Those Sexy Pirates!

NOW! A entirely new collection of bad boy pirate stories. New release! Only 99¢

My story, “An Adventure for Burgess,” is one of the stories chosen for this anthology!

As a sleek sloop noses into Seraphine Bay, a female tourist resolves to discover if the man at the helm is the pirate of her dreams.

Excerpt:

The two women stood up and moved away from the table. Christ, the dark-haired one had curves—a full bosom tucked away in a modest blouse and a pair of shorts that outlined the rounded curve of her buttocks. His body tensed.

“Damn,” he muttered under his breath.

He slammed the rest of the scotch down his throat and stood up, angling his path to intercept the two women at the restaurant entry. This wasn’t like him, going out of his way to tangle with a female. Especially now with the dive project nearly finished. But something about her moved him, inexorable as the tide.

Morgan managed to arrive at the entry at the same time as the women. Despite her friend’s annoyed glance, his attention focused on maneuvering against the object of his interest. She turned just as he powered up against her, and he had to grab her arms to keep them both from falling.

“Oh!” she said. “I’m so sorry.”

He inhaled at the touch of her soft body. Her luminous eyes lifted to his face, and her pink lips formed a perfect O. Her shocked expression radiated naiveté but also eagerness. Despite the chaste lines of the blouse, the buttons obviously strained under their duty to hold it all together.  Long dark hair, blushing cheeks, she smelled like tropical fruit and rum—and something he couldn’t describe that made his cock throb against his zipper. Damn if he didn’t lose track of his surroundings. All he could think of was how those lips would taste.

“My fault entirely,” he murmured, releasing her and stepping back.

“I can’t believe this,” she said, slurring her words slightly. “I saw on you that boat out there, didn’t I?”

“You did,” he said, smiling.

“Beautiful boat,” she said. Her gaze flickered down his body before she gave him another wide-eyed stare. “Very sexy,” she said in a husky voice.

“Uh, Burgess.” Her friend tugged on her arm. “My flight, remember?”

“Burgess? Nice name.” He motioned toward the doorway. “I’ll walk you ladies out.”

Burgess giggled. They stopped on the sidewalk outside the entrance. “My friend Kendra,” Burgess said, motioning. “She’s flying back. Not me.” She chewed her lip and cast a sideways glance toward Morgan. “I’m going to have an adventure.”

The tip of her tongue touched her lips and sent a hot jolt to his groin.

“Come on,” Kendra said. “You’re tipsy, and you don’t know this man. Sorry, sir,” she said with a glare directed at Morgan. “You’ll have to excuse us.”

He flinched at the “sir” and bowed slightly. Christ, he wasn’t that much older.

“Yes, I do know him,” Burgess insisted. “I know he’s got a boat, and he’s tall. I think he’s a pirate.”

Morgan guffawed. “And he’s very lonely. Shall I call for a cab to take your friend to the airport, so you and I can get better acquainted?”

“Absolutely not,” Kendra said, tugging Burgess’s arm. “Come on, we have things to do.”

He backed up a step and held his hands in a surrender gesture. “No harm intended. Have a nice flight.”

~~~

Read the rest of this smart sexy story and more in the new anthology, Pirates (A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology Book 3).  Only 99¢ here.

~~~

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David’s Dilemma

 

He’d never been much of a planning type. For one thing, plans pretty much had a habit of blowing up in his face. He’d planned plenty of fabulous mansions he’d build with his music wealth. A ranch in Montana. A Lear jet he’d have painted red to advertise the band’s name. Plenty of parties with the best of the best chumming up to him, J.J., and the rest. Plenty of bullshit ideas that just got farther away the more he planned them.

Like the songs he’d planned. Somewhere back in L.A., probably burned to an ash by now, was the dog-eared list he kept on a yellow legal pad. Song ideas he’d get to as soon as he had time. As soon as the mood struck him. Phrases, chord progressions. The paean to his sister he never could write. Memories of his grandparents.

His love of good whiskey—well, that had made it into a few songs. But never quite enough, or clearly stated enough, to encapsulate the intense pleasure that came with the warm creep of intoxication while more of the fragrant amber fluid gently swirled in his glass. He had a clear memory of the grip of his hand around that small sturdy glass. The sweet aromatic smell filled his nose. His mouth watered.

If he was going to fucking spend the last of his days in this desert, why the fuck couldn’t he at least enjoy drinking?

~~~

This is an excerpt from my latest novel, Refuge in His Arms. The story follows Mackenzie Kilpatrick and David Evans, two strangers caught up in two simultaneous natural disasters. As they escape from Los Angeles in the midst of a massive earthquake, they quickly discover another more devastating event will impact their future for days or even years to come. Making things worse, each of them struggles with personal issues as well as the developing love-hate relationship between them.

In this story, David has to face down his alcoholism. Writing about addiction isn’t something I’ve done before, although I’ve seen addiction in real life more times than I’d like to admit. It’s a horrible illness, and I admit that I still have a hard time seeing it as such. My tendency is to believe that addictive behavior is a choice someone makes, even if it’s a choice not to be responsible for what he/she does.

Whatever my personal take on addiction, the character of David has traveled far down the road in his struggle with alcohol. In the story, he’s faced with a terrible choice, whether to fight for the woman he thought he’d never love or to give in to his deep thirst for a drink.

All of us, at one time or another or even multiple times, want nothing more than to escape from the pain and difficulty we face. Intoxication is one way to make that escape. Inevitably, the intoxication wears off and whatever pain or difficulty we hoped to escape from is still there, sometimes even worse than before. It’s a human dilemma that will never be erased from our common experience, either as an addict ourselves, or as an enabler, or as a grieving bystander.

I don’t delve too deeply into the topic of addiction. That’s not the purpose of the story. But I do hope that I’ve created a character in David who portrays the struggle so many sensitive and creative people experience in facing the acute pain of life.

December Specials!

Heads up, dearies — my monthly FREE newsletter, Liz’s Hot News, will feature coupon deals on novels and short stories plus special treats. Sign up before the December issue release date, Dec 1 to get in on the fun.

Psst! You can unsubscribe at any time! 

Now, for a taste of the holidays, a recipe for my favorite cake and to-die-for icing:

Applesauce Cake

2 ½ cups flour

1 ¾ cups sugar, or 1 cup sugar and ¾ cup honey

1 ½ teaspoon soda

1 ½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon allspice

1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce

½ cup hot water (⅓ c if using honey)

½ cup shortening

2 eggs at room temperature

Optional: 1 cup raisins and ½ cup chopped English walnuts

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour baking pan, either 13x9x2 or 2 round layers 8 or 9×1½ inches.

Measure wet ingredients into bowl and mix thoroughly. If eggs or water are cold, the shortening won’t blend well.  Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended, then increase mixer speed and beat three minutes. Pour into pans.

Bake oblong 60-65 minutes, layers 50-55 minutes, until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

When cake has cooled, frost with Penuche Icing.

 

Penuche Icing (Yumm!)

½ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

¼ cup milk

2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir over low heat 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, then remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

Stir in confectioners’ sugar then beat with mixer until fully smooth and of spreading consistency. If frosting becomes too stiff, heat slightly while stirring.

The Escape

escape-cover-smallSometimes when I write a story, it keeps on living after I quit. I consider that a success as far as writing goes, but it can become quite the nag. After nearly two years, the nagging that surfaced after I finished writing “The Captive” became deafening. So I’ve written a second installment, “The Escape,” in what seems destined to become an even lengthier tale.

“The Captive” is a short story set in the late 9th century England when the Saxons and Danes were fighting over control of the land. Seeking a brief time of secret pleasure with a captured Danish warrior, Elspeth Lady of Hystead hides away in a remote cabin on her estate and has the man delivered to her. Her aging invalid husband will be none the wiser. Yet an unexpected problem arises and it has nothing to do with her husband. It has to do with this stunning man standing before her, tied and injured, his long blond hair partially hiding the disdain in his intense stare. This was not what she expected.captive-new-cover-small

Not at all.

Book 2, “The Escape,” is a novelette, available at your favorite bookseller.

Buy links for “The Captive” — Amazon, Smashwords

Buy links for “The Escape” — Amazon, Smashwords

Caerwin and Marcellus

CII banner

COMING SOON! Release date to be announced soon.

Finished! A week ago, I finished writing the last page of the second novel about Caerwin. I’ve been sad ever since. How do you live with two compelling characters for over two years and not get attached? I’ve watched them grow, fight, suffer, and grow some more. Now they become part of my past. I’ll miss them.

Truth be told, I’ll miss more than Caerwin, Marcellus, and supporting cast. I’ve been immersed in Imperial Rome with all its triumphs, perversions, violence, and accomplishments. The fascinating world that was Rome endured a thousand years. Looking back on those years, the progress of their culture, and the countless ways in which we today follow in their footsteps is both depressing and exhilarating. It’s impossible to imagine where we would be today without Rome.

While I sing Rome’s praises, I also recognize how much better we are today than the people of Rome. For one thing, we don’t accept slavery as the norm. Rome’s social class system included the ‘noble’ classes (patricians and equestrians) who considered work beneath them. They held the bulk of the empire’s wealth, controlled its government and industries, and owned both city houses and country villas. The plebian class, roughly equivalent to our middle class, were the freeborn men or freedmen who worked every day to sustain the modest circumstances in which they lived.

Then there were the slaves, vast numbers of persons captured in Rome’s relentless military expansion over most of the known world. Wealthy household might have as many as 300 slaves. Slaves were like livestock or furniture–zero rights. Could be raped, branded, or killed without consequence. Yet they could also become part of a family, cared for, and often freed to live as freedmen (and women).

So while we can thank Rome for establishing the foundations of our legal system, our economic system, our tradition of the arts, social customs, and more, we can also thank the people who came after–from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and down to those who fight each generation for better working conditions, more social justice, refinements of law and wage equity for the conditions we live in today. It’s a sobering perspective.

And this, dear friends, is why writing historical fiction will always be part of my writing experience.