Sunday, September 21, 2014

From Terra Ch. 9

Now that I'm done with Claiming His Wife (other than editing), I managed to finish the next chapter of From Terra =) It was fun getting back to Chryssa.  Especially because that storyline is a lot more restful on my brain, since it's not very complicated at all! LOL. 

Otherwise... just getting down on the editing so that Claiming His Wife will be out on Friday September 26 =)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Announcements

Claiming His Wife is done and has entered the editing phase.  Thanks to the contest I held last month, I have more feedback from beta readers than ever before, so I think the editing / revising is going to take me a bit longer than usual.  I'm setting September 26, 2014 as the release date.  One of these days, I'm going to figure out how to make books available for pre-order on Amazon.  *sigh*

Another chapter of From Terra has been finished and will be submitted tonight.  I know it's been a while, that's because 99% of my focus has been on Claiming His Wife.

Next up on the docket is Mastering Lexie.  Soooo excited about this one, but also feeling the pressure because I know a lot of people have been anticipating the showdown between Patrick and Lexie and I really want to, at the very least, meet those expectations.  I'm really excited about it.

I've definitively decided on the order for the Stronghold books following Mastering Lexie.

3.5 - Leigh's Novella - Broken
4 - Jared's book - Breaking the Chain
4.5 - Angel & Adam's novella - Surprising the Sub
5 - Andrew's book - Bound to the Past
5.5 - Jessica, Justin & Chris novella - Three Vows
6 - Michael's book
7 - Olivia's book

It's possible Rick & Maria will also get a novella, in between Michael & Olivia, but I haven't decided yet.  I'm not sure what I'd write for them, so that's still up in the air.  However... release dates?  I'm not sure.  I'd like to get out Mastering Lexie a bit before Christmas.  Broken I'm going to be aiming for March.

In between those will be Marriage Training (yay, gonna finish writing the book version!) around Valentine's Day.  If you've read the Literotica version than you know the basic story line, but I'm going to go a bit more in depth with some of the other characters that Vivian interacts with, like the other school girls.  She's got a best friend.  There's also some stuff going on behind the scenes with Honoria and Doctor Banks, which I didn't get into during the Literotica story.  There will also be a lot more of Gabriel's family and seeing him at home while Vivian's in training.  Probably the biggest thing will be the chapters that I'm putting at the end, which will continue the story past their wedding and into their home.  Not too many chapters, but a few =)

I might go straight into the Society of Sin series, which will be set in Gabriel's world, although the stories will revolve around relationships that are already set by the time Marriage Training starts.  That of his step-mother and his sisters.  However, there's also a quartet that I want to write for my Dark Angel penname that I've started to work on a bit and I might take a break from the Victorian era and write those first.  They're going to be fetish books - breast milk, age play, puppy play and pony play.  I've been wanting to do more with Dark Angel and just haven't really had the time.  This quartet will be set in the future, so it might be a nice break from the Victorian age for a bit.

So yeah.  I think that's all the announcements that I have at the moment!  Looking forward to next Friday and finally releasing Claiming His Wife!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Self-Publishing

With me desperately trying to finish the last book of the Domestic Discipline Quartet, Claiming His Wife, this seemed as good a time as any to talk about self-publishing =)

Literotica.com was the first place I started writing, and I learned a lot in the earlier years from the feedback I got on there, as well as comparing myself to other authors on  the site.  Once I got a Kindle, I had even more authors I could compare myself to, judge their writing styles and see what I liked and didn't like about their writing, adapting that mentality to my own stories.

A couple of summers ago, I wrote The Venus School of Sex for Literotica, and I got a HUGE fan reaction.  Not just about whether people wanted Jessica to choose Justin or Chris or both (and I loved the comments about that), but people asking if I published for Kindle and telling me that if I didn't, I should because they would buy it.  I had just recently got a Kindle at the time, and so I could see the appeal.  Having the stories to carry around with you, no need for internet connection, all in one place... so I said okay.  I'll go ahead and try that.

It only took me a little bit of researching using Google and the Amazon site to figure out that it's incredibly easy to publish there.  You have to have an account, and then you go to kdp.amazon.com and it basically gives you step by step directions in there to publish the book.  The hardest part is actually formatting the book, and they have this awesome free e-book called "Building Your Book for Kindle" available.  I read through it, and then the first ten or so times that I published a book, I went step by step through the directions.  Now I've basically got them down and I only need to re-check them once in a while.

I said "the hardest part."  I lied.  That's just the hardest part of making the book available.  The hardest part is getting people to read it.  I've talked to other authors who are self-published and we pretty much all agree - marketing is a bitch.  I'm lucky.  I'm not trying to make this my main source of income and I came with a built-in fan base, thanks to all of you lovely people from Literotica who kept encouraging me to publish.  That meant that people bought my book AND wrote reviews for it from the very beginning.  That's HUGE in the self-publishing world, reviews are incredibly important, even if you're not trying to make this your MAIN source of income.  If you want any modicum of success, you need reviews and you need them to be positive.

When I say I'm lucky, I mean that.  I've had wonderful luck with beta readers who are happy with being rewarded with free copies of the book and who give me fantastic feedback.  I've had several offers for editing that have come and gone, but I seem to have finally picked one up that's around to stay, and so I'm hoping Claiming His Wife is going to be as close to error free as I've ever gotten on a first go-round.  She's also been helping me with editing the Venus Rising Quartet so that I can re-release them, with new covers by RaineyCloud9.  Also super lucky that she found me and wanted to help to covers, because I have NO IDEA how I would have found someone as talented as her if I'd been left to my own devices.  I probably would have continued putting out the same kind of covers I always had.  During this past year, I was also contacted by Yellow Silk Dreams, which is an author-based publishing company, and they've been wonderful about helping me get into new markets, and about doing the print books for me.  As soon as I'm done revising the Venus Rising Quartet and have the new covers and everything, I'm going to release the whole quartet in print.  YAY!

But when I started off, I didn't have any of those things (except an awesome beta reader, Queenie, who has been with me from the beginning), so it was really thanks to the supportive fans who wrote the initial reviews that things went well for me.  Now I also publish on Smashwords and for the Nook, both of which require different formats from the Kindle.  It's a bit of a pain in the butt, and neither of those have been as successful as Amazon, but that's okay.  I have had some experience with publishers wanting to publish my stuff, and then getting screwed over in one way or another.  It's made me very cautious.  Yellow Silk Dreams has been great so far, which is awesome, because my first experiences made me pretty sketched out.  There are a LOT of small publishers out there.  I was thinking about submitting some stuff through Blushing Books or Ellora's Cave, but so far I've been happy just doing my own thing, and those initial publishers made me leery enough that I haven't got around to it.  I'm not sure I would do any better going through one of them anyway.

One day, if I could make this my primary source of income, that would be AMAZING.  Until then... it's a lot of fun.  Some months are better than others.  And I love the feedback and attention that the books get.  It's extremely gratifying in a way that I don't get to experience otherwise.  I'm a bit of an attention whore, so this feeds a need for me =P

So yeah.  If you're wondering how the writing's going with Claiming His Wife... I'm almost done with the last chapter and then I just have the epilogue and then a crap-ton of editing.  I'm aiming to have the writing portion done by the end of this week and the editing done by the end of next week... I'll keep you all updated =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#Why I Stayed

With Ray Rice and his wife in the news, people are paying more attention to domestic abuse than ever before.  I think that's a good thing in a lot of ways, but in others, it's not so good.  People don't have a lot of sympathy for her, because she's sticking by her man, but honestly, unless you've been through something similar, I don't know that anyone could understand.  There seems to be this mistaken impression that abusers are awful from the beginning of the relationship, that there's this clear cut signal of "it's time to get out."

If only life were so easy.  Because there are people out there, men and women, who in a fit of anger, will hit or slap their partner, once, and be horrified by their actions.  They will seek help.  They will realize what they are capable of and they will make a vow never to do it again.  They will keep that vow.  And their apologies and promises sound just like an abuser's.

Also, most relationships don't start out as abusive.  It starts with two people getting to know each other.  The abuser is usually charming.  Suave.  Maybe alpha, but that's hot, right?  They can be incredibly caring.  They listen, they get to know their partner inside and out.  When they get angry, they don't come out swinging the very first time.  They don't necessarily choose the "weak" woman.

I can't tell you how many times I've had an argument turned around on me.  I was mad that he was late, but he was only a little late.  Why can't I be more understanding?  Why am I so inflexible?  I was mad that he was flirting with another woman.  Why did I think he was flirting?  Why am I so untrusting?  Don't I know that he loves me and only me?

He was mad I wanted to go out with my friends.  But not because he's trying to control me, no.  He just wants more time with me.  We don't really get that much quality time, don't I want to spend the night alone with him?  Don't I want a romantic dinner?  So I tell my friends I can't go and he spends the night showering me with attention.  Cooks me dinner.  Does the dishes.  Massages my shoulders, pampers me, cuddles me, makes love to me.

The slide from what's normal in a relationship to what's unhealthy is so slow.  It can take months, even years.  Friends might notice, but by the time they start speaking up, there's an insidious voice inside of your head.  They don't understand.  They don't see how sweet he is when you're alone.  Sure they miss you, but that's part of being in a relationship, right?  You don't have as much time for your friends.  They're just jealous that they're not getting as much of you're time, it's not that he's taking up too much of it.  Because that's stuff that happens in normal life.

And you're a strong woman.  You know you are.  So you push a little bit, to prove to your friends that he's not like that.  You insist he let you go out.  Of course you can, he would never stop you from doing what you want to do.  He just thought you wanted to spend the time with him, the way he wanted to spend the time with you.  He just wants you to be happy, it doesn't matter if he feels neglected, he's a man, he'll get over it.  The words, the hurt look revolve around your brain, the entire time you're out with your friends, making you feel guilty and miserable, making you question how real of friends they can be when they're being so selfish and unsympathetic to the fact that you're in a loving relationship with a man that's crazy about you.  So you go home.  You apologize for neglecting him.

And he's so sweet about it, he's so generous, he's just happy you're home with him, and he cuddles you and tells you how much he missed you.

Sometimes.  Sometimes the homecoming is different.  He's resentful.  Sulking.  You coax him out of his bad mood.  Tell him how much you missed him, how you prefer being at home with him.  Eventually he accepts your apology, he cuddles and loves you possessively, making you feel safe and wanted and like he'll never let you go - and that's the dream, isn't it?

The sulking starts happening more and more often when you don't do what he wants.  It's easier to give in.  After all, you want to spend time with him too.  Everything is so much nicer, so much happier when he gets what he wants, and it's not that different from what you want.  You tell your friends you want to stay home with him.  You get annoyed and angry with the petty jealousy of the ones who don't understand, who say nasty things about the man you love, the man who loves you to distraction.  Some of your friends have been just as charmed by him as you are, but they're starting to get a little worried.  Still, it's your life and they let you do what you want.  Those are the friends you feel most comfortable with now.

You never even realize how easily you've slipped into the pattern of doing what he wants, because it's what you want too.  Problems don't arise until you start trying to change that pattern.  Missing your friends, wanting to go out with them... and suddenly it's a major problem.  You point out how much time you've spent with him, and he takes it as proof that he loves you more than you love him.  Fine, go, get out, if you don't want to spend time with him, he doesn't want to spend time with you.  The arguments rise, get more heated every time.  He vents his frustration, stomping around, screaming in your face.  It frightens you and you cry.

He demands that you stop crying, stop trying to make him feel guilty with your tears.  Is that what you're doing?  You're not that manipulative, are you?  So you choke down the tears and the argument winds down as you apologize for making him feel that way, of course you're not trying to make him feel bad, of course you love him.  Maybe you stay in, maybe you go out, it's unclear who won.  You talk to your best friend about it and she points out that he's the one being manipulative.  Immediately you feel defensive, even as you wonder if she's right.  But you defend him, tell her how he didn't mean it that way, tell her that he's just used to getting his way, and it's your fault because you usually let him have it.  You realize how true that is, how much of his behavior is your doing, because you knew it would upset him when you did it.  You pushed him into the screaming match, into getting in your face.  And then you cried, even though you knew, deep down, that it would probably upset him too.

The next time you fight, you feel the need to cry, and you start to flee, not liking how he's screaming in your face, not wanting to cry again.  He grabs your wrist, won't let you go.  Tells you that you need to finish the argument, that you can't just run out on him, that you need to work things out with him... he can't let you go until you've worked things out.  His grip tightens as you try to pull away and you finally say "You're hurting me!"  Immediately his grip loosens, but he doesn't let go completely.  He wants to work things out with you.  HAS to work things out with you and now he's afraid that you're going to leave him if he lets you go.  It's just like out of those romance novels that you read, the ones with the controlling, alpha males that are so sexy.  Except, somehow, it's not sexy.  It's kind of scary, but you're soothed by his desire to work things out.  It's your fault for trying to run out the door anyway.  You shouldn't have tried to run away.

When you tell your best friend about it, she says something about how he's abusive.  You tell her no, you tell her it was your fault, that you shouldn't have tried to run away.  It's not like he hit you, or even bruised you.  He just held your wrist.  It got a little red.  That's not abuse.  You would never allow yourself to be abused.  You are a strong woman.  If he ever hit you, you would be out of there, no matter how much you love him.

The next time you fight, he stomps, he roars, he throws things.  Not at you, just near you.  You're furious, you yell at him to stop or you're leaving.  The next thing you know, he's beside you, holding your wrist again.  Why would you threaten him like that?  Are you trying to hurt him?  No, you just don't want him to throw things.  Then why are you making him so angry?  Why are you being so selfish?  Dammit, don't cry, he's not falling for that guilt trip, why would you even try to do that?  I'm not trying to make you feel guilty, you shout, I'm just upset!  He holds you.  Apologizes.  Pulls you down on the couch, on his lap, wraps his arms around you and tells you how sorry he is.  How much he loves you.  You couldn't get up if you tried... but why would you want to right now when he's being so sweet?

Not all the arguments are like this, and it's not like you argue all the time, but it does seem like they're getting worse and more frequent.  But the rest of the time he's wonderful.  Giving.  Thoughtful. Sweet.  Charming to your friends, even when they act like suspicious bitches to him.  Screw them anyway, for being so rude.  So petty.

The next argument you tell him you need to take a walk.  You're just so tired of arguing, you want to give both of you time to calm down.  He becomes frantic, insisting that you work things out, blocking your way to the door.  It makes you angry and you try to push past him,  He grabs you, holding you, and you scream at him, trying to get away, and he wrestles you down to the floor.  Holds you there, until you promise that you won't try to walk out again, that you'll stay and work things out.  That's all he wants, is to work things out, he doesn't understand why you don't want that too, why you'd try to leave him.  You're slightly bruised, but you know it's your fault.  You shouldn't have tried to leave.  You shouldn't have provoked him like that.  You knew how much it would hurt him.  Besides, if you hadn't tried to fight him, he wouldn't have pushed you to the floor.

You've been telling your best friend less and less about your fights, knowing what her response will be.  Knowing that you'll end up having to defend him, because she just doesn't understand.  She won't be reassuring, she'll just make things in your head worse.  But you're going to show them.  All of them. They think he's a bad guy, but he's not; he loves you.  They'll realize that one day and they'll all realize how wrong they were about him.  He's not abusive.  You would be out the door if he was.

The next time you argue, you want to leave so badly and the anger just builds up inside of you.  Like he can guess what you're thinking, he blocks the route to the door again, and you try to slap him.  Knowing that he'll stop you.  Knowing that he'll catch your arm.  It's not hot like it is in the books though.  He catches your wrist and won't let go, screaming in your face.  You can't blame him.  After all, you did just try to slap him.  You try to get away and he tightens his grip.  It hurts.  This time when you tell him, he doesn't loosen his grip, he just glares at you and reminds you that you just tried to slap him - no he's not letting go.  Definitely your own fault.  Why the hell did you have to do that anyway?  Were you trying to provoke him into hitting you?  Trying to make him so angry that he would lash out violently?  What the hell is wrong with you?

You tell your best friend about that, because you want her to understand that it's not just him that gets so frustrated that he lashes out.  You did it too, even though you knew he would stop you from actually slapping him.  She's more concerned than ever, but accepts your reassurances.  Tells you that you deserve better.  But you want him.  The grass is always greener on the other side, but if you deserve whatever you want, then you should have what you want, and HE is what you want.

More fights.  Both of you hold back physically, but everything else is worse.  The screaming.  The insults.  One day, you get up in his face, and he raises his hand in the air, and you realize that you've done it... you've finally pushed him too far.  You fall to the ground, screaming "Don't hit me."  You're curled in front of him on the ground and all of the sudden he drops down on top of you, his voice nearly as frightened as your own as he says "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over again.  He's horrified.  He holds you as you cry.  Tells you it will never happen again, that he never would have done it.  You tell him that if he ever actually hits you, you're gone.

The next day, he tells you he called an abuse hotline, he wanted to talk to someone about what he can do... they recommend anger management classes.  He's told his best friends, who tell you that they have your back, that they would kick his ass if he ever actually hit you.  The fights stop.  But over the next few weeks, you realize that the fights have stopped because you're giving in to everything again.  You bicker with him, he accuses you of picking fights.  That might be true... you might be testing him.  Why are you such an awful person?  Why do you have to test him like that?  Why can't you just believe him?

By the time a few months have passed, you're brutally confused.  You want to trust him.  You believe he loves you.  You still love him.  But you're back to giving him everything he demands, because you're afraid to get into another fight.  No, he didn't hit you, but you're starting to realize the things he did do.  The ways he manipulated you.  That the shoving, the holding you down, the grabbing your wrist... those things were physical.  Those things hurt you. And he did them again and again and again.  You talk about that with him.  He says it will never happen again.  Promises.

You decide you need space.  You give him back his ring.  Tell him you need time and space to think.  He's upset, but he gives it to you.  Calls every day.  Shows how much he cares.  How much he loves you.  You end up getting back together two weeks later.  Things have definitely changed.

Now he doesn't fight with you at all.  It's as if he's gone cold instead of hot, holding everything inside.  He's practically indifferent to you, what you do, where you go, who you're with.  None of that seems to matter to him.  You don't feel loved any more. Not at all. Not even a little.  Not the way you used to.  He proves that to you six months later when he tells you he's not in love with you anymore four days after your six year anniversary.

So that's my story.  He eventually apologized, a few years later, for everything that he put me through.  He's got a new girlfriend that he's been with for years.  As far as I know, he's never come close to physically abusing another woman.  As far as I know, he never subjected them to the mental or verbal abuse that I went through either.  I truly believe he never realized he was abusive, I truly believe he never meant to be.  I still blame myself for letting him "get away" with as many things as he did.  I know a lot of it was my fault, although when I was in the relationship I didn't see any other option... because there wasn't.  But we'd been together for four years before things started to go downhill.

I am 100% aware that if it wasn't for my best friend, I may have ended up with him.  She was my rock.  She never blamed me for staying with him, she always listened without judgment when I needed an ear, and even though she constantly told me that I deserved better, she was always there for me no matter how many times he hurt me.  She encouraged me to stand up to him, to demand better from him, but she never made me feel like less of a person for putting up with what I did.  Other friends distanced themselves, told me that they couldn't stand by and watch what he was doing to me... it was the least helpful thing they could have done.  I was already having enough trouble maintaining connections.  It wasn't tough love to me, even after I realized that it wasn't because they were jealous of my amazing relationship, I saw it as them not caring enough to stick by me.  They were too involved with themselves, they didn't want to deal with my "drama."  I am no longer friends with any of them.  Their ultimatum broke that.

I remember one time, he told me that he didn't like my best friend because he didn't think she was a good influence on me.  I told him too bad.  I clung to her, because she was the only one who was really there for me.  If he'd ever managed to sever our relationship, if she had ever given up on me, I would not be where I am today.

I remember so many things.  Like, how I knew the relationship was downsliding.  I kept telling both myself and my best friend that if he ever hit me, I'd be gone.  I should have realized then that just thinking about that was a bad sign, because I was considering the fact that he could actually do it.  I knew he could.  I knew it was headed that way, even if I didn't admit it to myself at the time.

But I also remember how sweet and thoughtful he could be.  How genuine.  How fun and funny.  He made me laugh when I was sad, held me when my grandmother died, held me again when one of my friends died of stomach cancer, made me a bundle of balloon flowers when he was at work making balloon animals for kids because he couldn't afford to buy my real flowers... If I ever asked for anything, for my birthday or Christmas, I got it.  He knew what my favorite books were, he would buy me new ones for presents.  He gave me the Evenstar from Lord of the Rings for Christmas.  Sent me flowers at school on our anniversary.  Called me every single night before we moved in together and refused to be the first one to hang up the phone because he didn't want to "miss a moment" of me.

Those were the things I remembered, that I couldn't let go of when things started to go downhill.  Because every relationship has good days and bad days.

We are still friendly.  Which I'm sure some of you might judge me for, but we were together for six years.  His best friends are my best friends.  We're in the same wedding party next year, for one of the guys who told him that he would kick his ass if he ever hit me.  My husband is in the wedding party too.  I don't have any romantic feelings for him anymore, thank goodness.  The whole "you never get over your first love" bs?  ha, yeah, def over him.  But I still care about him, still want him to be happy in life, I just never want him to be anything more than a friendly acquaintance with me ever again.  Some people might think I'm stupid for thinking that he's changed.  I know I feel stupid for not getting out sooner.  But it was so hard to give up all the time I'd put into that relationship.  Even harder to admit to my friends that they were right and I was wrong.  Hardest of all, to admit to myself that I'd been emotionally and verbally abused.  Because I didn't want to be that woman.  I didn't want to be weak and stupid.

Now I know that it's not about being weak and stupid.  I know that it's not about being independent.  I know that it's not about whether or not he actually hits you.  Every relationship is different.  No one on the outside of the relationship can really say what it's about, looking.  So that's why I don't judge Ray Rice's wife.  Do I think she should get out?  Absolutely.  But maybe she's one of the lucky ones and that was the one and only time he did it and he really will never do it again.  For her sake, I hope that's true.  I doubt it is, but I hope, for her and her kid's sake.  I worry that it will be even harder for her to get out of the relationship now that she's in the spotlight, I worry about her measure of pride because I know mine took a brutal beating when I finally had to admit what my relationship was and what I had become.

So that is why I stayed.  I wish I could that's why I left too, but honestly, even when he told me he wasn't in love with me and he broke up with me, it took meeting, dating and falling in love with hubby for me to finally let go of my dreams of getting back together with the ex.  I like to think that I would have never allowed him to go down that path again, if we had gotten back together, that I would get out sooner if I saw we were headed back to the darkness, but honestly, I don't know.  Which is kind of scary.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Claiming His Wife Cover & Teaser

Okay!  So if you haven't already caught it on Facebook or Twitter, here is the GORGEOUS cover for Claiming His Wife.  A huge thank you to RaineyCloud9 by Designer Crystal Rain for my pretty pretty covers, they make me so happy!

Today I hit 75k words... I think I'm getting VERY closed to being finished.  I've wrapped up almost everything except Grace & Alex, so I just have a few more chapters concentrating on them, the epilogue where I will (hopefully) managed to tie up any loose ends, and then lots of editing!

In the meantime, here's a teaser -


Cynthia was bored.  Which, in and of itself, was not unusual, but she did take exception to being bored when she was at a dance.  Looking wistfully over at the floor, filled with whirling couples, she wished she were one of them.  Instead, she was trapped within the Countess' circle, all of whom wanted to know every detail about the upcoming wedding.

There were even more of them than usual to flutter over her, as people had been pouring into Bath once they'd received their wedding invitations.  Most of them had made it a stop on their way back to their estates, following the Season.  Eleanor had told her that the wedding certainly wouldn't empty the capital, but it would tempt quite a few of the ton to depart earlier than they normally would.  Unfortunately, that just meant she had to be at the Countess' side for what seemed like endless rounds of interminable introductions and bland, socially acceptable interactions.  

She glanced over at her fiancé, who already knew everyone and didn't seem to be held to the same strictures.  No, he was able to speak with his friends, visit the refreshments table, and even dance if he wanted.  Although if he did dance with one more flirtatious beauty, fresh from London, Cynthia was not going to be responsible for her actions.  After all his threats about her talking to other men, she would have thought he'd be more circumspect with his own attentions.  

Granted, his friends were also dancing with women other than their wives, but Eleanor and Irene were also on the dance floor, and the moment the music ended, Edwin and Hugh were back at their sides, reclaiming their women.  Only Grace wasn't dancing, and that was because Alex was looming over her and glaring at any man who dared come within two feet of her.  Going by the increasingly irate expression on Grace's face, only the fact that they were in public was keeping her from exploding.  

Really, she should just accept one of Lord Brooke's many invitations to dance.  It was obvious that he wasn't going to let his wife dance with another man until he danced with him first.  Cynthia had even seen the scowling lord shake his head at Hugh when he'd begun to approach.  

If only she could do the same with her own fiancé.

Cynthia scowled at him across the room, where he was talking with some blonde beauty that was practically clinging to his - oh... that was Eleanor on his arm.  Well that was alright.  But still.  Shouldn't the Earl have asked his fiancé to dance at least once?  Perhaps he was too scared to approach the gaggle of women around his mother, but that didn't mean that Cynthia should have to pay the price for his cowardice.

"Excuse me, my lady," she murmured to the Countess, "I must visit the retiring room."

"Of course, my dear, hurry back," the Countess said, smiling benignly.  She was fully decked out in all her best clothing, a glittering array of gold and ruby red, guaranteed to attract attention.  Obviously, she was in alt over finally having her eldest son about to be married.  Bemused, Cynthia hurried away, sliding between the ladies and nodding inanely as she passed.

In her own dress of dark rose pink, edged with cream, Cynthia knew that she looked quite attractive tonight.  The color matched her nipples perfectly, which made her feel wonderfully naughty, even though no one else was aware of it.  Well, the Earl might be, but he certainly wouldn't say anything even if he realized.  

As she made her way across the room, the frustrating man materialized at her elbow.

"Where do you think you're going?"

Cynthia scowled up at him, not at all intimidated by his low, threatening voice.  "Anywhere but back there," she said, jerking her head back towards where his mother was standing holding court.  The Earl's lips twitched as he almost smiled.  Ha.  She knew he had a sense of humor in there, even if he did tend to present his stuffiest side to her.

Well, stuffy when he wasn't baring her backside, turning it bright red and then putting his... well.  Now her own cheeks were starting to match her dress as she looked up at him.  It wasn't like her to be easily embarrassed, but she couldn't think about him doing that without blushing.  

"You, of all people, shouldn't be left unchaperoned for even a minute," he said, taking her hand and putting it on his arm.  Since Cynthia didn't actually need to use the retiring room, she didn't protest.

"Well then you can chaperone me," she said, smiling up at him with such saccharine sweetness that she knew he'd be suspicious.  She'd noticed that he was always the most wary of her when she was behaving correctly.  It set him on edge.  "After all, you seem unable to go more than a minute without a female on your arm, it might as well be me."

The Earl's eyebrows raised and a little gleam entered his eyes.  He really was devastatingly attractive.  "Jealous?"

"Hardly," she said, airily, blatantly lying through her teeth.  It had surprised her, actually, how possessive she felt of him.  The good news was, she knew that he was just as bad and she intended to use that.  "There are quite a few gentlemen who would be eager to make up your neglect to me."  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What Do You Want?

ok soooo... sometimes it's hard for me to come up with ideas for blog posts (like today!) and I figure, you guys are the ones actually taking the time to read it, maybe I should ask you what you want to know!  Comment below or email me at goldeniangel@gmail.com.  Anything from questions that you'd like answered to post topic suggestions to requests or whatever.  It can be about me, about my writing, about my books, or even just something that you'd like to see discussed in general.

In other news... I've been very bad about working on the next chapter for From Terra because I've been so involved with Claiming His Wife.  I also came to a major revelation about Claiming, the other day.  Originally I pretty much intended every title to be about the characters that were being focused on in the book.  For the first one, Edwin & Eleanor, then Hugh & Irene, etc... but the truth is, this last book, Grace is certainly not the only wife being claimed.  Hugh and Irene are the most on track for having a happy marriage, but that doesn't meant that everything is 100%.  They still have their issues, as any married couple would.

I'm about 65k words along and trying hard to finish another chapter this week.  It may end up being less chapters than I originally planned, but my books usually get longer when I go through the editing process.  Especially this time because I've got two extra beta readers thanks to the recent drawing I did, and so I've got extra feedback and ideas (which is great!).  I'm super happy with where the book is going and I'll probably have a teaser up as my next blog post.

And after that, hopefully at least someone will have responded to my plea for blog post ideas =D

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Claiming His Wife Tease

Now you notice, I said "tease" not "teaser" because this actually isn't a teaser blurb.  This is a literal tease.  Thank you to RaineyCloud9, whom I'm falling in love with a little more every time she does something for me, for this GORGEOUS promotional poster.  You blog readers get the first look - it'll be up on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow!!!!