. And she didn’t need words, anyway. All she needed at that moment in time was to soak up the enormous outpouring of love she was experiencing.
She was so bloody happy, she thought she might pop.
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter
Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.
Today we welcome Mary Ann Cherry – author of the Jessie O’Bourne Art Mysteries
IT ISN’T JUST ABOUT THE VERB
My short talk is about adding excitement to your writing, not about the difference between active and passive verbs. To use active words instead of passive, you must first know the difference. so even though most of you are old hands at it, I’ll give a short explanation.
Recognizing passive voice takes attentiveness. The biggest giveaway is some form of the to be verb in a verb phrase. The “to be” verbs are essential in writing. But with overuse, they can also be an enemy of the novelist or short story author.
So let’s first go basic. In passive voice, the subject receives the action such as: This scarf was made by my grandma. Or…the building was demolished by the storm. Sometimes, in the passive voice, you can’t even tell who is performing an action. For instance: The building was demolished. (By what?)
In active voice, the subject performs an action such as: My grandma knitted this scarf. Or…the storm demolished the building. Or better yet, get some action going: The scarf twisted under grandma’s knitting needles, growing and stretching like the beanstalk in that old fairy tale.
Phew. That’s done. Now let’s talk about how to use words to activate scenes, characters and descriptions that don’t bore the reader. Active writing isn’t just about the verb. It’s about engaging the reader. So when I talk about active words, I am talking about words that elevate a story from the mundane to the exciting—or at least to the interesting. Choices between boring and exciting can be as basic as what your character is eating or drinking. Words should be painting a picture in your reader’s mind. They should bring taste, smell, and color. When you are writing fiction and have a choice between active and passive verbs think physical. Think “show don’t tell”. It helps to start with the basic sentence and then reevaluate the words.
- She was drinking apple juice
- She drank apple cider
- She sipped hot cider with mulling spices
Okay, there you have the basic. Now, think physical. Think Aloha moment…that which is different will always stand out…
- She lifted the mug to sip steaming cider, redolent with the heady smell of cinnamon and cloves and hot enough to burn her tongue—badly. That can show rather than tell…another way to show rather than tell.
She lifted the mug to sip. Now give the CIDER a personality – “The amber cider burnt an angry path down her throat like flowing lava.”
The steam, the heat, the smell, the burnt tongue all bring the reader into the moment. It’s about engaging the reader. Active words overhaul a boring story the way exercise shapes and sculpts a flabby body.
Does it have to be verbs that make a story seem to rumble with action? It is certainly better to use verbs that show action instead of the boring passive verbs. However, I have found those can be overdone easily as well. To augment those words that move, that suffocate, that rejoice, use words that entertain—that DO something to the reader’s experience.
When someone picks up a book, they want to be entertained. They want to be sucked into the story until they become part of it. They want your hero or heroine’s life to become their alternate reality, if only for a short time.
What makes that happen?
Let’s talk people. Fabricate a character readers love, or a character that readers love to hate without making them look in the mirror so often, or have their ex-wife tell about what a jerk they are. Instead, do most of it with—and I’ll repeat it–action!
DESCRIBING YOUR CHARACTER: Description of the character doesn’t have to be dull. A description can be active, and inanimate objects can be given life.
- She looked in the mirror and saw freckles, red hair, and her favorite blue shirt– okay, we’re describing the woman…but it’s a bit dull.
- Freckles and red hair run in the family – she hated both… a little more active.
- Her red hair curled about her face and freckles peppered her nose and cheeks. With an action verb, notice that the freckles have become a living thing? They participate in the story.
If you want more drama, then think more physical. The freckles are alive, but give them something to do.
- Freckles didn’t just run in her family – they stampeded through generations of O’Bournes like the running of the bulls in Pamploma.
Character traits: You can describe your character’s personality the same way, but usually it is better to give examples of what the character does to SHOW true character rather than describe it.
- Adam is selfish
- Adam is a penny pincher – too clicheʼ
- More active – Adam pinched pennies until they squealed like piglets.
Or think show don’t tell…
- Adam lifted the heart-shaped box and flipped it over to look at the price. Would it take the twenty-dollar box of truffles to make her forgive him? Or could he buy the ten-dollar box of assorted candies and have the clerk gift wrap it free? He took the smaller box off the shelf and handed the clerk his platinum card.
LOVE SCENES – of course passion should be active. At least one hopes.
- John is passionate about Carrie… informative but boring
- John kissed her
- John swept her into his arms and kissed her passionately – better
Think physical…think action
- In the middle of the sidewalk, John yanked her to him as though saving her from an oncoming bus, then kissed her until traffic stopped.
DESCRIPTION – How about scenic descriptions? They can be active as well.
Tumbleweeds rolled across the dry ground and settled against the fence like waves rolling in from a brown ocean. The clay soil crunched and cracked under Jason’s feet.
Instead of “The sky was cloudy grey ” anthropomorphize… The wind grew in strength and the oppressive grey clouds trembled like goose-bumpy teens slipping into a haunted house.
FEELINGS AND MENTAL ACTIVITIES are not exempt from action…from page 132 of WRITING the THRILLER by T. Macdonald Skillman…
“…Comprehension swept away denial, eroding her self-control, allowing the fragmented thoughts swirling about her to tumble out.”
Example two – show, don’t tell…from Cherry –
She stood slightly bent, the broken thoughts swirling about her weakened body like the serpent hair of Medusa. She put her hands to her pale face and heard a feral muttering, realizing the sound burbled from her own mouth. The truth will out.
ANTHROPOMORPHIZE: How does the “humanizing” of inanimate objects, the sky, a kitchen table, a random thought or a tumble of nut-brown hair make your writing more exciting and active? Readers spend their days sitting, watching, listening. They yearn for something exciting to do but either haven’t the time, the money or the inclination. The elderly live sedentary lives. The ill are bed-ridden. The activity of words used in extraordinary ways pulls them into the story and gives them an experience. It doesn’t have to be monumental—just different from hum-drum. The story doesn’t have to be outlandish. It just needs to be told in a manner that gives the couch potato a sense of something happening. Let them experience movement and delicious description vicariously.
Colors can be active. The correct color gives personality and mood in a scene. We all know this but seldom think about it.
Which one brings a love scene to life?
Example one: Her billowy dress was low-cut and in his favorite color—a pale, baby’s breath pink (makes you think right away of babies and diapers, doesn’t it?)
Example two: Her billowy dress was low-cut and in his favorite color—a blast of erotic red (red is erotic, aggressive, demanding…
EMOTIONS have color. You may hear “red-hot anger” – you never hear “pink anger”. Any shade of color that would have white added to it, pink, pale lavender, light blue, denote weaker emotions. The primary colors vibrate in your writing. Make sure you use them in ways that are appropriate. Use variations such as crimson for red, ultramarine for blue, etc.
COLORS—especially in a scene: Think about things you like to do and places you like to travel Each one should have a color that comes to mind. We seldom think about that but it part of the way our world works. Morning starts with white bread that becomes brown toast or a blackened charcoal slab fed to the birds.
Color affects mood in our daily life and will do so in the book. A grey drizzly day, a happy sunshine-filled blue sky, etc. Make yourself set the stage. Color can do that in a similar manner of the active verb without having to elaborate. But when you join both together they rock! A noun that has some latent action will help…
A shimmer of pale-blue draperies –where are we? A bedroom? A B&B?
A blast of Navy-blue – are we at a military parade?
Green –we can’t think green without thinking “nature” and grass OR envy, depending on the scene
A riot of yellow sunflowers – we can almost see them waving in the breeze
How about an explosion of crimson? – we immediately think blood
Colors that sound like food or include food activate two senses—vision and taste—without the reader even realizing it: Nut-brown, candy-apple red, caramel, coffee-colored, creamy white and so on…
Again, let color be active by humanizing the tint or shade and making it DO something…
Black erupted across his vision…
Sea-green rushed in, hammering the beach with wave after wave…
COLOR SENSE: Excerpts from How Color Affects Our Mood by Rachel Bender
“…There are several reasons why colors influence how we feel. …There are social or culture levels as well as personal relationships with particular colors,” explains Leslie Harrington, executive director of The Color Association of The United States, which forecasts color trends. …You react to color.”
- RED – Red is the hot, crazy girl of colors, evoking powerful emotions such as fear, anger and passion. The mood red conveys changes dramatically when you lighten it (sweet and innocent pink) or darken it (sophisticated burgundy).
- GREEN – associated with the environment, it puts you in a relaxed or refreshed mood
- YELLOW – Yellow carries both positive and negative connotations — from sunshine, which conveys a joyous, happy mood to jaundice and sickliness
- BLUE – Psychologically, blue is the opposite of red — it lowers blood pressure. Red picks you up and blue takes you down, but not down to depression level. That may be because if you look to nature, such as the sky and the ocean, blue conveys tranquility. That’s also what you project when wearing the shade. Blue is also associated with trustworthiness, strength and dependability — hence, the blue power suit.
- ORANGE – Orange evokes action. It is said to stimulate enthusiasm and creativity and symbolize vitality and endurance. It’s a little “edgy”
PASSIVE VERBS – The forms of the verb “to be”
|Base form||be||It can be simple.|
|Simple Present||I||am||I am here.|
|You||are||You are here.|
|He/She/It||is||She is here.|
|We||are||We are here.|
|They||are||They are here.|
|Simple Past||I||was||I was here.|
|You||were||You were here.|
|He/She/It||was||She was here.|
|We||were||We were here.|
|They||were||They were here.|
|Simple Future||I||will be||I will be here.|
|You||will be||You will be here.|
|He/She/It||will be||She will be here.|
|We||will be||We will be here.|
|They||will be||They will be here.|
|Progressive form||being||He is being unusual.|
|Perfect form||been||It has been fun.|
Check out the info for the blog tour.
Out Now! Chasing the Chambermaid by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #reverseharem #rh #whychoose
Can an exciting new outlook on life help Connie heal her damaged heart?
Connie White is running away from an abusive relationship. Fear and desperation have driven her to Bowdley Hall Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, where, despite an unceremonious start, she appears to have fallen on her feet. The owner, Frances McKenzie, is kind and understanding, and seems happy for Connie to hide out in her hotel for a while.
With a roof over her head and a job as a chambermaid, Connie is in a better situation than she could ever have hoped for. Her workmates seem nice, but she’s determined to keep them at arm’s length. After all, how can she form connections if she’s unwilling to divulge anything about herself?
Her apparent mysteriousness doesn’t faze her gorgeous new colleagues Will MacIntyre, Nico Moretti, and Ashley Fox. All three show a keen interest in her, but Connie has absolutely no intention of going there. She hasn’t fled one relationship, only to get involved with someone else, no matter how gorgeous. She simply isn’t ready for that.
When an epiphany of sorts makes her realise she’s living a half-life by keeping herself so cut off from everyone, she finally lets someone in. That someone shows her there can be something between singledom and a full-on relationship. And when casual dating is on the cards, anything is possible…
Note: This novella has been previously published as part of the Duty Bound anthology.
Buy now or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://books2read.com/chasingthechambermaid
Only the slop, slop, slopping sound of her painfully slow footsteps through the thick, sucking mud convinced Connie White she was actually making any progress. Her limbs and extremities had long since gone so numb that she couldn’t be sure otherwise.
Come on, Con, just a little bit further. That sign said something about an estate, and an estate means buildings. A bloody cowshed will do—anything for some respite from this infernal sodding weather.
She pushed on for several more minutes, then gasped with shock and relief when her next step met not with sloppy mud or waterlogged grass, but a track. A rough track, but a track nonetheless. And it had to lead somewhere, surely? It ran left to right across the line she’d been taking, so Connie had to make a decision. Which way would lead her to… something? She was already soaked to the skin and freezing cold, so a couple of seconds of rumination wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to her physical state. She really didn’t want to end up going in the wrong direction and heading further away from any semblance of civilisation.
She took a breath and remembered her gran’s—long since dead, bless her—nonsensical motto—or one of them, anyway: If in doubt, turn left.
Connie shrugged, and another of her gran’s daft phrases flitted into her brain. In for a penny, in for a pound.
She hoiked her backpack higher, hunched her shoulders against the relentless wind and rain, and turned left. Moments later, she was rewarded as the hulking shape of a building appeared from the sheets of wind-buffeted rain. Excitement gave her a burst of energy, spurring her on. Fifty feet. Forty. Twenty-five. God, what was this place? It looked so old and decrepit the Vikings could have left it behind. Doesn’t matter. If it provides even a modicum of shelter, it’s an improvement on where you slept last night. The wooden bench on the tiny village’s green hadn’t exactly been the warmest or most comfortable place to lay her head. And she shuddered to think about what would have happened if someone unsavoury had happened across her, alone and vulnerable. She’d been very glad to wake up and hurriedly continue on her journey that morning.
The last few feet went by in a blur of motion, her body still numb and not entirely under her control. At least the track was easier to walk on. It wasn’t particularly smooth, but at least it wasn’t trying to pull off her walking boots, like the sucking mud had been.
Finally, she burst through the building’s heavy door, only the adrenaline pumping in her veins making it possible to even shift the thing. Fuck, I’m exhausted.
The last thing she remembered was shucking off her backpack and slamming the door against the elements. Then silence.
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter
Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.
Head over to Celebrating Audiobooks Month, grab some new titles and see what your favourite indie authors have to offer. (Including two of mine.)
Links will be on NNLight’s Book Heaven but some of the authors involved are:
1- Sharon Buchbinder
2- MK McClintock, Laura Strickland
3- Peggy Jaeger, Judith Sterling
4- Lin Wilder
5- Christine Grabowski
6- Sharon Buchbinder, Stephen King
7- Nicky Blue, Lisa Lickel
8- A. L. Butcher
9- Mary Morgan
10- Peggy Jaeger, Laura M. Baird
11- Aubrey Wynne
12- Kimberly Dean
13- Sharon Buchbinder, Lisa Lickel
14- M. S. Spencer
15- Jean M. Grant, Jana Reynolds
16- Aubrey Wynne
17- Peggy Jaeger, Judith Sterling
18- A. L. Butcher
19- P. L. Parker
20- Sharon Buchbinder
21- Jana Reynolds
22- M. S. Spencer
23- Sharon Buchbinder
24- Peggy Jaeger, Mary Morgan
25- Aubrey Wynne
26- MK McClintock, Catherine Mesick
27- Sharon Buchbinder, Judith Sterling
28- Lisa Lickel
29- Stephen King
30- Peggy Jaeger
When 13 year old Gary Crockett hypnotizes Earl Lancaster and Earl stands
from his wheelchair everything changes for both of them. Gary
suspects Earl of lying about his paralysis and Gary’s mom thinks
Earl is sexy and a business genius. Before long all three need to
leave town in a hurry.
This coming of age tale is full of surprises and quirky characters,
twisted circumstances and weird resolutions. It’s a breezy look at
race relations, ladyboys, virginity, snake biting churches and meditation.
The novel is a one day read and sprinkled with humor.
The Hypnotist’s Assistant explores healing, romance, religion, deception,
dysfunction, inspiration, gender, addiction and loss.
What begins as an extraordinary event ends with new found love, true
friendship and hope. Bottom line – this book ultimately does what
books do, it brings the reader entertainment and escape.
worked as a 1st Class Steam Engineer in D.C. and then became a class
A General Contractor. He now lives in Richmond Virginia where he’s
retired and fulfilling a lifetime dream of publishing books. He like
books of all flavors and is always working on at least two novels at
any given time.
Brief Guest Post from Richard DeVall:
I hear music type people refer to digital music as cold, vinyl as being warm and tapes having depth. I wouldn’t have a clue. What I’m going to mention is the differences in perceptions of Audio, electronic and paperback books.
Audio is great for busy hands. It lacks intimacy in the area of pause and reflection. That’s because it’s a pace car that’s moving at a constant speed forward. It’s great for folks on the go. It’s actually a book on the go.
Kindle – Nook – Kobo – phone – tablet and desktop reading. I find the difference between those forms of reading and paperback almost, but not quite the same. The difference is familiarity. A book is a little warmer, like meatloaf and potatoes versus a grilled cheese sandwich, a cold pickle and soup.
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Cover Reveal—Fluffy by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor)
Release date: April 30, 2019
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
An all-new STANDALONE from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent
It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.
I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.
Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.
See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.
Until it was too late.
The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day.
The perfect job!
Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.
They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.
The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is — it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.
And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.
By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed naked star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.
My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?
Having all my dreams come true.
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2RmE159
Google Play: smarturl.it/fluffyGP
“It is time to DANCE! Find a partner and hold each other’s hands, facing one another.”
Five women start walking toward Will.
“Mal?” Shyness infuses his question, sending chills up and down my arms and legs. They settle at the base of my neck, riding shotgun next to the arousal centers of my nervous system. He’s adorable, one hand out to me, eyebrows slightly up, blue-green eyes asking to dance with me but hinting at more.
Or… am I inventing that part?
“Sure,” I say, instantly regretting my answer. Does it sound grudging? He doesn’t seem to think so as I take his hand and stand before him, tall in my high heels but he’s even taller. Looking at him from this height makes him even more human, more masculine, more real.
My heart skips a beat.
But the music sure doesn’t.
“Now, the ‘man,’” Philippe starts, using finger quotes because there are several female-only couples in the class, “puts one hand on the woman’s waist. The right hand.”
It’s like sticking my finger in a light socket and orgasming at the same time.
His left hand takes my right hand and he holds it, strong and firm, smiling at me with a boyish grin that makes me feel instant remorse for hurting him today.
“I’m sorry I bashed your head in,” I whisper, moving near his ear, our mouths inches apart.
There is a gap between us. My lungs live there, in that space. They breathe. I don’t make a move. My autonomic nervous system works without intention. If it didn’t, I’d die.
Because I would hold my breath forever in Will’s arms.
Philippe is moving from couple to couple, adjusting positions, commenting and correcting.
“Closer,” Philippe says right behind me, the press of his firm palm against my lower back a shock as he pushes me into Will, closing that gap.
My autonomic nervous system gives up entirely.
“Look into each other’s eyes,” Philippe commands, his accent making this even sexier. “When you dance, you show your love with your hips, your eyes, your languid grace. You are making love in public with your bodies, fully clothed.”
Is Will holding his breath, too?
“Your hand goes here, Mallory,” the teacher says, taking my left hand and putting it on Will’s shoulder. My breasts brush against his chest, our breathing ragged. I try to look away, but we’re too close. All I can do is look at his eyes or his mouth, and right now, both are so, so dangerous.
No one else in the room exists. The light that bounces off the polished floors is ours. The murmurs and giggles in the background are ours. The way he breathes my air and I inhale him is ours, too. We’re touching, my thigh against his, and every warm part of Will Lotham’s front half that is decent to display in public is rubbing against me.
Except his lips.
“Now, take one step forward,” Philippe says. “Together.”
Will steps on my foot. Hard.
I make a very unfeminine sound and start to pitch backwards. Tightening his grip on my waist, his hand sliding, open and splayed, across the small of my back, he saves me from a complete wipeout.
But that save has its costs.
In an instant, all traces of that teenage girl in me are gone, disintegrating, turned to stardust that sweeps off me like a fine spring breeze. I am all woman now, mature and wanting.
All I want is this. Now. The man before me, his arms warm and assured, grasp confident and bold.
And very much wanting me back.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Kent/e/B00A99V268/
Cover reveal organized by Writer Marketing Services.
Having a hard time choosing what to read this month? While there’s so many wonderful authors and books available, it’s imperative to have a dependable and responsible place that can help you choose what to read. It’s even better when you get a chance to win free books! Every month, you can win free books from multiple authors hosted by N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. Numerous authors are offering their books in this collaborative group entitled Literary Giveaway Portal.
Curl Up With a Book Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db775022
Literary Giveaway Portal: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal
December 2018 Giveaway Prizes
e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan
e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling
e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn
e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell
e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin Book 1) by Judith Sterling
e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton
e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie
e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser
e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin
e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin
e-copy of The Kitchen Imps by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)
e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour
5 e-copy of Angelica by Clabe Polk
2 autographed print copy of Erin’s Gift plus swag generously donated by Nancy Fraser (US/Canada only)
e-copy of Life Sucks After You Die by Crystal-Rain Love
e-copy of Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski
audiobook copy of Rescue Love by Melissa Keir (US/Canada only)
e-copy of To Save a Lady by Patricia Preston (US only)
2 e-copy of Cinderella Busted by Petie McCarty
print copy of Sweet Seduction by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)
autographed print copy of Seventeen Days by Linda Griffin
e-copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace by Melanie Robertson-King
e-copy of Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell
e-copy of Romeo Vs. Juliet (Descendants of Time Book 1) by Laura Hogg (US only)