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6 May 2014

Year of Yes Update

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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Several months have  passed without me updating on the progress of my Year of Yes.

So far, I can report I’ve been saying yes, enthusiastically, to life. I’ve ramped up my writing schedule. I’ve taken hundreds of pictures. I’ve been going out more often, venturing into crowds to see live music and just wander around Providence and Boston. I’m doing vinyasa yoga regularly–I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to commit to such a vigorous style of yoga, but I’m loving it. I’m hiking often, though not as often as I’d like. I’ve signed up for my first 5K. I’ll be walking it rather than running, because one thing to which I won’t say yes is a rigid back brace again, and my doctor fears what the jarring of running on pavement might do to my spine. (My spine is slightly deformed thanks to a teenage injury that healed badly.) But I’m doing it.

And we’ve booked a trip to Italy for this fall. Venice, Florence, Rome, and Sorrento. Life is too short to put off adventures until you can afford them.

One thing I have been saying no to, though, is mindless eating. I’m nearly twenty pounds lighter than I was at the start of my year of yes, and more important, between healthier eating and increased exercise, I’m much stronger. We put in three new garden beds this week and I was able to help significantly. Last year, I’d have been supervising and bringing drinks. Today, I was shoveling loam (several tons of loam total; my husband I worked together) and raking.

Mind you, I haven’t changed my ways completely. I still haven’t dared to self-publish that book. (Soon. I promise. Soon.) I still waste far too much time online farting around. I still have times when I feel old and anti-social and down at the mouth. But my resolve to say yes and embrace life is definitely paying off.

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26 Apr 2014

Guest Blog: Sommer Marsden Introduces THE ACCIDENTAL COUGAR

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. 4 Comments

(Before Sommer gets going, I have to jump in and say I had to invite her to guest-blog here because I love, love, love that title. Also, that Sommer has a great shape-shifter series, but her cougar Abby, unlike Jack from Cougar’s Courage, isn’t the kind with fur and a magnificent tail. She’s pretty wild and magical in her own way, though.)

Elegant woman

“…and something weird was beginning with my neck.”

Like any woman in her 40s when dealing with a 20-something (naked or otherwise), my main character Abby can be a bit self-conscious. However, the thing I’ve noticed is we’re (women, I mean) fairly self-conscious all through our lives. Not all of us, but a great majority of us. In The Accidental Cougar I was determined for Abby to be brave.

I know so many women who are reaching their 40s or are already in their 40s who are finally learning to love themselves. Myself included. We’re learning to embrace ourselves despite the fact that our bodies aren’t the same as they were when they were 20. Or 30. But then again, the 50s, 60s and 70s are coming so what better time to learn to be proud of yourself inside and out. Why not learn to be amazed with what we’re capable of physically, emotionally and mentally at every age?

Now is the time to learn this lesson for many of us.

I made sure funnel all that into Abby. I wanted her to see herself for the gorgeous woman she is. I wanted her to see herself as her young lover Charlie sees her. I tried my best to make it as honest and real and yes, a bit humorous, as I could.

We should never rule out learning amazing lessons from those younger than us, am I right?

XOXO

Sommer

 

Excerpt:

Charlie froze and I felt so bad for startling him. But then he dropped to the bed next to me, pulled me into his arms and began to stroke my hair. “What’s going on in that head of yours, Abby?”

I shuddered, more mortified than upset now. “I am so so sorry.” My words stumbled over each other, my tongue tripping over itself. “I have no idea—” I shrugged. “I just think it’s been so long and—”

He smiled down at me and kissed my fingers. “Sex can be emotional. I am choosing to see this as a compliment.”

I laughed, my whole body shook with sudden amusement. And I found that I didn’t care.

I didn’t care that my breasts weren’t as perfect as they’d been when I was twenty. Or that I had that small belly pooch that short of an electric carving knife or plastic surgery I couldn’t afford was never going away. Or that I had small lines around my mouth and something weird was beginning with my neck. I didn’t care because when I was with him I felt so damn beautiful. So wanted that I felt like I had nothing to worry about.

To Charlie I was beautiful and in that moment I was even more beautiful to myself.

“And brave,” I whispered, not meaning to say it aloud.

“And brave what?” He stroked my hair, still damp from my preparatory shower.

“To sleep with you,” I said. Then I laughed at the shocked look on his face.

“Am I that beastly?” he asked, trying to keep a straight face.

“No!” I squeaked, swatting his chest playfully. “What I mean is, it can be daunting. Someone like you.”

“Like what?”

“Someone as young and handsome and fucking…buff,” I said.

Charlie played along by flexing his biceps to make me laugh again. “I’m Hans…” he started, reviving an old Saturday Night Live skit. At his age God only knows where he’d seen it. Probably Youtube.

I craned my neck up and kissed him quiet. “You know what I mean, Charlie,” I said. “To you this might make perfect sense. It seems to.”

He watched me, finger skating along my bare hip raising up goose bumps as he stroked. He didn’t try to cut me off, just kept his mouth shut and waited.

“But for me, I kind of shake my head sometimes and wonder how I got here.” I smoothed my hands along his chest just to feel his warm, supple skin. “I was considering an online profile for people over forty just a week ago.” I snorted and that made me freeze and then giggle. He smiled. “And now…I’m having amazing spontaneous take-me-now sex with you.”

“Hans,” he said, managing to keep a straight face.

I shook my head. “Just Charlie. Charlie who makes me smile.”

Blurb:

What would be the harm in a little fling? What would be so bad about bedding a young man who could technically be my son? He wasn’t my son. He wasn’t my anything. But he could possibly, if I could unclench my ass long enough, be my lover.

My lover.

What was so bad?

Buy Link:

http://www.excessica.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=697&zenid=4dbc1d3daf5d78126c7184b937b28d4d

Also on Amazon, Amazon UK, All Romance Ebooks and many more!

Author Bio:

Professional dirty word writer, gluten free baker, sock addict, fat wiener dog walker, expert procrastinator. Called “one of the top storytellers in the erotic genre” by Violet Blue, Sommer Marsden writes for HarperCollins Mischief, Ellora’s Cave, Excessica, Xcite Books and Resplendence Publishing. She’s the author of numerous erotic novels including Lost in You, Restricted Release, Boys Next Door, Restless Spirit, and Learning to Drown. Visit http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com

Sommer’s on a blog tour, so be sure to check out her other stops!

TACblogtour

 

22 Apr 2014

OUT OF CONTROL Release day!

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Beauty Image

It’s a bit early to pop the champagne on this bright Tuesday morning. Release days are busy, between Facebook and tweeting and blogging and chatting on the publisher’s loop and let’s not forget working on edits for my fall release and trying, desperately, to get in some words on the two books in progress. And amid all that, there’s the day job, which is thankfully part-time from home. Since it’s late April,I’ll also need to get out to the garden at some point. It’s the warmest day of 2014 so far, so at the very least, I should thin some seedlings and pick fresh flowers for my desk.  (For new readers: I’m an urban homesteader as well as a writer. I already have three beds planted with cool-weather crops, but that’s just a start. Five more beds and some large pots to go, plus the flower garden. And the fruit trees. Have I  mentioned I’m either hyperactive or insane? Or maybe both.)

But there’s a bottle of bubbly chilling for tonight! And a champagne cork, because after a day like this one I’ll be good for one glass before tipping over.

And on that note, a sleepy, but teasing except from Out of Control. OutOfControl72lg

Drake fought back a grin, then stopped fighting it. He loved her enthusiasm for her work, but right now, she sounded like an overtired little kid. “I’d like to see it, but maybe tomorrow. It’s time to get you to bed.”

She sat on his lap and snuggled against him. “I agree. Absolutely.” She wiggled her butt, grinding it against his cock in a way that made him want to forget his good intentions.

“I meant to sleep. You must be exhausted.”

She nibbled his neck. “I’ve had coffee. I’ll be fine.”

“You need sleep.”

“A lot of coffee. I do need sleep, but I’m wired. You’ll have to wear me out.” She slipped her hand inside the waistband of his pants. The way they were sitting, she couldn’t reach his cock, but her hand brushing his belly shattered his resolve. He groaned, pulled her into another deep, devouring kiss.

He should carry her up to her own bed under the stained glass window, tuck her in and turn out the light. That would be the responsible thing to do. But she was squirming and mewling into his mouth, and obviously wanted him as much as he wanted her. What the hell. If she passed out once he got her horizontal, they could at least enjoy some naked time together first.

Mind made up, he encouraged her off his lap, then smacked her on the ass. “My room,” he ordered, “before the caffeine wears off and you crash out on me.”

She scampered upstairs ahead of him. He watched the round, firm globes of her ass swaying as she moved and couldn’t resist spanking it a few more times, not hard, just enough to encourage her. Tease and arouse her.

Want more? Find it today at all your favorite online retailers.

Samhain / Amazon  / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo

20 Apr 2014

Definitely Out of Control Excerpt from OUT OF CONTROL (releasing 4/22!)

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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Drake laid one hand on the back of her neck. “Be still.” His voice was deep, calm, soothing. He stroked the nape of her neck as if he petted a beloved but jumpy pet. Something melted inside her, like glass would melt in a furnace, and she went limp across his lap.

“Good girl,” he whispered. “Surrender to the sensation. Surrender to me.” Still stroking her hair, he spanked her again.

Jen dimly though it may have been even harder than the other times. But the sting didn’t feel like pain. It felt like a gift, a gift Drake was giving to her, and that at the same time she was giving to him. Which made no sense, but the thought was the clear spring green of truth. She accepted it just like she accepted the pain and pleasure, the gentle hand on her head and the hard one smacking an ass that felt as red as her thoughts.

She was molten. She was soft and pooling, ready to be molded and shaped—another one of those nonsensical thoughts colored like truth. She wanted to squirm, try to rub herself to orgasm against the coarseness of denim and the hard muscles underneath. Wanted to push back and beg for more. Wanted. Wanted. But at the same time, she just wanted to see what Drake would do next. So far, she had no complaints, though it was hardly how she would have anticipated things going their first time together.

Hoped, maybe; anticipated, no.

The blows were coming faster now but felt lighter. Was that real or was that just because her clit and pussy were throbbing more than her butt was, making it impossible to think of pain as pain?

Colors exploded behind her eyelids, swirling together in impossible ways. She clung to the colors as best she could, some dim part of her knowing she could reproduce the effect, maybe even the surreal spangling, in glass if she could remember how it looked.

Then Drake let his fingers trail between her throbbing butt cheeks to stroke her pussy.

The colors exploded into fireworks of hues she saw only in dreams, and she exploded with them. No way could she capture those colors. She didn’t think she could see them again unless she was coming, and orgasms and hot glass would be a dangerous combination.

Though with Drake’s hand on the back of her neck, maybe she’d be safe, as safe as she felt now to let go with a cry and soar among the colors.

 

Coming April 22, 2014 from Samhain. Available for pre-order now.

He’s got her tied up, but she’s got him out of control.

Glass artist Jen Kessler has hit the jackpot—a cheap apartment in a charming Victorian house, complete with a sexy, intense, buttoned-down landlord…who may or may not have a riding crop in his bedroom.

She’s not looking for a lover, but when her innocent, impulsive hug sparks kisses as hot a molten glass, it leads to bondage, spankings, and more naughtiness that, up to now, she had only tasted.

His new tenant may have wild, dyed hair and an unconventional job, but Cornell math professor Drake Matthews admires the work ethic that got her out of debt. Then he’s stunned at how quickly she destroys decades of his carefully cultivated self control.

Soon their sexual and emotional passions push them to the edge—and beyond. But it’s not all good, dirty fun. As Drake takes more and more control of Jen in the bedroom, her deeply ingrained independent streak pushes back. And it’ll take more than a shared penchant for ropes, paddling, and coffee to overcome pasts that could unravel their relationship before it begins.

Warning: Contains kinky sex, molten glass, geeky higher mathematics, family secrets, and irresponsible consumption of coffee.

Samhain / Amazon  / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo

 

9 Apr 2014

Jen and Drake’s first meeting: OUT OF CONTROL excerpt

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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Read the whole book on 4/22!

In which our control freak hero learns he’s going to have a hard time staying in control around our heroine.

Drake Matthews fumbled the front door open, cursing the doorbell’s interruption to his train of thought.

A small, striking woman with crazy multicolored hair stood in his doorway. He stopped cursing. He’d get back on his train of thought, but he wasn’t about to pretend he was upset to see a gorgeous woman on his porch, even at eight in the morning on Saturday. Even if she was a stranger and his brain was too lost in mathematics to figure out why she was there. He didn’t remember an appointment. Then again, at this stage in the process of writing a paper, he might not remember his own birthday.

The woman spoke, her voice rich, marked with the flat vowels of a local country girl. “I’m here about the apartment on Craigslist. Jen Kessler. We e-mailed back and forth.” Jen extended a small, ringless hand.

Drake took her hand and was shocked by how firm her grip felt considering how little she was. Small but not frail. Her arms were well muscled for someone her size, her legs not just pretty but strong-looking. She wore a green tank top and bright yellow bike shorts topped with a short black net skirt that looked like a child’s ballerina costume. To complete the little-girl-in-costume effect, the skirt was printed with silver glittery stars. On someone else, the outfit would have looked stupid, but it worked for her, as if she was dressed up in honor of a beautiful day that felt more like June in Atlanta than mid-April in Ithaca, when the more typical weather was cold rain or wet snow.

He held Jen’s hand a bit too long as he studied her, hoping that his gray-rimmed nerd glasses made it look like he was just socially awkward, not fascinated. Her nails were short and square, her hands rough, as if she worked with them a lot. Her eyes were the bright, clear green of spring leaves. Her chin-length red curls, streaked with Crayola yellow and orange that made her look like a living flame, were disheveled. Probably from biking here without a helmet, since he saw a bright blue Schwinn in the driveway, but no helmet attached to it or in Jen’s hand. He had to fight the inappropriate urge to smooth that wild hair just to see how it felt, and an equally inappropriate urge to tell her she should wear a helmet.

Control yourself. She wasn’t his to touch, wasn’t his to direct. Wasn’t even his friend. He could pretend to get a bit of fluff out of a friend’s hair or bug her about her bad bike-safety habits. Jen was a complete stranger, and even if she wasn’t, she might end up as his tenant, which probably ruled out becoming his sub. His cock hoped otherwise, but it would open the door to all kinds of drama, and Drake didn’t like drama.

Want more? Out of Control releases on 4/22, but it’s available on pre-order (at a special low price some places!) now.

Samhain / Amazon  / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo

4 Apr 2014

Excerpt: Out of Control (NSFW)

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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Since Out of Control releases in less than three weeks (April 22), it’s time to start teasing you with juicy excerpts.  Here, Jen and Drake are still dancing around each other. Drake is maintaining his self-control…for now…but Jen isn’t.

She worked in and out of her pussy in the rhythm she imagined Drake using, circling her clit frantically as she did. Pressure built in her lower body, and the colors spiraled frantically. She clenched hard, feeling the firm pressure on her fingers and picturing how Drake would react, how he’d groan in a throaty, animalistic way and look astonished by how his control was cracking. How he’d cry out as he surged into her, filling her with hot come, his body jerking, his face turning red, looking alarming and warriorlike and sexy as hell.
That image sent her tumbling into the lava pools of her mind. Light filled her, light of a color she couldn’t name, and she shattered. As the orgasm seized her, she cried out “Drake!”
At that moment, the front door opened.

 

Lost in thought, Drake headed to the front door and tucked his shinai under his arm to unlock it. He stepped into the front hallway, started to toe off his sneakers—and heard his name on a low moan.

It echoed through the big house, the primal sound of a woman so caught in the throes of orgasm that she didn’t care who heard her.

The bag holding his kendo armor thunked to the floor, unheeded. Inside his jeans, his cock sprang to attention, his balls tightening in anticipation of something he wasn’t going to give them.

Not with Jen, not now, no matter how much they both wanted it. They needed to talk first, and they needed to be clearheaded and clothed when they did it. If he followed the directives of his body, let the lust guide his feet up the back stairs to Jen’s door, “clearheaded and clothed” would be the last thing he’d be. He’d definitely let himself pull her into his bedroom, find the ropes and the crop and the Wartenberg wheel and the rest of his bag of tricks, and the attitudes that went with them. And Jen would let him, he suspected. She was sensual and adventurous and wouldn’t know what kind of Pandora’s box she was opening.

Some of the less evolved parts of his brain offered images of opening Jen’s box, and the more evolved parts of his brain quite enjoyed it.

No, he told himself, taking his shoes off as if that moan didn’t echo through every cell of his body. He would not take those stairs, would not take that risk, would not drag Jen unknowing into his world.

If she wanted it once he’d laid it out, he’d drag her there—and if all went well, some primitive bit of him proclaimed, he wouldn’t let her go.

But he wasn’t going to do it unprepared, no matter how much his aching balls screamed for release. And he wasn’t going to give himself release either. Not yet. That would give Jen, and more importantly, the out-of-control, hungry part of himself, too much power.

 

Blurb: When fiercely independent glass artist Jen Kessler finds a cheap-and-charming apartment, her impulsive hug for the intense, sexy landlord leads to naughtiness that, up to now, she had only tasted.

Drake’s new tenant may have wild, dyed hair and an unconventional job, but he admires her work ethic. Then he’s stunned at how quickly she destroys his carefully cultivated self control.

But their sexy games are not all good, dirty fun. And it’ll take more than a shared penchant for ropes, paddling, and coffee to overcome pasts that could unravel their relationship before it begins.

Warning: Contains kinky sex, molten glass, geeky higher mathematics, family secrets, and irresponsible consumption of coffee.

Samhain / Amazon  / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo

4 Mar 2014

Welcome, Mary Hughes

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. 1 Comment

Downbeat mary hughes

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my fellow Samhain author Mary Hughes, whose newest book Downbeat (Biting Love, Book 7) releases today. It’s a vampire book with a few twists, a musical theme, and…. cheese balls.  (You’ll have to read it to find out more about that.)

Mary Hughes is a computer consultant, professional musician, and writer. At various points in her life she has taught Taekwondo, worked in the insurance industry, and studied religion. She is intensely interested in the origins of the universe. She has a wonderful husband (though happily-ever-after takes a lot of hard work) and two great kids. But she thinks that with all the advances in modern medicine, childbirth should be a lot less messy. Find out more about her, and about the Biting Love series and her other books, at http://www.maryhughesbooks.com/index.html

Here’s a little more info, and a saucy excerpt that’s safe for work (mostly) but hints at a lot of naughtiness to come.

Striking the right note could shatter more than their hearts.

After an attack that slaughtered his family, vampire Dragan Zajicek walled off his heart and went on a sixteen-hundred-year rampage with the bad boys of history.

Now a rock star of the concert podium and master freelance spy, he’s taken the baton for a small orchestra near Chicago to investigate rumors of a monstrous, undefeatable vampire dubbed the Soul Stealer.

But it’s the lovely, unassuming Raquel “Rocky” Hrbek who mesmerizes him from the first touch of her luscious lips on her flute.

Rocky, a shy shadow scarred by middle school cruelty, is mystified as to why core-meltingly gorgeous Dragan would notice a mouse like her. As his stolen kisses draw her dangerously close to the edge of her carefully constructed comfort zone, he exposes her secret—she’s investigating the monster herself.

As their quest draws them closer together, the monster zeroes in on the woman Dragan’s rebellious heart tells him is his mate. Now they must find a way to destroy the indestructible before Rocky is utterly consumed. And Chicago is bathed in the blood of innocents.

Warning: Contains a master of seduction and symphonies, an awkward and innocent flutist, small-town humor, heart-stopping action, and an exodus to Iowa. Oh, and the cheese balls are ba-a-ack—and deadlier than ever.

http://www.amazon.com/Downbeat-Biting-Love-Mary-Hughes-ebook/dp/B00GN98BV2/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/downbeat-mary-hughes/1117398262?ean=9781619218758

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/downbeat-p-73244.html

Enjoy the following excerpt for Downbeat:

I tried to see it from his point of view. The man wanted help getting around. A few directions, not my soul. Simple neighborliness would do. I breathed deep, and managed to rasp out, “Sure. No problem, Mr. Zajicek.”

He smiled and slipped his arm around mine. “Dragan, please.” His hip bumped against my side as we walked.

My respiration rate shot through the roof. I gritted my teeth. Simple neighborliness, yeah, right. Like your basic neighborhood raging inferno. “Okay. First names. I’m Rocky.”

“Rocky? That’s a boy’s name.”

“It’s a nickname,” I admitted.

“Ah. And your real name?”

Yes. My “real” name.

My friend, Nixie Emerson, once told me names have power. In her case, she went by her kicky middle name instead of “Dietlinde”, her dull-as-dust first. For her, that was appropriate. Nixie was short and punk and smart as a whip—and as smart-mouthed too, though she reined it in around her new baby.

In my case though, my “real” name was not appropriate. Anti-appropriate, in fact. My mom named me Raquel, after Raquel Welch, the sex-goddess of the sixties. So while Nixie’s name was right and good, mine was a joke. And considering my nega-love-life, a rather nasty one at that. “Rocky’s good enough, Mr. Zajicek.”

“Dragan,” he murmured, somehow pulling me closer. The heat of his body licked flame-like up my side. I hissed and shifted my flute bag between us, but as a defense it backfired. Zajicek simply plucked the bag from my hands. “Shall I carry that?”

“You don’t have to. No, wait—”

“Nonsense. It is quite light.” He shifted my bag onto his own shoulder, not the one between us. The strap wrapped itself over his muscles like a second skin, and I swear it moaned happily.

Then Zajicek curled one hand around my waist and pulled me so close I could barely breathe. I tried to, really I did. But every tentative inhale brought the scent of him, cotton and sandalwood and burning masculinity. Every movement of my ribcage scraped the side of my breast against his arm, until I was trembling with the need to rub blatantly against him. Every breath drew cool air over my tongue…yikes, I was lolling like a dog in heat.

My glasses fogged up, and I stumbled again.

Both Zajicek’s arms went around me. I felt incredibly clumsy and stupid, making him rescue me continually from my own feet. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Zajicek—”

“Dragan,” he murmured, cupping my chin and lifting my face for another soft kiss. His lips touched mine, his mouth moving in tiny circles as if to warm my skin. He didn’t need to. I was plenty warm already—and a little buzzy.

“You taste wonderful.” His mouth opened and his tongue teased the seam of my lips.

I jumped at the touch but Zajicek held me, so securely I relaxed into his arms. It seemed to be some sort of cue for him to lick me and slide his tongue between my lips, encouraging me to part them.

He asked so nicely, with tiny hot licks. So I did.

The instant my mouth opened he devoured me. His mouth slanted over mine and his jaw dropped. Heat rushed in. I gasped. Shocked and a little scared, I fell back, but he stepped with me, wrapped his arm around my back and trapped me good. He had to bend quite a ways to do it.

My back arched like a bow, my breasts crushed to his chest, my hips to his thighs. Something stirred against my belly, sending a jolt shearing through me. My mouth tingled and my breasts tingled and I was getting really tingly between my legs.

I slid my hands between us to try to wedge open some space. All I succeeded in doing was fitting my palms to the hardest pectorals in the world.

The tingling between my legs was starting to drive me insane.

Zajicek’s mouth left mine to trail licks and nibbles down my jaw to my throat. He nuzzled me there, an odd dark rumble coming from his chest, almost a lion’s purr. “You smell divine. Ah, to taste you fully.” His tongue rasped over my pulse.

Somewhere along the way his hand had found my breast and was kneading and cupping while he sucked gently on the tender skin of my neck until my head spun.

Then his fingers found my raised nipple and plucked.

A thousand Christmas lights went on in my head. I shrieked.

25 Feb 2014

Teaser: Mary Hughes’s Downbeat is coming soon…and it looks great!

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

Downbeat mary hughes
Downbeat (Biting Love, Book 7)
by Mary Hughes
Coming from Samhain 3/4/14
Striking the right note could shatter more than their hearts.
After an attack that slaughtered his family, vampire Dragan Zajicek walled off his heart and went on a sixteen-hundred-year rampage with the bad boys of history.
Now a rock star of the concert podium and master freelance spy, he’s taken the baton for a small orchestra near Chicago to investigate rumors of a monstrous, undefeatable vampire dubbed the Soul Stealer.
But it’s the lovely, unassuming Raquel “Rocky” Hrbek who mesmerizes him from the first touch of her luscious lips on her flute.
Rocky, a shy shadow scarred by middle school cruelty, is mystified as to why core-meltingly gorgeous Dragan would notice a mouse like her. As his stolen kisses draw her dangerously close to the edge of her carefully constructed comfort zone, he exposes her secret—she’s investigating the monster herself.
As their quest draws them closer together, the monster zeroes in on the woman Dragan’s rebellious heart tells him is his mate. Now they must find a way to destroy the indestructible before Rocky is utterly consumed. And Chicago is bathed in the blood of innocents.
Warning: Contains a master of seduction and symphonies, an awkward and innocent flutist, small-town humor, heart-stopping action, and an exodus to Iowa. Oh, and the cheese balls are ba-a-ack—and deadlier than ever.

24 Feb 2014

Out of Control Excerpt

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

OutOfControl72webFirst taste of Out of Control, out April 22.

“Do you need a hand with anything? More coffee maybe? Or should I leave you alone to unpack?” Drake stood in the doorway, and Jen couldn’t tell if he wanted her to ask him to stay or dismiss him. He was wearing his serious, professorial face, but there was something in his eyes, something in the way he watched her, something in the way he leaned on the doorframe, lazy as a cat, but like a cat sometimes was, active in his laziness, that suggested his thoughts might be more serious than fun. Naughty, even.

“I can think of a few things I could use a hand with.” She stifled laughter. She honestly hadn’t meant it to sound suggestive, but it came out that way.

“I imagine.” Drake came closer and suddenly the room seemed very warm. Or maybe that was just her panties. “What can I do for you?” The words could just refer to all the million things involved with getting settled in a new place, and on one level, probably did.

But Drake felt that tension too. She could hear it in his voice, see it in the way he carried himself. He was studying her like she was prey, or maybe an opponent in some kind of contest, trying to figure out his next move. Funny thing was, he probably thought he was being subtle, but he was obviously trying to decide whether he should jump in where they’d left off or pretend it had never happened and start their acquaintance fresh.

Still, he wasn’t as awkward as a lot of guys might be. He wasn’t slobbering like a puppy who thought she had a treat in her pocket, but wasn’t ignoring her either. More like he was waiting for a clear signal.

What the hell. She decided to give him one, an opening he could take in several ways. Otherwise, she’d never get anything done, and that would be bad, right?

She’d never been the type to wait demurely for a guy to make up his mind. That was like waiting for everything to fall into place so you could quit your horrible nine-to-five job and commit to art—a great way to be old and gray and still waiting. You had to make things fall into place, whether you were talking about work or relationships. Create opportunities. The worst that would happen in either case was you’d fall on your face. And then you got up, brushed yourself off and tried something different.

She stood up from the floor, where she’d been sorting through a box. “How about welcoming me to the house properly,” she said, her voice slipping to a sultry whisper almost despite herself, and held out her hand.

Drake took her hand, shook it in a friendly but businesslike way. “Glad to have you here.” God, his hands were big.

He stepped closer, not letting go of her hand, close enough she could feel the heat of his body. A shudder ran through her, made up of equal parts desire and confusion. She felt paralyzed. Jen’s normal impulse would be to kiss this man, who seemed like he wanted desperately to kiss her but was holding back. At least pull him into a hug, make it clear she was interested. Yet she couldn’t move, trapped by his serious gray eyes, the heat of his touch, the set of his mouth under that tidy beard.

“You confound me,” he said, his voice harsh, dark. “Jen, Jen, Jen, what am I going to do with you?”

“I have a few ideas.”

“So do I. Problem is, while we’d both enjoy these ideas, I’m not sure they’re smart.” Jen froze, unable even to breathe. At least they were on the same page about wanting each other. She wanted to ask him if he truly cared if it was a bad idea, to make it clear she was all about the good-bad ideas, say she even had a clue what those ideas might entail, but she couldn’t speak.

“The hell with it. Smart is overrated.” Drake’s voice came out as a growl, nothing Jen could imagine in a civilized Cornell classroom but could definitely imagine in a bedroom. He reeled her in, pulled her against his hard body.

She felt small and soft. Normally that would make her want to demonstrate her strength—which, thanks to her active life, was surprising for someone who looked more like the petite-flower type. But she liked feeling small and soft in Drake’s arms, with Drake’s mouth crashing down onto hers.

He lifted her up effortlessly, not breaking the kiss, and carried her toward the unmade bed. My God, what did this man do for a workout? This mathematician had muscles like a cowboy. Holding her with one arm, he swept piles and bags of clothes off the bed onto the floor. She saw a wince cross his face as he did it, as if it offended the sense of order she’d seen reflected in his side of the house. “Don’t worry,” she joked, “my clothes are used to spending time on the floor.”

“Not for much longer,” she thought he said. She would have puzzled at the words, except Drake distracted her by pulling her T-shirt off with one decisive motion. She had accidentally packed all her bras last night. At the moment, this seemed like the best accident ever. Drake studied her bared curves, running his big hands along her sides. She purred and arched up. His hands moved to her nipples, began caressing in a gentle, exploratory way, not what she would have expected from his earlier fierceness. Lovely but too light for her taste, it teased and tickled as much as it aroused. She squealed and tried to squirm away at the same time she arched her hips up to meet his, turned on and tormented at same time. The pleasure was almost painful, in the same paradoxical way pain, in the right circumstances and with the right person, could be pleasurable.

“Too much?”

“Too little. I like it rougher.” Not something she’d admit to most guys this soon, for fear they’d take it too far, but Avi’s words inspired confidence. The woman wrote about safe BDSM practices for a living, after all, and she’d said Drake was all right.

Drake chuckled. “Good.” Her brain was whirling like cotton candy in one of those machines at the county fair and felt just about as pink and fluffy, but his tone registered. Evil glee, definitely. She was in trouble, but it was the kind of trouble she loved. With one hand, he began pinching first one nipple, then the other, tugging and kneading. Delicious pleasure and equally delicious pain seared through her. “Good girl. Put your arms over your head.”

She obeyed. She couldn’t help herself. She didn’t want to help herself. Why wouldn’t she play along? This was the best thing that had happened to her in a long, long, long time that didn’t involve making art.

He grabbed her wrists with his other hand, his grip viselike, unbreakable. Heat pooled in her belly, and she couldn’t help whimpering.

“Do you enjoy restraint, Jen?”

She nodded. “Oh yeah.” She felt like she should say something more, something about their mutual friend, even, but the time for intelligent dialogue was either past or yet to come, at least on her end. Drake was talking just fine, but maybe it took longer for hormones to shut down his extra-smart brain.

“Would you enjoy a lot of restraint? Rope bondage, maybe?”

She nodded again, unable to speak. Her eyes felt like they were as wide as a cartoon character’s, taking up her whole face. Avi had experimented on her with rope back in college—just practicing a few ties on her, nothing more—and she’d gotten a kick out of it. With Drake in charge, and actual sex involved, it would be heaven.

“Excellent.” Drake chuckled, and it was the kind of chuckle you’d expect from a supervillain whose evil plan was coming together.

Maybe she was in a bit over her head.

Hurray! Over your head was fun.

And she had it on good authority that he was an ethical perv, not an ax murderer.

“Right now,” he said, “I think we’re both feeling too impatient for rope. Which means we should do it anyway, once we’ve gotten a few things out of our system. You need to learn patience and order. Luckily, I’m here to help you.”

Jen’s head spun. She knew how to sprinkle kink into sex, like a touch of brilliant color to set off clear glass. Still, beyond playful spanking and casual bandana-and-stocking bondage, beyond flipping a coin to see who’d take tongue-in-cheek charge in bed on a particular night, she hadn’t explored very far since rooming with Avi in college. She’d looked at Web sites, especially ones Avi had recommended on her own site, and she’d listened to a few erotica audiobooks, but she was definitely a beginner.

Drake wasn’t. Even if she wasn’t already clued in, she could guess. It was in the way he’d been touching her ever since she’d told him she liked a firmer touch, but more than that, it was in his voice. In his eyes.

She strove for words, tried to say the words that hovered on her lips: You’re a dom. Not just a guy who liked to dabble in kink once in a while, but a serious dom. But she couldn’t make the words come out.

Out of Control buy links:

Samhain / Amazon  / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo

 

16 Feb 2014

A winter woods trek and an excerpt from Cougar’s Courage

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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We had a pretty good winter storm last night, severe enough that my writer’s group meeting was canceled. However, it stopped snowing overnight and by early afternoon, even the secondary roads were clear. Since I had an unanticipated afternoon off, I (predictably) headed for the woods. The nearby state park was full of families sledding and people enjoying the rare opportunity to cross-country ski and snowshoe in our own backyard instead of driving to northern New England.

Of course I wandered away from the crowds as best I could. Today’s paraphrased quote: “I took the road less traveled. Maybe there was a reason it was less traveled.” Yes, that’s a trail behind that rock! The woods trails were challenging, but not too bad, but when I ended up crossing an open field, where not too many people had gone before, I almost lost my boot a few times to the deep snow.

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Luckily, every time I started to flag, I saw something beautiful to keep me going.

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The light, at that moment, made me think of a scene in Cougar’s Courage. So I leave you with a little excerpt that relates to trekking through the snow.

The world surged. Auras flashed into bright precision. Becky’s earthy one, her own rainbowed with many neon colors and streaks of mourning darkness, even the trees by the side of the road haloed in deep green. The road to Couguar-Caché opened up, a clear path to those with eyes to see it. She was sure the snow would still be there for her to slog through, but now she felt truly invited and welcomed.
She gave Becky a quick, impulsive hug. “Do you see that?”
“I see a lot of awesome snow.” The girl smiled. “This is going to be great!”
“I see the way home.” Cara swung her feet out of the truck, strapped on her snowshoes and grabbed her pack.
As she waved good-bye to Becky, she felt a surge of grief. Somehow, she knew she wasn’t going to see the girl or her brother again. Wasn’t going back to Toronto.
Phil’s face hovered between the trees, his lips whispering something she couldn’t make out. Her old life was dead anyway, dead with Phil. It didn’t much matter if she made it back to Toronto or not. She willed herself not to cry until she was in a house in Couguar-Caché. Out here, the tears would freeze to her cheeks.
Then a glowing golden path opened under her feet. She opened to the energy of the forest around her. Her doubts fell away, replaced by crazy excitement. She was on her way to Couguar-Caché and a new adventure. And after all she’d been through in the past few months, that might be just what she needed.
About a kilometer in, snow whipped out of what, until a few moments earlier, had been a clear sky. The effort of snowshoeing kept her warm, but her face was freezing, and the wind cut through her knit wool hat, earflaps and all. She thought wistfully of that comfortable 4×4 parked at the edge of the main road, and of warm motels and the lonely but cozy condo in Toronto, currently sublet to a friend of Goulding’s.
She might end up crazy, but at least she’d be warm while she lost her mind.
Or maybe thoughts like that are the crazies starting in earnest. I can’t turn back now. The person who can help is somewhere ahead of me, in Couguar-Caché.
Or closer, she thought as she caught a glimpse of someone through the trees. When she’d come as a child with Mom, her grandparents had always been the ones to greet them, Gramps’s magic tamped down so he was just an older guy in a faded Bugs Bunny T-shirt. She’d heard tales, though, of other visitors who’d been greeted in various unexpected, magical ways: Grand-mère seeming to materialize from thin air, or a big, dangerous-looking animal—cougar, wolf, bear, moose—appearing to serve as a wordless guide.
The figure that appeared on the path before her was no wizened, cock-eyed elder in shamanic regalia (which, judging from her grandfather, sometimes involved Looney Toons boxer shorts worn on the outside of the clothes) and no animal that might or might not be a sentient being silently laughing at her.
It was the man from her dreams.

CougarsCourage-R-1

 

10 Feb 2014

The Great Snowy Owl Hunt

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

On Monday my friend Laura and I went for a snowy owl search at Duxbury Beach. This winter has seen a profusion of snowy owls finding their way to New England. Many of them have ended up at Boston’s Logan Airport–not the ideal place for an owl!–and they’ve been moved to other suitable locations in the area, fairly remote beaches with salt marshes and dunes. Laura had heard there were owls in Duxbury, so we decided to make our way there.

The day started out with a minor snafu that proved to be a blessing. I got lost driving through Duxbury and, drawing on vague memories of a previous visit years ago, made my way to the ocean by a different route than I’d planned to follow. The Duxbury reservation is a barrier beach, which means you had to cross a bridge to get to it. And this particular bridge was a single-lane wooden-railed bridge that looked more like a boardwalk. It hadn’t been cleared after recent storms, so it was a mass of rutted snow and ice. I grew up in the snowy Finger Lakes, so snow-rutted roads hold no terror. But a snow-rutted bridge? That’s alarming. My valiant little Hyundai Accent was up to the challenge and I made it across with white knuckles, but no actual issues.

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The alarming bridge…and my heroic Hyundai

Only to find that the beach road was limited use seasonal access, unplowed, barely paved, and recommended for four-wheel drive vehicles only. (See Hyundai Accent.) Laura, who’d been coming from Boston, had taken a different bridge to the beach. I could see her distinctive orange SUV in the distance, but we were separated by a blocked-off section of road marked by a huge “CAUTION: SAND TRAP” sign. She had no parking where she was. I couldn’t get to where she was. Luckily, she had four-wheel drive and was able to circumvent the sand traps and get to me.

It was ridiculously cold with an icy wind blowing off the Atlantic, but so beautiful. Snow-covered dunes, the sound of surf, and all sorts of birds. The sky was glorious. The waves were wild. (And my camera ran out of batteries before I could get wave pictures, alas!)

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Looking back toward Duxbury

We saw some waterfowl we need to identity, the bird in the picture below, and, we’re pretty sure, some snow buntings, another unusual visitor to the area, but no owls.

Can you identify him? Body bigger than a robin, tail shorter

Can you identify him? Body bigger than a robin, tail shorter

We walked for about two hours, huddled in a warm car to eat a quick lunch, then discussed whether to continue looking. Since L had four-wheel drive, we decided to drive down the icy, rutted excuse for a road. Here we saw glorious views, more birds, more glimpses of waves, men hand-digging clams in the estuary, and, at the end of the road, a lighthouse and a surprising find: a gated community, all but abandoned for the season and splendid in its wintry isolation. But no owls.

So with a heavy heart we headed back toward my car and the bridge. Actually, that’s a lie. Our hearts weren’t heavy. We’d see interesting things, taken some good pictures, had a chance to catch up for the first time in months. But we’d really hoped to see an owl.

We were most of the way back to the parking area when we saw what we thought was a white stump or rock protruding from the dunes. There was a convenient place to pull over, so we checked it out with binoculars.

And found ourselves gazing into huge, solemn golden eyes.

I knew snowy owls were large, but this seemed unreal. Huge, magnificent, surely a messenger from some wilder world. This picture doesn’t do it justice. But it gives a sense of the size and majesty of the bird. Another birder chatted with us while we watched her–he confirmed it was female–and when she flew off on her great, silent white wings, he told us a story. He was a contractor who’d been working over the winter on a house in the gated community we’d seen. And in the course of that time, he’d taken over a hundred pictures of snowy owls–including some through the window of the house he was restoring. He shoots old-school, on film, with a thirty-year-old Canon and a long, long lens. He showed us some of the pictures. Magical!

Laura and I are talking about heading on another owl hunt if we have a chance, or going to watch for migrating hawks in the spring. And Duxbury Beach definitely merits another visit…although next time I may meet Laura and her SUV somewhere and leave the Hyundai for actual roads.

Photo by Laura Hayes

Photo by Laura Hayes

5 Feb 2014

Of kinky books and elderly mothers

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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My eighty-year-old mother is an avid reader and extremely proud of her author daughter.  Despite her age, she’s not what you’d call narrow-minded. Far from it. In the 1950s, she was more a Beatnik than a Donna Reed type. She first talked to me about homophobia when I was about seven. When she found my erotica stash when I was studying in France in college, it didn’t lead to a lecture. It led to a twenty-minute conversation about the differences in how men and women write about sex. On the phone. Long-distance to France. Before Skype. (Did I mention she used to be an English teacher, and that she’s probably the reason I’m such a huge geek? I love my mom!)

We’ve offered to buy her a computer and/or an ereader, but she’s not too keen on technology. I make sure to get her copies of my print books. She’s read Lions’ Pride, a paranormal menage, and is really looking forward to the other books in the Duals and Donovans series coming out in print. She enjoyed Cat Scratch Fever, an erotic mystery published under the Sophie Mouette pseudonym. Still, I was nervous when I sent her a print copy of Knowing the Ropes. Sexy is one thing. But this book is more than a little kinky. How would she handle floggings, canings, butt plugs, and other fun things that one doesn’t usually think about in association with elderly retired school-teachers?

I should have known. Mom didn’t like it as much as Lions’ Pride, but that wasn’t because the sex was too kinky or there was too much of it. In fact, she said the sex was well-written and that there was obviously a lot of thought about what makes a healthy relationship behind the book. (She did say she probably would have found all the sexy bits more interesting “even five years ago, but at my age it’s just not as interesting as it used to be.”)

Mom didn’t mind the kinky sex at all. She only minded the book lacked a paranormal or mystery element! I’d forgotten that, unlike me, she was never big on straight-up contemporary romances.Mom, as it turns out, likes a good love story, even a wildly sexy one…but only if she also gets magic, shapeshifters, or larceny along with it.

Maybe I should have dedicated a Duals and Donovans book to her, not Out of Control, my next kinky title. :-)

 

Knowing the Ropes is out in print and available today from Samhain and all the usual bookseller suspects. You can even get it at your local independent bookstore, though it might have to be special-ordered.

2 Feb 2014

Imbolc in the Year of Yes

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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That’s not a creek. It’s the trail.

 

It’s the beginning of the second  month of my “Year of Yes.” Specifically, it’s February 2, otherwise known as Imbolc. 

The article I referenced makes Brigid sound rather cuddly. She is also the goddess of poets and smiths and a healing goddess–one of my patrons as a writer and “maker.” I’m a pagan, but I’m not one for complicated rituals. I honor this day by getting out into nature to search for signs of the coming spring in what is often the depths of winter, and by writing poetry.  I’d actually never heard about the ritual housecleaning that article mentioned, but it’s not a bad idea over the next few days. I like the idea of making room for the goddess and the new season. Besides, I must have tracked in about four pounds of mud between yesterday’s hikie and today’s!

Today was unseasonably warm, but that warmth led to some challenges on the trail. Snow and frozen earth are not bad to negotiate. Mud, rotten ice, and streams where the trail used to be are a bit challenging. But the air smelled of mud and promise, the preserve was tapping its maples–a sure sign that the days are warming, that spring will come, though there is much winter left–and the woods were full of life.

Chickadee

I love chickadees. They’re such cocky little birds!

 

This deer appeared like a spirit messenger when I thought about turning back. I think she may be pregnant.

This deer appeared like a spirit messenger when I was thinking about turning back. I think she may be pregnant.

And while slipping and sliding down a muddy, icy trail, I composed a poem. It’s still rough around the edges, but in this case, I think the roughness makes it full of life.

 

Hiking through mud and snowmelt

On Brigid’s day, slipping on rotten

Ice and struggling to keep my feet

I sang praises with my panting breath

To the cantankerous goddess we honor

At the halfway point between the lights and festivities

Of Yule and spring’s green arrival. Patron

Of smiths and poets, sister

To the fierce Morrigan, Brigid offers tough love.

She heals, but you must do your part. She warms,

But you must tend her sacred fire.

At Imbolc she brings lambs, but birth comes

In blood and mud amid treacherous weather.

If she is a mother goddess, she is the kind of mother

Who tells it like it is, who doesn’t always catch you

When you fall, though she’ll reach out a strong hand

To help you up again. She knows shit turns to compost

In time, and we blossom from struggle. Her libation

Burns like whiskey, but its taste lingers sweet on the palate. Her day

Brings the promise of spring and the knowledge

You are strong enough to slog

Through the rest of winter to get to it.

27 Jan 2014

Out of the Frying Pan…Talk about Sizzle!

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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I’m excited to announce (a bit belatedly), the publication of a brand-new novel, written as Sophie Mouette in collaboration with the wonderful Dayle Dermatis.

Meet Out of the Frying Pan, a spicy romantic comedy with a little extra spice.

Take one chef displaced in the wacky world of Hollywood,
Add one hunky pool boy who isn’t what he seems,
Mix with a heavy dash of spicy sex.

Then fold in a self-absorbed starlet who’s on a different diet every night,
Blend with her action-hero boyfriend (secret ingredient: closet cross-dresser).

Finally, garnish with a passel of crazy relatives, one lovestruck Welsh corgi, and two peacocks who just want to be left alone.
Serve with a nice fruity Merlot.
Out of the Frying Pan blends hot sex with the spirit of classic romantic comedy—the result is mouthwatering!
Order paperback from Amazon
Order paperback from Bank of Books
Order from Powell’s (forthcoming)
Order from Barnes & Noble (forthcoming)

Also available in ebook format:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

“Sophie Mouette… It’s pronounced ‘Mmm…wet!’”
Excerpt
She’d gotten a distant glimpse of his chest by the pool, but not like this. Not with the unexpected intimacy of him undressing making the already great view even hotter. Sure, her brain knew it was a matter of necessity, but her hormones were getting ready to strip off his jeans along with the shirt, and then get to work on anything he might be wearing underneath.
Either he was taking that tank top off a little more slowly than was strictly necessary or she was so turned on she was altering time. She was registering details a little bit at a time as they were revealed, a glorious tease.
Tight abs, not overly defined, but defined enough to show he took good care of himself. Strong-looking but lean, not cut and bulked up like Ray, and she definitely liked lean better. (Ray looked like an attractive alien—humans just weren’t built like that). He had a light dusting of reddish-brown fuzz, enough to look very male without being furry. Just the right degree of tan, too—not the office pallor she was still used to from growing up in the Northeast, but not baked.
In short, Brand had one of the best bodies she’d ever seen not on a movie screen. A body she could imagine wrapping herself around all too vividly. She could taste the salt of his skin, feel his muscles moving under her exploring hands…
And as she stood there trying desperately not to drool onto the scallops, he finished pulling the shirt off, tossed it aside with a flourish, and winked at her.
Be still my beating heart.
“I thought…the apron…” she said weakly.
He grinned and tied on an apron emblazoned with a bunch of grapes. It said “Pinch Me, Squeeze Me, Make Me Wine.”
Over a shirt, it would have looked adorable. Over bare skin, it was devastating. Pure sex.
“Gotta go!”
“Thanks so much, Brand!” she called as he fled towards his post.
She wasn’t sure if she were more sorry or relieved to see him go. On one hand, his cheerful company had probably saved her sanity.
On the other hand, having him around the kitchen dressed (or undressed) like that would rob her of the sanity he’d saved. Tackling him on the floor would be a poor idea.
Which might not have stopped her if she’d actually had time.
The next she saw of him (when she did a pass through a herd of gorgeously dressed guests to see what might need replenishing—she was gratified to see the clam cakes could use a refill) he’d found a bow tie, which looked extraordinarily rakish against bare skin, and he was being flirted with by three women who, if they hadn’t been in Playboy yet, would be soon.
And she couldn’t blame them one bit. If she had time, she’d be body-checking her way to the front of the line.
Unfortunately, (a) she couldn’t compete with the Playboy types, and (b) she had to make more clam cakes.

26 Jan 2014

Special Guest Star Alison Tyler

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

delicious torment

Today I’m welcoming a very special visitor to this site: Alison Tyler, the original “Trollop with a Laptop.” She’s not only one of my favorite editors, but one of my favorite writers as well. And she’s here today to talk a little about her new work, The Delicious Torment: A Story of Submission. The follow-up to her well-received Dark Secret Love (the title’s from 18th-century poet William Blake), it’s already received a rave review from RT Book Reviews.

So without further ado, here’s Alison!

I fell in love with Los Angeles many years ago. I grew up in Northern California, and I felt the magnetic pull on my steel core early on. I loved thrift-store shopping on Melrose long before the Avenue was a hipster hangout. I worship L.A. architecture, the palm trees, the grit.
The town where I grew up was a heaven for hippies: health food stores, Birkenstocks, “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” bumper stickers.
But L.A. Oh, L.A. All glitter and gloss. I couldn’t move south fast enough. I lived in bungalows and old forties two-story apartments. I made the most of every moment. I’m not kidding. I am not one of those girls who didn’t appreciate what she had while she had it.
The jacaranda trees with the gorgeous, heavy purple blooms that dripped over the sculptures on UCLA’s campus. The Hollywood sign. The tattoo parlor on Sunset. The Roxy. The Rainbow. The Nuart. Kings Road Café. The Ivy. City. The Hollywood Bowl.
And yes, I’m back in the North now (for the most part). But my trips south are always filled with that same full-body excitement. I walk the streets where I worked. I eat at my favorite restaurants. I fall back in time.
I love L.A. I’ve been all over the world. Paris. London. Amsterdam. Frankfurt. But I am more me when I’m there than anywhere else.
In some ways, I believe my new series of novels (Dark Secret Love, The Delicious Torment, Wrapped Around Your Finger) are as much a love letter to Los Angeles as they are to BDSM sex and kink. Here is a snip that’s half and half. Half a postcard to L.A. Half a kinky telegram to Jack.
 
If you look hard enough, I’ve always felt, you can actually see the noir L.A. under the surface. There are plenty of places that still seem straight out of the 30s. If you squint, you can almost see the characters from Sunset Boulevard, or The Big Sleep. Yes, much of old L.A. has been torn down, but plenty of the old-time era remains.
            I’d drive to coffee shops and sit in the windows, people watching. I’d go up to the Observatory and stand at the railing looking out at the city. Then I’d return to my work and write until my fingers ached. My breaks during this book were for food, drink, and Jack.
            Not that Jack had to compete with my work. I was always ready to set down my pen when he came home. Ready to pour him a drink, or put on an outfit, or come toward him with a paddle, begging, head down, when he’d gone too long without using it on me. And too long? What is that precisely on an actual clock?
            A day?
            An hour?
            I don’t know. Can’t explain that drive, that need, that overtakes me every so often. The urge that might make me dress up before Jack arrived, sliding into something long and tight and slinky or short and hot and naughty. Waiting, helpless, for Jack to walk through the door. For him to take one look at me and understand.
            That doesn’t mean Jack gave me what I wanted right away. It only means that he knew in a heartbeat what I was asking for, what I craved. And knowing always gave him power—even more than he already had. He could stretch out an evening, sure that I would be the most obedient pet ever as long as he held out my fantasy in front of me. Promising me that if I behaved—if I could only behave—he would take me where I needed to go.

Alison Tyler has been called a “prolific legend” by Violet Blue. Her work has appeared in more than 100 anthologies, and she is the editor of 50 titles for Cleis Press. Visit her at alisontyler.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter.com/alisontyler.

 

 

20 Jan 2014

Two Kinky Anthologies…Plus One Not So Kinky

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

Twisted coverIt’s January, so it’s bondage season. Granted, for some of us it’s always bondage season, but this month I get to announce the arrival of two lovely bondage-themed anthologies featuring my stories.
Twisted: Bondage with an Edge is edited by Alison Tyler, delightfully known as a “trollop with a laptop.” She and I share affinities for red lipstick and sexy restraint, and I’m proud to say that my story “Rope Drought” is featured in the book. Often kink is depicted in art as something sleek and urban, but wholesome organic farmers can be pretty twisted in good ways too, and they get their kink on in a delightful natural setting, using recycled household objects.

Twisted links: Amazon US/Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

best bondage erotica 2014 Best Bondage Erotica 2014, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, adds to a now-classic series. My offering for 2014–I’ve been in several previous editions–is “Roping the Cowboy.” Yes, I had a rural theme going with my bondage stories, maybe because I’m a country girl at heart. And in this case, maybe because I’ve always thought those swaggering American icons, cowboys, need to be taken down a peg…in a fun, consensual way, of course.

BBE’14 links: Amazon / Amazon UK/ Cleis / Barnes & Noble

And apparently I forgot to announce one more short story. Hey, I was all tied up and I forgot! “Birthday Butch” was reprinted in Best Lesbian Erotica 2014, edited by Kathleen Warnock. And there is not one bit of bondage in this particular story. Spanking and D/s, sure, but no bondage. Isn’t this a classy cover?

BLE ’14 links: Amazon/ Amazon UK / Cleis / Barnes and Noble

best lesbian erotica

12 Jan 2014

Cover Reveal: Out of Control

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

I’ve received the cover for my upcoming BDSM romance, Out of Control (coming April 22 from Samhain–just on time for my birthday!) We had to go through a few versions, mostly because I didn’t do a good job explaining my vision to the cover artist–and, as it turned out, my vision was pretty much unattainable unless Rembrandt came back from the dead and wanted to use his hitherto unknown kinky side to create book covers for erotic romance. But I like what I ended up getting. The hero actually looks like my hero!

OutOfControl72lgI don’t have any buy links yet, but here’s the long version of the blurb to whet your appetites:

 

 (Dom + sub) x unbridled passion = irrational pleasure.

Glass artist Jen Kessler has hit the jackpot—a cheap apartment in a charming Victorian house, complete with a sexy, intense, buttoned-down landlord…who may or may not have a riding crop in his bedroom.

She’s not looking for a lover, but when her innocent, impulsive hug sparks kisses as hot a molten glass, it leads to bondage, spankings, and more naughtiness that, up to now, she had only tasted.

His new tenant may have wild, dyed hair and an unconventional job, but Cornell math professor Drake Matthews admires the work ethic that got her out of debt. Then he’s stunned at how quickly she destroys decades of his carefully cultivated self control.

Soon their sexual and emotional passions push them to the edge—and beyond. But it’s not all good, dirty fun. As Drake takes more and more control of Jen in the bedroom, her deeply ingrained independent streak pushes back. And it’ll take more than a shared penchant for ropes, paddling, and coffee to overcome pasts that could unravel their relationship before it begins.

Warning: Contains kinky sex, molten glass, geeky higher mathematics, family secrets, and irresponsible consumption of coffee.


11 Jan 2014

My New Year’s Day

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

I started off my Year of Yes with a hike at a local Audubon preserve with my husband. I took my new camera, a Yule gift from Himself. It was clear and cold and glorious. Here are a few of the pictures that resulted. Pardon the way they run off the page, but they’re too pretty to make small!

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10 Jan 2014

The Year of Yes

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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Sunrise on Ogunquit beach. From fall 2012, because I’d opted not to bring a camera to Kripalu and thus missed some great mountain sunrises, but this post needed a sunrise image.

Just before 2013 shifted to 2014, I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend at Kripalu doing a yoga retreat. My best friend from junior high, back in the Land of Apples, is turning fifty at the end of this month. I’m turning fifty in April. We needed to do something to…not celebrate so much as wrap our heads around this momentous date with someone else who remembered our twelve-year-old selves, brave and full of possibilities. We figured our options, in the depths of a New England winter, were a yoga retreat or finding a B&B known for astonishingly good breakfast pastries, with a really good Italian restaurant around the corner and a bookstore across the street. While the latter sounds like a potentially stellar long weekend, one thing we’ve both been fighting is a sense of creeping age and creeping lard-ass, due in large part to desk jobs, so we went for the healthier option. Thankfully, my BFF is a well-compensated sys-admin, not a starving artist, and she was willing to kick in extra so I could go. (Thank you, babe! No names since I’m not sure your bosses would appreciate a public shout-out to you sandwiched between erotica excerpts.)

Reconnecting with my friend was the highlight of the trip. In many ways, we don’t have a lot in common anymore. She’s a sys-admin at a large corporation, as previously mentioned. I write naughty novels. She has dogs. I have cats. We both have husbands we adore–yeah!–but our husbands couldn’t be more different and aren’t especially friendly. They don’t dislike each other, but they don’t really connect either. We’re both romance readers, but though we love talking books, we don’t adore a lot of the same authors. (She doesn’t mind some explicit sex, but she’s not a fan of outright erotic romance, let alone BDSM or menage. She likes upright military heroes. I like bad boys.) And yet when we get together, none of that matters. Our long history and shared background in the hills and lakes and small towns of central New York matter, and our wonderful moms who are very much part of our lives, and the bright, sharp edge of adolescent dreams.

The sharp edge of dreams, I think, was why one class, of all the classes I took at Kripalu, stands out. The meditation and dance and physical yoga classes were wonderful. The focus on healthy, plant-based eating helped me get my weight-loss efforts off to a good start. But the “Yoga of Yes” class is the one that changed me.

The instructor had been in theater before she became a yoga instructor–maybe still is–and the focus of the class was a connection between yogic principles and the principles of making art. She offered five points to remember, which were things she learned in rehearsals but she believes applies to yoga practice and life in general.

  • Everything you do is brilliant and correct. (She stressed this doesn’t mean everything you do is finished or pretty or ready for public consumption, but the worst hot messes are the most full of prana–life energy–and are part of the process.)
  • Just say YES to possibility. (She used the example of the Fool card in Tarot. You won’t move forward unless you step into the unknown. Sometimes you’ll fall, but that’s all right.)
  • Listen, listen, listen.
  • Create intimacy.
  • Commit–if only to learn you’re going the wrong way.
  • Risk.
  • Be here now.

I realized, listening to her, that I’ve been caught in the energy of NO. I’ve been closing myself to possibilities for all sorts of seemingly good reasons. I’m too old or have too many old injuries to try that physical activity. I get overwhelmed by the energy of crowds so I don’t go out. I can’t risk self-publishing on my own (I’ve been doing it as Sophie Mouette, but that’s only because Dayle already knows what she’s doing and is holding my hand and saying “there, there” a lot) because it involves spending money and what if it doesn’t work? I’m aging and not nearly as cool as I think I am, so I should wear middle-aged clothes and not try to look vibrant and sexy.

Since the Kripalu trip, I’ve bought a cover for my first self-published book and set a schedule for getting it out. I’ve tried a more challenging yoga class, and loved it despite my trepidation, and I’ve started dancing again, though so far only around the living room. I’ve recalibrated my mental shields and found myself invigorated the last few times I went out in a crowd rather than exhausted. (For those of you not so much into the metaphysical, think of it as changing my attitude so I’m focusing on happy, positive experiences, not on the inevitable cranky or unhappy people one encounters who annoy me and waste my energy.) I’m reaching out to old friends and making social plans. Thanks to exercising and eating better, I’ve lost four pounds so far, and I’m embarrassed to say how much that’s helping me feel better about myself. Color me shallow, but after years of being a serious dancer with a firm hourglass figure, I was finding the middle-aged spread depressing, or maybe it was the lack of movement. I’m never going to be a gym rat–that sound boring- but dancing, hiking, and yoga help keep me sane and I need to say yes to them.

I need to say yes to life, and to my own possibilities, which is why I’m declaring 2014 to be

THE YEAR OF YES.

Want to celebrate with me?

5 Jan 2014

Upcoming Print Release

Posted by Teresa Noelle Roberts. No Comments

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Much as I adore my Kindle, I’m still a sucker for print books: their heft, their smell, their ineffable comfort. There are pictures of me as an infant cuddling books like other babies hug stuffed animals, so apparently I’ve always had an attachment to books as objects as well as books as stories. Not surprisingly, print releases have a special place in my heart.

And Knowing the Ropes comes out as a print book on February 4. Soon, I’ll have a lovely picture with a stack of print books, to prove to you it’s real. But it’s on its way. In print. Solid, beautiful, and perfect for gift-giving. Heck, I’m sending one to my mom. Mind you, I don’t recommend that unless you know your mom’s pretty open-minded, since it is a book about BDSM and bondage. My mom’s a theater person from way back and is basically unshockable, but I’ve warned her not to let the housekeeper see this one, since that good lady’s Christian, salt-of-the-earth heart might give out.

On the other hand, wouldn’t it make a nice Valentine’s Day present? Shared read-alouds are such a lovely way to spend a winter night or six….