Monday, October 08, 2012

New Release - Black Leather and New Boundaries

I had a new story released yesterday so thought I'd post an excerpt today. Black Leather and New Boundaries is an MF Contemporary BDSM Erotic Romance.

Title: Black Leather and New Boundaries
Author: Adrianna Dane
Author URL:
Publisher: Amber Quill Press/Amber Heat
Publisher Link:

35% New Release Discount


Ariyel Esmund introduced Ren Noletta, a bookkeeper, to an erotic world of dominance and submission. And then he introduced her to his friend, Creed Bennett. The two men took Ren on a journey of discovery until finally she had to make a choice between white leather or black. Now, in a new environment of whips and chains and floggers, suspension bars and bondage, Creed will take Ren even further with an exploration of her darker, hidden desires. Not regretting her choice, Ren continues sexual lessons with her new Dom, a mysterious man with closely held secrets. But rather than being put off by Creed's reticence to share every facet of his life with her, Ren is drawn deeper into his compartmentalized lifestyle. Though Creed is a man who rules his world with a strong hand, he uses slightly different methods of seduction and domination on Ren rather than forcing her, and she falls for him hard. New York City is a different beast from her tame-cat environment of lonely, small-town life, and Creed gives Ren new, unexpected boundaries to challenge her. Will Ren accept the additional tasks Creed presents? And where exactly does love fit into the texture of this frighteningly delicious relationship?


Food for Thought. Tonight Creed surprised her. He'd prepared dinner for her, an elegant feast of tender rosemary chicken, succulent honey-drenched baby carrots, wild rice, and a rich cherry cheesecake for dessert. The wine was a chilled white chardonnay from his cellar.

"I'll be leaving in the morning. I'm not sure how long I'll be gone," he said.

"You never tell me where you're going. What you do is very secretive isn't it?" She picked at the chicken, snagged one of the carrots and cut it into tiny pieces.

Like everything else, Creed was very deliberate and controlled when he ate. He cut things very precisely as though he had a comfortable, almost surgical skill with a knife. He chewed slowly as though savoring each bite. He picked up his glass and took a deep swallow of the wine. With a quiet, yet deliberate motion, he set the glass back on the table.

"It's for your own protection, Ren. You don't want to know the details of what I do. That's the only way I can keep you--and keep you safe. Is dinner to your liking?"

Obviously, the conversation about his upcoming trip was closed. She tried to force her thoughts away from the fact he was leaving again, and turned toward the dinner and taking some comfort from the fact that he was with her tonight. And she planned to make the best of the evening.

After dinner, he gave her time in the guest bathroom with the hand-detailed gold and white wallpaper, luxuriously accessorized for guests, to prepare. Ren wondered about those guests, but then her attention was caught by something else--a silver rectangular gift box tied with a wide silver ribbon, setting on the counter in the bathroom in front of the antique oval mirror. She gasped with pleasure when she opened it. Inside was a short black satin robe with black roses embroidered around the hem and cuffs, and a pair of elegant, silk, black-and-silver stilettos, also embroidered with a matching design. They appeared to mirror her tattoo startlingly well.

She removed her beige heels, slipped out of the jade green business suit, unhooked and rolled down her beige stockings and removed them. She unfastened her light green satin garter belt, then folded all the garments neatly and set them inside one of the inset cupboards. When she finished her preparations, she donned the robe, tied the belt, then slipped on the heels. After one more glance in the mirror, she left the spacious bathroom.

Creed eyed her appreciatively when she entered the living room. He sat in a forest green winged-back chair in front of the fireplace. When he saw her, he set aside his snifter of cognac and rose to his feet.

"When I saw the robe in the shop, I knew you had to have it," he said as she moved toward him and knelt down. "And then I found the heels at another shop not far away." He placed a hand on top of her head. He smoothed it over her hair.

"Thank you, Sir. They're perfect."

He placed a hand beneath her chin and tilted her head back. His black eyes bore into her. "I enjoy shopping for you," he murmured. "I enjoy it very much. I enjoy fantasizing about how you'll look in the clothes I choose for you. Or how you'll respond to the toys I discover. What I'll do to you, and how you'll scream with pleasure when I've made you come. Again and again. Just as you'll do tonight."

Then he leaned down to kiss her quite thoroughly, and possessively, leaving her breathless, but still yearning for more.

He brought her to her feet, then guided her through the hallways and down to his dungeon. It was a room with black walls and black-light tracking at ceiling and floor to illuminate it. There was an array of equipment, including the suspension bar. Ren was never as aware of her surroundings as when she was in Creed's private dungeon. Her trust in Creed was never more evident as when she was hanging from the suspension rack.

She looked toward the wall displaying implements for chastisement and pleasure. She noted the horse, a cross, and, of course, the simple bed with iron head and baseboards, hung with matching chains and manacles. Which would he use tonight?

She stripped off the robe and he took it from her and hung it from a hook near the door. He led her to the suspension apparatus. She felt no fear. Ren trusted him implicitly.

"Tonight, we'll see if we can turn something distasteful into something quite pleasant and in fact make you yearn to repeat the experience again and again. We'll begin with a bit of sensory deprivation. Do you have a problem with that, Ren?"

She bowed her head. "Whatever you wish, Master." She was excited. He had never failed to challenge her, to excite her, to please her. But she couldn't deny there was a hint of fear of the unknown tingeing her excitement. That always magnified the experience.

He placed his hand at her lower spine and guided her forward. His bare hand, so warm. Calluses, a mark of the man unafraid of hard work. As he positioned her and bound her, she glanced at the wall, at the whips, the ropes, the chains. She wondered which of the whips he'd use tonight.


Want to know what came before Black Leather? Read White Leather and No Regrets. Now available from Amber Heat or other fine ebook retailers.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Erotic Romantic Domination - Daimaen & Sylvie's Story

Erotic Romantic Domination - Daimaen & Sylvie's Story

This is not a new story, it's ancient as love and sex, as primal and soul-deep as any passion may run. Would you call it animal magnetism? Animal attraction? That primitive recognition of one mate for another, undeniably drawn one to the other - even in modern society, sometimes it can't be ignored.

Desire, romance, love, and secret fantasy aren't always found where we expect. It isn't always politically correct, it's certainly not polite. It's mot always safe.

A powerful, dominating man is a forced to be reckoned with. Some might run in the other direction. And then some will step forward into a world where they have never gone before.

Sexual charisma can blindside so swiftly and completely it takes one's breath away.  But just because a woman may not be experienced, doesn't mean she's necessarily a pushover either. Take Sylvie, which Daimaen certain wants to do, though usually a very caution and controlled sort of woman, may have finally met a man who can reach right into her soul, and draw out the woman within, that secret woman she has always yearned to be. She may be one who is his perfect mate--his perfect submissive. Sylvie has kept control all her life--be it in business, be it during sex, be it her past, or her future. Taking one small risk, may change everything. Sylvie has a gift to give, is Daimaen the right man to receive it?

Sylvie's Gift


Sylvie Taylor has never experienced sexual fulfillment, never felt uncontrolled desire. Her best friend, Allison Hunter, has kept secret her taste for the dark side of passion. Introducing Sylvie to sensually seductive Daimaen Sinclair, a Master of the game, has Sylvie yearning for the forbidden. But someone has made an attempt on Sylvie's life. Can Daimaen protect her, or is he the reason someone wants her dead?


Ms. Dane's story Sylvie's Gift isn't one of the normal BDSM stories. If you're looking for a loving, erotic tale of two people with a mystery thrown in, then grab this one. --Fallen Angel Reviews

 Sylvie's Gift is not for the faint of heart. It's very hot and well written, with good characters, but the main sexual theme of submission is not for everyone. Readers who don't mind their sex on the kinky side will definitely enjoy Dane's offering. --Romantic Times BOOKClub Magazine

Sex, power, and complete control are a few ways to describe this hot number. ...Sylvie's Gift is a powerfully hot book.  --The Buzz

I needed several glasses of ice water to make it through Ms. Dane's novel. --Coffee Time Romance


Sylvie was nervous and paced the living room floor, her stomach churning. What she had read on the Internet scared her to death. Of course, she was always one to assume the worst.

A knock at the door caused her to jump. She swallowed hard, then walked to the door and opened it.

Very male, very dark, very…arousing. He was dressed in white Dockers and a navy blue polo shirt that set his caramel tan off to perfection. Damn, he looked good enough to eat. Her heart pounded in anticipation. The memory of her Internet search was fading fast.  His eyes slowly surveyed her from her feet to her head. Each nerve
in her body reacted as those rich dark-brown eyes slid upward. Her hands clenched and unclenched. She felt naked beneath their intensity, or maybe it was just the way the cloth of her sundress rubbed against
her sensitive nipples.

He hesitated at her breasts. Her breathing increased and her nipples beaded. She felt them swell, as though demanding to be touched.  Sylvie saw an appreciative golden gleam in his eyes and a smile curved those sensuous well-shaped lips. What she wouldn’t do right now to feel their touch on her body.

“You look beautiful, Sylvie. Quite lovely. Are you ready to go?”

She couldn’t get her voice to work, so she just nodded. She turned and grabbed her purse and a white cardigan to wear over the floral yellow-print sundress.

She cleared her throat. “I don’t know where we’re going—is there anything else I should be bringing? Different shoes, a heavier jacket?”  She was trying to get him to tell her what their destination was.

“I’ll take care of everything. You only need to bring yourself.” He stood aside for her to precede him out the door.

Well, that didn’t get her far. She still didn’t know where they were going.

As she walked past him, he stopped her with a light hand to her forearm. His fingertips trailed a lazy path from her shoulder to her fingertips and she shivered.

She looked up at him, knowing there was uncertainty in her eyes, and most likely, some fear. “This scares me, you know. I think I’m out of my depth here. I get the feeling you’re way out of my league.”

He curved his arm around her waist and guided her to the bank of elevators. “Nothing is going to happen that you won’t like. I only want to give you pleasure. Today we’ll just get to know each other better.  You’ll enjoy it, believe me. Think of it as a little adventure, someplace you’ve never been before. You like discovering new places, don’t you?  Finding a new restaurant is always fun. Discovering new tastes you
didn’t know you’d like, that’s enjoyable, isn’t it?”

Sylvie nodded her head. “Yes, but I somehow don’t think this is the same thing.”

They stepped into the elevator. He tapped the garage level button to take them down, and the shiny silver doors closed. Daimaen turned to her, his heated gaze fusing her to him.

“Do you know how much I want to have you naked right here, right now? I wonder what you’d do if I asked you to strip?”

She was surprised by the jolt of excitement that shot through her at the thought of exposing herself in such a public place. She saw it in her mind, just a flash that made her wet. The hooded, lazy look in his eyes as he studied her seemed as though he knew what the thought of such an exhibition was doing to her.

Daimaen’s fingers caressed her arms, shivers ran through her. She held her breath as he ran one warm, thick finger along the inside edge of her halter style top, tracing from her collar bone to the dip between her breasts. “No,” he murmured, a small smile on his lips. “Not today.  Another time, maybe.” He removed his finger and turned away from her as the doors to the elevator slid open and he guided her toward his car.

If you like Sylvie's Gift, be sure to check out Sequestered Passion.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Delicious Sinn - Coming soon as an original free ebook on Goodreads

Hello All,

Are you ready for summer? I sure am. I actually got some seedlings to sprout. Spent some time yesterday transferring the tomatoes and basil to larger pots. So far they've survived the transplant. Keep your fingers crossed because I so have a brown thumb. Soon, hope to be transferring the lavender, rosemary, sweet peppers, and oregano.Yikes! I am so out of my element here.

So how about some steamy summer reading?

I'm taking part in a huge gala writing, and reading, event courtesy of the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads ,called "Love Is Always Write." There will be 149 free stories written by a broad spectrum of authors available for download throughout the coming 2 1/2 months. My story, "Delicious Sinn" will be one of those books. This isn't a "sip" sort of story, it's 30,000 words so fully realized. "Delicious Sinn" will be available to download in a number of popular e-reader formats. Boy, was I inspired by the imagery and reader prompt. Delicious. :-)

Here's a little bit about my story for this event.


Two men, born with a Montana-bred sense of adventure. Neither stays, both leave to make their fortune. Each walked a different line, made different choices. Both ended up in Seattle. One a jaded and scarred rocker with no dreams left; the other a young photo journalist who has a gift for dealing with wild things.

Both men have secrets. But one night's chance encounter in a Seattle nightclub, will likely change their lives forever....

Join the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads to see the photo and reader prompt that fueled "Delicious Sinn."

To join the GR M/M Romance Group follow this link:

To check out the prompt and photo to discover the inspiration behind the story::

Here's a small taste of "Delicious Sinn."

Excerpt for Delicious Sinn

Will took another sip of his beer, leaned against the bar, and watched the dancers gyrating on the dance floor. His sights were fixed to the tall blond with the wild, naturally curly hair, more wave than tight curl. There was an intensity about him. His black T-shirt, darkened and drenched with sweat, clung to his tightly-packed chest. Black leather pants settled close to lean hips, hugged his richly-muscled thighs, enhancing every nuance of swivel, screw, and thrust. Every flex of his tight ass as he whirled on the dance floor, drew hungry, covetous eyes from more than one corner of the nightclub.

Will was a patient man, perhaps more so than most. He'd waited this long, a few more hours wouldn’t hurt. The cold draft soothed his parched throat. His gaze circled the club, studied the occupants, then returned to the dance floor. Laced leather thongs encircled the rocker’s bulging biceps, slender whips of leather trailed free lashing, swinging with the heavy metal rhythm. A grin crossed the blond’s features as a Medusa’s Thorn tune blasted through the room; the blond’s voice–as lead vocalist screamed the lyrics. Sinn Midnite, up and coming rhythm guitarist, lead singer, songwriter.

Fuck me, beat me, you’ll never keep me. A strong bass and gut-pounding drumbeat pulsed and throbbed through the nightclub igniting the dancers.

The blond surged forward and cupped a hand around the nape of his dance partner, yanked him forward and ground his mouth against his partner's lips. The shorter, younger man was engulfed by the more assertive, tall blond. A thin reed blown, claimed, and tossed about by the fierce tornado; it gobbled him up with little compassion. Lust - dance lust - blood lust. Crushing force. The music screamed, it jarred, it incited.

No way to break me, no way to destroy me. It’ll be me killing you first.

Blinding yellow and red lights strobed across the dancers. Will remained intrigued by the potent foreplay occurring on the dance floor. The smaller man with the straggly purple and black hair was no match for the more dominant blond. The younger man easily gave way beneath the dynamic dark energy of the rocker. Will surmised there was no way for him not to break beneath the driving onslaught. The possession would be fast and it would be final.

The blond knew exactly how to play him. Or would have, if he hadn't lacked self-control. On stage, Sinn’s angry forceful immersion into music worked for him. Here, that very same passion worked against him. An instrumental genius, most certainly. But here, with this instrument in his hand–this instrument of opportunity required a steadier hand than his–a very different sort of skill.

In the meantime, while you're waiting, be sure to check out my latest releases, "Joe Gallant," and "White Lightning."

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Object Personification, or something like that...

I have a messy office,I admit it. But, it's my mess, and I do sort of, go through it now and then. It's a cave, and one might consider it Aladdin's cave of strange and unusual objects, some of which possess magical qualities. To someone else, looking at my office, it likely would be with a sense of horror on how much...stuff or junk to them...I have crammed into such a small space. I look around and I see things that matter. Things with energy, magical, creative energy. I see them differently than what another person will see them.

Sometimes when I write, I like to have images around to inspire me. Sometimes those images end up being three-dimensional items that I pick up that I think inspire me. The first thing that inspired me to write a swan-shifter story was an small snippet of an article that I read in Renaissance Magazine. The article had to do with the discovery of a shrine or temple where it was thought that they had once worshipped swans. I was intrigued. I pulled out my trusty "Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols" by J.C. Cooper, to look up the symbology for swans, as I tend to have a feeling that certain images, or totems come into one's life for a reason. So I looked up, "Swan." It says...

"Combining the two elements of air and water, the swan is the bird of life; the dawn of day; solar. It also signifies solitude and retreat and is the bird of the poet; its dying song is the poet's song; its whiteness is sincerity."

Thus the idea for a story began to emerge, and Swan's Lake was born.

A sensual tale of seductive shifters, good vs. evil, and dark, enchanted lust vs. a unique, pure and passionate love in the magical world of Valliana. Managing to free herself from a brutal captor, Martine, a swanshifter, escapes through the swan arch landing in the enchanted world of Valliana...

So how does this tie in with the objects in my office? Swans--the image of that beautiful, graceful creature. I like visiting second-hand stories for inspiration. I can find some pretty cool stuff there. Hence, I have several "swans" resident in my cave. But they can't just be decorative, they do have to make themself useful, particularly once the story is completed. They have to find their place because space is limited.

I found several swan planters--small ones. One of them has become my pencilholder and sits on my desk. With that long neck, she's also agreed to collar any stray rubberbands, the sort I use for banding my index cards and such. She was sitting on a store shelf, cast out and with nowhere to go. I picked her up ran my fingers across her glossy feathers, and that long elegant neck, considered her, listened to her, and finally decided the orphaned Swann would thrive and do very nicely in my magical cave. Though she has rather an aloof sort of personality, so far, she 's made herself very useful and is a positive addition to the atmosphere.

But she didn't arrive alone. Although Swann requires center stage, on the other side of the room nests a tiny little creature--Thumbelina Swan. Thumbelina has made herself useful by holding mementos from a recent trip, of small, fluffy peacock feathers I'd gathered while in Florida. Thumbelina isn't fond of being alone, so next to her stands her guardian faerie, Blue. Blue was a gift to me from my daughter. Thumbelina displays, Blue stays nearby, within whispering distance and quite a close relationship has developed between the two. Though I can't get either of them to dust the shelf. Seems no one in the office has a passion for dusting. Even me. Oh, well. On occasion we have no choice. I tried to give them at least a once-over before photographing them. They weren't very happy with me. Blue stuck her nose in the air, hands on hips and says, "Dust particles are just important as the rest of us, you know. You're making them very angry." Yes, I could tell, as I erupted into a fit o sneezing. Enough. I swept the little goblins on their way, at least for now.

Thumbelina and Blue take their job very seriously and guard their space closely. On the other side of Thumbelina sits the blue turtle, Mozy, head reared as Mozy surveys his surroundings, reminding me to go ever forward at my own pace, doing it my own way, because that's the surest way to get to my destination. Blue reminds me that there are worlds unseen, but nevertheless they do exist, I just need to be open to seeing them. Thumbelina reminds me even the smallest, tiniest speck of an idea can grow into something momentous and glorious like Swann.

And the feathers, which came from walks on the beach early in the morning remind me to slow down, breathe deep, and look around, listen closely. There is beauty to be found in the world around me. There are ideas in every object. There's energy and stories to be told, I need to just stop and listen, and look with different eyes, be open to a new way of seeing.

My cave is filled with wondrous objects, each has a story all its own, each object within these walls means something special to me. To the outside it just looks like a mess and mix of weird stuff, to me this is where magic happens.

An excerpt from Swan's Lake.

“She is very beautiful.”

Reynaldo couldn’t look away from the view of the serene lake surrounded by the lush forests. So different from the barren fields and fallow grounds on the other side of the estate.

At one time, the lake had been just as stagnant as the dried up land. Before she came. But only the lake and the surrounding woodlands seemed to have been affected by her magical appearance.

He felt Satrius’s presence behind him, but Reynaldo was focused on the beauty of the swan who was about to take flight. He watched as her powerful wings extended and she glided across the lake, her mirror image reflected in the shimmering, clear blue water, and finally soared into the air. His gaze was glued to the arc of her neck as she stretched out, and he could almost feel the wind against his own face, the freedom of the sky as he followed the perfect symmetry of her form. He felt his soul reach out to her, yearning to soar with her.

His thoughts faltered as he felt Satrius stroke his long hair, drawing his attention back to the room. Closing his eyes, he absorbed the seductive touch. Satrius was a powerful magician and Reynaldo had summoned him to the estate in hopes that his magic would heal his land.

What he had never understood was that his own soul was much like the land, barren and rootless. He had been listless and despondent until the arrival of the magician and his entourage. Satrius had changed everything. He had touched a deep, hidden part of Reynaldo. He felt alive when he was with Satrius, saw things differently.

Reynaldo had been warned of the dangers of summoning Satrius to the estate. His magic was indeed powerful, but also very dangerous. This land was a legacy of his ancestors and he was losing it, yet he was unsure why. He needed help, desperate to restore the land to its former fertility.

Satrius promised it would be as it once was and assured Reynaldo his magic could do what needed to be accomplished given time. He wove a spell around Reynaldo—a spell steeped in dark lust that Reynaldo was unable to combat. Slowly, he was drawing him deeper and deeper into the web of passion from which he now felt no desire to break free. Yet still the land lay barren.

At least he felt something, even if it seemed he moved in a shadow world where he only came alive when driven by his sexual arousal. If Satrius could awaken something inside his dead heart, could he not also revive the land as he promised?

It was the man himself who mesmerized Reynaldo over the many months he had been ensconced at the estate. He had seduced Reynaldo until he could envision no future without Satrius being a part of it. Not only to return prosperity to the estate, but in order to convince Satrius to remain with him, he had finally agreed to act as stud to the protégé who accompanied him. Satrius had convinced him it was the best way to return prosperity quickly to the land.

Reynaldo did not love her. Truly, love played no part in any of the emotions he felt even when it came to his desire for Satrius. He was promised that as a child would grow in Belinda’s womb, so would his land again become fruitful.

There were two reasons to bed the woman. The important one for Reynaldo was that the magic he wove with her would help his land and the people who depended on him. The second was that Satrius wanted the child to train in the ways of his magic. Reynaldo had asked why he didn’t bed the woman himself if he wished an heir, but had been told Satrius was no longer able to sire children.

Reynaldo had given up a search for romantic passion and thought himself incapable of any greater emotion than that of the lust and need he felt for Satrius.

Until the appearance of the Maiden. Everything had changed since her unexpected arrival. Suddenly he was torn in his desires.

“She is not for you,” Satrius murmured from behind him. He turned Reynaldo to face him, forcing him to looking deeply into the mesmerizing emerald depths of the magician’s eyes. Satrius cupped his face and locked with his gaze, searching for his soul.

“She must have some magic to have healed the lake and the forest. I have run there, I know it has recovered. But why not the remainder of the land? That is what I cannot figure out.”

“She has not the power you think she has. She is weak. She cannot give you what you desire. Only I can do that.”

He looked into Satrius’s eyes, felt his willpower ebbing, giving over to the magician. “Yes, I know you are right.”

Satrius penetrated inside him, Reynaldo could feel the heat blazing from his presence. The lust grew to twine around him. Satrius tilted Reynaldo’s head back and studied him closely through a narrowed gaze. “Do you? She should never have been brought here. She is not of our kind. Her magic is different. You must not allow her to come between you and that which you want.”

Reynaldo felt the heat of him as he lowered his head and his lips claimed Reynaldo’s in a demanding kiss that scorched through him. He felt his cock rise thickly against his leg. Satrius held him fast with his hands and with his mind. He wanted to please the master magician. He needed him and submitted to him, even knowing Satrius used him for his own ends as well. He could not deny him—they had moved far past that point.

Satrius broke the kiss and looked deeply into his eyes once again. “You know what you must do. It is time to send the Maiden away. She and her kind are a distraction.” He stroked Reynaldo’s hair and calmness dropped over him even as his passion soared. Any thought of his desire for the light of the Maiden disappeared from his thoughts as Satrius drew him forth into the passionate darkness.

Even in bringing the maiden to the house when he had found her wounded and unconscious he had defied the will of the magician, a thing he did not often do. Something stronger had driven him and he could not fail her, even knowing Satrius might leave him because of the act of defiance. Satrius demanded obedience in all things and would accept nothing less.

“I will tell her she and the others must leave now that she is healed. I could not send her away when she was so near death.”

Satrius slipped his shirt over his head, baring his muscular chest, taunting him with his flesh. “Soon.”

Reynaldo nodded as he lowered his head to draw one of Satrius’s nipples into his mouth and sucked deeply, hands gripping the magician’s hips. He heard his sharp intake of breath. “It will please me when this is done. Her presence agitates Belinda. If you do not handle this quickly, I fear for the life of the Maiden. Do you wish her death on your hands?”

Reynaldo knew Satrius used the threat to force his hand. He knew Reynaldo was drawn to the Maiden—her magic so different from that of Satrius and Belinda. There was a freshness, a purity in the swan magic. He had tried to keep himself separate from her, but something kept drawing him back to her. His own level of magic was nothing compared to that of the swan, or Satrius. He had never exercised his inherited power, never wanted it. Until now. But between Satrius and Belinda they sapped him completely until he was totally powerless to fight their control.

He looked up into Satrius’s dark gaze. “I do not want to talk of her any longer today.” The dark, seductive magic wove its passionate spell around him. He needed the intimacy with Satrius, like one addicted to opium. His cock grew heavy with anticipation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter 2012 in Washington and Environment in Story

Yup, it's winter in Washington. And I'm not talking rain. Honestly, it's up to my kneecaps out there now. These are a couple of pictures I took this morning.

I checked my picture folder and the last one I have labeled for snowfall in Washington is 2008. Luckily, I went grocery shopping just a couple days ago, I have all my techie stuff on chargers just in case. And I've backed up my working folder onto my Seagate in case I end up needing to work from my netbook, which has about a 6-8-hour battery life. Oil lamps in place, batteries newly purchased. Think we'll be fine. Snow is still falling, Marley does not want to go out as the snow is over her head, so here we are tucked away inside. Thought I'd do a blog now, just in case reception gets a little funky later.

The forecast is that it's supposed to taper off later, so we'll see. Snow doesn't often last a really long time, usually turns to rain, but that's when it can get a little tricky. I like the snow, not so much on the icy stuff. Makes me glad that these days I work at home. A real good day to hunker down and just get to the writing. Though I just got in a story to edit last night, so may pick that up today and get to the editing.

The other thing I like to do on "special" days like this is go outside and take pictures. Or just stand outside and experience the weather. It comes in handy when it comes time to write about weather, and the look of things, the feel, the smell. Remember it, use it, draw out the environment in story.

Not too long ago I wrote a fairytale-based story, "Poppy Rider and the Glass Shards," which tales place in Washington and then mostly near the North Pole and really cold weather.

Lou opened up the reddish binoculars and gazed off into the distance. As he studied the landscape, he adjusted the sliding brass scale. Poppy saw three beams of red light emit from the instrument and as she watched and Lou adjusted, the beams intersected to form one straight line. He then locked the reading into place.

"Ah, now we have it." He looked at the reading. "The location of the Fantasmic Corridor is always shifting. In this part of the world hardly anything ever stays the same." He held up the instrument. "This is a fantasnigator and helps to fix the current position of the corridor. Now we can be off."

He put the fantasnigator away and then, pressing a button, he started the motor. He expertly steered out into the waters, passing through channels littered with bits of ice looking like jagged shards of white gleaming glass. Poppy leaned over the side to scoop up one of the pieces that looked slightly different from the rest. It appeared to be an actual piece of looking glass.

"This isn't ice, is it?" she asked, holding it up for Lou to see. He slowed the boat, quickly glanced down at the shard in her hand, then out at the sea of pieces scattered across the surging dark blue water. He idled the boat and then donned a pair of round red-colored spectacles and studied the sharp piece more closely.

"Just what I thought," Lou said. "This one is a piece from the goblin's broken mirror. Dangerous and you shouldn't be handling it."

"You mean that magic mirror that Moira told us about?" Poppy asked.

"Yes. Good thing you have your gloves on. If it had cut you, we might have been in for a whole other set of problems." Lou reached beneath the seat and pulled out what looked like a green fishing tackle box. He opened it and tossed the piece inside. "Don't want anyone else coming into contact with it. Then he took off his glasses and turned his attention back to steering the boat out across the water.

The air was brisk, but probably not close to being as cold as it would have been had they tried this in the middle of winter. And, of course, the drug apparently helped with their body temperature.

It was an eerie feeling as they glided through the still waters, the ghostly presence of icy glaciers surrounding them. Lou said they were headed to a place called Snowy Inlet. From there they would trek across the ice to the location of the Fantasmic Corridor.

Poppy saw a white bird soaring overhead, wings outstretched, and she surmised most of the animals blended in almost seamlessly with the arctic environment.

Lou docked the boat and they got out. Poppy had thought there was a barrenness to the environment before--but here it was a stark isolation that went far beyond anything she knew. The land was so vast--open and big and pristine. Beautiful and yet frighteningly desolate.

"Here, take these," Lou said. He handed each of them a set of lightweight black goggles with red eyeglass, similar to what a swimmer might wear. "Put them on when I tell you. It's the only way you'll be able to navigate the Corridor, both going in and coming out.

Thirty minutes later, goggles in place, Poppy was shocked when she suddenly saw a kaleidoscope of colors erupt in front of her eyes. If felt like she was wearing a pair of those strange sixties psychedelic spectacles, except there was only one area where the odd aurora borealis-like imagery appeared. If she looked in other directions she saw white ice and blue sky and water.

"This is weird," Gray said.

Poppy peered down the strange Corridor of undulating lights. She finally realized that there were several entry points along the corridor and each was a different color, yet distinctly at odds from the undulating lights in the sky.

"Do you see them?" Lou asked.

"You mean the portals?" Poppy said.

"Yes, that's it."

"But which one do we go through? And more importantly how do we get back?"

"The goggles will help you to identify the correct gateway in order to return. Once on the other side, walk toward the sun and eventually a guide will meet up with you and escort you to the palace. The passageway you're looking for is sky blue. Just remember that. The other portals will take you to other realms and you don't want to go there. There are different rules to each realm. And it gets very complicated."

"This is just so strange," Poppy said. "I never would have guessed."

Lou turned and smiled at her. "You aren't supposed to guess. That's the whole point. Let's get your gear out of the boat and then you'll be on your way."

It took them the better part of another hour to get things organized and the small lightweight sled repacked. Will donned the harness for the first leg of the trip.

"Looks like you're all set," Lou said.

"How will we get back to you?" Poppy felt panic begin to set in. Lou put an arm around her and hugged her.

"You'll be fine. I'll know when you return. It's my job to know the comings and goings of the Corridor."

Lou hugged and kissed each of them before sending them on their way.

"Thank you for everything, Lou," Poppy said. Somehow within the last twenty-four hours Lou had become an integral part of her family and she hated the thought of leaving him behind.

He grinned. "My part is finished and yours is beginning. But I think it's me who should be thanking you. You're marvelous, Poppy. I'll miss you." His look took them all in. "I'll miss all of you." There was a twinkle in his eye that had Poppy blushing. Well, she had to admit her time in Griesefiord had been quite a rare and pleasant interlude.

Poppy, Will, and Gray headed toward the blue portal that wavered as though caught in a breeze that didn't seem to originate in this world.

"Well, I guess this is it," Poppy said. She took a deep breath and then stepped toward the blue gateway.

"No," Will said as he grabbed her arm and stopped her from being the first to pass through the portal. "I'll go first."

"It doesn't matter," Poppy said.

"It does to me." And then he moved ahead, dragging the sleigh behind him before she could argue further. He disappeared from view and for a moment Poppy panicked as she lost sight of him.

She quickly followed, and Gray brought up the rear. They found themselves in what looked like a long icy tube, the floor slick as ice. Pressure seemed to suck at Poppy, making it difficult for her to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. Gray squeezed up next to her and grabbed her arm, guiding her forward. It was with a sense of relief that they finally reached the end of the tube and found themselves in a place vastly different and yet eerily the same as the world they had just left.

Once settled into this other icy realm, they removed the special goggles and replaced them with regular snow goggles. The first thing that struck Poppy was the stillness. A complete and utter silence. And then she turned her attention to the sky. Dark swirling clouds shot through with streaks of gold and red. The colors merged and separated, every now and then offering a glimpse of the fierce, almost blinding glow of an odd undulating orange sun.

"Well, I guess we go this way," Gray said as he shaded his eyes and looked up at the sky. "The sooner we're on our way, the faster we finish up and get back."

Weather and how we portray it in our stories is integral, whether it's dry and hot, moist and steamy, cold and wet. The environment must play into a story, into the character's actions, into their physical comfort or discomfort. Into their heightened senses and awareness. How does their body react to the environment? If they are a species other than human what effect does weather have on them? Or does it not affect them at all? Shock and anger, passion and depression, can all play a part on how the environment affects us--our mind and body often responding in unexpected ways. Each person may respond differently. Our body temperatures are not all the same. Just because we're human doesn't mean all respond the same to a given environment. Who is your character? Does she run around in winter without a coat on, like a friend of mine does? Does his temperature tend to run abnormally high? Also, keep in mind that at different times of the day, the weather affects us differently.

In winter, when I walk Marley at say 5 a.m., it's not all that cold, and the sky can be so clear and endless. Two hours later it's like the temperature has dropped significantly. It's freezing. It always feels odd to me how it does that.

When it's snowing I often feel like the noises and sounds tend to be muffled, softer. There's a quietness to the environment, it smells clean and brisk and inviting. It's energizing. But what about later in January when there's dirty snow and bits of ragged ice. There's a different sort of atmosphere.

Never ignore the environment. Make it come alive, weave it carefully and thoughtfully into the story to envelope the characters, and make the atmosphere come alive for readers as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Predators and Inspiration [Explicit Content]

You never know when, how, or where inspiration will strike. Amazingly, the inspiration for "Manimal Attraction," started early one morning around 7 a.m. when my husband called me to the kitchen window. "Bring your camera. Quick!" Who knew?

The image is fuzzy, and he was across the yard, but he looked pretty big, and sometimes common sense kicks in--I wasn't going outside. But the zoom picked up pretty well--enough to inspire a story which morphed into "Manimal Attraction." My thought was that he might be a hybrid. But with me have absolutely no experience with this predatory population, I wasn't certain. Looking back now, especially after having visited "Wolf Haven," the sanctuary that's nearby, the head does looked pretty coyote-ish. But he was not small. There's a wildlife sanctuary behind our house and the information says there's at least one coyote that we apparently have as a neighbor. I did call to report the sighting. Never did get a call back. Oh well, everybody's busy.

Anyway, back to the writing of "Manimal Attraction."

My first draft started out something like this:

It was by accident I saw him that morning. Big. Gray. Powerfully-built. His thick silvery coat gleamed in the early dawn light. He lifted his head to scent the air. Ears tipped forward, alert to the presence of any danger. Powerful shoulders and haunches. It appeared as if he thought all of the world belong to him–very much an alpha male secure in his dominion.

And that's what I saw outside my window. And I called it, "The Wolf." First drafts are after all, just first drafts. It morphed, of course, and things changed as I started to get into the story and the "what-ifs" and scenarios that writers tend to consider. And my muse had her say. The first lines of the story ended up starting:

“She’s the third one,” Sheriff Taggart Este said as he squatted down to catch an identifiable scent, his coyote shifter instincts fully engaged. It was there, just like with the others, but subtle and slightly elusive.

Yup, Taggart ended up being coyote, not wolf, and not a most loyal species perhaps by any means, nor is Taggart particularly trusting. But Taggart is extremely loyal to at least one other resident of Rapture Bay. That person is the mayor, and he's a wolf shifter by the name of Lash MacKenzie.

And the other complication. Abigail Pembroke was back in town to deal with her grandmother’s death. Abby—Lash’s former lover—descendent of the third Harmony—Lucinda. A woman Lash had not forgotten. Nor had Tag. Nor could they ever. She was a Harmony and now that the elders were dead it would be up to Lash, Tag, and Abby to take their place. Whether Abby wanted to or not.

Trust me, Abby doesn't want to return to Rapture Bay. But trouble's come to town, and on the winds of a series of murders, Abigail Pembroke returns to town. Abby, who hurt Lash deeply when she left. Coyote's don't forgive easily.

Abby could feel him close by. Not just him, the other one was near as well. But it was he who came first, he she was grounded to before the other.
Distance may have diminished the connection, but now that she's back, he's something she's going to have to contend with, and it's not going to be easy, because they're the last Harmonies left, and no one else has a hope of helping the residents of Rapture Bay.

Remember that line in the first draft? Yes, it made it's way into the final story, but you won't find it on the first page.

Morning came all too soon. Coffee. God, did Abby need a full pot of it right now just to get her going. And then she made the mistake of looking out the kitchen window.

He was standing there—truly a primal statement. And he was making it to her. She trembled, almost dropping the coffee mug as she stared at Lash, unable to take her eyes off him. How close she had come to shifting last night. Not that she’d ever allowed herself to shift before, she’d always fought the most elemental—that most innate call of her blood.

Big. Gray. Powerfully-built. A breeze ruffled the thick, gleaming silvery coat in the early dawn light. He lifted his head to scent the air. Ears pricked forward, alert to the presence of any danger. Powerful shoulders and haunches. His stature said the world belonged to him—very much an alpha male secure in his dominion.

Except he was in Abby’s backyard.

But it means more now. Now, we know who, and what he is, and we are connected to him.

But what about Taggart? How's he going to handle all this? His first loyalty appears to be to Lash--but what will he do to protect him? How far will he go? In this scene, he's all coyote predator.

Tag circled his desk and walked to Abby. He sensed her fear, her desire to retreat. He admired the fact that she stood her ground and faced him down. He purposefully stepped into her space. She stepped back. Something dark and dangerous reared its head inside him and he found himself herding her back to the wall.

Sexual heat surged through him. He knew Lash needed her—they both did in order to secure the barrier. But there was more to it than that. He yanked the handcuffs from his belt. Before she knew what hit her, he had her cuffed to the rack where his hat rested above, right next to his coat.

“Tag, what are you doing? Let me go.”

He drew closer, inhaled her scent.

“Did you fuck Brice just to irritate Lash?”

“Damn you, no. It was only lunch. He invited me.”

He slowly began to undo the buttons of her blouse and revealed the soft skin beneath. “Did he,” Tag murmured, his full attention on the pretty, soft skin he was revealing. “I wonder what he has in mind? Do you like him better than Lash? Maybe it’s not that you like him, but that he’s safer. Is that it? Did he convince you to go upstairs with him? Did he spread you out on one of those beds and eat you for dessert?”

He pulled out his jackknife and cut the fragile material of her bra, baring her breasts. He heard her inhale sharply. It wasn’t fear, it was desire, and the scent of it permeated the room.

He watched her breasts rise and fall with each deep breath. Dusky nipples puckered, so dark against her honeyed skin. He looked into her eyes. She looked at him, no fear evidenced in the wide stare she gave him. He fitted his hands to her narrow waist.

He dropped to his knees and as he leaned in he moved his hands to the hem of her skirt, slowly lifting it until he revealed her panty-covered pussy. He inhaled loudly, taking in her scent.

Things are definitely heating up in Rapture Bay, all because of one glimpse of a dangerous predator out my kitchen window.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Immortal Love and Mortal Humans

Currently reading the book, "Vampires" by Joules Taylor, and came across this like that got me to thinking.:

"The love of a vampire goes on forever, but the life of a human being is all too short."

I thought of the "Highlander" movie with Christopher Lambert and how Connor lost his loves through the ages due to human mortality. How do you address mortality in stories of the paranormal and supernatural?

I looked back at my story, "Body Parts," which deals with a Frankensteinian theme of a man, Athan, created by a couple who are scientists, Cornelius and Sheba Ransom. Thus the relationship is even more complex because this couple are not only his makers, but his lovers and his mentors. Athan refers to them like this:

“The Ransoms? They were my makers. They were my lovers. They were my family. All that I am is because of them.”

Sheba and Cornelius are mortal and through Sheba's journal we see the progression of their lives, the fragility of their mortality as Athan remains unchanged. Here's a passage from Sheba's journal regarding her concerns for her husband and for Athan.

"I am so very tired. Athan tries to bear the brunt of the responsibility on his shoulders, but there is only so much even he can do. Cornelius listens to no one.

I feel his mind has gone but there is no way to have him institutionalized. Even for the ramblings of a crazy man, someone might believe his words and seek to discover the truth. I cannot allow that to happen.

It is midnight once again and I cannot sleep for the decisions I have had to make. It tears my heart out but we have come to the end. I must do it for his own protection. I never would have thought it would come to this, but there is no other choice.

I can no longer remember my life before Cornelius, before the time I became his assistant. I cannot imagine my life if something were to happen to him. I could not go on. Not without him. I must see to his safety and that no more harm can be done, not only to him but by him.

Athan is for the most part self-sufficient and can take care of himself as long as he remains on the estate. I have taken care of matters so that he will be well cared for no matter what happens to us. Since his creation he has never left the grounds, except to go to the town. The outside world would never understand him and I fear would treat him ill. He must be protected at all costs. I do not wish to see him harmed. Because of this I will take steps to be certain our research will never come to light.

Two hours ago, he came to me and we discussed what must happen in order to protect Cornelius and our life here. Athan has taken it upon himself to prepare apartments in the west tower. He is seeing to the installation of the locks on the doors and the windows. There is no other way. I can’t stand the thought of it, but there truly is no other way to protect Cornelius from himself. Oh, God, how has it come down to this?

In youth we do not foresee the end. We think we shall continue forever. As Athan will do. He is the perfect embodiment of all we hold precious--youth, freedom from disease, and immortality. In Athan we have created perfection.

He came to me tonight and we spoke of what needs to be done both to contain Cornelius and to secure the estate. All through dinner we listened to the rantings of my husband, knowing we must bide our time for the moment. Tonight he is again to meet with the body thief to procure another corpse for his twisted deeds.

I sometimes wonder if it is Cornelius who has changed, or is it me? Is it that Athan fills all the void places inside me and I have no wish to delve further? Have I become too content with what we have achieved in Athan?

Sheba's responsibilities, her goal to tie up loose ends, weighs heavily on her shoulders. Her needs and her relationship to Athan have altered over the years from that of creator/nurturer to dependent/nurturee. And what of Athan? Can he understand human emotion? Korrie, a young research who has come to the Ransom estates to study their extensive library as that very questiom

“Do you know what love is, Athan? Outside of the primality of your instinctual drive for sexual intimacy? Do you understand that Sheba loved you? Have you ever loved anyone?”

He dropped his head forward and she couldn’t see his expression. He was quiet for a long time. Then he looked at her, and she saw the flashing emotion in his eyes. “I looked it up once. In the dictionary. I have felt protective of Dr. Sheba and Dr. Cornelius. I know I would have given my life to save them. I have felt lust for the lovers who have come to me for satisfaction. I have been grateful to the ones who have allowed me to expend. I have felt sadness at the deaths of those I have cared for.” There was a question in his eyes when he looked at her. “I don’t know if this is love or not. It seems sometimes to be such a fleeting, fragile emotion, elusive to me in some way. I don’t know if I can use just one word to describe my emotions for the people who have passed through this immortal existence of mine.”

“God, Athan, every time I’m near you, when you speak to me, when I listen to your words, I feel like I ‑‑” How did she tell him she fell deeper in love with him each time she was in his presence? He was the most fascinating and sensitive person she had ever met in her life.

“What, Korrie? You feel what?” He leaned across the small, circular mosaic table and pressed his lips to hers. It wasn’t a demanding kiss; it was soft and seductive. His large, warm hand cupped her jaw, a finger stroking along the lines of her chin. She was hypnotized by the odd lightning of his expressive eyes. “When I am with you, so deep inside you, I feel the frantic beating of your heart. I think this connection I have with you is something so special, so unique. It is a feeling, a peace, I have never known before.”

“I feel it, too, Athan,” she whispered. "

Korrie is young, another researcher who has come into Athan's life. She is mortal, just like Dr. Sheba, and he starts to fall in love with her. He understands the mortal frailty of humans, he understands that he has become something of a caregiver, a sentinel. Dare he love too deeply? His relationship with Korrie is different from what he had experienced with the Ransoms. He has learned to have a care for humans and unlike Frankenstein's monster he does possess a moral compass.

In Sheba's last days Athan cared for her fragile body with tenderness and compassion, even as he dealt with Cornelius's lost of clarity and fractured mind. Sheba's entry in her diary speaks of her relationship with Athan, an immortal created through science and alchemy whom she is emotionally attached to and dependent on. Though advanced in age at this point, Athan still makes her feel cherished and loved.

"They still come to Athan in the garden. I seem to live vicariously through them now when I watch the heat of their passion beneath my window. Particularly on those nights when he has just been infused by the electrophasm treatments and the electrical impulses surge through him deliciously. I remembered well the stunning shocks of ecstasy as we made love.

This body and heart can no longer stand up to that much voltage and so I am a voyeur now, and I remember how it once felt to have him inside me that deeply and to feel the jolts as he spent into my womb. I long for those days when he made me feel as immortal as he.

Yet he has not forsaken me entirely ‑‑ he will not allow it. And he still looks at me with love in his expression. Just last night, before he left for his laboratory to induce the electrophasm treatment, he came to me.

Without a word, but the look of determination in his eyes.

“Tonight,” he said, as he lifted me from my chair and carried me to the bed, “I will be inside you.”

I shivered with anticipation as he peeled back the layers of my nightgown. For this night I don’t feel the frailty of my body as Athan looks at me with passion and love. I allow him to do as he will, to again make me feel like a desirable woman in his arms.

“You are beautiful to me, Dr. Sheba. Never doubt your importance to me.”

I felt his hot, moist lips on my body and the flutter of passion blossomed inside me. Frail I may be, but the desire has not lessened. He took his time as though learning my body for the very first time, just as we had learned each other so many years ago. I twined my fingers into the locks of his thick, resilient hair. God, he was beautiful and would always remain so.

He reached for a bottle in the drawer of the nightstand and I smelled the scent of the special lavender oil he had created in the lab.

I flew above myself as he applied it liberally to my pussy and I felt his thick fingers press inside me. My beautiful Athan.

The scent of the lilacs reminded me of the garden and if I closed my eyes I could feel my youth and the moist earth beneath me as Athan entered me slowly.

He took a chance by allowing himself to bleed out the electrical energy and coming to me at his lowest ebb, but before he applied his treatment. He did this for me, so there could be no chance of a stray surge stopping this frail heart of mine."

And after Sheba's death he spends many year alone without the anchor of love and guidance, until another scientist walks into his life. Korrie, who is very different from Sheba. Korrie is drawn to the Ransom estate through the passionate entries in Sheba's journal.

Again, Athan will be presented with human mortality. Dare he take the risk of loving another human?

As a writer, how do you deal with mortality in your paranormal and supernatural stories? As a reader, what do you like to see when it comes to the human condition versus immortal quotient? Handling the mortality issues can give a whole other layer and character dimension to story in my opinion. There is a very fragile balance whether it's a vampire, a faerie, a superhero, or some other larger than life creature. When dealing with humans it involves many complications and complexities, a possible heartbreak. Bringing someone "over" should never be an easy decision or a simple journey. Like any birth, death, and rebirth, there is pain and refashioning attached to the evolution of humanity.