Friday, 20 June 2014

Danger! Temptation! Risk! Romance! Welcome Natasha Blackthorne...

So you did see the heading, right? Danger. Temptation. Risk. Romance. Well...those are awfully intriguing words! Put them all together and you have a dear, dear friend of mine and a gloriously talented author---Natasha Blackthorne! 

I love her writing, her blend of delicious sensualtiy, fascinating history and---most of all---her wonderful characters. Never just a mix of guy and girl thrown in as a vehicle for romance, but characters who are true-to-life and no-holds-barred, right down to the flaws that, coincidentally, are raw and unapologetic. Ms. Blackthorne is a master at painting folks the reader relates to. 

And...and...I was so excited to get to share the cover for her novel, the featured book in this blitz, A Measured Risk, Regency Risks Book One. Hot, hot, hot. With a sexy, beautiful, heart tugging and ultimately heart warming story!

I know. You want to get to the good stuff! So I'm shutting up and stepping aside for my friend, Author Natasha Blackthorne, to visit!

Oh!! When you've read the excerpt, be sure to follow the link to the Rafflecopter for your chance at a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card!

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Hello Everyone,
Welcome to my book blitz for the .99 sale on A Measured Risk, Regency Risks Book One.

I am giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

On Sale .99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

June 20-22, 2014


By Natasha Blackthorne

Book one in the Regency Risks Series

He is her most dangerous temptation, the only man she has ever trusted and now he is demanding her submission. Dare she take the risk?

Emotionally scarred in the horrific accident that took her husband’s life, Lady Cranfield is imprisoned by her lingering terror of horses and carriages. She longs to be closer to the fascinating Earl of Ruel, as she senses intuitively that he might be able to teach her how to overcome the terrors that hold her in bondage.

And now she’s willing to risk almost anything—her reputation, even her virtue—to find out.

But what Lord Ruel proposes startles her.

When the shy, studious and socially awkward young widow approaches him, Lord Ruel instantly senses she will be the sweetest, most submissive experience of his life—but first he must gain her complete trust. Lord Ruel makes Lady Cranfield a non-negotiable offer: His help in return for her submission and obedience.

But Lady Cranfield grew up neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servantand then later ignored by her handsome, charming husband. She’s learnt to protect her heart at all costs and she trusts no one but herself.

How can the jaded Earl of Ruel break through Lady Cranfield’s self-defences and show her how to love when he himself has spent his life avoiding that tender trap?

Erotica Romance ~ Light BDSM ~ Rubenesque / BBW ~ Regency Historical ~ Shy Heroine ~ Novel Length 86,000 Words . Contains graphic erotic descriptions and frank sexual language. As a work of historical romance fiction, A Measured Risk is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of modern BDSM lifestyles.

Excerpt from A Measured Risk
©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2012, 2013
For Adults 18+ Only

She backed all the way into the bookcase.

“Why did you run away?” His deep voice settled in her belly, rich and warm, like crème brûlée on a cold winter’s night.

“Because I wanted you to follow.” She tried to sound sophisticated and seductive, but her voice choked off on the last word.

Ruel placed his hand on the shelf above her head and blocked her path to the door. His tall, solidly muscled body leaned over her, surrounding her with the sumptuous, sinful scents of tobacco, Scotch whisky and something masculine and undeniably dangerous. A slow, sensual smile stretched his hard mouth.
He appeared different. Softer. More approachable.

At the change, her insides seemed to flip over.

“Well, sweeting, getting us off alone was a very inspired idea.” He touched one of her fallen ringlets. “I am bored to distraction with endless talk of hunting and fencing.”

As he slowly wrapped the curl around two fingers, he brushed her collarbone. Fiery sparks tingled down her spine, so intense that she shivered and her nipples beaded, pressing against her stays. By some instinct she hadn’t even known she possessed, she arched her back, presenting herself for his assessment.

His eyes shone so vividly blue against his bronzed face that they resembled cornflowers. She swallowed tightly and wished for a long drink of claret. This more personal side of him suddenly seemed far more hazardous than his usually fierce exterior.

Well, no matter. There was nothing to fear. She would allow only as much contact as need be to get to know him a little. Since being torn from her lonely yet secure life in Ireland and thrust into Society at age sixteen, she’d spent her time allowing people only as near as was comfortable. She was an expert at emotional evasion.

It should be easy to regain her control.

But now, as rays of the late-afternoon sun played over his pale hair, turning it the colour of winter wheat, all her carefully rehearsed words flew from her mind.

Say something—anything—else he will think you’re a bird-wit.

An intimate smile, one that invited her to play, tugged at his mouth.

“In a situation like this, alone with a gentleman, it’s perfectly normal for a lady to feel some apprehension.” His hushed voice, barely audible above the piano and boisterous singing from down the corridor, accentuated their isolation. His gaze became so piercing that she had to lower her eyes. 

He brushed his fingertips over her cheek. “She will invariably ask herself if he will try to kiss her.”

She jerked her eyes back to his face. God, he couldn’t mean to—not yet, surely… Peculiar, heated chills swept over her. She tried to take a step back, but found her arse flush against the bookshelf.

He leaned closer; so close that his Scotch-scented breath tickled her face. “And just in case you are wondering, Lady Cranfield—the answer is most assuredly yes.”

She should demand that he put his arm down so she could pass by and leave. She really should. But she couldn’t stop looking at his hard mouth and wondering what it would feel like upon hers. He was so close to her that his breath blew on her lips. If she moved but a fraction, she’d be kissing him.

Kissing him.

Dear God. Her breaths began to come very fast and short. Her throat went tight with a suppressed moan.

His eyes burnt as brightly as aquamarines. He looked so fierce. If he kissed her, if he dared… Oh God, it would be so harsh. That cruel-looking mouth could express itself no other way.

Excitement rushed through her, sending tingles to every point of her body, even her toes.

But no, he wouldn’t. Not yet.

He kept leaning closer. He didn’t close his eyes. Instead, he seemed to focus all the harder upon her.

Her heart pounding, unable to move away, she braced herself for his assault.

His lips brushed hers, barely. A gossamer caress.

He lifted his head.

It was done.


And it hadn’t even begun.

He held her chin, appearing so cool, so unaffected. His kiss had seemed to sear her. An urge to put her fingers to her lips arose in her. She resisted it, for it would give away too much of how she was affected.

Never show your feelings.

He traced his thumb along her lower lip, slowly, deliberately, as he studied her with eyes that now glittered with something powerful and predatory. Heat pooled in her pelvis, low and spreading even lower.

She went weak all over, as if she’d lain in a sunny window seat for too long. Her knees almost buckled. She forced them to lock. To be strong.

It should not have affected her so profoundly. It had been just a peck—not a true kiss at all. William had poured out all of his skill upon her and hadn’t garnered even a tenth of the reaction in her that this man’s peck had.
Ruel traced her jaw line with his fingertips. Unthinkingly, she leaned in to his touch.

“Of course, once he has kissed her, then it’s his turn to wonder…” His voice sounded unnaturally loud in her ears. “How will she respond? Will she withdraw, or can he ignite some hidden fire?”

She sensed that he was toying with her. She didn’t understand flirtation—why had she imagined she could carry off this ruse? Was he making advances in order to have a laugh with Francesca and her simpering friends later? Hurt blossomed in her chest. She resented him for that. She ought to feel indignant, superior, uncaring—anything but hurt.

“Please don’t make sport of me.”

She cringed. Was that quavering, pleading voice really hers?

An infinitesimal pause. “Now, why on earth would I do such a thing?” His voice was as smooth as velvet.

“To please your vanity,” she replied, trying to regain her wits.

“Here.” He placed her hand to his chest. The contours of his muscles were hard, powerfully developed. Even more so than she’d expected. His body heat radiated through the satin and, beneath her hand, his heart’s beat was rapid and strong.

“Is that vanity?” He put a finger under her chin, giving her no choice but to face him. “Is it?” He gentled his grip.

The warmth in his voice settled over her like luscious hot chocolate. Melting her insides to quivering burgoo, rendering her speechless, unable to move.

“My dear, lovely Lady Cranfield, I am going kiss you again.”

About Natasha Blackthorne:

Escape into the past with intensely erotic, emotionally driven love stories. Natasha Blackthorne writes character-focused historical erotica romance featuring strong internal conflicts. Her stories are most frequently about the intimate journey of the characters as they learn to open their hearts to love.

Her heroines are not perfect ladies. They are wildflowers and wallflowers who enjoy flirting with the forbidden. Whether they are bold or shy, her heroines’ strong desires and deep emotions drive the plot and drive their heroes to the point of no return.

Connect with Natasha Blackthorne:
Please feel free to "Friend" me on Facebook or subscribe to my public feed.

My Blog

 To Purchase A Measured Risk Now Please Click Here:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble


 Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open to all current USA residents who are aged 18 or older. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below. By entering to win, you are stating that it is legal for you to enter such contests where you currently reside. Giveaway ends: 12 AM Eastern Time on June 30, 2014.

Link to the Rafflecopter:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Good luck and thank you for visiting with me today.

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Thank you, Natasha, for visiting us today and for sharing this luscious peek at A Measured Risk, and for the chance at the Amazon gift card!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Red Rover, Red Rover...

I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. 
-- J. D. Salinger, "Franny and Zooey"

Red Rover, Red Rover, send that kid---any kid but Carol---right over! Oh, the memories. Do you remember that game from school? Even then, as young as we were, we were being conditioned to try to fit in or be counted out, even if it was just a silly sport.

Me? I wasn't athletic type. I was a torn kid emotionally at those times---half of me praying my heart out that I wouldn't get chosen on a team because I knew I was lousy at games and the other half of me was sad because I didn't---and I mean never---got picked for the teams.  Well, I take that back. I did get picked. Eventually. By whichever poor team was unlucky enough to be stuck with me. My only hope was to be outed before the game even got under way well. 

And, hey, let me tell you. Nothing much has changed in life since those days of trembling in fear of being picked and then hating being picked because I knew, just knew I was going to suck at whatever game was being played. 

But...but...why, why, why did I still pitifully have that deep, unspoken yearning to have someone pick me to be on their team? Why, even when I knew I could not perform, when I knew I'd end up running off the playground feeling all this kid-like failure, did I still long to hear my name? Red Rover, Red Rover, send CAROL right over.  

Same reason any kid did and does. They want to be acknowledged. They want to be accepted. They want to be wanted by their peers. As much as many of us---yes, even me---snort that we don't care if we fit in, we don't care if we're popular, I think many of us really do, deep down, want to fit in. We want validation of belonging in whatever sector of life we've chosen. 

And acknowledging that to myself is why the Salinger quote above has become one of my most cherished. Because it takes courage to not want or need to fit in. To not want to be somebody is not in most natures. It's sure not in mine.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I've been seriously writing since 2009. I've been a published author since 2011. When I made up my mind to write with a goal of being published, I had big dreams. I had silly, unrealistic dreams. Dreams that my writing would be the ticket. Nothing else would really matter. My pen would be my strength. My writing would be so good it would just sell itself.

I can hear you laughing from here. 

No, no, no. I don't mean I think my writing stinks. I do at least have that much confidence to believe in my craft, to think I've some talent inside me somewhere. 

But if I ever walked though the doors of this writerly universe and thought talent alone was going to be enough, I was just about as left in the cold as the old Red Rover days.

I've had a hard knock comeuppance in this game. And, like those old days, I've found myself on the old playing field, realizing that fitting in just might be crucial. I once heard some writers called 'royalty', referring to their status as far as being popular. My heart sunk clean down to my feet to find myself back on the field where being 'able'----not as in just decent writing---but strong in personality was going to make a difference in anything. 

I've yet to put my finger on how this all works. I do the Facebook thing. I enjoy Facebook, I think, and have an intimate circle of friends. Some I don't even know personally, but I feel comfortable with them and cherish their company. 

But, still, I don't even feel I'm corresponding with these folks as an author but as a friend. So as far as promoting my work through Facebook friendships, I reckon I don't much. 

I finally started such things as blog tours. Yes, blog tours. I know, I know, I swore that sort of thing off. I was never going to succumb to it, was I? 

Whether that angle has even helped, I'm not sure. Has it made my name a household commodity? Oh, damn, hell, no. 

This social community thing. I' I love posting photos. Yes, when it comes to sharing my passions, I'm an extrovert. On my little wall, in my little world.

The thought of going to a convention? Scary, like thinking of crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope. No, I'm not really afraid of crowds. But I do not, do not, do not feel I belong, that I fit in enough to attempt mingling. I mean, if I don't fit in on forums and other social venues...well, you see. 

The bottom line is that I see, with horrific clarity, that to pitch me is a necessary part of this writer success thing. And it is so terrifying to me that I'm tempted to just go back to the old days when I just wrote and I didn't give a hoot or a holler if I sold a book or not. I just wrote because I adored writing and because I had something to say and I wanted someone---even if it was one damn person---read it. 

I see something pitiful about myself, something that makes that urge to do a J. D. Salinger and disappear. And that is this: I'm lying if I tell you I do not want to fit in. Come on. Even in the book, Salinger only said he wished he didn't want to  fit in. But he did. He did want to be somebody. 

So do I. I really do. Ain't that sad? We all really kind of do. But we all are not cut out to be what we dream socially. Not as far as fitting in goes. 

It does not mean, like I said, that I think my talent is not as good as the next fella. I believe in myself, my talent. I would never have submitted a story had I not believed in it. 

And let me tell you. It is hard as gargling B-B's to sit here and admit to you that I wish I could be in the 'in' crowd. But I'll tell you something else. I'm sure not the only one. Many may not admit it, but more of us wish we could be royalty, too. 

It's our nature. It just is. And there's not a damn thing wrong with the wanting of it. As long as it doesn't water down our writing.

But I also know my limitations. Always have and always will. And, knowing them intimately and knowing I'm not the kind to elbow my way into realms I'm not comfortable in, even if it means never fitting in.

I'll just keep writing. Because I do love it, I can't live without it. No matter where it takes me. 

And I will know, with everything in me, that the 'not fitting in' will not have anything to do with my writing. It will not be because my writing wasn't good enough. Sometimes writing reminds me of this piano....

It just sits out in this foggy field, not being played. But, just because it's alone out there and it's not seen by as many, doesn't mean it doesn't have a beautiful song inside it to play. And it doesn't mean it doesn't long for someone to hear it. It does.