Thank you, Paloma, for inviting me to your blog. I’m so thrilled to be here. Publishing my first erotic romance has been quite an adventure! Then again, people have called me adventurous before, but I just didn’t see it until recently. When I moved from the cold climes of New Hampshire to warm Arizona to have a houseboat built that we could live on, I really didn’t think that was adventurous, but my friends did. Of course, you know what we called the boat right? The Sexsea.
But it got too cold in the winter in Phoenix so we decided to move to a Caribbean island. Again my friends said I was adventurous, and again I didn’t see it. To me being adventurous is sailing around the world in your own sailboat, or going to live Tanzania to teach, like a collegue of mine did, but a friend recently reminded me that my experiences were adventurous compared to the person who lives in the same town she grew up in. And then I realized that adventurous is relative.
For my friends and family I am adventurous because I wrote Masque, my erotic romance inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Masque of the Red Death.” I have to thank all those friends and family who were brave enough to buy it never mind read it, because for most of them, an erotic romance was a brand new adventure! In the story, the heroine, Rena Mills, finds out exactly how adventurous she is, and a little about how adventurous she isn’t. Luckily for Rena, she has a guide, Synn, and he is more than willing to introduce her to each of the 7 colored rooms and the exciting experience to be had in each, but of course she must always wear a mask. Hmmm, I’m thinking she is much more adventurous than me ;-)
I guess you could say this beautiful silver Venetian mask made in Italy that I’m giving away could be an adventure just waiting to happen for whoever wins it. Wearing it to a Masqurade Ball would be adventurous. Wearing it to a formal event that wasn’t a masqurade would be even more adventurous. Maybe wearing it to bed would be even more adventurous yet! Guess it all depends on who else is there ;-) But first you have to win it to find out.
Be sure to enter the rafflecopter below and/or leave a comment and let me know what you think is adventurous. Don’t forget contact info in case you win.
While your deciding, here is a short excerpt from Masque.
Rena spun at the deep voice that caressed her senses. Before her stood a woman’s wet dream come to life, though as a respectable woman, she shouldn’t be having wet dreams, or so she’d been informed.
The man looked as if he’d stepped out of a nineteenth-century drawing room, except his coffee-brown hair hung loose about his shoulders. She was pretty sure it should have been tied in a queue to be proper. His entire demeanor projected upper class from his sharp nose and angular clean-shaven chin, to his broad-shouldered stance. A rather tall stance it was too, with one snugly encased leg crossed over the other. But his eyes stupefied her. They appeared gray, ancient, yet flickered with bright shards of blue.
Valerie recovered first, brandishing her tightly held candelabra as she stepped forward. “Who are you and what are you doing in here?”
He straightened and gave them a formal bow. “My name is Synn MacAllistair. That is Synn as in S Y N N. I’m the caretaker of the ghosts.”
Rena took a deep breath. She could feel her cheeks heating as his voice reverberated through her body. Sin fit him. When he moved his gaze from Valerie to herself, his intense scrutiny warmed her. She swallowed. “Uh, I didn’t think anyone lived here.”
His stare held hers captive. “I do.”
Valerie retreated to stand next to her. “Oh really. With a padlock on the outside of the gate?”
He raised his right brow, the look of arrogance worthy of Mr. Darcy. “There is a postern gate.”
Rena racked her brain. She’d heard that word before. Oh yes. “I thought only the owners of a castle knew the secret to that rear exit.”
He raised his brows together. “That is true but I desi—discovered it while following a small boy around the Abbey.”
Valerie crossed her arms. “A small boy?”
“Yes. The children in the neighborhood dare each other to get close to the Abbey. They want to see the ghosts, who are quite harmless to humans.” He gestured to the housekeeper. “Mrs. McMurray here will become more solid as the full moon approaches and will be pleased to help you in any way she can.”
They turned and stared at their ghost, having forgotten her. The older woman nodded vigorously, her white cap covering her gray hair falling to the side. Mrs. McMurray’s plump frame included pudgy arms sprouting from a short-sleeved blouse and a white apron that protected her skirt, but from the knees down, she didn’t exist at all.
Rena’s heart pounded. A real ghost. If what Synn said was true, that the ghosts would become solid, the possibilities for her new venture were endless. Could the ghosts serve breakfast to the guests? How would she pay them? She couldn’t resist asking. “Are you the one who keeps it so clean in here?”
Mrs. McMurray blushed and nodded again. She actually blushed.
Synn clarified. “She and a dozen maids have kept this place clean for centuries in the hopes that someone would come here to live. Do you plan to stay?”
She turned to answer him, but Valerie gave him a disapproving look. “The real estate agent didn’t say anything about anyone living here.”
He sighed, clearly bored. “No, I imagine he didn’t. He is what we refer to as a lickfinger.”
Rena chuckled at the strange word. She couldn’t help it. It sounded backward.
Valerie didn’t find the expression funny. “Well, you need to know, Rena owns this castle now, abbey, whatever you want to call it, and she has the right to throw you out.”
Rena grabbed her arm. “Valerie.” She changed her warning tone to a more pleasant octave as she addressed the sexy man in front of her. “You are of course welcome to stay, Synn. Perhaps you can help us understand the ghosts, the history of the Abbey and anything else that might be helpful.” She smiled encouragingly. She didn’t want him to leave.
He gave her an arrogant nod. “I would be happy to be of service. Perhaps I should start by helping you to bring your personal items upstairs as the footmen will not be solid enough to lift anything for another week.”
Another week? How strange. She didn’t remember seeing anything on television regarding ghosts changing with the moon. “Thank you. That would be perfect.” She could tell Valerie didn’t trust him. She, on the other hand, was thrilled to have him in the Abbey. Anyone who could help her succeed was welcome. The fact that the man was incredibly hot didn’t hurt either.
He nodded once and held his arm out to her. She looked at her friend and shrugged, then looped her arm with his. The second they made contact, a sizzling sensation raced across her skin.
He didn’t move. Did he feel it too? He gazed down at her, his face serious. “Shall we?”
She nodded, her throat having closed at his look. There was something sensual about his lips. They were strong, full and serious and made her want to taste him. Sheesh, hadn’t she learned anything from her failed engagement? She needed to keep her libido under control. Men like Synn wouldn’t appreciate her scandalous thoughts. Besides, who used phrases like “shall we”?
Masque is available at:
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Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?
Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.
As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.
Remember, for a chance to win the Venetian mask, leave a comment and/or enter the rafflecopter!