Mmm, Hot Chocolate…

I’ve just returned from spending a few days in Belgium, based in the beautiful city of Bruges, famous for its canals and historic bell tower, and of course, for being the setting of the brilliant black comedy In Bruges, but the friend I travelled with and I also found time to visit Ghent and Brussels. I chose Brussels as the setting for my Tirgearr novella, One Night in Brussels, because it’s a fascinating place, mixing old and new. It’s only a short journey from the modern political hub of the European Union headquarters to the historic Grote Markt, with its incredible fairytale buildings that stand as a tribute to the city’s past.

img_1142Belgium is also well known for its chocolate, and if you want to sample the very best cup of hot chocolate the city has to offer (a must on a cold and windy day like the one I just spent there) you need to take a ten-minute walk from the Grote Markt to the Quai aux Briques, in the shadow of St Catherine’s church. There you’ll find the shop cum cafe of Frederic Blondeel, where you can drink what I can only describe as liquid heaven. You can have your chocolate straight up, if you like it dark and intense, or with additions including honey, vanilla, and even a hint of chili. (And the little piece of pistachio cake – scoffed by both of us before the photo was taken – and gianduja praline were a perfect accompaniment.) Blondeel also produces a range of truffles and chocolates in just about every flavour you can think of and some more unusual ones, such as Earl Grey, cardamom and pink pepper. You can find these in our favourite chocolate shop in the city, Elisabeth on the Rue au Beurre, who also stock gorgeous treats like Bakker Danny’s Zwevezeelse florentines, topped with butter cream and white chocolate, and their own mello-cakes – a luxury version of the chocolate teacake.

Chocolate shops may not feature in One Night in Brussels, but the couple at the heart of the story, SaOne_Night_in_Brussels_by_Elizabeth_Coldwell-500skia and Dominic, certainly get to discover many of the city’s other attractions, as well as having a run-in with a robber who threatens to make their night together memorable for all the wrong reasons. Of course, if Dominic hadn’t made off with a necklace from a jeweller’s close to the Grote Markt, he and Saskia might not have found themselves in quite so much trouble. But if you want to learn how they get out of their predicament, and what comes of their growing attraction to one another, One Night in Brussels is available until March 8th for the special price of 99p from Amazon UK as part of Tirgearr Publishing’s fifth birthday bash. It’s best read with a cup of something nice…

 

Tirgearr Is Five…

…and to celebrate, they’re throwing a big birthday bash. There’s a huge prize giveaway with a top prize of a Kindle Fire HD8 tablet, as well as loads of print books, ebooks and Tirgearr teeshirts. The competition runs until March 8th, and you can click on the image below to enter via Rafflecopter:

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As well as the giveaway, lots of Tirgearr’s books are on sale for 99p, including my City Nights novella, One Night in Brussels. Here’s the blurb for the story:

Saskia van Gaal works as a translator for the European Commission, dreaming of a life filled with excitement and hot sex. When she bumps into suave, sexy Englishman, Dominic May, and offers to be his tour guide in the beautiful city of Brussels, she doesn’t realise she’s about to embark on the wildest night of her life.

A stolen necklace is only the beginning of the adventure, and when Dominic and Saskia are threatened by a knife-wielding robber, things threaten to spiral out of control.

Has Saskia misjudged Dominic? Should she trust him? And as their sex games grow hotter and ever more inventive, can she ever guess how this night will end?

One Night in Brussels is available at the special price of 99p from Amazon UK until March 8th.

And if you’d like to know more about one of Brussels’ best-kept secrets – where to get the best cup of hot chocolate in the city – come back to the Naughty Corner tomorrow and I’ll reveal all!

 

High Tech and Low Tech Meet in the Middle – Guest Post By K D Grace

toysforboys-kdgrace-finalWhen my husband and I walked the Wainwright Coast to Coast Path across England, we took tons of photos, though there were a few days when the weather was the worst that the photos were sparse. On those days we were too tired and too wet to bother. Earlier that same year, we heard a talk from a man who climbed Everest for charity and somehow, even at the top, he had the presence of mind to record his epic moment on his device.

While I blogged that wonderful walk, taking photos as we went and then writing like a crazy woman in our B&B at night to get the posts out, I’d often wished I’d had the skill and the tech to do it all on my phone and in-situ as we moved across the landscape.

Having said that, one of the best parts of the walk was that it was mostly low tech – good walking gear and navigation skills and putting one foot in front of the other. That meant a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day and it meant that we didn’t miss the finer moments because our noses were buried in our iPhones.

Will and Doc’s story is one of adventures with high tech while being very creative with low tech at the same time. That combo made for fun and sexy writing.

Toys For Boys Excerpt – Flesh To Flesh:

“We’re not going to make Ennerdale tonight,” Doc yelled into the wind.

Will’s answer was incoherent, an incoherence that wasn’t entirely because the wind was interfering with Doc’s hearing. They’d already got lost once and had fought their way back to the trail. Doc was fucking freezing, but he had spent enough time outdoors in bad weather to push his body way further than most people could. No matter how fit Will was, Doc recognised the signs of hypothermia when he saw them. They had to get out of the weather and get warm.

They lost the trail twice more before Doc made the executive decision to set up a tent in the first spot halfway flat. To his surprise it had been the damn urBrain that had saved the day. Will had downloaded detailed, interactive OS maps, but in his condition, Doc doubted if he could read his own name in bold letters, let alone the contours of a map. He’d pried the device, safe from the weather in its own little waterproof sheath, from Will’s icy hands and, with the light from the screen, he was able to find a wooded area relatively flat and as shielded from the weather as they were likely to get. The rain turned to hail and the Arctic wind made it feel like bird shot against all bits of exposed skin as Doc struggled to set up the tent. He’d shoved another energy bar at Will, and when he’d only stood there looking at it, Doc had opened it and half crammed it down his throat before he went back to work on shelter, desperate to get Will out of the weather.

Once the tent was secure, he chucked the bags inside, then grabbed Will by the collar and dragged him into the tight little space.

The energy bar must have helped. Will seemed coherent enough. “I can’t feel my hands,” he said, battling to get his sleeping bag out of its waterproof sack.

“Give me that,” Doc said through chattering teeth. “Let me do it. My hands aren’t all delicate and dainty like yours.”

“Would you look at that?” Will said as Doc grabbed the bag. “Amazingly, my middle finger works just fine.” He flipped him off.

“So does your smart mouth.” Without thinking, Doc zipped the two bags together.

“What are you doing?” Will was suddenly serious.

“You’re hypothermic. Get your wet clothes off and get into the bag.”

“Oh. Right.” But Will could no more manage the buttons and zippers on his clothing than he could his sleeping bag.

This time when Doc shoved his hands away and pushed the waterproof jacket off his shoulders, Will only watched, eyes focussed on the process as though it were something totally new to him. Doc cursed the fiddly buttons on the man’s shirt, his own hands none too agile from the cold and wet and the fact that he was undressing Will fucking Charles, about whom he’d been having less than pristine thoughts since his first view of the man’s arse. Will fucking Charles with whom he was about to cuddle down into a sleeping bag butt naked, never mind that it was with good reason.

Will sucked in a harsh breath. “Your damned hands are like ice cubes, Woodsy.”

“Oh shut it, William, or I’ll kick your arse outside and make you sleep in the rain.”

“Fucking like to see you try.” Will’s teeth were chattering hard, and his whole body trembling from the cold as Doc worried the shorts down over his commando bum and found himself face to cock, which made the blighter burst into hysterical laughter. “Have we ulterior motives, Mr Jones? Where the hell’s urBrain? I have to get this on camera.”

“Want a selfie of your cock, do you, you shivering bastard?” Doc turned his attention to the walking boots, which had stopped all progress of getting the man naked. Focussing on something other than the naked, very vulnerable body of Will fucking Charles helped clear his mind. He was too cold, too tired to get hard over what was essentially a matter of life and death, he told himself. Surely!

Once the boots were dispensed with, he shoved the man into the sleeping bag and went about the awkward business of stripping himself.

“Where the hell is the urBrain when I need it?” Will chuckled between chattering teeth.

“You point that thing at me, and I’ll shove it up your arse.” Doc’s own teeth sounded like a couple of spastic tap dancers had been turned loose in his mouth.

“Now that’s a function I didn’t find in the instruction manual,” Will replied.

What started out as ribald comments on the shrivelling effect of the cold on male tender bits dwindled to nothing more than the sound of convulsive shivering. By the time Doc had shed the last of his clothes and shoved his way down next to Will, he was seriously worried. It took all his strength, which wasn’t a helluva lot at that moment, to pull the bloke into his arms and hold him close enough to share body heat, what little there was of it. The worry subsided a bit when Will threw his arms around his neck and gave a harsh chuckle against his throat. “This was seriously worth getting hypothermic for. Pity I’m too fucking tired to appreciate it.”

Though Doc agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiment, his focus was on getting Will warm. Then he’d get out the backpacking stove and fix them something hot. That was the last thing he remembered, that and the feel of Will’s body shivering against him, in the tent redolent with the male scent of core heat and wet gear, all overlaid by the icy metal smell of the fells in a storm.

Toys for Boys Blurb:

Alpha nerd Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

Note: Toys for Boys has been previously published as part of the Brit Boys: With Toys boxed set.

 Buy Toys for Boys Here:

 Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/toysforboys

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2jPjrN2

iBooks: http://apple.co/2jpYvxK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kbYbQa

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2kmFbRg

About K D Grace/Grace Marshall

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and kd-grace-imageshe’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She loves mythology. She enjoys spending time in the gym – right now she’s having a mad affair with a pair of kettle bells. She loves to read, watch birds and do anything that gets her outdoors.

KD has erotica published with Totally Bound, SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Sweetmeats Press and others.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition, Interviewing Wade are all available.

Find K D Here:

Websites: http://kdgrace.co.uk/

http://www.thebritbabes.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KDGraceAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KD_Grace

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kdgraceauthor/

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services

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Cover Reveal – Keeping Him Safe

Here’s the gorgeous cover for Keeping Him Safe, my new m/m novella which is released by Pride Publishing later in the year.

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Keeping Him Safe is the story of Xander, a bodyguard tasked with protecting a man who’s being stalked by an obsessive ex-boyfriend, and the lines he crosses when duty and desire become entangled. Thanks to the lovely Posh Gosh at Pride for her superb work on the cover design (including finding a model with super-crunchy abs!), and more information about the story nearer the time of release…

Pride Under Fire – LoveRomancesCafe Nominee!

I am absolutely thrilled that Pride Under Fire has been nominated in the Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy category in the Best of 2016 LoveRomancesCafe poll. The book is part of the Lionhearts series and features a lion shifter who’s also a firefighter. When he meets a detective on the trail of a serial arsonist, things get hot!

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You can find out more about Pride Under Fire at Pride Publishing, and if you’re a member of the LRC Yahoo group and you want to cast your vote for the book, voting is open between now and February 14th. Just click on the nominee button below to vote.

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Of course, there are lots of great books up for this category, and all the others across the LRC awards. With my editor’s hat on, I’d also like to give a mention to Amy Paine’s The Turning Point, which is up for the Best Historical/Victorian/Regency. Amy is one of the authors I work with for NineStar Press, and I’ve also edited books of hers under her long-standing pen names for Xcite, and I’m delighted to see her get a nomination. You can vote for The Turning Point here. And good luck to everyone in the awards…

Book Review: Blank Space by Jennifer Young

blank-spaceBronte O’Hara lives an unremarkable life in Edinburgh, working for the Caledonian Bank. Her world is thrown into confusion when she returns home to finds an injured and bleeding man in her kitchen. Marcus is suffering from memory loss, so she has no way of knowing whether he means her harm, or who attacked him. However, their paths are destined to cross again, and when they do, Bronte begins to realise that everything is tied into her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Eden, an anarchist who’s part of the anti-capitalism movement. With the G8 summit due to take place in Edinburgh, the city’s about to become a hotbed of not-so-peaceful protest, and as Bronte’s feelings for Marcus deepen, she’s left wondering who, if anyone, she can really trust.

Blank Space is one of those novels where it’s best to know as little about it as you can before you read it, so you can best enjoy the twists and turns as they arrive, though it’s not spoiling things too much to reveal that almost everyone in this book is hiding major secrets. Jennifer Young uses contemporary political and economic events as the backdrop for a fade-to-black romantic suspense storyline that explores questions of identity, trust, and moral principles. Bronte’s dilemma is simple and believable– given how badly her relationship with Eden ended, how can she love Marcus when she’s not entirely sure who he really is or what his true motives are? The “ooh, banks are evil” sentiment is occasionally ladled on a little too thickly, but it’s contrasted with some wry comments about those with anti-corporate sentiments who need people to work for banks and the like to give them something to protest against. Bronte is an appealingly feisty heroine, her budding attraction to Marcus is low-key but realistically handled, and there are moments of genuinely scary tension in a story will keep you gripped to the end. The book is billed as the first in a series, so it will be interesting to see whether Book Two develops Bronte and Marcus’ romance, or, as the previous Lake Garda series by Jennifer Young has done, introduces new characters to the set-up. Either way, it’s bound to be interesting.

Blank Space is available from Amazon UK and US. I was given a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

That’s Rich – Another Billionaire Erotic Romance?: Guest Post By Victoria Blisse

“Not another billionaire!” I have to say, I’ve said that a fair few times myself. Since that book, you know the one I mean, you can’t move for sexy books about super-rich guys.

thebillionaireandthewildman-evernightpublishing-oct2016-smallpreviewNow that’s where mine and Lucy Felthouse’s novel is a bit different. Our billionaire is a woman.  I am sure you might wonder why she needs to be so damn rich – well, she runs into a wild man (quite literally) and the tension of the situation comes from the vast contrast in their circumstances.

So although we created another billionaire erotic romance, we hope we’ve done it in a unique and quirky way so when you read The Billionaire and the Wild Man you don’t feel like it’s just another shade of grey.

Here’s an excerpt that shows that conflict in action.

“Listen to me,” I say quietly, reaching out to take her hand. She lets me, which I see as a positive sign. “Carrie, I do fancy you. Like mad, actually. Trust me, it’s my brain that stopped me back there, not my dick.” I smile as she giggles. “It’s just … things are complicated, aren’t they?” I pause, take a deep breath. “Can I be totally honest with you?”

She nods, wide-eyed, and it’s all I can do to stop myself slipping my hand behind the base of her neck and pulling her in for a kiss. Closing my eyes briefly, I try to shove the thought away. I don’t succeed, not entirely, but I do manage to get enough of a grip on myself to say what I want to say. “Things are complicated. In so many bloody ways. I like you, Carrie, I really do. But I can’t help thinking about what would happen if we got together. I know most men would just go for it, go to bed with you, and not give a toss about the consequences. But I think you already know I’m not most men. I’ve been through some shit … which I’ll try and tell you about one day soon, perhaps after a couple of beers. But it’s made me appreciate life that much more, appreciate friends, relationships. I try my hardest to treat people better. And because I haven’t really got any friends, not any more, I don’t want to lose you if something more didn’t work out between us.”

She tries to cut in. “Flynn—”

“Please,” I say, squeezing her hand gently. “Let me finish. Once I’ve got it all out, you can say your bit.”

She nods again, and I continue. “There’s also the small matter of me being a homeless, penniless bloke, and you’re a rich goddess that runs a hotel chain. If we were to get together, folk would think I was scrounging off you. And as much as I’d like more money—who wouldn’t, except maybe you—I don’t want to be a kept man. I’ve worked for my wages all of my life, still do, and that’s the way I like it. Perhaps I’m crazy, but I’m a traditional sort, and I’m too old to change now. Okay, I’m done. Your turn.”

Carrie huffs out a breath, then brings my hand up to her mouth and presses a kiss to my knuckles. “You’re not old, you idiot. But I get the bit about not changing. And I’m glad—I like you the way you are. As for what you said, I get it. I totally get that there are obstacles between us, things that could trip us up. I’ve got more than a few issues myself, as you know. Since we’re being totally honest, I am sorry I went off on one, but I’m not sorry we kissed. This will probably make me sound totally mush or full of shit, but I can’t remember the last time someone made me feel the way you do.”

My heart pounds faster, and the urge to kiss her returns with a vengeance, but I keep perfectly quiet and still. I suspect she’s not even this honest with her shrink, so I’m not about to ruin it now. She’s really opening up to me.

“You know about what I do, who I am, but you don’t care. Well, not don’t care, but you don’t see it as what I am. Just what I do. Christ, am I making any sense?” She passes her free hand across her forehead, and I nod, smiling.

“Carry on, sweetheart, I’m listening.”

“You make me feel like a person, not just a bank balance, or a businesswoman, a CEO, whatever. To you, I’m just Carrie. Perhaps if we’d met under different circumstances, things would be different, but I’m glad we didn’t. I like being just Carrie, a woman who wanders around barefoot and has a crazy mother. Having said all that,” she scratches her head, and a tiny frown line appears between her eyebrows, “you’re obviously very aware of the billionaire CEO bit, because it’s putting you off pursuing anything with me.”

Wow. So she’s actually a billionaire then. I’d suspected as much, but to have it confirmed… I manage to stifle my awe at her success, and reply to her. “Not just that. That’s a very small part of it. I’m a big boy, and if people want to think crap about me then they can. But I also wouldn’t want you to think I was taking advantage of your money and position. Mainly, though, I’m a bit fucked up and I’m frightened of getting attached to you romantically and losing the only thing resembling a friend that I’ve had since I went AWOL.”

Carrie lets out a sound of irritation, which is pretty damn cute. I suppress a smile, knowing it’s not the right time for humor.

“So what the hell do we do now? We like each other, but there’s crap in the way. I can’t make my money or career disappear in a cloud of smoke, and you can’t magic up a billion pound career of your own overnight. And even if you could, you can’t erase your past.”

“I guess we just have to keep things platonic,” I say, but even as the words come out of my mouth, my fingers are entwining with hers, and every cell in my body is yearning for her, in the exact opposite way to platonic.

She nods, but doesn’t pull her hand away. “Yeah, I guess we do. Just ignore that we fancy each other, and stick with being friends.” The tone of her voice sounds weird, almost strangled, and I notice she’s edging still closer to me, so close our bodies are touching.

“Mmm-hmm.” Come to think of it, I sound a bit weird myself. I’m just contemplating what it means when Carrie does the very thing I’d been thinking about doing to her. She slips her hand around the back of my neck, tangles her fingers in my hair, and pulls me down toward her for a kiss. Her mouth is hot, wet and ready, and my brain is screaming no while the rest of me is telling it to fuck right off!

Blurb:

Flynn Gifford is enjoying a simple existence in a rural Derbyshire village when Caroline Rogers crashes into his life, barefoot and panicked.

Their lives could hardly be more different—she owns a successful luxury hotel chain, and he’s a penniless nomad who’s off the grid—yet neither can deny the attraction that burns between them. As Caroline reluctantly starts to open up to him, Flynn finds himself divulging some secrets of his own, secrets he thought he’d take to his grave.

But can a billionaire and a wild man ever make a relationship work, or will their secrets keep them apart?

Buy links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/wildman

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-billionaire-and-the-wild-man-mf

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-billionaire-and-the-wild-man-by-lucy-felthouse-and-victoria-blisse/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124998452?ean=2940153796611

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/book/billionaire-wild-man/id1169282940?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-billionaire-and-the-wild-man

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebillionaireandthewildman-2150971-149.html

*****

Author Bios:

Lucy Felthouse:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller) and The Persecution of the Wolves. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 150 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Victoria Blisse:

Victoria Blisse is a Mother, Wife, Christian, Manchester United Fan and Award Winning Erotica Author and all round Cheeky Wench. She is also the editor of several Bigger Briefs collections, and the co-editor of the fabulous Smut Alfresco, Smut by the Sea (Vol.1), Smut by the Sea (Vol.2), Smut by the Sea (Vol.3), and Smut in the City Anthologies.

She is the mistress of Smut UK putting on Smut Events, Days & Evenings dedicated to erotica, socializing, fun and prizes. Check out Smut Nights, Smut by the Sea: Scarborough, and Smut Manchester for more info.

Born near Manchester, England, her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories along with her own particular brand of humour and romance that bring laughs and warm fuzzies in equal measure.

Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life.

You can often find Victoria procrastinating on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/lucy-felthouse-victoria-blisse/

And visit http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b9ec5be175/? for your chance to win a bumper selection of e-books from Lucy and Victoria.

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