Please join me in welcoming Marian Perera to my blog. Maria is a brand new Samhain author. Her first book, Before The Storm, released this month at Samhain Publishing. Have I read it yet? Nope. Can I wait to get tucked in? Nope. The book is at this very moment sitting atop my TBR pile, and I look forward to the time I have a moment to get all tucked up and cozy with my e-reader and Before the Storm.
So, please join me in welcoming Marian to the wonderful world of ebooks…
(Oh, and keep reading til the end of her super steamy post. She’s running a cooool contest!!!)
Marian Perera’s Guest Blog:
I enjoyed reading Lexxie Couper’s vivid description of how her Australian heritage influenced her novels. And while her love of her roots came through clearly, it also made me realize that my background did the same thing for me.
That had never occurred to me before. For one thing, I write fantasies set in worlds that can be screwed-up, to say the least. For another, my background has been… not exactly stable. I was born in Sri Lanka, but grew up in the Middle East, studied in the States and migrated to Canada, where I’m hoping to finally put down roots. It’s been something of a roller-coaster ride, so I try not to think of my past. I’m usually too busy focusing on the future.
But Lexxie’s post made it pretty clear to me just how much of an influence the one has on the other. Even for a writer of fantasy novels.
Like me, my characters come from different lands, so there’s always potential for their cultures colliding. And that’s a great way to ratchet up the sexual tension. When people are fiercely attracted to each other but are held back by the knowledge that their relationship will never be acknowledged by their families or approved of by society (which might well make their children illegitimate), it’s not an easy problem to solve.
Sometimes it can go even further than this. In my debut novel, Before the Storm, Mayerd is an exile from his homeland Iternum, facing execution if he ever returns. But he finds refuge in Dagre, and becomes the right-hand-man of the hero. So he’s okay now, right?
Wrong. Iternans and Dagrans, although they look more or less similar, are different species and can’t interbreed. Any Dagran woman who becomes involved with Mayerd will be childless, in a society where families are very important.
So he’ll be alone for the rest of his life. And Iternans live for a very long time.
It’s similar to what happened to me. I loved being in the States and Canada – and still do – but whenever I vacationed in Sri Lanka, there were culture clashes. Plus, my extended family was not pleased by my dating a guy from Sugar Land. The initials matched, but the locations were pretty different otherwise.
But there’s one facet of my initial culture that did show up in my novel. Sri Lanka was colonized by the British, so I read Enid Blyton books when I was little, and Agatha Christie mysteries as I grew older. In the Middle East, a place of sand dunes and skyscrapers, I dreamed of manor houses and tea services and candlelit libraries with leather-bound tomes.
As a result, Dagre is Victorian England’s bastard child by medieval fantasy. The hero, Robert Demeresna, is very upper-class – rich, refined and repressed – but at the start of the novel, his greatest enemy gives him a gift. The gift turns out to be the heroine, Alexis Khayne, who’s a mare.
That’s the ugly underbelly of Dagre. Beneath the linen napkins and the lace-veiled hats, there’s a lot of xenophobia and misogyny. As a mare, Alex is considered lower than a prostitute, since at least whores earn coin for what they do. Even her intelligence is valued only as a means of manipulating men, and bringing their secrets to her master.
She hopes this existence might change when her owner gives her away to Robert. Except… it doesn’t matter that Robert is protective and generous towards her, partly because he’s the old-school type who’s always courteous with women and partly because he falls in love with her. It also doesn’t matter that she becomes slowly attracted to him.
They have no future together, especially not after he discovers what’s been done to her during the course of her training as a mare. Class strictures: the nobility might make temporary use of a fallen woman, but that’s as far as it’ll go.
And here I thought the only concession to my culture was my characters drinking a lot of tea.
Before the Storm: The Blurb
Whore…gift…and unexpected ally.
Eden Trilogy, Book 1
In Dagran society, Alex is the lowest of the low—a “mare”, an object to be used by the nobility. When her owner, Stephen Garnath, gifts her to his greatest rival, she begins plotting her path to freedom. Nothing and no one will ever control her again. Not her degrading past, and certainly not her growing attraction to a man reputed to be an even crueler master than Garnath.
Robert Demeresna is instantly suspicious of such a generous gift. Yet she comes to him armed with only her sharp mind—a potent weapon he can use to defend his people from the enemy. And underneath, an unbreakable spirit that besieges the walls of his heart.
Slowly, Robert chips away at Alex’s defenses, striking sparks that make her begin to believe even a lowly whore like her could be worthy of him. Until Garnath springs a trap so cleverly hidden, war is unleashed before either of them sees it coming. A new kind of war fought with steam engines, explosives—and magic with a killing edge…
Warning: Contains violence, steam engines, steamier sex and multiple explosions of the unstable chemical variety.
Interested in winning a copy of Before The Storm? You can!
Just read the following excerpt from the book, and then answer the question below in the comments sextion. PLEASE, remember to leave your email address so we can contact you.
Before the storm: An Excerpt
Alex’s head fell back as he kissed his way down her throat, nuzzling and lightly sucking the soft flesh there. The mat of hair on his chest rubbed against her nipples, making them stiffen even further, and then he shifted slightly to cup her breast. She buried her hands in his hair and pulled his head to her, longing for more of his hard, sensitive mouth and searching tongue. His thigh pressed between her legs, and she opened them. Robert groaned into her mouth and pushed her thighs wider apart, his hand lingering on the inside of one long leg.
“Alex.” He finally dragged his mouth away from hers. “Show me what you like.”
“Anything.” Alex kissed the corner of his mouth, his firm jaw. She drew a fingertip lightly around the bandage on his left arm, then ran her hands over his shoulders and found the small of his back.
Robert sighed. “I mean it. Not anything. Do you like to be kissed here?”
His thumb circled one nipple, and Alex managed a nod. She closed her eyes when she felt the soft scratch of his beard against the puckered, sensitive flesh.
“Take it in your mouth,” she said breathlessly, and gasped when he did. He lashed her nipple with his tongue before he sucked, and her back arched towards him. Alex tossed her head, and she heard herself saying his name through her teeth. Robert stroked the hair back from her forehead and bent to take her other nipple into his mouth. She whimpered as he teased, prolonging her need before he suckled and made her hips buck upwards.
“You’re a fast learner,” she whispered when she could speak again.
Slowly his hand moved up her thigh until he cupped the damp curls, rubbing his palm against them. It was maddening, and Alex tried to arch again, to push herself closer to him.
“Next lesson.” His teeth grazed her ear.
She couldn’t wait. She reached down, guiding his finger into her folds and to the small bud hidden in them, showing him how to rub it.
He began to circle it slowly, playing with her by taking his finger away to slide deeply into her, returning to caress in slick rhythmic strokes that made her gasp. A deep clenching tension mounted in her, making her hands tighten on his back. She was rocking against him, pressing against his finger, nothing mattered but what he was doing to her, and then her need exploded in convulsions of pleasure so intense that she cried out, again and again, her head falling back with the force of it, and Robert kissed her throat.
“See?” he said. “It wasn’t just ‘anything’, it was something, except I’d never have found the damn thing if you hadn’t pointed it out.”
Alex’s laughter was shaky. “You—you can take your hand away now.”
“I thought you liked it.”
“Yes, but it’s your turn.” She traced the long line of his spine with her finger, feeling the shiver that followed it, and then gripped his buttocks, kneading the hard muscles. He gasped and rolled over on his back, pulling her on top of him.
Alex suddenly found herself sitting astride him, and she went still. Her knees registered the softness of a fur spread, but the rest of her body noted one thing only—a man beneath her. Too many times in the past, she had seen a man like that—naked, reclining, erect, expecting a service from her. She thought nothing, but her body behaved impeccably, and her hands trailed along his belly as she bent to take him in her mouth.
What did you like most about the excerpt? Post your thoughts for a chance to win a copy of Before the Storm!
Find out more about Marian at her website.
Buy your copy of Before the Storm here.
Moira Rogers is hosting a super contest!
They are giving away the first books in 30 different series, and all you need to do for your chance to win is pick which ones you want to read!
Here they are… (Oh, and please take note: Only Tyler, the first in the two book Circle of Friends series, is in there.)
Their Boring Rules
- All books are being offered as digital copies. If you don’t read ebooks, please don’t enter–no author will be expected to provide a print copy.
- The option to opt-in to receive updates from authors is just that: an option. It has no effect on your chances of winning. You will not be spammed! Having said that, please do not opt in if you do not want e-mail.
- Winners will be chosen on May 15th, 2010, by random drawing. Each book will have one winner picked at random from everyone who indicated an interest in winning that particular title.
- To enter, fill out the form and check the box next to every book you’re interested in. You only have to fill out the form once to enter to win multiple books, just check as many boxes as you like. In fact, if you fill out the form more than once (whether by mistake, or by using 7 different email addresses) I’ll discard all but your first entry.
- If you have questions or problems, contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
So, head on over to Moira Roger’s site, and you’ll find all the details you need there to participate.
So why am I telling you this?
Well it’s the second book in the Six Pack Ranch Series, and it was written by one of my favoritest people ever, Miss Vivian Arend. (Is it just me, or does it seem to you to that Viv has a new book out once a week?) It’s a brilliant book, filled with laughs, tears and lots of steamy sex.
Rocky Mountain Haven: The Blurb
Beth Danube has escaped to a small Alberta town to make a new start for herself and her three little boys. Her emotionally abusive husband may be dead and buried, but so is her heart. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever. Yet when her libido reawakens after ten years of unsatisfactory sex in the missionary position, is any woman strong enough to turn down sex-in-boots, Daniel Coleman?
The middle child of the rowdy Coleman boys, Daniel’s the quiet one who has always subdued his desires and acted as peacemaker. His powerful attraction to the young widow takes him by storm, and he’s willing to pursue her until they both find satisfaction—in and out of the bedroom.
Only Beth isn’t sure she’s ready to cross the line. Becoming friends with blazing hot benefits means she’s still the one in control. Letting her heart trust again? She isn’t that brave—or foolish. Daniel is going to have to be mighty convincing to help her overcome the past.
You can buy your copy of Rocky Mountain Haven right here.
And remember, this is book two in the series.
Here’s more info about book one:
Rocky Mountain Heat: The Blurb
Blake Coleman is old enough to know that acting on impulse causes nothing but a heap of trouble. But when trouble’s a blonde wearing a cowboy hat with slim legs that go on forever, what’s a man to do? Wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. Hell, he was the one that taught her to ride a horse and now all he can think about is riding her. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.
Jaxi has other plans for his hands, and his heart. She may have considered Blake a big brother once but that was a long time ago. She’s all grown up now and ready to convince him that she’s just what he’s been waiting for.
Add the complication of two sexy younger brothers who have suddenly noticed Jaxi and things heat up fast. Blake’s gonna have to decide if a little trouble is worth fighting for.
You can buy this book right here.
Finally, just because Viv really loves her cowboys, she sent a couple sexy ones to say hi. Enjoy them.
… I’m addicted to chocolate ice cream.
You may not know this, but Jennifer Haymore is possibly the single most important person in my writing career. I stand in awe of her writing talent, and I bow at her feet when it comes to her talent as a mentor. Jennifer has spent more time on my books than any person should have to. And every time she looks at them and provides feedback, the stories improve dramatically. Without her I would not be half the writer I am today. I cannot ever thank her enough for her insight and her brilliance.
So you can imagine how shocked I was by her news. If you haven’t heard, Jennifer has breast cancer. She was recently diagnosed and is now fighting the battle of her life. It’s difficult to offer support and love when one lives on the other side of the world. I hope in a small way I can make a difference, just by letting you know that Jennifer’s latest book, A Touch of Scandal, was recently released. And if you don’t have your copy yet, well, go now and get it!
Jennifer, I’m sending positive thoughts your way all the time. You are gonna beat this.
A Touch of Scandal
By Jennifer Haymore
The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-soldier had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he’s convinced he’s been betrayed.
Kate knows her duty to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett’s powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen-and sizzling-kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way-the one that can separate Garrett and Kate forever.
Read an excerpt of the book on Jennifer’s website.
You can purchase the book at all major bookstores including:
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