M.Q. Barber-Crossing the Lines (Neighborl​y Affection #2) ~ Character Flash Fiction & #Giveaway



A safeword won’t save her from love.

After six months of cavorting in her neighbors’ bed, Alice admits signing the contract to be Henry’s sexual submissive is the best decision she’s ever made. He delivers on his promise to give her sexual satisfaction. But submitting to his dominance alongside his long-term lover shows her the sharp line between sex and love. Henry loves goofy, eager-to-please Jay. Neither man has promised to love her.

Hiding her feelings grows harder every night she spends with them. As they struggle with wounds old and new, her emotional turmoil threatens to shred their arrangement. Is it time to bow out before they show her the door? Or can a triangle be the shape of true love?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | ARe


Character Flash Fiction – Coming over to All I Want and More

Rain hit Alice’s umbrella with a spat-spat-spat the whole way down the block from the T stop. Kudos to Henry for handing her the umbrella as she headed out the door for work. He’d told her to meet him at All I Want and More Books for the interview at three, and it was almost that now. Squinting through the raindrops pelting around her, she made out the title above a shop with dark silk curtains in the window.

Jay coasted in from the opposite direction on his bike, jumping the curb and sliding to a stop at the parking meter. “I’m on time, right?”

“You’re on time, stud.” Mmph. On time and soaked, water coursing down the slopes of his bike helmet while his cargo shorts clung to his legs. Instinct wavered between enjoying the show and finding him a towel. Stripping him down and drying him by hand seemed a promising compromise. “Have you heard from Henry? He said three, but I don’t see him.”

“Not since breakfast.” Jay knelt and chained the bike. “He said he was gonna get in some studio time before we had to be here.” Ducking under the umbrella with her, he peeled off his helmet and pecked her cheek. “You’re too dry.” He let shaggy black hair fly. The ends whipped water drops.

“Ack, c’mon!” Chilly water dotting her skin, she flung a hand up and pushed him back by his nose. “What’s got you in a mood, goof?”

He pressed rapid kisses to her palm. “Hey, I didn’t hug you with my waterlogged clothes, did I? And you made it super-tempting with that white shirt.” Tugging her hand down, he stared with vivid brown-eyed interest at her chest. “Are you cold, or do I make that hot of a drowned rat?”

Patting his chest, she resolutely ignored the panicked need to check out how much of her interest poked through her shirt. “You make a hot anything.”

He beamed. “You think they’ll ask about my rubbers?”

“What?” Bad enough they had to share their sex lives with strangers. “Uh, no.” No way was she getting into a discussion about their condom preferences. “Has anyone yet?”

“No, but I just put on some new ones. Better grip and bounce.” He waggled his hips, khaki fabric slapping his thighs. “Getting into the wet season, you know.”

Three steps above them, the shop door swung open.

“Jay, stop teasing Alice about your bicycle tires, please.” Henry stepped out beneath the awning. “Come along inside, my dears.” He breathed elegant strength in a crisp navy blue suit and a deep gold tie, every inch as pristine as if the rain had never touched him. “I’ve fresh clothes for you, Jay, and our host has kindly offered the use of a private room for changing.”

Jay straightened up and lifted the umbrella handle from her hand. “Ladies first.”

He kept her shielded while she climbed the steps right into Henry’s embrace. Jay fiddled with the umbrella behind her, shaking off water and snapping the spines closed, a background chorus to Henry’s welcoming hum.

“Ready for another spate of questioning about our relationship, my dear girl?” Henry rubbed her back with firm, slow strokes as he rumbled in her ear. “Are you feeling bravely defiant or sweetly submissive today?”

“I’m feeling like I never wanna leave where I am right now,” she mumbled. His solid bulk heated her blood, and his broad shoulders carried the weight of her woes unbowed. “Can I just skip the questions about contracts and kinky sex and how many times I’ve screamed out your names in ecstasy since I signed on the dotted line?”

“You could,” he murmured. “But I doubt you truly desire the outcome. If you fall silent, someone will most certainly take up the slack.”

“I gotcha covered, Alice.” Jay bounced on his toes. “Whatever they ask, I will be all over that answer.”

A terrifying thought. “No, I’m good. Ready . We’re just gonna need extra cuddling time tonight to make up for all the hard-hitting questions.”

Henry squeezed her tight and ushered them both through the door ahead of him. “Behave, my lovely pets, and you may count on it.”



Silver metal attachment points dangled from brown leather straps dark as a liver chestnut and loose-wrapped in deep green silk. Green like the cloth peeking out of Henry’s pocket. Green like Jay’s ring. She bounced on the balls of her feet, giddy with relief. These cuffs were hers. She belonged.

“Do you remember your safeword, Alice?”

“Yes, Henry.” Yes, yes, I know it, please put those on me.

“Tell it to me now, please.”

“Pistachio.” I won’t need it.

“Good girl.”

She struggled to restrain her impatience under his thoughtful gaze.

“Hold out your arms for—”

Thrusting her arms forward, she offered her hands side by side and loosely fisted.


Henry raised his hand until his palm brushed her fingers where they curled under her hands. He bent at the waist and bestowed two gentle kisses, one to the back of each hand. He revealed a slight smile as he straightened. “Your eagerness pleases me. Perhaps it’s been too long for us.”

Always. Two weeks of waiting and wanting, and such a short time when fulfilling her sexual desires became a joyful hobby for him. He’d taken a year to make the decision, to agree to invite her into his relationship with Jay. How hard had Jay pushed to make that happen? Gratitude flooded her, both for Jay’s interest and Henry’s willingness to play along.

Henry slipped the cuffs on her and tightened the straps. The silk slid over her skin. Two inches of chain separated her wrists. Henry lifted them over her head, extending her arms until the stretch hurt before lowering them a smidge. “Is this position comfortable, Alice? Be truthful, or our time together will end early tonight.”

Jesus. Was he trying to scare her? His voice held a sharp edge of command. A safety reason, muscle strain, probably, had to be the cause, but to threaten to end the night early… “It pulls a little on my shoulders, but it doesn’t hurt.”

He lowered her wrists another fraction of an inch. “Better?”

“Yes, Henry.”

“Good. Be still for me.”

She complied while he made adjustments above her. Metal spun, whirring like screw locks on carabiners.

Henry backed away to the edge of the light. “Relax your shoulders, Alice.”

She lowered her shoulders as best she could and shivered at the secure grip of the cuffs around her wrists.

“Rotate your hands for me. Wiggle your fingers.”

She obeyed without question. His safety concerns were for her benefit, and she wouldn’t interfere no matter how desperate she grew to feel his touch. Having the length of his body grazing hers as he’d held her arms above her head hadn’t helped. Holding still had been difficult when she’d wanted to rub herself against him like a cat.

He circled her, always at the edge of the light, prowling. Jay stood somewhere in the darkness, his role in this game as shrouded as his body.

“You’re a very good girl, Alice.” Henry spoke in conversational, relaxed tones. He stepped in front of her, a foot away, and unbuttoned his jacket. “I want you to understand that now, before we begin. You haven’t displeased me in any way. Do you understand?”

He held his coat out behind him, and Jay stepped from the darkness to take it.

“Yes, Henry. I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Henry unbuttoned his shirt cuffs and rolled his sleeves to the elbow.

“Correct.” He leaned in and kissed her, hard, one hand on her chin holding her in place as he nipped at her lips. “This is not a punishment but a pleasure.”


1427896Playing the Game (Neighborly Affection #1)

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Neighborly Affection, #1

She expects dinner with neighbors, but gets sex with a side of safewords.

Mechanical engineer Alice still drools over her sexy neighbors a year after she’s moved in. She can’t decide whether they’re roommates or partners, but either way, they spark a wanton desire in her that has her imagination–and vibrator–working overtime.

Henry, director of everything around him, studies human nature and applies philosophies to his paintings as well as his relationships. Quirky, polite to a fault, and formal, he follows his own code of honor even when it means denying himself.

Flirtatious and playful, Jay needs stability, guidance, and to please others. His antics counterbalance Henry’s stuffy ways while he brings a level of vulnerability and fun to everything the trio does.

BDSM play with the enigmatic artist and flirtatious joker across the hall allows Alice to put aside the linear thought processes which have kept her unsatisfied and distant with other lovers. She must dismiss her preconception of love, sacrificing her independence, if she’s to find a permanent place in their beds and hearts.

CONTENT WARNING: Explicit sex, graphic language, BDSM, bondage, spanking, M/M/F menage.


About M.Q. Barber and the Neighborly Affection series:

The story that began in PLAYING THE GAME (Neighborly Affection #1) continues in CROSSING THE LINES (Neighborly Affection #2). A Neighborly Affection short story, THREE-WAY TIE, is available as a free read on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18721040-three-way-tie

M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again.

Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy.

She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre.

The former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.

Keep up with the series via M.Q. Barber’s website (http://www.mqbarber.com), Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/mqbarber), Goodreads profile (http://www.goodreads.com/mqbarber) or Twitter feed (http://www.twitter.com/mqbarber).

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Mr. Right Now by Kristina Knight ~ Interview & #Giveaway (5 digital copies) @AuthorKristina



Tag Line: An undercover reporter, an author trying to escape nasty headlines…one hot vacation!

When her celebrity boyfriend of three years dumps her and claims he’s now gay, unlucky-in-love author Casey Cash decides to get out of New York. A cruise seems like the perfect escape: everyone onboard will be locked away from television, newspapers and internet gossip pages, allowing her some much needed relaxation. There’s only one problem: her oh-so-helpful agent has hired a male escort for her…and a big NYC paper has sent a pesky reporter on-board, vowing to get the dirt. Mason Drury doesn’t want to write an expose on Casey, but he’s in a bind. After a source flipped on him, he’s persona non grata at his newspaper. Celebrity trash or not, this story will put him back on top. Too bad he finds himself breaking the first rule of reporting by getting attached to his subject and letting bias influence his story. Casey’s much more interested in sexy Mason than the annoying escort who’s bunking in her room. Mason might even have romantic potential if she can shake her well-meaning-but nosey-fans. Oh, and that reporter. She’s got to avoid him at all costs…

Buy Link: Amazon



Hi Kristina. Welcome to All I Want and More

Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself…Something that we cannot Google about you.

Hmmm…that I actually don’t have a lot of patience. I try, really I do, but when I want something I want it rightthissecond. I don’t like to wait. I’m working on that.

Tell us a little about Mr. Right Now?

Mr. Right Now is a fun, vacation romance with a case of mistaken identity and a few lies thrown in for good measure. But at the heart of it, the book is about accepting yourself, flaws and all.

You can only pick 3 words to describe your main characters what would they be?

Adventurous. Focused. Caring.

How do you go about picking character names? Do you have to get them just right and make sure they fit with the characters personality? 

My characters kind of name themselves. They usually come to me with names. I’ve tried re-naming characters but that just doesn’t work…they know who they are and it’s up to me to allow them to be that person.

Which was the easiest character to write and the hardest ~ and why?

Tyler was the easiest and the hardest. He’s kind of a foil for both Casey and Mason and his job was to make trouble…but having him make the trouble and not solve the problems was a problem some times!

(If this is a series) How many books are you shooting for in this series?

Mr. Right Now is a standalone book

Since we’re cover hussies….what was your first impression of this cover?

I absolutely loved it! The characters and the setting really suited the book.

What type of scene is your favorite to write? (Fight, love, making up..etc.)

I love the love scenes, but the fight scenes and the black moment are so delicious to write!

How much emotion does it take from you to write?

I have to be in the right head-space for the different kinds of scenes. Music helps me get there, the right song – classical or pop or country – can really help me reach into my own wells of emotion to help bring the characters to life.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished up a trilogy of rocker books that will be coming out from Harlequin Digital First later this year, and now I’m working on two new books – one about a cowboy and a feisty masseuse and the other about a school teacher and a park ranger. Fun, fun books!

What’s one thing that you enjoy about writing?

I like escaping my every day life. My family is awesome and we live in a beautiful town in Northern Ohio, but it’s fun to step into Las Vegas or Hollywood or a beach when, in real life, I’m elbow-deep in finger paints, play-doh and LalaLoopsie dolls!

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer, it was finding my voice that was the problem. I think I wrote 5 or 6 books before I really found my individual voice.

Is there a genre you would like to write but are a little apprehensive to try?

I love contemporary romance and for now I’m quite happy to stay right here.

What author would you want to sit down with and pick their brain (dead or alive) and what is one thing you would ask them?

There are so many! I’d love to sit down and chat with Mark Twain; I’d ask him who he really based Tom and Huck from!

Okay…. personal time!!!! Oh yeah, I go there… Hahaha.

What is on your night stand/dresser? A jewelry box filled with necklaces and my daughters baby teeth and my Kindle

What are you listening to you right now? The washing machine and dryer! They are NOISY today!

What are you reading right now? I’m reading Maisey Yates’ A Royal World Apart and re-reading Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series.

What is your favorite season? Holiday? – I love summer. Give me a beach and some cold drinks and I’m a happy camper…but Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the music and the feeling and the general good cheer.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? – Chase my five year old and travel. I love to travel!

What’s your guilty pleasure? – Old episodes of The Waltons. It’s so cheesy that you just have to sit back and enjoy!

Favorite TV Show? – right now it’s Nashville, but the new season of Dallas just started!

Favorite color? – green!

What’s the last thing you Googled? – why my iPad and printer are no longer communicating. Google didn’t know. Sadness!!

Quickie Time

 Dark or Milk Chocolate? – Ummm, yes?

Whipped or Melted? – Whipped!

Junk or Health Food? – Junk…unless it’s a caramel apple

Leather or Lace? – leather!

Soft or Hard… Bed, where was your mind? 😉 – soft. I like to sink in and snuggle.

Cowboy or Businessman?Again, yes.

Tattoos or piercings? – Tats, all the way!

Sexiest feature on a man? – eyes – they are the window to the soul. : D

Boxers, Briefs or Commando? – Boxer briefs..unless he’s commando

Night owl or early bird? – Night owl, all the way!

Twitter or Facebook? – Twitter

Pinterest or not? – Yes! Love some hawt-guy-pics!



“Face it, you’re a nice guy, Mason Drury.” Casey looked up through her lashes, a flirting light to her eyes. She reached out her hand, grasping Mason’s forearm, then squeezing lightly. Mason’s jeans tightened with the simple contact. “Tilly looks like she could hold her own, and you know with five kids she has to at least like sex. You could have your own private geisha girl. Even if she is blond.”

And then Mason knew. He wanted to know Casey Cash. Not get the dirt on Cassandra Cash, Miss Romance. He wanted to know what her favorite food was, her favorite place in New York. To feel her lips on his again. To know whether she liked breakfast or brunch.

“I’ve always been partial to brunettes,” he said, straightening from the railing. He reached a hand around Casey’s wrist, pulled her body hard against his. “Brunettes with blue eyes that sparkle in starlight.” His chest brushed against hers and he felt her stomach muscles tighten through the thin cotton of her shirt.

Okay, the line was corny, and the stars weren’t out yet, but with the darkening sky lit only by a few tiki lights, he could easily imagine it.

Casey expelled a short breath, the smile never leaving her face. “Blue eyes and brown hair, huh?” Her tongue sneaked out of her mouth and slid across her full lips. “I guess it’s a good thing Tilly and Wally found one another. You just keep surprising me.”

“That’s the plan,” he said, pulling her more fully into his arms.

She fitted her arms around his neck and a hint of jasmine wafted in the air. Her perfume? Shampoo? He didn’t know, but he sure as hell wanted to find out.

Oh, but it wasn’t the plan. This was so wrong. He should pull back. Go with the original plan. Have a drink, get the interview over with and get on with getting to know Casey.


abouttheauthorOnce upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police—no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and daughter. Happily ever after.

Kristina’s Links:

Website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com

FB: http://www.facebook.com/kristinaknightromanceauthor

TW: @AuthorKristina

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/authorkristina

PI: http://www.pinterest.com/authorkristina

giveaway4Lyrical Press is giving away 5 digital copies of Mr. Right Now

Fill out the Rafflecopter to be entered

>>>> a Rafflecopter giveaway <<<<

I’ll pick a winner Sunday

Good luck!


Interview and #Giveaway: Gemma Brocato-Cooking Up Love


Book Title: Cooking Up Love

Author: Gemma Brocato

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press

ISBN-10: 1616504277

ISBN-13: 978-16165-4272

Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo  | Barnes and Noble  | iTunes


Jemima George leads a charmed life as a personal chef and assistant to reality television’s latest darling. But that changes in a New York minute when her Aunt Caro dies under odd circumstances, bequeathing her a small restaurant. Jem plans to sell the café and continue her life in NYC, until a dramatic phone call from her cheating boyfriend convinces her to experiment with the ingredients for happiness and accept her Aunt’s legacy. Throwing herself into remodeling the restaurant with the help of the town’s delicious contractor, Jem revamps the menu and renews her faith in herself.

Jack Kerrigan considered Caro a surrogate mother and hates the idea that the café could be sold. He doesn’t need the remodeling project, but if it means Caro’s beautiful, fascinating niece will stay to run the restaurant, he’s all in. He wouldn’t mind being savory to Jem’s sweet.

Jack’s brassy ex-wife is cooking up a scheme of her own, where Jack tosses Jem like a salad and comes back to her. Fold in a creepy attorney hiding secrets of environmental mayhem, add Jem’s claustrophobia, half-pint niece and nephew twins, one mysterious lockbox, and bring to a boil–a recipe for romance.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance



Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself…Something that we cannot Google about you, lol!

I asked my aunt and uncles for permission to use my nona’s name for my pen name. I’ve always thought Gemma was a special name, just like the lady herself


Tell us a little about Cooking Up Love?

I asked myself what a woman would do when her almost-fiancé cheats with a despised co-worker and she inherits a run-down cafe that comes with a twelve year-old mystery? When faced with a rapidly changing life, Jemima George does the only thing she can. She moves to a small tourist town, hires hottie contractor, Jack Kerrigan, re-vamps the menu and opens for business. But has she bitten off more than she can chew when she tries to solve the mystery?

What was your favorite part of Cooking Up Love to write?

I loved writing the family interactions for Jack’s family. The Kerrigans are good people. Cooking Up Love is the first in a series based on the five senses and knew I wanted to use the same family throughout.


You can only pick 3 words for your main characters..what would they be?

Hmm, for Jem I’d pick loyal, adventuresome (she did move from NYC to a small town) and resilient. For Jack, smart, handy and handsome.


How do you go about picking character names? Do you have to get them just right and make sure they fit with the characters personality?  

Jem named herself. And there was no changing her mind. I had a harder time with Jack because I knew I wanted a solid New England sounding name. I vacillated between Jack and Luke until Jem told me I’d better name him Jack or she’d refuse to fall in love with him.


Which was the easiest character to write and the hardest ~ and why?

There is a secondary character in the book named Avery. In spite of the fact that he is a teenage dad, I loved writing his part in the story. He’s a good kid dealing with bad circumstances. I also loved writing Jack’s adorable niece and nephew.

Avery’s mom, Elizabeth, another secondary character, was the hardest. She let her husband kick their son out of the house, but later found a spine donor.


How many books are you shooting for in this series?

 There are five books, because the series is based on the five senses. Hearts In Harmony is the next in the series and due out in May 2014. It’s based on sound. I’m working on the sight now and have outlines for the last touch and smell.

Since we’re cover hussies….what was your first impression of your cover?

 Oh my gosh—I was on vacation with my family and checked my email on my Kindle while at the pool. I was initially afraid to open the email but sucked it up and clicked the link. Since it opened on my Kindle, it looked like a real book. I promptly burst into tears.

What type of scene is your favorite to write? (Fight, love, making up..etc.)

 I love to write scenes where my hero or heroine are in jeopardy and looking for a way out. It takes all my cunning to help them escape the peril I put them in.

How much emotion does it take from you to write?

It depends on the scene I guess. Love scenes use a different kind of emotion than one where I’m trying to express humor.


What are you currently working on?

Light And Shadow, which is the third in the series. It a story based on sight and I’ve had a lot of fun researching photography.


What’s one thing that you enjoy about writing?

My favorite thing is when I write my characters into a situation and discover that I’ve already written the perfect way out of trouble much earlier in the book. It’s like a literary light bulb goes supernova in my brain. I love the sense of continuity from that.


What do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks?

Until about two years ago I’d have said paperbacks. But I find that now I love the convenience of ebooks.


Is there a genre you would like to write but are a little apprehensive to try?

Historical or Regency. I love to read books in that genre but think the research would be daunting.


Where can your fans find you? (Web site and social media links)

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/gemmabrocato

Web  http://www.gemmabrocato.com

Twitter @gemmabrocato 


Okay…. personal time!!!! Oh yeah, I go there… Hahah…

 If you thought you were safe… Nah… Forgot it… Not a chance! We will start off slow and easy, I promise!

What is on your night stand/dresser?

My Kindle and reading glasses, and a pad of paper and pen, for those late night inspirations.

 What are you listening to you right now?

My husband and daughter discussing my daughter’s fantasy football team.

 What are you reading right now?

Only Scandal Will Do, by Jenna Jaxon, a Lyrical sister.

 What is your favorite season? Holiday?

I love fall. The colors, the scents, the pumpkin spice lattes.

 What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

 I do like to take walks around my neighborhood and to the damn near my home but my favorite thing is meeting girlfriends for lunch.

 What’s your guilty pleasure?


 Favorite TV Show?

The Walking Dead.

 Favorite color?


 What’s the last thing you Googled?

Most likely a restaurant.


Quickie Time

Dark or Milk Chocolate? Dark.

Whipped or Melted? Probably melted.

Junk or Health Food?  I’m a carb freak – so junk.

Leather or Lace?  Lace.

Soft or Hard… Bed, where was your mind?  Hard.

Cowboy or Businessman?  What’s a cowboy but a self-employed businessman?

Tattoos or piercings?  Just my ears.

Sexiest feature on a man?  His smile, especially if it’s accompanied by dimples.

Boxers, Briefs or Commando?  Briefs.

Night owl or early bird?  Both – I stay up late and get up early almost every day.

Twitter and/or Facebook?  Both.

Pinterest or not?  I’m not a good enough time manager to be on Pinterest.

Thank you Gemma for coming by the blog and answering our questions


excerpt From Cooking Up Love

Jem sighed and gestured to herself. “Look at me! Jack, I’m a mess. Suddenly, I’m living in an upside-down world. I liked my life in New York, and now I’ve willingly traded it for operating a business I have no real experience at, in a town whose entire population is roughly equivalent to the number of residents on the city block where I use to live. I don’t know anyone here, except for you. And Sam. And, I don’t know you all that well.” She folded her arms across her rib cage and gazed at the ground. “I never thought I’d be the kind of woman a man would use and cheat on. What pisses me off is how he made me feel when I ended it. Now, instead of riding into the sunset with the man I thought I’d share my life with, in the city I called home, all I’m left with is doubt.”


“I don’t trust–”

“Me?” he asked softly.

She lifted her head sharply, surprised by the hurt in his voice. How could he think that? She had more faith in him than in herself. She shook her head vehemently, eager to make him understand. “No! Me. I don’t trust me. And you don’t want that. You don’t want me.”

“As you said, you don’t know me well enough. How can you possibly know what I do or don’t want?” He stepped toward her.

She took a step back, maintaining their distance. “Let’s just say you shouldn’t want me. Wanting me comes complete with my neuroses. I hate small spaces and feeling like I’m trapped. I’m ‘freakishly’ tall–Phil’s words, not mine, built more like a boy than a woman worth touching. I no longer trust myself when it comes to making relationship decisions. Honestly, I don’t know when or if I ever will. For now, we should just stick to business. It’s safer for me. It’s safer for everyone.”

Panic clouded her vision and she wished her words back in her mouth. God, what was she doing? Was she really pushing away this wonderful, charming and sinfully gorgeous man? Shivers raced through her at the knowledge that she might be more damaged than she thought.

Her regret about her feelings had to be obvious, but she prayed the resolve she felt was as unmistakable. Phil’s infidelity and harsh words had shaken her normal self-confidence. She hadn’t lied when she told Jack she didn’t trust herself.

She dragged her eyes away from his and whispered, “You should be grateful. Hell, you should be running out the door, thanking the gods you escaped involvement with someone as messed up as me. I’m not going to change my mind. Please make this easy on both of us, Jack. Walk away.”

His challenging look told her he thought she was wrong; his grip on the kitchen chair in front of him turned his knuckles white. Looking across the barrier of the table, determination clearly readable in the set of his lips and tension in his shoulders, Jem knew she hadn’t convinced him.

He glanced away and rolled his shoulders. “Everyone has issues to deal with, Jem. I’ve found it’s easier if you share with someone, and deal with them together. As far as Phil’s ridiculous judgment that you’re too tall and built like a boy, the man’s a douchebag. I say we fit. You fit perfectly in my arms. I’ve never been attracted to any boy the way I’m attracted to you.”

He laughed. “Yeah, that didn’t come out quite the way I meant it. I can be whatever you need me to be: contractor, friend…lover, I hope. When you get to know me better, you’ll know how patient, how determined I can be.” He closed his toolbox and pulled on his jacket as he spoke. “For now, I’ll settle for business associate, and hopefully, friend. I don’t know you, but I like you. And this might be an understatement, but I’m attracted to you. More than attracted.” He glanced over his shoulder at her a last time as he walked through the kitchen door. “And this, between us, this attraction…this heat? It’s a long way from over.”



Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a fortune from a fortune cookie that said she was a lover of words; some day she’d write_DSC5143_AL_retouch a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss even the rejections, addressed to ‘Dear Author’, were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.

Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.

Connect with Gemma

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/gemma.brocato

Twitter  @gemmabrocato

or on the web at www.Gemmabrocato.com



Gemma is offering a digital copy of Cooking Up Love in any format to a randomly drawn commenter.

Just comment about the post and your email address

I’ll pick a winner on Nov 17th

Good Luck!

Guest Post with author Sylvia Ryan-Friday Afternoon



What’s the difference?

I’m a published author of…hmm erotica? Romance? I’m not sure. The lines have blurred and it’s confusing even to me. My initial foray into this murky grey area was as a reader. a Lora Leigh book I’d checked out of my local library almost a decade ago. I have to admit, the first time I ran across the “crude” words for anatomy and the detailed use of toys, I was both shocked…and hooked.

No, this was not the typical romance novel a la Danielle Steel of my mother’s generation. I couldn’t put it down, and I’ve never wanted to go back to the purple prose and the suggestion of hot sex instead of the blow by blow of the encounter. As long as there’s a good plot and character development, which isn’t hard to find anymore, I’ll choose erotica every time. To me, it’s more realistic and raw.

So here’s the rub. These days, many of the so called mainstream, big name published ‘romance’ authors are just as erotic as many who’ve been labeled strictly as erotic authors. So, I have to ask. Is there really that much difference anymore? And where is the line between mainstream romance and erotica? Because I’m having trouble finding it.

I’d love to hear your opinions on the topic.



Before kids and the responsibility of life, Levi and I shared a spontaneous, erotic, and deliciously deviant marriage. Years transformed what we had into something comfortable and worn. It hurts me to think his desire for me has cooled. I miss that look of his. Slightly evil and totally hot, like he wanted to devour me. Haven’t seen it in ages.

When I first married Mia, she submitted to every one of my erotic needs. Then came the children. With little complaint, I abandoned my pursuit of kink, content to be married to a beautiful, intelligent woman who’s a great mother to our twins. Out of the blue, Mia confesses she misses the intimacy in our marriage, misses the sex. After this enticing revelation, my plan to reconnect with her unfolds.

In our secret, kinky, Friday afternoon meetings I’m going to give her everything she wants and take everything I need. Will this be the answer to fixing our marriage?

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, and strong elements of BDSM including the use of toys, bondage, and pain(less)

Buy Links:

I slip out of bed quietly and enter the large walk-through closet and dressing anteroom to the master bathroom space, locking the door behind me. An anguished huff of air rushes out as I sit on the tiny stool in front of my vanity and twirl a half circle, facing myself in the mirror.

The overhead lighting is stark and unforgiving. I’m not the young woman I was a year, or five, ago. I’ve tried as hard as I can to forget I’m closer to forty than I am to thirty.

When I linger long enough to take inventory of myself, like now, I discern more of the slight lines making their home on my skin. I never notice them when I float through mornings, functioning on nothing but my first sips of caffeine. But now, at this moment, I see them as clear as day. I’m older, not sexy anymore, I suppose.

I swallow down the hurt. Levi used to look at me with hungry eyes, even when I was pregnant with twins and fat as a cow. Now the sight of me naked, whether it be coming out of the shower or spreading my legs beneath him, no longer draws interest from his cock. Tonight brought any speculation, any hope he’s still attracted to me, to an end.

I’m angry first and then sad as I realize I’ll never experience the twirl of excitement and shiver of anticipation from the expression of hunger on my husband’s face. That hasn’t happened for quite a while, and now I know for sure nobody will look at me with similar hunger again. I’m stunned, aware those intense desires go hand in hand with youth, new possibilities and new passions, and I’m faced with a blatant fact. That part of my relationship with Levi is long past.

Yet to my mind, there’s a lot of middle ground between being hungry with young love and being so indifferent you don’t get off anymore. It’s taken us exactly fifteen years to span from one end of the you-turn-me-on spectrum to the other. During the last decade, the progression of our sex life from brilliant to bland has been so infinitesimally small, it went mostly unnoticed until now.

I’m shaken. The sudden realization I’m not sexually exciting to my husband anymore and probably never will be again knocks me off my rails. I feel ill and wrap my arms around my waist and duck my head between my knees. I breathe deep and swallow repeatedly trying to allay the bile creeping up my esophagus. The repeated gulps also push the hurt away, staying the tears, leaving me whole enough to wonder how–when–this happened.


Author Links:

*Giveaway & Guest Post* Murphy’s Law by Jennifery Lowery *Lyrical Press*

Murphy’s Law
By Jennifer Lowery


Home is the last place Jon Murphy can go. After being held captive in Tazbekistan, he returns to the States only to find he can’t face his mom and sisters with what he did while he was a prisoner, so he retreats to the mountains.

Widow Sara Sheldon has made a lifetime of mistakes and is now running scared from her husband’s powerful family, who are determined to take her daughter away from her. When her little girl goes missing in the Rockies, Sara enlists the only help she can find: a gruff recluse with tracking skills to admire and a body to covet.

A storm strands Sara and her daughter at Murphy’s cabin, leaving her no choice but to hope her in-laws don’t catch up while she plans where to run next. Murphy resents the invasion of his privacy, but can’t seem to keep his mind–or his hands–off Sara. How can she stand to look at him, with all his scars? He’s not nearly as honorable as she might think…only enough to make sure she’s safe, and then he’ll go back to being alone, the way he should be.

CONTENT WARNING: Sexual content

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

Ladies and Gents of the Lair, please put together a warm welcome for Ms. Jennifer! I have given the Lair for the day 😉 Enjoy! And be sure to get to the end… there is a giveaway offer!

Hi Cecile and all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! My contemporary romance, Murphy’s Law, released this month so I’m very excited to be here! Thank you so much for sharing it with me!! 

This book is very special to me. Not only because it is the story of my heart, but because I signed the contract with Lyrical Press on my birthday! Yep! It was the best birthday ever!

Murphy’s Law was the third manuscript I ever finished. I wrote it never expecting it to see the light of day. I knew I was lacking GMCs in my characters in my writing and I wanted to learn so I set my mind to character building and learning the craft. I bought Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, Conflict and it changed my life! And my writing! Murphy’s Law was my attempt to build deeper characters. Hence, my practice run and the reason it was never to be read by anyone but myself, lol.

But, something happened as I began writing Murphy and Sara. I fell in love with them from page one and just couldn’t stop writing! They haunted my dreams. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Couldn’t stop writing. I finished the first draft in only a couple months (80k). The more I wrote the more I fell in love with them. The more I learned.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I messed up. Big time, lol. This manuscript went through six edits before I signed a contract. Ah, the life of a pantser, but I love it. Completely. I don’t want you to believe that I just read a book, sat down and wrote a book that sold. Absolutely not!! Blood, sweat and tears went into this book and I don’t regret one single moment of that journey. Murphy and Sara were so worth it. I hope when you read their story that you think so too!

I was lucky enough to final in the Golden Heart with this manuscript back in 2006 and final in another local RWA chapter contest with it. But that was before the edits that finally got it contracted almost eight years after I wrote it.

So my advice, don’t ever give up on the story of your heart or any of those stories you have hidden under your bed or in a drawer!! It just may be the story you sign a contract for on yourbirthday. So don’t give up! Follow your dreams!

Thank you for having me today, Cecile!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support! 
All my best, 

Copyright 2013, Jennifer Lowery
All rights reserved, Lyrical Press, Inc.

Murphy sat at the kitchen table, half in the shadows created by the soft light glowing above the stove, hair tousled from sleep. Naked to the waist. A bottle of amber liquid sat in front of him, an empty glass in his hand. Her gaze landed on his muscled shoulders and trailed across his tanned chest. So much for getting him out of her mind. Now she had the real thing to dream about. Looking at the dark hairs that veed down his chest and disappeared behind the table, she decided he’d been right. He was a dangerous man.

She tore her gaze away from temptation and looked at the granite lines of his face. Beneath the hardness of his expression, something haunting lingered. Drawn, she circled the table to the opposite end.

Murphy met her eyes with coldness that should have sent her running for the safety of her room, but she remained standing in place. He wanted to chase her away. This time she wasn’t running.
“Mind if I join you?” She grabbed a glass and from the cupboard and reached over his shoulder for the bottle.

His hand snaked out and wrapped around hers, preventing her from pouring a drink.

“I mind,” he growled.

“Well, get over it. I need a drink.”

Scowling, he let go of her hand and allowed her to pour a glass for herself. She refilled his glass next, set the bottle on the table, moved to the chair beside him and sat, lifting her glass.

“Cheers.” She brought the glass to her lips. His gaze as she drained the glass made her fight the urge to cough as the fiery liquid burned its way down her throat. Seconds later she felt the familiar warming sensation as it numbed her insides. Her eyes filled with tears. She blinked them away and reached for the bottle.

Murphy held it away from her. “What are you doing?”

“Having a drink. I’m not in the mood for warm milk tonight.”

His eyes darkened and narrowed. “You don’t strike me as the drinking type.”

She wasn’t, but tonight it sounded good. Maybe it would soothe away her problems and make her forget how screwed-up her life was. Talking about Kent earlier had brought back painful memories. She didn’t want to feel that misery anymore.

“Maybe you don’t know my type,” she said.

He studied her closely for a moment before rubbing a hand over his face. “Go back to bed, Sara. Sleep it off.”

“I don’t want to sleep it off. I’m tired of thinking about it.”

Maybe it was the whisky, or his naked chest, or the part of her that had been dormant for six years coming back to life. More than anything she wanted to discover it with Murphy, her strong, scarred hero.

She rose to her feet. He watched warily as she stepped in front of him and positioned herself between him and the table. He leaned back in his chair and sent her a thunderous look.

“You and I are alike in many ways, Murphy,” she said softly. “We’ve both lost pieces of ourselves we can’t ever get back and it has forced us into a life of loneliness and solitude. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being alone.”

He pinned her with a hard glare. “I’m not what you want. Go back to your room before I do something we’ll both regret in the morning.”

His harshly spoken words sent little electrical shocks through her body.
“I’m tired of people telling me what I want.”

Author Bio:

Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer.  Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side. 

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers.  She loves everything there is about romance.  Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines.  She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.  

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.  When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. 
Find Jennifer:
Author Website   Facebook   Twitter   Romance Recipes
Buy Murphy’s Law:
Ms. Jennifer has been very kind to let me giveaway an
eCopy of Murphy’s Law!
Just go to the link for the details!
Good luck!

And remember… Always keep it Dirty, Smutty & Hussy! Photobucket

*Guest Post* Crash and Burn by Michelle Libby *Lyrical Press*

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Ladies and Gents of the Lair, I would like for you to put together a very Smutty, Hussy welcome for a wonderful author… I am turning the Lair over to her today! Please welcome her and leave comments or questions for her…. I am sure she is eager to get to know you all 🙂

Thanks for having me here at Cecile SmuttyHussy’s Place. The beginning of the year always makes me think about what thenew year could bring. For me, 2013 begins with the release of my newest novel“Crash and Burn” from Lyrical Press. I can’t wait to share it with you.

It’s the New Year! We all make those best laidplans that get side-tracked by our lack of motivation, or by some well meaningperson in our lives. My heroine in “Crash and Burn” is Grace. She only wants tolive her life. When her older sistercalls begging for yet another favor, Grace hesitates.

What about her resolution to not take the fallfor her older sister’s transgressions? Gone. Out. The. Window.
Next thing Grace knows, she’s dressed up likeher sister pretending to be married to race car driver Stone Adams. The rolemight be fun, except for he’s sexy and good at making her want things asister-in-law shouldn’t want from her brother-in-law.
Now, let’s talk about Stone Adams and his NewYear’s resolution.  Of course, Stonewants to win a lot of races and make the big bucks. His resolutions wouldnever, ever include getting married until his manager told him to tame his wildplayboy ways.
In typical reckless fashion that one wouldexpect from a man who drives 120 mph, he marries a woman he met in Vegas. Ohand it only gets better from there, if I do say so myself.
It looks like readers of this blog like a lot ofhot, hot sex. Who doesn’t? My goal as an author was to keep Grace and Stoneapart as long as possible. Sounds dreadful, right? Wrong? Read sexual tension,longing and pent up desire. So, when they finally get together and they do…thereader wants it as much as the characters do.
Does that make me a tease? I guess you’ll haveto let me know.
Happy New Year and I hope your resolutionsinvolve a lot of steamy nights and adventurous books.
Excerptfrom “Crash and Burn” by Michelle Libby:
 A roaring engine and a screech of tires startledher. She jerked her head up to
check the rearview mirror in time to see ablack, slick sports car hit the straightaway at
eighty. As it passed her car, it took the turninto the driveway on two wheels.
Divina harrumphed.“That’s him. That’s my new husband.”
Grace watched the driverunfold himself from the car and turn toward them.
Brown hair the color of melted chocolate,mirrored, expensive sunglasses, black t-shirt
and tight jeans gave him the perfect look forthe bad boy of the Eastern racing circuit. She
sucked in a breath. Her heart seemed to stop fora minute, before kicking into a faster
Divina sighed, her chestheaving.
Hank growled low in histhroat.
Grace’s gaze was gluedto Divina’s new husband. He was so much better looking
in person. He walked with a confident swagger,making her knees go weak. Good thing
she was sitting down. She sucked in anotherbreath. Divina’s usually bad taste in men
obviously didn’t carry over when she was drunk.The local papers hadn’t done him
justice with their photos.
Divina walked to thefront of Grace’s car and stopped him with a hand on his
chest before he got too close to Hank. Gracegrinned through the window of her Toyota
Corolla. People paid good money to watch dramalike this.
“What’s with the movingtruck? I thought we were getting the marriage
annulled?” Divina whined.
“I’ve decided to givethis marriage gig a try.” Stone stepped around her with his
hand outstretched toward Hank. “Hi. I’m StoneAdams. You are?”
“I’m Hank, Divina’sfiance.”
Stone’s eyebrows wentup, registering surprise, then he slid his head toward Divina. “Really?”
He was cool, calm andcollected. If Grace had missed the eyebrow raise, she
would have guessed he already knew about Hank.
Divina gasped andsighed. A common occurrence, Grace noticed. “Yes. Really.
This is why we can’t stay married.” Divinapointed between herself and Hank. “We’re
getting married in less than two months.”
Stone leaned in toDivina. Grace couldn’t see their faces anymore, but from the
look on Hank’s face, Stone wasn’t playing fair.
“Get your lips off her,”Hank said, taking a step forward.
“She’s my wife. I’mallowed,” Stone said.
“Grace! Now’s a goodtime to interfere!” Divina called.
She thought about it fora moment. What could it hurt? This was why she was
here, to keep the three of them from killing oneanother. She slid out of the driver’s seat
and looked over the roof of the car at thethreesome. All of them turned to stare at her.
MichelleLibby has bounced from job to job over the last decade, but one thing hasremained constant – her need to write fiction.
As ajournalist, she quotes words others tell her – as a novelist she does her bestto make her characters say what she wants them to say.
Her lifeis never dull or boring with her police sergeant husband, teenage daughter andmiddle school son. She also shares her Maine home with her yellow lab, Chloe,and her two old cats, Honey and Apollo.
VisitMichelle at her website http://www.michellelibby.com.

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And remember… Always keep it Dirty, Smutty & Hussy!Photobucket
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