Excerpt: Days of Desire by Tina Donahue

Available for Preorder NOW!! One of my favorites, Tina Donahue, has a new steamy pirate romance releasing on July 4th from Lyrical Press. What better way to celebrate the birth of our nation than with some real fireworks…

desire

In a pirate’s lair, nothing is as it seems . . .

Shipwrecked! When Royce Hastings is found washed up on the shore of a verdant tropical island, he tells the natives he is a merchant headed for Mozambique. The truth, however, is far more mercenary. Noble by birth, the once favored Royce has lost his fortune and family; now he is a hired henchman on the trail of an elusive pirate. His “shipwreck” was a fake. He’ll stop at nothing to infiltrate the island and capture his prey. His mother and sisters’ lives depend on it.

The last thing Royce expects is to be captured himself. But the lovely young woman who tends to his wounds in the tropics quickly takes hold of his heart. Simone is the island’s healer, and her skilled ministrations not only awaken his soul but disturb his conscience. His path has been predetermined; his identity must remain concealed at all costs. Yet the passion he feels in Simone’s sultry, loving arms cannot be denied. With his loyalties torn, Royce must make an agonizing, unthinkable choice. . . .

Read More…

Of all the people to discover him, Royce hadn’t expected such a beautiful young woman. Simone the other native had said.

She couldn’t have been older than twenty. Her light brown skin complemented her dark hair. The ends grazed her waist. He detected a bit of European in her exotic features, and island custom in what little she wore. Simply a red silk cloth tied about her hips. Her breasts were full and lush, begging for a man’s touch.

Wary that she might scream, he’d released her quickly and had expected her to run.

She checked his arms, hands, and head. He supposed for injuries.

At last, she finished and peeked at him.

Cautiously, he pushed up, hoping she wouldn’t bolt.

She sat back on her heels.

Needing an ally here, he tried a smile.

Hers was wondrous, broad and carefree, no deception or caution in her soft brown eyes.

His arrival would eventually change that. No better way to destroy a woman’s trust and happiness than wresting her from an island Eden to imprisonment, lifelong slavery, repeated rape, and birthing children only to have them torn away.

Guilt and shame churned in his gut. Fear for his family competed with the other emotions. “Are you the only one here?” Besides, Tristan, his crew, and the other island woman. Their conversation had mentioned Tristan, but not Diana or Peter.

Simone tilted her head. A tress fell across her breast. Confusion swept her lovely face.

Royce had deliberately spoken English so she wouldn’t know he’d heard her speak French earlier when he’d feigned unconsciousness. He next tried Portuguese and received her same bewildered reaction. At last, he used her language.

Her eyes lit up. “My people live here. Once we have you in the stone house, I can see to your injury.” She touched his thigh. “Does it hurt?”

Not as much as when he’d arrived on this shore. “My head is worse.”

She brushed back his hair, her touch as light as an angel’s.

Despite his callous intent here, and what prudence demanded, his lids slid down, his heart pounding as hard as it had when she’d stroked his ribs.

She explored his wound carefully. “I can make a potion to take your pain away. As soon as the men arrive I—”

Voices and footfalls interrupted.

Tristan led the way, his manner and appearance precisely as rumor had described: tall, golden skin, blond hair, and light eyes that offered naught except challenge and possibly death if anyone dared threatened him or those he loved. Following him was an equally tall man with long red hair, his face and chest freckled. Had to be James Sullivan, Tristan’s friend and former quartermaster during their piracy.

An adolescent boy, fifteen or so, brought up the rear. Gangly, as youth were prone to be, he had long dark hair streaked with blond, his skin brown from days outdoors. Diana’s brother, Peter. His features matched Bishop’s depiction.

Tristan, James, Peter, and island men trained their pistols on Royce.

The land to their side jutted out, rocky and reddish as those found in Madagascar. A white woman stood there, wind whipping her dark hair and simple sheath-like gown in violet silk. Her slightly rounded belly didn’t prove pregnancy, though Royce would have staked his life on it. She wore a choker about her throat, the diamonds glittering in the light.

Royce’s pulse pounded. Diana was here, as Bishop had predicted. Along with too many armed men, as Royce had feared, though all islanders, not pirates.

AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER NOW!!

http://www.ekensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/35093?category=313169

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EXCERPT: Ingenue: Introducing Rose d’Vine

ingenue_new lineAlright, my pretties… as promised, here is an excerpt of my new book from Ellora’s Cave!  Presenting…. “Ingenue.” 

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Rose turned and began to loosen the ribbon ties that crisscrossed over her back. The bodice was so tight that lines, clearly visible to the front row, had been cut into the flesh of her back. She could feel each one, but like the gentle sting that came with a tangle of curl, she was used to this slight discomfort. Craved it, even. Despite being so constricted, she moved with a dancer’s grace, twisting and turning until she faced them again. A coquettish smile played on her lips as she delighted in their growls of frustration. She was teasing them. Only at the last possible moment would she reveal the hidden pearlescent flesh.
Her middle, soft and curvaceous, was smoothed into an unyielding cylindrical form that tapered toward her hips. Her ample breasts peeked just over the top hem of the undergarment and if anyone had looked closely, they would have seen just the hint of rose-café areola exposed in a flurry of lace. She moved her hands over her hips and up her sides until finally arriving at the sumptuous globes of her bosom. She caressed them with her palms, her bright-red nails standing out over the milky skin. She tugged gently at the corset, a tiny promise of what was surely to come. They could hear the tiny snaps hidden at the front of the corset begin to give way. The climax of the song had arrived and Rose ceased to move. Only her fingertips, gently working free the closures as she sang, gave any sign of movement. The crowd below was holding its collective breath. They knew that at any second she would pull the corset open with a savage flourish. The notes in her voice climbed higher as she strutted down the runway until finally, inevitably, she arrived at the end. Then, standing there in the midst of her admirers,
Rose held the final strains of the song, pulling the corset fully open and tossing it into the audience. The pasties over each nipple and the web of rhinestones over her sex glistened in the dim spotlight. She gave them only a moment to stare at her near-naked form. They reached and hissed at her, everyone wanting to caress even just the smallest bit of her flesh. Rose smiled and waved, blowing kisses to them all as they passed around the silk corset, pressing it to their noses to inhale her womanly perfume.

“Easy, boys,” she sighed, still breathless. “I wouldn’t want anyone to have a stroke.” Turning on her heel, she walked toward the wings. She paused for only a moment. “At least not until you get home.”

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That Rose… I just love her.  I want to be her when I grow up.  At any rate, if you liked that bit, hop on over to Ellora’s Cave by clicking the image and grab a copy of “Ingenue” hot off the presses.  You won’t be sorry…

Show Me Your Burlesque, or RELEASE DAY!!

ingenue_new lineWell, it’s finally here!! You can officially purchase my new short, “Ingenue,” from Ellora’s Cave!  It’s a sexy little historical romance that takes place near the end of the Roaring 20s.  It’s the era just before “talkies,” when Vaudeville was king.  Variety show circuits dominated the entertainment industry, bringing song and dance, bawdy comedy acts and striptease to the masses.  Though our story takes place in the 20s, burlesque dates back much farther.  Theaters in Victorian London staged popular parodies of grand opera and Shakespearean plays that had comedic musical numbers and raunchy humor.  Of course, it didn’t take long for the art form to cross the pond into America where, like everything else, it was made bigger, raunchier and rowdier.  Striptease was added to the mix and the shows became more of a variety-style format with comedians, magicians, singers and short versions of the English style that might parody a popular play or some political issue of the time.  Striptease, for obvious reasons, became a major draw for the shows.  However, rules became more and more stringent and the performers found creative ways to get past obscenity laws.  Pasties and props kept the essentials covered and the routines were more about the tease and less about the strip.  The “hoofers” were not only sexy, but talented singers, dancers and comediennes.  Stars such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand and Blaze Starr emerged as classy sex symbols of their time.

“Ingenue” is a story about this Golden Age of Burlesque.  The heroine, Rose D’Vine, is a burlesque dancer, desperate to escape the seedy New York theater scene and break into movies.  She’s so desperate that she’s willing to sell her love to the highest bidder– a horrible meal ticket named Charlie Potter.  He’s abusive and selfish, but he’s got connections in high places and he’s promised to make her a star.  What Rose really needs is a hero.  Enter Stefan, the soft-spoken stagehand.  He’s loved Rose for years and wants to take her away from Charlie.  He wants to make all of her dreams come true, but what does a poor immigrant have to offer.  Only his love.

Stay tuned for an excerpt, but in the meantime….

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Never fall in love with a hoofer. That’s the advice given to Stefan—advice he immediately ignores when he falls head-over-heels in love with burlesque dancer Rose, the shimmying, corseted star of the Footlight Theatre. But wicked, wounded Rose is far out of the humble stagehand’s reach.

Rose has stars in her eyes—and bruises on her face. As she suffers abuse at the hands of a cruel patron, she dreams of the day when she’ll find her way out of her nightmare and into the arms of the passionate, protective Stefan.

Inside scoop:  This book contains scenes of domestic violence before the heroine fights back and finds her true hero.

Vintage Sexy

ingenue_new lineHi kids!  I haven’t said much about anything other than American Horror Story here in the last couple of weeks so I’ve decided to remedy that this week.  In case you didn’t know, I have a book coming out on Friday with Ellora’s Cave.  It’s a little historical piece that takes us back to the early days of American Burlesque and Vaudeville.  “Ingenue” is the story of a burlesque dancer and the stagehand who loves her.  With that in mind, I wanted to talk a little bit today about what is sexy.

As a writer of erotica, both straight and paranormal, I always find myself reading and researching about what is sexy to the readers of 2013.  It’s an interesting topic, though I often get strange looks from the patrons of the local Starbucks.  The fact is, the things that we find sexy in today’s modern world have changed drastically in the last thirty years.  The Sexual Revolution of the 1960s made us more open, maybe even too open.  Previous to this, housewives were hiding their bodice rippers in the nightstand and denying any involvement in masturbation or fantasy lives.  Then suddenly the market realized that women wanted more explicit sex, hotter men and stronger heroines. And then the 1980s brought us AIDS, an increase in teenage pregnancy and an emphasis on sexual responsibility. Nowadays, innovations like the Internet, social networking and eBook readers have made the world much smaller and if possible, more open.  Specifically, more open to sex.  With all of these societal changes, the modern romance author has had to become vigilant in keeping up with what makes the modern reader hot, while also maintaining that theme of sexual responsibility.

One of the coolest things that I’ve noticed over the last several years is the return to all things vintage.  As many of you who read my blog and indeed, my writing, I closely identify myself with the Goth culture.  One of the things that the Goth scene has done for sexuality is to bring back the Burlesque aesthetic.  Corsets, clothes that are sexy without being obscene and bawdy women who are purposefully comedic and sexually open are HOT.  The popularity of movies like Burlesque and Moulin Rouge and performance artists such as Dita Von Teese reflect a culture that is ready to embrace the playful side of sex.  And embrace it not as something dirty, but as something that should be enjoyed.  I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the proverbial “bodice ripper” that features some poor shrinking violet being kidnapped, raped and forced into marriage just doesn’t sell anymore.  The modern reader wants strong heroines who aren’t afraid to fight back with all the weapons in their arsenal:  intellect, beauty and general “badassery.”

Another thing that romance readers are finding exceptionally sexy right now is the Male/Male romance.  While I myself don’t write in this subgenre, I have great respect for those that do.  And I think it’s so exciting that love relationships between two men are becoming so mainstream.  No one, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have to hide who they really are from the world.  The popularity of the Male/Male romance genre indicates to me that the modern reader is accepting of the gay lifestyle.  After all, love is love.  And tolerance is, to me, HOT.

Along with the age of eReaders has come a wave of new and exciting writers in the romance genre.  No longer do writers have to drown in the slush pile of a New York publishing house for two years before being told, “It’s just not what we’re looking for right now.”  Instead of authors scrounging to be noticed by publishers, eBook publishers are pursuing unknown authors.  As one of those unknowns, I’m exceptionally pleased by this paradigm shift.  It means that thousands of creative minds are getting their words out to the readers.  How exciting to be a reader right now!  Whatever sort of kink you’re into, there’s a writer out there who caters to you.  Trust me, if you want to read a book about an alien that falls in love with a werewolf—it’s out there.  That being said, readers want more and more creativity.  Plots have to be tight and believable.  No longer will readers be content to lose themselves in a ridiculous scenario highlighted by ten pages of “He presented his throbbing member to the entrance of her moist and waiting canal.”

Let me close by saying that no one can really answer the question, “What is sexy?”  Because the truth is, like wine, everyone has their own preferred vintage.  The good news is, with the explosion of eBooks and small presses, everyone can find something to tickle their fancy.

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COMING NOVEMBER 1ST FROM ELLORA’S CAVE!

Never fall in love with a hoofer. That’s the advice given to Stefan—advice he immediately ignores when he falls head-over-heels in love with burlesque dancer Rose, the shimmying, corseted star of the Footlight Theatre. But wicked, wounded Rose is far out of the humble stagehand’s reach.

Rose has stars in her eyes—and bruises on her face. As she suffers abuse at the hands of a cruel patron, she dreams of the day when she’ll find her way out of her nightmare and into the arms of the passionate, protective Stefan.