The sweeter side of sensual

Posts tagged “romance

Secret Cravings Publishing Paranormal Blog Hop

SCP_ParanormalBlogHop_2013

Paranormal romance is fun to read and to write. It allows you to explore new worlds or new dimensions of the world we live in. Mythical creatures come to life in the pages of paranormal romance books, and new species can be created in the blink of an eye. The best part? The romance that leads to a happily-ever-after ending, which seemed impossible while watching the hero and heroine’s struggles throughout the story. Yes, it is a great genre for anyone who likes to think outside the box or who loves legendary and mythical beings and can’t get enough of those happy endings.

My fascination with Dracula is what led to my start in writing paranormal romance. Endless possibilities floated before me when I thought about what could happen if a vampire lived in the modern day and wanted to love someone. In the end, and with plenty of encouragement from my paranormal-loving sister, I wrote Thirst for Love. I was absolutely thrilled when Secret Cravings Publishing offered me a contract for it. Want to know what the book is all about? Take a look.

Thirst for Love cover artBlurb:

Victor Nicolescu wants only two things: blood to sate his hunger and a woman to love him for eternity. The blood is easy—his butler donates to Victor’s personal blood bank on a regular basis. Sometimes, however, Victor has an undeniable craving for fresh blood. His most recent craving leads him straight to Claudia Reyes, a gorgeous psychiatrist who doesn’t believe in the existence of vampires. His bite transforms her into one of the mythical immortals and forces her to leave behind everything familiar. Victor longs to help her adjust to her new life as a creature of the night, but her anger at his choice to transform her threatens to destroy their chance for love. When the night of the full moon rolls around, however, Claudia discovers he desperately needs her help to overcome a part of him even he never knew existed.

Excerpt:

He slid one hand to her lower back and pressed her closer. His other hand slipped up the back of her neck, and his fingers tangled in her silky hair as he tilted her head back just a little. When he lowered his lips to the throbbing pulse in the side of her throat, he could feel her fear. He projected soothing thoughts into her mind and savored the feel of her warm flesh and the blood flowing beneath it.

Trust me. I will not harm you.

He sank his fangs into Claudia’s skin, unable to wait any longer. She gasped, but he quieted her with his mind. Warm, thick sweetness flowed into his mouth, and he drank deeply, his strength returning with each swallow.

Claudia leaned into him, her movements seductive as she tried to dance while she weakened. Victor had to restrain himself as her blood filled him with warmth and her body filled him with desire. It had been a long time since sating one hunger had ignited another, but he knew couldn’t completely satisfy himself tonight. She would be too weak after giving him the sustenance he needed to satisfy his other cravings.

She grew limp in his arms, and he forced himself to stop. He had swallowed more than enough to regain his full strength, but she tasted so sweet, so wonderfully feminine. He withdrew his fangs and kissed the slight trickle of blood from her skin, healing the twin wounds with a gentle swipe of his tongue and leaving only faint scars on her smooth, caramel neck. She shivered and moaned softly as she leaned into his embrace.

“Thank you, love,” Victor murmured, supporting her with strong arms. He shouldn’t have waited so long to feed, but he had craved specific blood. Nothing else would do. Now that he had met Claudia and tasted her, growing so weak had been worth it.

“I don’t—I don’t feel well,” she said, sagging against his chest.

He had taken too much from her. She wouldn’t last much longer as a human, but he could provide the proper care to ease her transition into a vampire. His bite had started the process, and soon she would slip into a coma. Then her heart would slow until it stopped completely, the last step in the transition. Although the process wouldn’t be uncomfortable once she lost consciousness, he couldn’t leave her like this. He had with others, but Claudia was different. She had put her own spell on him, and she didn’t even know it.

~~

Want to read more? Thirst for Love is available from most online booksellers, including Amazon, Amazon UKBarnes & Noble, Book Strand, and of course Sweet Cravings Publishing.

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about paranormal romance, and you’ll be entered to win a $5 gift card to Sweet Cravings Publishing. On Monday, June 17, I’ll draw a winner from all the commenters.

Be sure to check out the other participants in this weekend’s Paranormal Blog Hop! You can find the complete list on the Secret Cravings Publishing blog http://secretcravingspublishing.blogspot.com.


Sweet Saturday Sample – Tara of the Fey

Today’s sample comes from my newest release, Tara of the Fey.

Tara of the Fey cover art

The H.M.S. Fairweather glided peacefully through the Minch, heading due north between the island of Lewis and mainland Scotland. Caeden slowly moved his tail to keep himself steady in the icy waters as he kept a close watch on the ship, hoping for a glimpse of the young woman on board. He and his companions followed at a safe distance. If they were spotted too soon, it could spell disaster for Caeden and subject him to even more ridicule from his compatriots.

“Mighty fine ship,” Fergus muttered, a mischievous gleam in his eye. “Sure wish we could sink her.”

“We’re only allowed the girl,” Duirkin said. The chosen leader for this rambunctious group of Blue Men, Duirkin was an older man everyone respected.

Everyone, that is, except Fergus, who respected no one but the chieftain, and him only grudgingly. “Can’t we at least play with the sailors? Teach them to fear the Minch?”

Caeden missed Duirkin’s response, for over the rail of the ship appeared the face he had longed to see. Framed by flowing, golden hair, the delicate features and sparkling blue eyes gazing into the deep stole the oxygen from his gills. An emerald green dress of shimmering fabric draped her slender body—a body which had grown into that of a woman since he last saw her.

Although years had passed since he had been taken by the sea witch and cursed to live as a Blue Man, there was no mistaking Tara, his best friend and childhood crush. Her memory had kept him going through many long, lonely nights and given him hope that he might one day walk with her again along the shores of Garbh Eilean. So much depended on her acceptance of him now, much more than his companions knew—his very future was at stake. They believed her abduction to be an authorized bit of mischief. Only Caeden and the chieftain, waiting in the cavern far below the waves, knew the truth behind this mission—that Tara’s response could change Caeden’s future forever.

~~~~~~~~~

Check out Sweet Saturday Samples for links to excerpts from more authors.


Tara of the Fey Release Day!

I am so excited to announce the release of my newest romance from Sweet Cravings Publishing, Tara of the Fey!

Tara of the Fey cover artBlurb:

Sailing through the Minch, fey princess Tara enjoys her last taste freedom before facing her betrothal to an Irish prince—a man she doesn’t love and has no interest in marrying. The smooth voyage takes an abrupt turn for the worse when a group of ornery Blue Men of the Minch appear and brew up a storm. Tara has no choice but to give into their whims when she is swept overboard.

Caeden, a fey cursed to live as a Blue Man, can’t believe he is seeing the grown version of his childhood best friend. He hopes she’ll be the one to break his curse and allow him to return to life on land. Tara sees the fey man trapped inside the blue exterior, but is she his one true love and the key to breaking the curse? Or will Caeden live as a Blue Man of the Minch forever?

Tara of the Fey is available from Sweet Cravings Publishing.


Happy First Day of Spring!

Today is the start of spring. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and the temperatures aren’t quite as warm as I would like. But the warm weather is right around the corner, and I’m glad to see the sun after so many days of gloomy skies and rainy/snowy weather. What is your favorite part of spring?

This looks like a great way to enjoy the advent of spring:

By Bev Sykes from Davis, CA, USA (UC Davis Arboretum) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

In other news, I’m in the final stages before publication of my second ebook, a short fantasy romance titled Tara of the Fey. More information and a cover reveal coming soon!


Changing Tracks by Sarah Cass

Changing Tracks cover artBlurb:

There’s nothing simple about forgetting your past.

Cole Mitchell runs the busiest saloon and brothel in Dominion Falls. He keeps his women at a distance, unwilling to relive a past he worked hard to forget.

Until the night Jane Doe falls into his saloon bleeding and near death.  She wakes with no memory, only the firm belief someone tried to kill her. In the strange world of amnesia she manages to find solace in Cole’s arms and he finds home in hers.

While they work together to solve the mystery of her appearance, their pasts – her lack of, and his buried – build a barrier between them.

To make matters worse, Jane’s past isn’t willing to let her go. A stranger proves he’ll kill to keep his secrets safe. With those she loves in danger, Jane’s errant memory is all that stands between them and death.  Cole can only do so much to protect her, will it be enough?

Buy Links:

Secret Cravings Website –  http://bit.ly/14XQPTl

Amazon –  http://amzn.to/11DDgcG

Barnes & Noble –  http://bit.ly/Z7ZMZP

All Romance Ebooks –  http://bit.ly/VZ4DeP

Excerpt:

Did the man want to drive her mad? Or just get her to stop crying? Either way, he failed. He just managed to infuriate her again.

“Well, excuse me.” She flew to her feet. “I told you to go and I meant it. I’ll take my chances with the Indians.” Her body went numb the second the words left her mouth.

He tossed her over his shoulder and started back toward the horse. He ignored her beating hands and feet. “Stop acting like a fool. Get on the damn horse.”

“Put me down you stupid son of a—” A shriek escaped. She hit the ground hard enough to jar her teeth together.

“You wanna draw them renegades back with your shrieking, fine. I’ll leave ya to them.”

“Good. Be a heartless oaf. I don’t care. Excuse me for wanting to know more than anything who I am.”

“Just get on the horse or I’ll put you on myself.”

“Don’t you dare.” She stepped back. “You can’t just shut me up and drag me back to town because my emotions bother you. Just because you’re afraid to feel doesn’t mean everyone is.”

He took a step toward her. “You’re getting on my last nerve.”

“Who cares? This? This is not about you. This is about me. I have nothing. Nothing at all but my emotions and I’m damn well going to feel them when I need to.”

“I ain’t dealing with a hysterical woman.” He grabbed her shoulders.

She slapped him hard. “Then leave.”

He froze, his eyes growing dark as his scowl deepened. Grabbing her wrist, he started to drag her, kicking and screaming, the final few feet to the horse.

The moment he stopped dragging, she fought harder. Pounding her fists into his chest, his arms…she even got a few kicks to his shins.

Strong arms wrapped tight around her. Shock silenced her fury.

The moment she calmed, his hold changed. While he still had her pinned tight against him, his hand slipped up to press her head close against his chest. His other arm lowered to wrap around her waist, holding her in an unyielding, but gentle grasp.

A deep, wrenching sob ripped through her at the change and she collapsed against him. The hold she’d fought enveloped her, creating a sanctuary she hadn’t expected. It didn’t loosen. He didn’t tell her to stop. She gripped his shirt in her hands as her tears started to soak the material, clinging to his safety and warmth.

The tears slowed, but they both held on. She relaxed in the strong support his arms supplied. Her composure returned the longer he held her. After a deep breath, she pulled back, the loss of his arms creating a palpable discomfort. “I’m ready to go back.”

He stayed silent until she managed to look up at him. “Good.”

Bio:

Sarah Cass’s world is regularly turned upside down by her three special-needs kids and loving mate, so she breaks genre barriers, dabbling in horror, straight fiction, and urban fantasy. An ADD tendency leaves her with a variety of interests that include singing, dancing, crafting, cooking, and being a photographer. She fights through the struggles of the day, knowing the battles are her crucible and though she may emerge scarred, she’s also stronger. Changing Tracks is her debut novel, but she’s already ahead of the game with another novel set for release in April. While busy creating worlds and characters as real to her as her own family, she leads an active online life with her blog, Redefining Perfect, which gives a real and sometimes raw glimpses into her life and art.

Where to find me:

Redefining Perfect – http://redefiningperfect.com

Sarah’s StoryLines – http://authorsarahcass.com

Twitter – http://twitter.com/sadiecass

Facebook – http://facebook.com/SarahCass.Author


Valentine’s Day

As it says in my Twitter bio, I’m a research junkie. When something catches my attention, I can’t help but try to learn a little (or a lot) more about it. Since today is Valentine’s Day, I started wondering about the origins of the holiday. While there seem to be several possibilities for which Saint Valentine the holiday is named after, why the holiday is celebrated on February 14, and how the holiday got its start, there is no doubt that the day is set aside to celebrate love.

With that in mind, and with my brief research into Valentine’s Day, I have to share a quote from an article I found on History.com.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the
third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men
made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed
marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the
decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young
lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius
ordered that he be put to death.

There is something undeniably romantic about the necessity of a clandestine wedding performed by a priest who is defying the law to join young lovers in marriage. This single historical tibit immediately took my mind to Romeo and Juliet — young lovers who had to meet in secret and defy their families for the sake of love. Their romance had a much more tragic (and fictional) ending than the lovers Valentine married, but the feeling that love cannot be controlled or ignored is evident in both stories.

This Valentine’s Day, show your sweetheart how much you love him or her. What better day for romance than this? If you’re single, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day as well. Between the chocolate and the romance novels no one will fault you for reading today, that warm fuzzy feeling of love is just around the corner.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Image of two red hearts with gold designs

By Ntametrine (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


Sexuality, Media, and Society

I’m sure by now most of you have realized I write sweet romance. I tried to make it as sensual as possible, but there’s just something that holds me back from going “too far,” whatever that means. At times, I feel almost ashamed of being unable to write hotter romances. After all, we’ve all heard the saying “sex sells.” When it comes to romance, especially paranormal romance, this seems to hold true. Unfortunately, that makes it awkward for someone like me who enjoys the paranormal aspects and heart-melting romance, but not so much the sex scenes.

This push for open sexuality can create some rather uncomfortable circumstances, such as the expectation that certain types of romance (vampires, for one) should  include fully described love scenes. Now, I know most women have no qualms about reading sexy romances, but as an author, I have another thought in mind. What if a thirteen-year-old girl gets hold of a copy of one of my books? Do I really want to risk her reading graphic descriptions of sex before she’s mature enough to handle it?

While I know that sounds like a ridiculous concern, think about this. How many women admit to reading their first romance while they were still in middle school? By the time I was thirteen, I was checking books out of the adult section of my local library. With that in mind, I can’t ignore the very real possibility that my books could end up in the hands of girls who are too young to deal with hot content. Then there are my personal beliefs, which also guide the heat level of my writing and apparently make it impossible for me to write smokin’ hot romances.

But American society as a whole seems to be pushing girls to be sexy and explore their sexuality at younger ages all the time. You shouldn’t have to teach elementary kids about safe sex. I still remember when requiring sex education in all high schools was somewhat controversial. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against hot romances for mature audiences. I just want to protect the vulnerable minds of preteens and teens who are trying to navigate a world that tells them, “You have to be sexy, even if you don’t understand it.”

Along with the push to make girls and women into sex objects is another conflicting message presented to society through the media. Girls and women are supposed to be sexy, but if they get caught being sexy, watch out. Your reputation will be dragged through the mud, especially if you’re famous. And it doesn’t even take much to cause an overblown, guilt-inducing scandal. A recent post by Sarah M. Anderson on Heroes and Heartbreakers does an excellent job of detailing this weird phenomenon of pushing for more sexiness while shaming any woman who gets caught doing anything close to that (even if it’s accidental). This paragraph in particular does an excellent job of summarizing the confusing world we live in:

Everywhere we look, young girls and women are told they must be sexually available, sexually ready at all times—but when they act on that (or, in the case of Janet, Kate, and Anne, exist near it) they are held up as examples of sin embodied, everything that’s wrong with our sex-obsessed culture.

Check out out the whole article, which is excellent, and share your thoughts on this topic. Do you think women and girls are being shamed for doing what society tells them they must? Is the prevalence of sex in romance novels helpful or harmful? Let me know what you think!