Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Virtual Sit-Down with M.J. O'Shea and Piper Vaughn, Co-Authors Extraordinaire



DLM: Thank you both for allowing me this opportunity. I’m so excited! I really adore your Lucky Moon series and look forward to reading more from your collaborative as well as solo efforts. You both are so accomplished that I can’t really touch in this humble post upon all your works and must thank you for taking time away from writing.

Anyway, moving forward I must ask an obvious question; did you each seek out a writing partner before finding one another?

MJOS: I hadn't at all, actually. I wasn't opposed to it but it had never crossed my mind. I'd written a few books on my own already and Piper and I were in the same critique group. She came to me with the idea for Moonlight Becomes You, which I thought was great. We did some tweaking (which was where Nick Ventura as he is today was born lol) and got going!

DLM: I’m so glad you were open to the experience, Ms. O’Shea.

PV: Thanks for having us, Darla! I always knew I wanted to try writing with someone, but I’d never done it before MJ. We were in the same critique group and I had broached the subject of writing something collaboratively at one point. We discussed it and had actually been planning a different series when the idea for “Moonlight Becomes You” first struck.

DLM: The pleasure is all mine, Ms. Vaughn. “Moonlight Becomes You” is a great first joint venture. Following on that question, how did you know the partnering chemistry worked?

MJOS: We just took off, so it was pretty clear from the beginning that it was going to work. Our writing styles meshed but we both brought a bit of a different perspective to the table, so it was fun to work together in that respect.

DLM: Fun is good, for sure. This fan is glad you have incentive to keep working together.

PV: We didn’t know whether or not it would work until we actually started trying to write together. It was easy and fun plotting together and coming up with ideas, and for me, the actual writing felt the same way.

DLM: That’s wonderful! Now, of course, every author has strengths and weaknesses. How do the two of you delegate storytelling?

MJOS: It really depended on the book. sometimes we'd decide what parts we both thought we'd write the best/wanted to write, and go from there. On the One Small Thing books we divided by character.

DLM: Interesting. What say you, Ms. Vaughn?

PV: We developed an overall plot at first, and for the “Lucky Moon” books in particular, we split up the writing by chapters. For the “One Thing” books, we each took on a character and wrote that character’s scenes.

DLM: It’s great you agree on what works. I know most novelists have many projects percolating at the same time. For your Lucky Moon series, did you plan Nick Ventura’s love story all along?

MJOS: We knew as soon as he came to be that there would be a story for him and obviously it was going to have to do with his redemption and growing up and learning to love. The story details came together after Moonlight Becomes You was already done and published. Both of us loved working with him <3

DLM: I can only imagine, Ms. O’Shea. ~grin~ Nick is sure a joy to read.

PV: No, it wasn’t planned from the very beginning. When we started “Moonlight Becomes You,” we hadn’t even considered writing additional books. Our love for Nicky developed as we worked on Shane’s story, and we knew he had to have a book of his own. I think the fans agreed. “The Luckiest” is undoubtedly the most popular book in the series.

DLM: Interesting. I sure knew a need to read it when I saw the title promoted in my reprint of “Moonlight Becomes You”. As for brothers Shane and Nick Venture, they are deliciously different. Do you model characters after real life persons?

MJOS: I'm going to go with no. Mostly we took the "persona" of the cliché rockstar and then built those two and their relationship up behind that. I did kind of model teenage Shane after some of the kids I used to teach when I taught junior high -- at least some of the attitude haha!

DLM: Ms. O’Shea, your confession makes me respect teacher’s all the more! And your take, Ms. Vaughn?

PV: Appearance wise, I often do model characters after real people, but not always. Their personalities are something different altogether. I start off with an idea of how a character will be while plotting, but then as the writing happens, the character’s personality develops further too.

DLM: It’s like they have a mind of their own, sometimes. As a writer, I find one question inevitably comes to mind. What helps you achieve both short and long-term goals?

MJOS: I'm kind of a type A personality haha so I'm fairly self driven. It really does help of course when the readers send nice comments and emails! Nothing makes me want to write more than when I get to have a nice conversation with a reader about one of my books.

DLM: You both deserve friendly fandom, for sure.

PV: I find I work better on a schedule, and also, word wars and sprints with author friends help to motivate me sometimes.

DLM: I only recently discovered these latter two tools and must agree. Another favorite question regards whether music or other artistic sources inspire your work.

MJOS: Ohhh haha I could talk about this for day. The short answer is YES. Piper and I were both very inspired musically by a lot of the bands we like, always and especially Muse. Moonlight was modeled stylistically by them. I make music playlists for every book :) for me it's one of the most important steps in setting the mood of the book.

DLM: Your technique matches several of my friends, Ms. O’Shea. Interesting. How about you Ms. Vaughn?

PV: Oh, yeah. Definitely. Music is a constant source of inspiration, but also artwork, photographs, other stories. Really, everything in life can serves as inspiration for me.

DLM: Amen to that! I wish Moonlight and Luck were real bands. If given the opportunity, who among your creations would you most like to meet? And please feel free to pick any character among your numerous books as I’d enjoy getting a sneak peak before having a chance to read. ~grin~

MJOS: Oh MAN haha. Yes, Nick is on the list. Also, my Lycan PC from Hunter's Moon. I love him. And if I get one more answer than it's Static, my boy band from Catch My Breath. Sure, I based them on a mix of current and past boy bands but I kinda fell in love with them as individuals along the way. It would be awesome if they were real. I'd go see them in concert lol.

DLM: That would be awesome, I’m sure.

PV: We’ve gotten asked this before, and I think MJ and I have always answered the same way (at least in the past). I think it would be awesome if Nicky were real. I’d love to meet him. Second to him, I would love for Dusty from our “One Thing” books to be real. He’d be a great friend. :)

DLM: Friends are important, for sure. We readers are so fortunate that the two of you hit it off! And I must read about Dusty now.

Dear readers, I hope you will check out the publications of these two gifted writers. You won’t regret it. Below you can read more about both these ladies and where else you can find them on the web.

Piper Vaughn Bio
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Visit Piper at:

About M. J. O’Shea:


I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state in a little old house. While I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then!!

isit M.J. at:
GOODREADS

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Virtual Sit-Down with Lucy Marker, Author of Broken Mercies



I am fortunate to have been able to communicate with a talented and generous artist of our time.  Please enjoy my interview with Lucy Marker, whose story Broken Mercies is available now through various retail outlets.

DMS: Thank you again for this opportunity, Ms. Marker. I know you write various types of fiction. “Broken Mercies” happens to be a gay romance. Do you know from the start what genre you are sitting down to write? Or does it sometimes shift mid story?

LM
: Thank you, Darla, for the opportunity to speak up about my work! I’ve been writing for many years, though Broken Mercies is my first publication.

And yes, I know precisely which genre I’m writing as I start a project.

While rewriting my women’s fiction novel No Malice, I realized my main character’s brother deserved his own story. Mental illness had made their mother vulnerable to religious zealotry, and in Broken Mercies, Dan’s orientation makes a stronger point: the intrusion of religious authority into our sexuality is an outrageous violation of boundaries.

Since I love reading gay fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed writing Broken Mercies. I see Dan and Jeremy as endearing men who struggle to do their best after rough starts.

DMS: I agree that Dan and Jeremy are endearing!  You have said that you learned young that stories hold great power. And I agree wholeheartedly. Is there a particular story from your youth that cemented that opinion?

LM
: By third grade, I had discovered that reading separated me from stressful family situations. Back then the original Boxcar Children stories enchanted me because the children could take care of themselves. Now I enjoy a multitude of genres.

DMS: I appreciate that you use your storytelling power in part to promote awareness of mental illness and addiction. Yet you instill a degree of levity within these heavy subjects. How do you find the right balance?

LM
: You’ve pinpointed my most difficult writing challenge: how can I convey the power of dramatic situations without overwhelming the reader?

Fortunately, I’ve always been surrounded by people who can laugh at themselves or find something funny during even the worst times. I remember attending a sibling’s funeral when I was a child, and we laughed because a baby had discovered the joy of squirting bottle milk on his mom’s dark pants. In retrospect, the 21-year-old mother had been quite wise to decide the soaked pants were worth it.

I also rely on my patient critique partners. They help me whittle down my darker writing.

DMS: I’m forever fascinated by the writing process itself. Are you a proponent of things like character sheets and outlining?

LM
: As a writer yourself, I’m sure you’ve discovered the process is always individual. I most often create the end of the story first, and then I figure out what the characters need to experience to arrive at that point. I rewrite exhaustively.

DMS: Well, your end product is impressive. Some writers create playlists for their books or even individual characters. Does music help inspire you?

LM
: I revere a musician’s ability to trigger and expand emotion. Though I no longer play the piano, my grandmother gave everyone in my family lessons, and there’s never been a time I haven’t been surrounded by music. I can’t give you a playlist because I use so many different types to help me dig deeper into a character’s mood.

DMS: I’m like you in that regard. My musical tastes vary widely, as does what inspires my writing. And regarding inspiration, do your characters sometimes surprise you and take their story in a different direction?

LM
:  I’m in control of the writing, though I’m pleased when my subconscious surprises me with a good comment or plot point to further the story I’m aiming for. Some of my books have originated in dreams, where my subconscious speaks the loudest.

DMS: I love it when dreams inspire story! If you could bring any of your characters to life, who would you most like to meet?

LM
: This is a surprisingly difficult question, like you’re asking which of my children I love most. I admire Dan’s good heart in Broken Mercies, but I probably benefit more from people like Jeremy, who doesn’t allow others to diminish him.

DMS: “No Malice” looks to be another good read featuring a female protagonist. And by the way, I look forward to more of Jeremy and Danny in this. Can you tell us when “No Malice” will be available and what your next project might be?

LM
:  My critique partners are helping me edit a No Malice rewrite, which I hope to finish in the next couple of months. Dan and Jeremy are chivalrous as they help Dan’s sister, and we learn why Dan’s mother picked him as the focus of her illness-induced abuse.

Dan and Jeremy will be together in a second novel that focuses on suspense more than angst. As they plow through trouble that jumps out from Jeremy’s past, they mature individually and together, deepening their relationship.

In Broken Mercies, I point out that while the results of mental illness can be destructive, the suffering are not “bad guys” as they struggle through their challenges. This second novel shows Dan’s ex, Charlie Mac, further developing his ability to face his issues.

Since it’s not yet New Year’s as I answer these questions, I’ll also mention the free short story on my website (
http://lucymarker.com/GIVEAWAYS). “Jeremy’s First Christmas” is set midyear between the end of Broken Mercies and its epilogue. You might enjoy seeing Jeremy and Dan working against a rather nasty character.

Of course, that nasty character will be featured in a second women’s fiction novel that follows No Malice. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

DLM: I read “Jeremy’s First Christmas” and adored it, so I’m pleased you brought that up. It’s great to know you have so many wonderful things planned for the future. Thank you again for your time. You’ve been most gracious and delightful.

 
A brief description of Broken Mercies by Lucy Marker:

Musician Daniel Gilchrist has decided he’s broken.
He doesn’t deserve Jeremy Evans, a sensible, sweet artist who insists they belong together. Bad choices after a hellish childhood make Dan more suited to guys like his ex-lover, a toxic mega-star who wants to resume their affair. 
But Jeremy is irresistible, and he’s survived a few nightmares of his own. He challenges Dan to get rid of the false shame imposed by his mentally ill mother. Her twisted zealotry had influenced his choices, and it’s time to stop blaming himself for inadequately protecting his little sisters from her cruelty.
While Dan wrestles with old guilt, his former lover persuades him to collaborate on a song that protests religious bigotry. Dan grows suspicious of the star’s odd behavior, and then law enforcement shows up. 
That clinches it—Dan really isn’t good enough for Jeremy. Somehow he’s managed to drag the poor guy into danger.

Buy Links:

    
About the Author:
Lucy Marker is inspired by the uncommon courage of ordinary men and women who survive trauma, face down their issues and dare to love. She and her husband live in Northern California. With their two grown children having left the nest, she now enjoys writing full time.
Contact information:
Website: lucymarker.com

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Virtual Sit-Down with Dani Wade, Author of Beneath the Surface

I recently had the opportunity to speak virtually with author Dani Wade about her new release, Beneath the Surface, available now from Amazon and other retailers.  When we chatted about our respective plans, she agreed to let me host her here on Nightlight in our reboot of our popular Virtual Sit-Down series.

Needless to say, I was stoked.

I met Dani through a mutual publishing industry contact and have learned a lot from her about writing, publishing, and organizing volunteer operations.  She's one of the nicest people I know, which makes sense since she is a founding member of the Nice Girls Writing Naughty group - and she invited me to be part of it, proof of how awesome she is.

So without further gilding the lily, let's get to the reason why you're reading - Dani's interview!

ACN:  Why did you become a writer?

DW: I’ve told myself stories, or made up “the rest of the story” in my head after I finished a book since my early teen years. When my daughter was two, a friend took me to a seminar by a published author for aspiring writers at a women’s conference. Everything that author said resonated inside of me, and though it took me a while to own it, I haven’t regretted a moment since.

ACN: If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

DW: I wouldn’t be so obsessed with “official approval”. For many years, I simply couldn’t believe in myself or my books until a “professional” told me they were good. Needless to say, ten years of rejections took their toll. Now I know there are a lot of people who can tell you whether a book is good or what’s missing—and not all (or even most) of them work for a New York traditional publishing house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Harlequin editor, but I also love the freelance professionals who help me prepare my Indie books for market.

ACN: If you could live in any time period, when would you live and what would you do?

DW: I’d love to pick something cool, like the medieval time period or Scotland. Historical time periods before industrialization fascinate me…until I think about the lack of modern plumbing, modern medicines and cell phones, and the appeal more than fades. I guess I’d be stuck with the here and now…

ACN: You've been tasked with settling a new colony. What's your first year like?

DW: I’m very much a planner and scheduler. I’d imagine my first year would be full of To Do Lists and meetings—then delegating the hard labor. LOL

ACN: What's the worst piece of writing advice you've ever gotten?

DW:  To give up on a book. I got a very nasty rejection once that said a book of mine sucked past the first 50 pages. I should just chuck it.

Yet critique partner after critique partner loved it. Finally, I sent it to an editor that walked me through some minor tweaks that made major improvements. All my beta readers loved it.
I recently published that book—Beneath the Surface is the first book in my Small Town Secrets series—and I’m grateful beyond measure I never listened to that editor.

ACN: No kidding!  I'm glad you stuck to your guns and that you're here, strong and whole, today.

Last question - coffee or tea?

DW:  Coffee with International Delight Cinnabon Creamer—best way to start the morning!

Bio

Dani Wade astonished her local librarians as a teenager when she carried home ten books every week – and actually read them all. Now she writes her own characters who clamor for attention in the midst of the chaos that is her life. Residing in the southern U.S. with a husband, two kids, two dogs, and one grumpy cat, she stays busy until she can closet herself away with her characters once more.



Check out Dani's latest release, Beneath the Surface.

Too many secrets…

Hidden in a quiet town along the Tennessee border, a secret gathering exists where the privileged fulfill their darkest desires. One of their members initiates a desperate act designed to bring home his lifelong obsession: Emma Hartwell.

A past not forgotten…

Drawn back to her hometown by the psychic connection with her twin sister, Emma must fight the stubborn silence of those around her in her quest to find her missing sister. Colin McIntyre hopes to make up for his past mistakes with Emma by helping her, but his own ties to the Gathering might be exposed along the way.

Time is running out…

Exposure could be dangerous for his family, along with himself and Emma. Can they fight the secrets and lies to rescue Emma’s sister… and their own chance at life-long love?

Monday, February 10, 2014

When Opposites Attract - Chapter 12



I didn’t know quite whether to feel flattered or annoyed at being so coddled.  Knowing Bradley’s daughter and mother might be waiting for him at the airport sort of tipped the balance toward the former.

“What time is their flight supposed to be in?”

“Not for another half hour, Jacob” Bradley replied.  “Now you’ve got the ice for you ankle, and some drinking water.  Do you need anything else?”

Some self respect?  “Nothing.  I’m good.  Go get your ladies.”

“You aren’t used to someone caring for you,” he said, plainly observing my attitude by the tilt of his head.

“No.  I guess not.  It’s appreciated, though.”

“You’ve got your cell phone handy?”

“I do,” I answered, patting the unit on the table.

He had wanted to tuck me into bed.  I drew the line at letting him fuss over me in the living room.  Bradley relented upon learning that the sofa served as my bed almost half the time on a normal day.  Falling asleep in front of late night television had become something of a habit.

“All right.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.  And don’t get up,” Bradley added playfully, “I’ll let myself out.”

I saluted facetiously.  “Yes, sir.”

When he grinned, though, I felt a warmth in my chest.  I smiled back before he opened the door and disappeared.  Fortunately, the door locked from the inside so that I didn’t have to get up after being settled in.  I dozed off without even turning on the television.

Morning sunlight woke me, useful as opposed to the alarm clock I hadn’t bothered to set.  I was grateful the sky stayed clear.  Saturdays were understandably some of the museum’s busiest aside from the weekday school field trips.

Finding my ice pack melted, I tested the damaged ankle by swiveling my foot.  It seemed all right, probably able to support my weight, so I stood.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  No urge to hobble meant no unseemly coddling from Kitty.  Taking my time, deciding to forgo a trip for a breakfast run in favor of something light later, I reached the display area as her lock hit the key.

“Good morning,” we said in unison, her grin across the counter surprising me.

“Have you eaten, Dr. Houseman?  I brought you a bear claw and black coffee.”

“I haven’t.  Thanks.”

I accepted the oversized pastry, judging that it must be nearly the size of my head.  At least the coffee’s bitterness would counteract the sweetness. Not knowing where she got these notions toward my tastes, I didn’t want to hurt Kitty’s feelings.  She beamed as I took a cloying bite.  Kitty struck me as particularly cheerful, something I noted only a moment before she spoke a similar opinion of me.

“You look awfully happy this morning.  Did you have a good evening?”

Thinking that at least my opinion of her thoughtful breakfast didn’t show, I turned to put my coffee down.  If I blushed, I didn’t want her to see.  Then the obvious thought occurred to me and I turned to face her.

“Bradley Spartan proposed a solution to our quandary over the old Civil War Post Office.”

“Really?  By the look on your face, I guess it doesn’t include a bulldozer.”

“He wants to sponsor a traveling exhibit, a trailer that carries the original building to schools and fairs and the like.  As long as the Spartan Construction name is plainly advertised, he’ll supply everything except a historical speaker.  He’ll even set up a secure place for storage.”

“Sounds too good to be true,” she observed, pursed lips blowing steam from her coffee cup.

“Well, he convinced me,” I replied, feeling deflated but defensive.  “He even showed me a photograph of a viable trailer for the project.”

“I’m sure he has good intentions, Jacob.  Don’t get me wrong.  But the city has final say in these matters.  And our local government tends to tear every proposal to shreds.”

“It will just take some convincing, I’m sure.  How can anyone complain over such a winning proposition?”

“Someone who’s up for reelection and unwilling to add any additional expense to his constituents’ tax bills, that’s who.”

“What do you mean?  What additional expenses?”

“Dr. Houseman, something like that is going to need a great deal of insurance coverage.  Surely Spartan Construction won’t want to foot the bill for that.”

“I hadn’t considered insurance.”

“It’s understandable.  You’re young.  And idealistic,” she added.  “I didn’t mean to bring you down.”

Sighing, I said, “I’m sure you didn’t, Kitty.”

“Some days I’m amazed the city keeps our little operation underway.”

“Yeah.  I know.”

“Oh, you don’t know the half of it, Dr. Houseman.  Did I ever tell you the story of old Dr. Jameson?”

“I know he left on account of health reasons.”

“It was dealing with politics that caused his first heart attack.”

“You’re kidding.  Really?”

“I’m serious,” she said, leaning so far over the counter toward me that I could smell the coffee on her breath.  “He resigned when he could no longer make it up and down the apartment stairs.  I told Dr. Jameson he should sue to have an elevator put in.  He certainly could have won under current disability laws but he said he was ready to retire, anyway.”

“So you’re saying I can expect a heart attack?”

“Like I said, you’re young.  Your heart is surely healthy and you don’t have cause to make waves, so I just don’t want you to get your hopes up.”

“Oh.  Okay, Kitty.  Thanks for the advise.”

I felt certain that Bradley Spartan had more on his mind than just promotion for his business and sex with me, so I decided to hold onto my hopes for the project.  I expected a long day, though, in the meantime.

-

Monday, January 13, 2014

When Opposites Attract - Chapter 11



I jerked upright, nearly knocking the wash cloth from Bradley’s hand.  I touched his wrist by way of apology.  “Is Savannah all right?!”

He smiled, a watery version that nonetheless quelled my panic, and said, “She’s fine.  Van had a scare on her bicycle when a motorist didn’t see her.  She just wanted to come home after the incident.  Mom was bringing her back tomorrow but Van was pretty upset today so they booked an earlier flight.”

“I don’t blame her wanting to come home.  I’m glad she didn’t get physically hurt, or worse.  Do you want me to call a taxi?”

“No, I’ll drive you home, Jacob.  I’m just sorry our evening ended so abruptly.”

Nodding ruefully, I figured he meant more than just this date ended.  He may not want a casual fuck buddy, but what committed single father and successful business owner would have time for a relationship?  I mean really, what had I been thinking?  In a fog when shedding the rest of my clothes, I was glad to find everything by the chair where my shirt lay.  I wanted to cover my nakedness as fast as humanly possible.  Feeling maudlin, I bent to step into my underwear.

“We'll always have Paris.”  Oh crap, I said that out loud.  Please, God, let clothes rustling have covered up my stupid comment.  Great job quoting “Casablanca” now.

“You know, my mother’s message said she plans to stay for a week or so.  She doesn’t want to miss out on being with Van, even if Dad had to stay home and work…”

Oh, good.  He didn’t hear me.

“…And Mom’s a good cook, so, I was wondering if you’d like to come to dinner the day after tomorrow.”

“What?”

“We haven’t been to Paris yet,” Bradley replied, chuckling, “but her French onion soup will transport you.”

“You want me to meet them?”

“Yeah.  Really, Jacob, Mom and Van have been urging me to find a man for quite some time.  Mom even tried talking me into setting up a Grindr account.”

“Are you serious?” I gasped, on the verge of laughing.

“I had to explain that it’s not exactly like eHarmony.”

“Oh, I don’t envy you that conversation.”  Now I did let the guffaw rip, and he joined in.

“It wasn’t too bad, since she could appreciate that I’m not interested in random hookups.”

“Good point.”  Sobering, nearly finished dressing, I added, “Are you sure you want me to meet Savannah right away?  I mean…”

As I trailed off, he said, “I understand what you’re saying.  You don’t want her to get attached to you in the event we break up.”

“Yeah.  I guess that sums it up.”

He walked over and took me in his arms.  I tilted my face up and to the side to receive his kiss.

“She’s a tough kid, despite what you may think by her running home to daddy,” Bradley whispered.

“I didn’t mean Savannah’s fragile, or anything.  I just…”

Another press of lips silenced me.  I was already starting to like his beard and moustache, welcoming the sensations that defined his kiss.  I hummed mournfully when he pulled away.

“I appreciate your concern.  And you do make a good point.  Since we’re just starting out, I’ll introduce you as a friend.”

That logic didn’t make sense to me.  If we hid the fact we were dating it would just complicate things more.  And a breakup would still spell the end of me seeing Savannah.  Granted, we might not hit it off but kids usually did take to me pretty well.

Or maybe I’m just over thinking this.  And thinking too highly of myself.

“What are you thinking?”

Blast, he caught me.  The man is way too observant.  So, just spit it out.  “I think honesty would be better.  If you wish us to meet, let her know we’re dating.”

He paused.  I hoped I wasn’t being rude, accusing him of lying to his daughter.

“You’re right.  She would probably figure it out, anyway.  So, can I pick you up for dinner?  And do you like French onion soup?”

“Yes.  And yes,” I agreed, snorting.

“Great.  Now, are you ready to go?”

“Yeah.”

Bradley told me some stories about Savannah on the way to the museum and my upstairs apartment.  At one point he paused, then wondered aloud if he might be boring me.

I’d actually been enjoying the anecdotes.  Bradley proved to be a very good story teller.  And I told him as much, trying not to sound like a brown noser or as if I tried to pass some sort of test.

“And I can’t fake laughter,” I confessed.  “If you ever tell me a bad joke, you’ll know it.”

I didn’t tell him how much I enjoyed making him laugh, or how the sound of us doing it together sort of warmed my heart.  Quoting Humphrey Bogart was plenty for one night.

The Corvette purred through the streets.  When we arrived, he gave me another quick kiss and apologized again.  I waved him off and said I looked forward to meeting the ladies in his life.

There went that laugh again.  It echoed nicely with my own.  Sleepiness had settled back in, but then I stepped out of the car onto my twisted ankle.  Forgetful and careless, I cringed with a curse.

“Ah, shit, Jacob.  Do you need me to take you to urgent care?”

“No.  It’ll be fine once I get some ice on it.  I’ll sleep with it elevated tonight.”

“Stay right there.  At least let me help you up the stairs.”

“But I don’t want to make you late.”

He shook his head.  “There’s time.”

His assistance did make negotiating the stairs much less painful.  Pulling out my keys at the top of the landing, I thanked him for a great evening.

“Let me see you inside; help you get comfortable.”

“Really.  You don’t have to.”

“Maybe I want to.”

-

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Please Welcome Special Guest, Anna Bayes

Please help me welcome a special guest to Nightlight, author Anna Bayes.  She and I got to talking about writing and decided to trade blog posts, and then came up with an idea for a story duel.  My entry is on her blog; you can read hers below.  Get ready to be tantalized!

Coffee, Tequila and Paraffin by Anna Bayes

I met her at a coffee introductory course on a breezy autumn evening. Golden leaves ruffling at my feet as I walked to the building set the mood for romance. It must have been a conspiracy.

The types of specialty black gold that you hardly came across at cafes on busy streets, the intoxicating aroma and the sweet acidity that lingered in your mouth -- it was the best atmosphere to fall in love with another kindred spirit.

She was beautiful. No other word to describe it: she had a classic and radiant kind of beauty.

We were free to walk around the main table with the handsome instructor. He was witty and evidently passionate about his work. I loved men who showed respect for their profession, but that night, my eyes were set on her.

I slowly maneuvered myself to be next to her.

She was a head taller than me; I was infatuated with how she loomed over me. I mentally debated what to say to her, when she suddenly turned to face me and commented, "It’s almost lemony, the acidity. I love it!"

"Mmm-hmm" I mumbled as I beamed at her. I wasn’t sure if I was blushing.

A twinkle in her eyes glimmered, and then deepened.

That sparkle -- it was not innocent, if I knew anything at all.

I was flushed.

Throughout the course, my mind wandered. With each cup that I tasted, I desired to learn about my new classmate, intimately, even more.

In a daze, the course was over.

"Great introduction, don’t you think?" She said as she gathered her bag.

"Yes. Very enjoyable." I managed to say.

She offered me her hand as she said, "Ophelia. Nice meeting you."

"Hi, I’m Anna." I replied in a tiny voice.

Her hand was warm and steady as she held my kid’s palm in hers.

"Normally I ask people out for coffee, but I think we’ve had enough coffee for one night, huh?" Her voice rang melodically in my ears.

I was tongue-tied, so I blinked and nodded.

Ophelia didn’t mind my shyness, it seemed.

She brought me to her favorite bar in a neighborhood I wasn’t familiar with. It was small and cozy. She watched me as I pretended to read the drinks menu. Would I sound too much of a nice-girl if I ordered a Margarita?

I glanced up at her.

“Tequila?” She asked simply.

After two shots, I felt her place her hand casually on my knee. I wished she’d never take it away.

After four shots, she leaned over and teased by asking, “Have you ever kissed a girl before?”

“I only kiss girls,” I lied.

The same dark twinkle I saw earlier reappeared in her eyes. “Stupid me; and I wondered.” She whispered, and closed her lips over mine.

Wow was the only word that came to mind. Her lips and tongue made everything else vanish.

Ophelia pulled away briefly, touched her nose against mine, and said, “My place is nearby. Would you let me eat you out?”

“Only if you let me do the same.” I replied.

Her studio apartment was colorful: drapes and fabric of various textures in all colors of the rainbow, and in-between. There was no sofa or bed, only a thick and luxurious carpet. We sat there comfortably and wasted no time in undressing each other.

My breasts were already swollen from wanting her. Her hands kneaded me expertly, pinching my nipples just a bit harder than I had imagined she would. The pain sent a direct reverberation to my clit.

Our bodies intertwined and rubbed against each other; our moans and sighs escalated into a synchronized frenzy.

She grunted and pushed herself down to my soaking pussy. She licked, swirled, parted my lips and ate me scrumptiously. I felt I might come in record time.

“Would you let me try something kinky?” She asked when I was about to explode.

“How the fuck can I say no now?” I answered even as my eyes widened in surprise.

She laughed heartily, got up to a cupboard next to her computer, and brought back a lighter and a box of long white candles: the typical ones you found in cathedrals.

Two fornicators of the same sex about to use church candles for abominable pleasures: I loved the irony.

“Have you played with wax before?” She asked.

“Nope. First timer. Be gentle.” I replied with a half-smile.

She lighted the candle, and held it far above my body. She rubbed my abdomen, and let a tiny drop drip onto me. I hardly felt anything.

Her eyes registered my reaction; she held the candle a bit lower and let another drop trickle onto me. A slight burning sensation, but it faded immediately. I liked it.

She saw my muscles flinch, and brought the candle two inches closer to my body. This time I felt it: pain-pleasure.

“Just like that, I think.” I suggested.

“Mmm-hmm,” her voice thick with lust, it was barely audible.

She let the melting paraffin draw a lazy path around my breasts until finally my nipples were covered.

The sharp pain translated into dizzying fever: every pore in my body was open, sensitive and begging for release.

Ophelia pushed two fingers in my waiting pussy; I clamped her in tight, I could come simply by envisioning her holding the long candle above me.

“I don’t, I can’t…” I moaned incoherently.

Her fingers worked harder, pumping me madly. She dripped the wax faster, more frequently down my belly, close to my heated furnace.

I bucked into her hand and threw my head back as I came, ebbs of ecstasy rippling in my body.

Sweat lined my temples and my neck as I finally lay exhausted and motionless.

My eyes slowly opened to the apparition with the dim light in her hand, smiling indulgently at me.

I propped myself up, took the instrument of torture from her hand, and said, “Your turn.”



Author Bio

Anna writes contemporary, paranormal, BDSM and LGBT erotic romances. She is herself a bisexual submissive, and finds writing the perfect outlet for her wild ideas.

In real life, Anna is an introverted bookworm, looks sweet and kind of innocent, but don't let her brown eyes fool you.

Find and follow Anna everywhere!

Monday, October 14, 2013

When Opposites Attract - Chapter 10



Settling comfortably in the middle of the big bed, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of Bradley’s hand planted beside me.  When the other palmed my waist, I realized I’d been holding my breath.  He leaned in close and I focused on his lips.