Monday, December 24, 2012

Whew! What a Wild, Wonderful Year...


Happy Holidays! Warm wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season, hoping that all good things come your way in 2013 for you, your family and friends.
I had to share a couple Youtube videos for your holiday fun. Enjoy your celebrations.

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - The Little Drummer Boy

And one more: Adam Sandler and the Hanukkah song

Thinking back on 2012, I decided it was such a good year, I'd like to do a repeat. So many awesome things happened this year. I have to thank the amazing support of my readers, friends and family, the Ellora’s Cave staff and all those in the publishing world who make my career possible. I have a deep passion (aka obsession) to write, and I love when I hear from readers, especially when they tell me how much they've enjoyed my work. It's very much appreciated.

I hit a couple milestones in my career this year. I was fortunate to be included in an anthology with mega star authors Laurann Dohner,  Jaid Black and Desiree Holt that hit the Amazon Best Sellers list. Something Wicked This Way Comes, Vol. I, with my story Tattoo Witch. A huge thank you to Jaid Black for accepting my story and her editing expertise. The book still continues to sell very well.

I completed my first erotic paranormal series: Demons in Exile with the third book of the series, Damned and Defiant. And began another erotic contemporary series titled TropiX with Spring Break. Spring Break was released this year and later was included in a popular anthology with authors Ruby Storm and Virginia Cavanaugh titled Work andPlay. This anthology SOLD OUT at the RomantiCon convention last October! That never happened to me before.

I hope to get to more conferences next year, but RomantiCon is one conference I haven't missed yet. It's so much FUN. It was one of the highlights of the year and a conference I always look forward to. Ellora’s Cave authors and staff are the nicest people. At the last RomantiCon, I participated in three workshop/panels: One on BDSM with the amazing and talented Joey W. Hill, another BDSM panel with authors from the 1-800-Dom-help series and a paranormal panel. I love the energy from these workshops and talking with readers and other authors. And I had the opportunity to make many new friends.

That is the best part of being a writer: all the friends I’ve made.

Secret Soiree, a contemporary erotic romance Quickie continues to sell like crazy. Sometimes it difficult for an author (and publisher) to tell what will work and what won’t. So authors and publishers have to try different things. I’m planning more stories along this line next year. All stand-alone and short.

Many readers have asked for more stories like Dragon Witch, my erotic Sci Fi romance. I do have a sequel in mind for that book. That’s one of my favorites and also my PRISM finalist.

I also have a couple books in the works that are ‘secret’ projects and are a little outside the box. But I'm very excited about them. To grow as authors, we need to challenge ourselves and take risks. Not every project is going to work or resonate with readers. I don't see any unsuccessful projects as failed attempts, only opportunities to learn and grow as a writer. At one of the RWA Conventions, author Jayne Ann Krentz said she had to switch from writing futuristic romances, taking her core story and placing it into a historical setting. All authors have a core story, she says. I think my core story is: With courage love finds a way. Read any of my contemporary, paranormal or BDSM stories and see if that’s not true. I have lots of projects planned for 2013.

I’ll keep you posted on all new books and appearances coming up in 2013. Thank you again for all your support. Your kindness is so greatly appreciated. Best wishes to all in 2013. Be good to yourself and happy reading.

All the best,


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Leader of the Pack, #amreading Francesca Hawley

Leader of the Pack

Welcome guest author Francesca Hawley. Thanks so much Francesca for coming to the Passion Sense blog to talk about your latest release at Ellora’s Cave, Leaderof the Pack, and for doing an interview. I love shapeshifters and book 1, Alpha vs. Alpha, was a big hit so I’m sure this one will be too.


   Thanks so much for the invitation to visit your blog to share information about my upcoming release. I'm really excited to be here.

*What is your current (next) release and tell us a little about it.

My next release on December 21 is Leader of the Pack. This story is a sequel to Alpha vs. Alpha. Matchmaker Serena Goldwolf sets up her friend, packleader Yohana Whitewolf to find a Mate in order to placate her nervous pack. Serena matches Yohana with handsome surgeon Dr. Per Goldwolf who wants to make partner in his surgical practice. To do this, he needs to produce a fiancée to satisfy the criteria of the senior partner of his medical practice.
Alpha VS Alpha
*Where can readers buy your book?

Readers can buy the books on the new Ellora's Cave web site at . After the book is released, readers should also be able to find it at Amazon, B&N and other popular stores and web sites that sell Ellora's Cave books.

*Do you have website, blog or other links you’d like to share?

I'm active with many social media sites on the internet. Here are some of the places my readers can find me:

web site -
blog -
facebook -
twitter -
goodreads -
pinterest -
yahoo group -

What is your writing day like?

I lost my day job back in October so my life has changed a lot recently. I used to go to work and come home and try to get some writing done. Right now, while I'm conducting my job search, I write daily. In early November, I managed to slam out almost 20K words. I was amazed that I could do it. Amazed and thrilled. It made me feel a real sense of accomplishment.

How did you get started writing novels?

I've been writing stories since I was in my teens. Unfortunately, back then I had trouble finishing anything. In the early 2000s, I found the Ellora's Cave web site and read voraciously and aspired to write like my favorite authors there. In 2005, my first novella was published and then I was thrilled to sell Protect and Defend to EC in 2007. It's been stop and start since then but I've continued to push forward with my writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Never, ever give up. Even though the process for getting published might seem long and become disheartening. Always keep trying because one day you will succeed. That publisher or agent you love will see your work and want it.

And also, writers have an alternative if they want to go in that direction, they can choose to self-publish. Just be sure to have someone, other than one of your close friends, critique the writing for you. You don't want to publish something that readers will remember in a negative way. If you self-publish, make it the best it can be and you'll gain a following.

Do you have a character in one of your books that continues to haunt you at night or surprised you when you wrote the book?

I'd say that character is Baron Eaduin Kempe, the hero of Seeking Truth. He started out as a villain in a completely different book. I intended him to be an evil sociopath with a beautiful face, but he kept whispering to me. Seducing me, really. He assured me that I mistook him. He was a different man than I tried to depict him as. It turned out, he was right. He was a hero, not a villain and I still adore him.

Are you an outgoing person?

Actually, I'm very shy. You wouldn't believe it if you met me at Romanticon because I dance and do all kinds of things there. But, when I first meet people I'm very quiet and listen a lot. It's only as I get to know them that I start to open up and let them know more about me.

Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?

I write chronologically. I have a lot of trouble skipping around so I don't do it. At times, I've left a scene out that needs to go in a particular place (usually a love scene) and then keep going and return to that scene but usually, I try to write with the flow. I do revise as I go. When I get started again in the morning, I usually go back and revise the previous chapter or two so I can get into the story and then the rest will flow more naturally when I hit blank space. I tend to be a pantser - writing by the seat of my pants - so I don't do a lot of plotting in advance. I often know when something might evolve into a series though and I'll keep that in mind as I'm writing.

What’s next?

I have a Valentine shapeshifter story on submission with my EC editor right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll contract it. The story is set in Whitewolf, CO which is where Yohana Whitewolf is pack leader. It involves a rock band full of shapeshifters called The Pack and a local girl, Mandy Goldwolf, whose parents are members of the band. The new lead singer and guitar god, Joe Blackwolf is much younger than the other band members and suits Mandy to a tee. Family dynamics cause some bumps along the way to a Happy Valentine's Day.

Do your books have a particular theme or premise?

My books usually feature themes regarding family issues. Estrangements and reunions. Love and acceptance. But sometimes those problems aren't resolvable. Those are challenging for me to write. I've got one in mind where that is an issue for one of my characters and support comes from other places.

Anything unusual you had to do for research on this book?

I tried to figure out what a city manager/mayor of a small town would do. I knew that Yohana would be managing a budget for her small town, but I was surprised at the size of the budgets of Colorado skiing communities. For example, I found that in 2010 the Aspen budget (combined expenditures and revenues) was in the hundreds of millions. I wasn't expecting that for a town under 10,000 people. So I had a challenge trying to figure out what kind of budget my fictional resort town of Whitewolf, Colorado might have. I was surprised how interesting that kind of thing was too. I'm not much of a number cruncher, but it was fascinating to watch how politics played out in those communities.

Francesca Hawley, author bio

Hi. I’m Francesca Hawley and I’m a fat chick. A woman with dangerous curves just like my heroines.

I first began to read romance when I was in my teens. I loved the genre, but the heroines were all thin. Their thighs didn’t rub together…had never rubbed together…and frankly I had trouble relating to these ladies. The stories were great—full of emotion and well told, but the heroines weren’t like me and that was a major disappointment.  I kept wondering where were the fat heroines? I found some occasionally, but to have their Happily Ever After they usually had to lose weight and go from ugly duckling to swan.

Well, I wanted a fat heroine who loved herself—or at least learned to love herself—and a hot alpha hero who liked her jiggly bits just the way they were. Since I didn’t find many big girls to read about, I decided  to write about them myself. After all, I loved to write anyway and had been writing almost as long as I’d been reading, so Francesca Hawley – author of Romance with Dangerous Curves was born.

In a Francesca Hawley romance, my readers will find authentic, sensual, fat heroines who love and are loved by their intense, passionate, and seductive Alpha heroes. I hope you enjoy their dangerous curves just as much as their hunky heroes do.

Leader of the Pack - Blurb:

Surgeon Dr. Per Goldwolf needs a mate to make partner in a prestigious practice.—a matchmaking service for shapeshifters—not only finds him a mate, they match him with his True Mate. Yohana’s long legs and fair flesh make him lick his lips and her scent makes him rock-hard.

New packleader Yohana Whitewolf’s life goal is to follow in her sire’s pawprints and lead her pack. Leadership demands sacrifices. To calm her people, Yohana needs a mate. But finding an Alpha male who won’t take over is a tall order. Yohana doesn’t want the complication of a True Mate, but Per is a sexy, intelligent Alpha male and she wants to shred his clothes every time she touches him.

Everything should be perfect—except she’s a packleader, and the Whitewolf pack is nervous.
Buy link:

Release date: December 21, 2012


By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.


Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2012

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

        Per looked up from his coffee to see Yohana striding confidently across the room. Two steps behind her was the young waiter, looking dazed and horny. What the fuck? Per had been on edge ever since she left the table, envisioning her in the bathroom stall with her legs spread and himself on his knees on the floor plowing into her. Now, here she was sashaying back to their table looking satisfied. He stood to hold out her chair. As Yohana stepped close to him, he was enveloped in the scent of her recent arousal…and orgasm. His bitch screwed someone else then walked back to the table as if nothing had happened. Fuck that! Per caught the worshipful gaze of the wet-behind-the-ears pup and growled.

        The pup blinked and stammered, gulping in terror. “I’ll bring your check,” he squeaked.

        “Like hell you will, you whelp. You just mounted my Mate. We’re going for a walk. Now.

        The boy yipped, flying off for the kitchen at a run. Per was after him in a shot, ready to kill.


        He ignored Yohana’s cry of command, looking back once, rage filling his vision. “I’ll handle this.”

        The boy weaved between tables before slamming headlong into someone exiting the kitchen with a tray full of pasta dinners. Per caught the boy before he hit the floor, lifting him up by the collar of his shirt. A firm female hand grasped his wrist, while her arm encircled his waist.

        Yohana pressed against his back to whisper in his ear, “I masturbated in the bathroom. The pup was nowhere near me. Let him go…” She sighed as he turned to look into her eyes. “Please, Per.”

        He took a deep breath and nodded. The scent of his Mate wasn’t on the boy, so he released the whelp, watching as the boy ran hell for leather through the kitchen doors. Per closed his eyes, mortified at his stupidity. He had never claimed a female this publicly in his entire life, not even when he was in Sweden before his sire threw him out of their pack.

        Yohana eased away from him, turning to the man, who happened to be Stefano Blackwolf the restaurant manager and son of the owner, Roberto. “I’m sorry, Stef. This is my fault. I’ll pay for the meals. Please allow me to buy the diners whatever else they would like to apologize for their wait.”

        Per shook his head. “No. My fault. I’ll pay for it.”

        Yohana frowned at Per. “I will pay. It’s my responsibility.”

        Per’s blue eyes blazed, then he paused. “We’ll split it. Fair?”

        Yohana patted his arm. “Yes. That’s fair.”

        Per blushed as Stefano lips twitched, fighting to control his amusement. Per looked into Yohana’s eyes then he started to chuckle, drawing giggles from her. She blushed, looking down at her toes. He reached over, lifting her chin with a fingertip barely brushing her lips with his.

        “Dessert, Yohana? Would you like some cannoli?”

        “That sounds wonderful.”

        “Two, Stefano?” Per inquired of the manager.

        Stef nodded, directing the busboys to clean up the mess while he went to inform the waiting diners of the delay with their meals. Per set his hand at the small of her back, escorting her to their table. He seated her and reseated himself.

        “I’m sorry for setting this mess in motion. I didn’t consider you might imagine me having sex with Marcello. He’s a baby.” Yohana took his hand, meeting his eyes.

        Per clasped her hand before lifting it to his lips to kiss. He froze, taking a deep breath. She’d washed her hand, but he knew it had been inside her…recently. Per looked into her startled gray eyes, breathing deeply so she’d know he smelled her sex. He opened his mouth engulfing her thumb, sucking and licking it. In spite of the soap, her taste lingered faintly on her skin bringing his body rigidly to attention.

        Yohana gasped, color rising in her cheeks as she licked her lips. He could see her pebbled nipples tight against the silk of her dress. This was no frigid bitch and he was in big, big trouble because his mind rejoiced to discover it. Per wanted to mount her now. He wanted to grab her, throw her face down on the table, rip off her panties, and sink into her to make her his while everyone in the room watched…then cheered. What scared him the most was the expression evident in her eyes. She wanted the same damn thing!



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Naughty to Nice Sidney Bristol

Guest blogger Sidney Bristol has quite and interesting background. From her bio: She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

- How did you get started writing novels?

This is possibly my most favorite story to tell about my writing.

My childhood was spent traveling and doing rodeo. I am so out of the loop when it comes to pop culture type things of the 80’s and 90’s because I just wasn’t exposed to that stuff.

When I was about 10 or 11 my mom retired from rodeo and we started our “normal” life in rural Texas. I got a lot of my social cues from doing what everyone else was doing and figuring out if I liked it or not.

I made one friend early on. Her and I are still friends to this day. Anyways, while most of the girls in our grade went out to practice cheerleading during recess/after lunch, she was scribbling in a notebook. I asked her one day why she wasn’t cheering. I was looking for a reason to stop that business. She told me she was writing, because that’s what the cool kids did.

I totally believed her. Over the next year I wrote what amounted to fan fiction using the aliens from the Predator movies and a young girl who was kidnapped, genetically mutated and through her greater judgment and supreme bad assery changed an entire race and stepped into the line of succession for control of their empire.

-Would you like to share how you first got published?

I really wanted to write science-fiction and fantasy. Like, super bad. About two years ago now my friends finally told me I should just try writing romance. I kind of blew it off, but they insisted I try writing romance, so I did. I wrote something really awful we pretend doesn’t exist. After that I wrote the book that would be Flirting with Rescue. I’m a member of an online romance writer forum called Romance Divas. During the summer they host a big, online conference and the Ellora’s Cave editors were taking pitch appointments. I pitched. An editor asked to see more. Six weeks later she told me she wanted me for all time ((okay, not quite but come on, this has to have a HEA)) and here we are! Happy as can be.

- Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?

Oh my gosh, most of them! Let’s run through the list, shall we?

Flirting with Rescue was initially called Rescue Me. We went over titles for days.

Personal Adventures used to be called One Night of Adventure, but then the story kind of expanded when the Editorlady started asking, “What happened here?”

Under His Skin was turned into my editor with that title, but I can’t take credit for it. I was calling it Homeward Bound, which made all my friends think of some Disney movie with cats and dogs. Remember I said I was pop culture clueless, kay?

Bound with Pearls is the first one I can say is my title, though I didn’t turn it in with that title because I thought for sure it would be shot down. I turned it in with the replacement title of Passion and Pearls. Editorlady wasn’t crazy about it so I told her what it had been called, I would say there was some shaking of her head, and it went back to Bound with Pearls.

Collar Me in Paris, the follow up to Bound with Pearls, was the worst one. The working title was Kinky Race. I retitled it Race to Come for a few different meanings in the book, but that was an awful title and I knew it. I wound up googling major movies, books and songs with Paris in the title and tweaked them. I’m responsible for coming up with Collar Me in Paris as a title, but it took some tweaking and encouraging. I’m pretty proud of it.

- Which actor screams SEXY to you?

Sexy to me is confidence and a great smile. I’ve been attracted to guys who aren’t traditionally hot simply because they were clearly confident men. And they smiled. Gotta love a guy who can smile!

- A lot of people think that genre hopping isn’t a good idea. What do you think?

I totally understand readers not being fans of authors who write more than one genre. They read someone who writes one thing really well and they want to return to that author for that feeling with each book. But maybe their paranormal doesn’t have the same feel as their contemporary, or maybe someone just doesn’t like sci-fi no matter who writes it.

That said, authors are people too and sometimes we need a change of scenery to help those books in the genre you really like to be better.

I’ve started out writing contemporary and BDSM. I think I’ll always have one foot in the contemporary world, kink or vanilla, but I love writing sci-fi and I have at least one paranormal idea floating around I’d like to write.

- Is there something about you or your life that readers might be surprised about?

I usually get surprised looks when I talk about different chapters of my life. I grew up doing rodeo. As a teen I showed livestock, mostly goats and horses. In college I did time as a missionary. I’ve lived in a commune. For a while I was a roadie doing sound for bands. I’ve been on a roller derby team. I guess I’m just a glutton for the weird and exciting!

-Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?

I’m a habitual planner, so I really like to plan the major arc points of a series out if I know the book will spawn a series. In the case of Under His Skin, I resisted the idea of it being a series until I was called on the carpet for it and just admitted, yes, it’s a series. With the other series I’m working on, the arcs are planned out.

Once it’s planned, I write from beginning to end. I try my hardest to keep from stopping because if I lose that steam there’s no promise the book will work out. I’ve lost a few because I stopped. After the book is written, I do a few editing passes before getting someone to read it, clean it up again and send it to the Editorlady.

Bound with Pearls is the beginning of a single title series that revolves around people in the Atlanta kink community.

- Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write?

Dang. They’re all fun to write, but some are easier than others.

The hardest by far are the BDSM books. There’s activities and roles to research, people to interview, classes to take and in a few cases I’ve done some hands on to see how it feels to tie someone up or knot rope, for example.

I’d say the most fun I’ve had has been writing the So Inked books. It’s cracking open a world I enjoy and love, and turning around and sharing that with readers.

- Do your books have a particular theme or premise?

Yes, I always like to talk about something when I write a book. It’s usually woven into the plot arc so I’m not beating people over the head with it, but I do like to talk about it.

In Bound with Pearls I decided to touch on the sometimes difficult and complex family relations. I have an older brother I haven’t seen since I was 13. His choice, not mine. He’s about 20 years older than I am, and has never been an active part of my life. I’ve always wanted a bigger family. I decided to talk about when you just have to accept that a relationship is rotten within the context of the book and the sisters, Christine and Lucy.

My other books deal with themes ranging from animal abuse to how to live with a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

- Anything unusual you had to do for research on this book?

While writing Bound with Pearls, because of the Dominant-submissive nature of their relationship, I had to do more formal research into the BDSM community. I’ve always been “kink friendly” but there’s a difference between being okay with it and learning about it in a first-hand manner. All of this research was text based and through interviews, so no hands-on training for this one, but it was still a wild, eye-opening trip!

It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.


Bound with Pearls   Ellora’s Cave | Barnes and Noble | Amazon
This book comes out on December 12th. check it out!

The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.

Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.

Christine’s mouth closed with a snap. Her jaw hurt from clenching. Her hands ached from gripping her wrists. Blinking rapidly, she looked at the Dom’s broad back. He was getting ready to leave.

She’d failed, completely blown it, and he was right. Her attitude sucked. This wasn’t like her. She’d hit a low point and didn’t know how to dig herself out of this one.

Pinpricks of pain stabbing the backs of her eyes heralded tears. Screwing things up seemed to be her specialty today, from the reports at work to forgetting her entry fee for the charity race, and now it was going to cost her. Lucy wouldn’t give her the pearls when she found out the Dom had left, rightfully disgusted with her.

The muscles in her chest constricted until she was panting for breath. Her vision blurred with tears she had to dash away.

“Wait,” she said, her voice sounding strained and too high to her own ears.

The Dom glanced over his shoulder, unmoved. It shouldn’t get her off, but the idea of a man with such control was a turn-on. She’d been ready for someone big and scary or maybe on the scrawny side with a penchant for pain. Finding him a fairly normal guy unsettled her.

Fairly normal was an understatement. Sure, most women might not notice him. He had nondescript brown hair and his features were handsome enough. It was something else about him that drew her.

“Why should I?”

She took a deep breath to calm herself. “You’re right. My attitude sucks.” Another deep breath. She couldn’t think of a good reason to give him, except the truth. Her shoulders slumped. She hated airing the dirty laundry between Lucy and her. Sisters should be close, they should have a bond. All she and Lucy shared was a last name and some DNA.

“I’m not involved with Nate. Lucy’s my sister and she—she’s afraid of you, so she probably whined to Nathan until he suggested trading me for her.” She could feel her cheeks burning. “I wasn’t going to do it. I-I don’t know you, I’m not entirely comfortable with this, and Lucy knew that. When I said no, and I meant it, she—”

Her throat constricted around her words, cutting them off. Squeezing her eyes shut, she balled her hands into fists and let the wave of emotion wash over her. She was angry and upset, hurt that her sister cared so little, but it was no different than any other time Lucy had conned her. The only person she could blame for this situation was herself. She drew in another slow, deep breath. “She told me if I’d come here, she’d give me our mother’s pearls. She’s dead, and they’re one of the only things we have left of hers.”

Her gaze locked on the floor. She knew she should stop talking. This man was as disgusted with her as she was, but her mouth kept working. “I loved them. I wore them to prom and graduation. I’d borrowed them for luck every now and then. Lucy never wanted them. They didn’t sparkle enough, they weren’t flashy. But when I wore them to her funeral, Lucy started yelling and crying about how I got everything. I gave them to her to shut her up and I’ve never seen them since.”

She hiccupped around her words. No doubt her face was red and splotchy. She didn’t cry delicately. No, when Christine cried her nose turned red, her eyes got big and puffy and she turned into a fountain. She hated crying and dumping ugly family business on a stranger. She couldn’t wait for him to leave. She could curl up on the bed, cry herself out and slink home where she could camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream.


Hands gripped her shoulders from behind. Her stomach dropped right before the ground disappeared from under her. The Dom picked her up effortlessly.

“What are you doing?” She gripped his shoulders, expecting to land on her ass any second.

He crossed to the chaise and sat down with her cradled in his lap. She tried to slip onto the bench, but his hand clamped on her thigh. It was natural to obey the unspoken command. This close she could see the deep blue of his eyes, the strength of his jaw and feel the power of him. There was no doubt under the black t-shirt and jeans he was every bit as strong as he looked.

“What are—?”

“I’m the one who gets to ask the questions here.” His voice was stern, but unlike his reprimand from before there was a warm quality.

She relaxed against the curved arm of the chaise, comforted by his commanding nature. Let someone else call the shots for now, she was too tired of it all.

“Here.” He handed her tissues from an unknown source and she snatched them up.

Bowing her head to let her curls fall over her face was as much privacy as she could get to clean herself up. The Dom didn’t touch her except where their bodies nestled together, which was one small relief.

She hated crying, but she was better for getting it out. It felt good to be honest, even if the recipient of her words didn’t care what she said.

Tossing her head back, Christine met his gaze. Her breathing was shaky and her eyes and nose raw.

“Feel better?” His voice was the deep, rumbling kind that spoke directly to her pussy. The whole situation would have been easier to write off as one huge mistake if he hadn’t been attractive. Now it was salt to a wound.

She nodded.

He quirked a brow and her blush became more intense.

“Yes Sir,” she mumbled. How could she already be blushing on command for the man?

“You agreed to take your sister’s place because she has something of sentimental value you want, correct?” He looped his arms around her waist, settling his hands at her hip and thigh.

“Yes Sir.”

“I’m going to be frank with you. Would you prefer I wasn’t?”

“No Sir. I’d prefer the truth.” She braced herself for a pat on the head and a goodbye.

“I don’t care for your sister. She’s spoiled. I was, and still am, a little apprehensive you’re too much like her—”

“I’m nothing like my sister.” Memories of cold Thanksgiving meals and waiting for Lucy to show up at Christmas with their father stabbed her. All the times when Lucy should have been there but never was. Their father made excuse after excuse for her—she was busy, being young and carefree. Christine knew better.

The Dom quirked a brow at her again. Her blush felt as bad as a sunburn, stretching across her cheeks, down her neck and gripping her chest.

“Sorry, Sir.” The urge to lean into him and kiss his jaw in supplication was strong.

“I don’t think you’re sorry about that admission.”

She shook her head. “No Sir, I’m sorry for interrupting you.”

“That, I believe.” The hand at her hip swept down to her knee, treating her to the first sensual skin-to-skin contact.

“Sir?” Christine bit her lip and focused on the collar of his shirt.


“I don’t know your name. I just—”

He squeezed her thigh and she shut her mouth. Another unspoken command she read perfectly.

“Daniel,” he growled. “Christ, she didn’t even tell you?”

She shook her head, curls sweeping over her shoulders. His anger didn’t scare her, though she would be lying to herself if she said some part of her wasn’t pleased someone recognized her sister for who she truly was.

Daniel. Dom, Master, Sir Daniel. It fit him—understated and powerful.

He swept her hair over her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her neck, not quite in the sweet spot, but close enough to make her shiver.

He wound a stubborn curl around his finger and leaned back against the cushions, pulling her against him. She wasn’t accustomed to being handled, but in comparison to him she was small, which didn’t happen often.

“So how did your sister and you get involved in the scene?” The hand at her knee stroked up her thigh and back down, distracting her from his question.

She had to marvel at how well he managed her. She probably wasn’t what he’d expected, and still he pulled pertinent information from her. Something about him put her at ease, which, considering his size and what she wanted him to do to her, was a questionable assessment.

“Um, I had a boyfriend in college who, who liked to tie me up. It was fun.” She lifted a shoulder. “After we broke up I did some research and decided I would try to meet someone new who could—could teach me.”

“How does your sister fit in?”

She wrinkled her nose, wishing he would drop that particular line of conversation. She looked down at his tanned arm. The muscles and veins she could trace with her fingers made such a stark contrast to her pale skin.

“Lucy has always done what I do. Same schools, degrees, even where I used to work. She has to do what I did and try to do it better. When she found out I was into BDSM, she got into it.”

“Did you mentor her?”

Her gaze leveled with his. “Have you met my sister? She showed up one night in a slutty cocktail dress, whined her way through the orientation meeting and attached herself to my Dom.”

“What did he do?”

“Brandon and I were not in an emotional relationship, so he was free to do whatever he wanted. He tried to help her for about a week before he washed his hands of her.” It had been one small victory following many losses. “Lucy attached herself to someone new, and here she is today.”

Nodding, he continued to stroke her leg, his fingers edging higher, disappearing below the hemline of the romper.

“So what happened to you? I’ve never seen you here before.”

She took a deep breath and fought the urge to open her legs and push his hand against her pussy. Any man could be attractive but it took a special man to dominate a woman with a look.

“I’ve been busy between work and our father, and it hasn’t been worth it to compete with her here. I know how people look at me when they know I’m her sister.”

“Are you seeing someone?” His question was casual but his hold on her knee was not.

“Of course not. I wouldn’t be here if I was.”

His hand continued its lazy caress of her leg. Her stomach fluttered. How could she be embarrassed and turned-on at the same time?

“Relax,” he said, jostling her with his legs.

“I’m heavy—”

“What did you say?”

“Uh, that—that I was—um,” she continued to sputter, her mind going blank.

He sighed, his hand rubbing against her knee in a circle. “I’m going to have to punish you for that. I’ve been generous, but I’m not your therapist. Stand up, take off your—” He pinched the hem of the romper. “Take this off and lie over my lap.”

Heat flooded her body, emanating from her pussy. She loved her figure, but baring all in front of a man she’d met fifteen minutes ago wasn’t normal for her. But he wasn’t sending her away. She’d willingly take whatever punishment he wanted to give her.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain

So many people start the New Year off with the resolution to lose weight, get into shape and eat right. They join a gym, go on a diet and are “serious” for about a month or two maybe a little longer. I see this every year at the gym. Mine is swamped with members in January and February, but by March and April, it starts to thin out and I see the same die-hard members I see throughout the year.

Over the holidays, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is the worst time for diets. So many holiday parties and family dinners, holiday baking, all those fabulous Christmas cookies and candies that are a tradition. So, by January 2, many people have added 10, 15 or more pounds. Ack!
Why not start a new health routine NOW? You can still go to those Holiday parties, just be smart about it. Here are a few tips for how to get through the Holidays. After the tips, I'll explain the routine I’m doing. So far, so good. Since Thanksgiving, I've lost three pounds. (Not bad for this time of year.)

Tips for Staying Trim Over the Holidays:

1.   Exercise. I know, who has time while you’re preparing for the holidays? Take a walk at lunch, run up and down stairs, do a DVD workout at home. 30 minutes of cardio is a great way to burn calories and stress. I know Beach Body has a Fitness Program set of 5 DVD that are only 10 minutes each. Everyone has 10 minutes a day to workout. It's called Great Body Guaranteed

2.   Pay attention to what you eat. Better yet, write it down. Snacking adds up calories. And coworkers love to bring in holiday goodies. Am I right? I know mine do. Keep snacking to a minimum and plan healthy snacks.

3.   Pare down portions. Buffet at the holiday party? Choose a small plate and add veggies and greens, fruit first. Leave out or pick only a few high calorie items like pastries, sweeties, cheese, creamed soups, fried anything, etc.

4.   Drink slim. Sip water between cocktails. Ask for skinning girl versions. Skip soda including diet sodas, eggnog and other sugary or fattening drinks.

5.   Pack your lunch for work. It’s cheaper and will keep you from over eating. Try: sliced turkey, hummus, sliced tomato, cucumber and sprouts rolled in a whole wheat wrap.

6.   Forget the fad diets. Learn healthy balanced eating habits for life—a long one.

7.   Don’t be a hungry girl/guy. Eat Breakfast. Try: low fat yogurt (100 cal) with ½ cup of fresh fruit like cantaloupe or strawberries. Or 1 slice of cooked turkey bacon, 1-2 scrambled eggs, 1-2 slices tomato on 2 slices of whole wheat toast.

8.   Cut back, way back, on sugar. Substitute with Truvia or stevia. Also limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. You’ll look better, feel better and younger.

9.   Give a gift of Wellness to yourself. Make a few changes in your routine. Excercise a little more, eat healthy and less snacks and see the change. Don’t stand on the scale on January 2nd and wish you had made better choices this month. Enjoy your Holiday Parties and family get-togethers but be smart.

This is the new exercise routine I started right after Thanksgiving. I also adjusted my diet. I’m determined to make it through the holidays without the heft. My goal is to at least not gain weight, if I’m lucky maybe lose a few pounds. So far, I’ve lost three pounds. The exercise routine is Turbo Fire from Beach Body and following their meal plan suggestions. I also go to a gym so I’m doing a combined modified version of these two. I like variety, and especially like the high energy and convenience of the at home workouts with the Turbo Fire. Find something you enjoy doing, running, walking, biking, aerobics, Zumba, etc. and stick with it.

I was a little concerned with the diet plan that came with the set of DVDs. It was more than what I had been eating and called for more carbs. But in five days I lost 3 pounds. Did you hear me say I’m eating more and lost weight? Weird. I have been a Beach Body coach for over a year and have been using these products including drinking Shakeology and love them. It’s a struggle and a challenge at times staying in shape. But I do it for me to feel good, look good and to be healthy. Feel free to email me if you’d like to ask me more. It's all about being healthy.