VAMPErotica: VOLUME ONE

Book Cover

VAMPErotica: VOLUME ONE by Scerina Elizabeth, Em J. Vago, Tara Devaney-Thompson, M.F. Adele, Bethany Strobel, AnnaMarie Gardner, Brandi Gillilan, Claire Marta, Nia Farrell, Tanis Owen, Livia Lang, and Sloane Ridge.

Anthology release date October 31, 2020

Amazon Universal link . . . . . Amazon US

Goodreads TBR . . . . . BookBub reviews

A collection of short steamy Vampire Romance Erotica stories.

VAMPErotica: VOLUME ONE includes Unmasked—A Poisoned Garden Short Story by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell (Length 3K words).

Teasers and excerpt http://bit.ly/UnmaskedWP

Follow Poisoned Garden releases here http://bit.ly/ThePoisonedGardenWP

UNMASKED—A POISONED GARDEN SHORT STORY

Unmasked—A Poisoned Garden Short Story

by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell

This sizzling short story is part of the VAMPErotica: VOLUME ONE by Scerina Elizabeth, Em J. Vago, Tara Devaney-Thompson, M.F.Adele, Bethany Strobel, AnnaMarie Gardner, Brandi Gillilan, Claire Marta. and Nia Farrell.  This collection of steamy vampire romance erotica stories releases October 31, 2021.

Amazon order link     Amazon US

Goodreads TBR      BookBub reviews

Unmasked—A Poisoned Garden Short Story by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell is historical paranormal erotic romance (Length 3K words) and the first release in their new Poisoned Garden series.  

Opera singer Estelle Broussan has the voice of an angel and the body of a goddess. She’s quite the actress, too. Rumor has it that the streets of Paris are littered with the lovers she’s cast off but she’s wary of men who want her for her talent or looks.

Only one man who wants her for her mind, but he proves to be the most dangerous of all.

This erotic paranormal short story is set in 1792 Paris amidst the French Revolution and features Etienne de Foix, the vampire from the Guarded Hearts series by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell. Written for Ages 18+.

EXCERPT from Unmasked by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell:

Estelle decided to take advantage of their host’s generosity. Filling a plate and grabbing a glass of wine, she circled the floor, watching the dancers, admiring the statues. One young man looked like Ganymede, come from Olympus to serve the tall, blond god with wolf ears who stood admiring him. The living statue held his pose but she could tell he was discomfited by the backs of two fingers tracing the inside of his thigh. Discomfited and aroused. A telltale bulge beneath his toga betrayed his reaction to the wolf’s attention.

Estelle sighed. There was nothing quite as beautiful as watching two handsome men make love. She’d seen enough backstage trysts to know.

She drifted closer, curious if the boy would cry wolf, or if he’d let the wolf-man have his way. She supposed it depended on what he’d been paid for. At least one statue had come down from his pedestal and disappeared with a patron.

The man admiring him swiveled his head. From behind the wolf’s mask that he wore, his vibrant blue eyes lit with interest to have caught her watching them. “There you are,” he greeted her, his voice a rich baritone that resonated in her core. “I wondered when I might see you. I’ve had to amuse myself with my golden boy. He is beautiful, is he not?”

The wolf slid a lascivious glance at the young man and wet his lips. “He has no complaints, I can assure you. But what of you, ma chère? Who takes care of your needs these days?”

“Oui,” she agreed, thinking he’d mistaken her for one of the other women here in a red cape and a mask. “I hope you treat him well.”

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Follow future Poisoned Garden releases here.

THE POISONED GARDEN

Etienne's Poisoned Garden

Fans of the Guarded Hearts series by Claire Marta will recognize the poisoned garden as Etienne’s domain. He’s an old vampire with stories to tell, and we’ll be sharing them soon.  First up is Unmasked—A Poisoned Garden Short Story that will appear in VAMPEROTICA Volume One, coming October 31st. You won’t want to miss this sizzling erotic short story set in 1792 Paris during the French Revolution!

Independence Day

ID-0 Independence Day 5x8 sm

 

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY

by Nia Farrell

Length 22,753 words.

Single-title release July 4, 2020.  FREE with KU.

*Originally appeared in the Stand Your Ground anti-bullying/antiviolence anthology (Goodreads http://bit.ly/StandYourGroundGR)

Amazon Universal Link      Amazon US    

Goodreads TBR      BookBub reviews

Teasers and Excerpts webpage 

 

To protect her son, boarding house owner Becca West agrees to a marriage of convenience with the town’s new sheriff.

Fearing for her life, Becca West escaped her abusive husband and has been living under an assumed name.  When the new sheriff comes to town, he knows that she’s not really Molly Malone.  Truly widowed, Becca vows to never again be at a man’s mercy.  Sheriff Donovan insists that marrying him is her best—possibly her only—chance of keeping custody of her boy when Billy’s rich, ruthless grandfather discovers where they are.  What will a mother do to protect her son?

Independence Day is an erotic romance set in 1868 California.  The heroine was inspired by the gut-wrenching true-life story of Anna Glud, who served as a drummer boy under General Grant.  The fictional story includes post-rape PTSD and adult themes and may contain triggers.  Written for Ages 18+.

 

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Excerpt 1:

As apprehensive as Molly had been when Sheriff Donovan first arrived, she was soon thanking her stars that he had come to Walnut Creek.  He was firm but fair, enforcing statutes that the last sheriff had been lax on and making improvements to their community.  Billy adored him.  The sheriff had quickly, disturbingly grown on her as well.

So far, she had done her best to ignore it.

At night was the hardest.  When her father was dying and insisted on seeing her safely settled before he met his end, she had honored his wishes and wed the man he picked for her.  At fifteen years of age, she felt that she had no choice.

Grayson was kind in the beginning.  Her wedding night was more than she could have hoped for, given his true nature, with a gentle deflowering and hours of passionate lovemaking.  Despite the brutality that Grayson had descended into once her father was gone, she could remember when their marital bed harbored more than forced entries and sleepless nights.

Her body yearned for that again.

She ached for Matthew Donovan.

She could not let him know how he affected her.  She longed to touch the shadow of his beard-stippled face at the end of the day and sooth the tension from his brow.  The worst was remembering what he looked like naked.  Two weeks after he came, he’d failed to lock the bathing room door.  She had gone in to clean it…only to find him climbing out of the tub, water clinging to the mat of crisp curls that spanned his chest, thinned below it, and narrowed to a tempting trail that led to his manhood.

His body had stirred at the sight of her, while she watched, mesmerized.  He had snatched the towel and covered himself, breaking the spell and sending her flying out the door, her cheeks as red as chili peppers and the heart of her womanhood pulsing with new awareness.  It was as if a fire had been sparked inside her.  Unable to extinguish it, she now struggled to keep it banked.  If she allowed it to flare to life, she feared that it would consume her.

But there was no help for it.  Marriage would reduce her to the status of chattel.  She refused to put herself at a man’s mercy ever again, and no affair was worth the risk.  She would lose her reputation, her livelihood, her home, and possibly her son.  Should she be judged an unfit mother, the court would take Billy away.

She was doomed to live each day with the knowledge of what Matthew Donovan looked like naked, and a keen awareness that he shared that most intimate memory.

Things had been awkward between them ever since.

 

Excerpt 2:

His hazel eyes were as serious as she’d ever seen them.  “We can have a second ceremony in the Church when things settle, but we’re making it legal now.  As soon as supper’s done, we’re paying the justice of the peace a visit.  The only way to ensure that Francis West won’t get custody of Billy is for you to take a husband who can pass close inspection.  I’m not perfect, Becca, but my reputation is as good as any man’s and better than most.  Mr. West can look for dirt in Indiana or Kansas or California, but he won’t find anything on me.  I’ve kept my nose clean and chosen my friends well.  Being a lawman, you live a life of risk.  Under other circumstances, I’d give you plenty of time to think about that.  Once we’re married in the Church, that’s it for either of us.  There’ll be no backing out.  No divorce.  I’ll go off to work each day, and you’ll be here, not knowing if I’m coming home in my boots or in a box.”

She paled at his words and the bleak picture that he’d painted with them.

He shoved five fingers into his hair and sadly shook his head.  “Unfortunately, that will be our reality,” he said.  “I’ve always hesitated to saddle someone with it.  I wouldn’t now, but it can’t be helped.  It’s the only sure way to keep you and Billy safe.  But if we do this, I want us to be clear.  I plan to be your husband, in every way.”

She felt her cheeks warm.  A marriage had to be consummated to be legal.  If they married, they would share a bed.

His brow knit with worry when she said nothing.  “Some women who’ve survived what you did would rather die than be touched by a man.  I’m hoping that you’re not one of them.”

She remembered him naked and felt her whole body go flush.  “I don’t think so,” she whispered, blood thrumming in her veins to pool in her loins.  “How can I know?”

“Well,” he said, “why don’t we start with a kiss and see if you can stand me when it’s done?”

“All right,” she croaked, already wondering what he would taste like.

“Let’s get your chair turned.”  Taking hold of the seat from behind, he pulled her away from the table and turned her ninety degrees, so that she sat beside it.  He put an empty chair next to hers but in the opposite direction, forming a makeshift courting bench.  Folding his long body, he sat down, facing her, with their right hips nearly flush.

He inhaled deeply and exhaled, forcing himself to relax.  His hazel gaze snagged hers with the look of a man facing a challenge that he was hopeful he would win.

The sheriff grinned crookedly.  “It’s been a while for me, too,” he confessed, “but I think I remember how it’s done.”

Raising his right arm, he held her face in his hand, brushing her cheek with the pad of his thumb, letting her become accustomed to his touch.  After a long minute, he reached to cup her head.  Leaning forward, he gently pulled her to him.

They met in the middle.

He angled his head for perfect alignment and brushed his lips against hers.  His breath smelled of whiskey and lemon, from one of the hard candies that he bought at the mercantile and kept for a treat.  When she didn’t shy away, he grew bolder, pressing his lips fully to hers and holding them there, inhaling her breaths and letting her inhale his.

He pulled back his head and looked at her.  Keeping her hands clasped tightly against her waist, she met his gaze, unflinching.

“Whiskey eyes,” he murmured.  “I could drown in them, you know.”

Certain that they revealed the maelstrom that was wreaking havoc inside her, she was tempted to close them.  It was all she could do to sit, trembling at his touch, bathed in the fire of his breath that threatened immolation.

She wondered, would she burn or rise like a phoenix from the ashes?

“Becca,” he whispered hoarsely.  “I’m going to really kiss you now.”

Taking her head in both of his hands, he kissed her like a starving man.  He consumed her, covering her mouth with his and feasting on it.  His tongue came out, capricious at first, then deliberate, seeking her essence to claim for his own.  After thoroughly tasting her lips, he urged them apart and delved inside.

She moaned from the feel of it, of him.  Her curious fingers touched the faint shadow of his beard, delighting in their differences.  Hard and soft.  Masculine and feminine.  Leashed power and burgeoning passion.

Sensing it, he groaned and pulled away.  They stared at each other, motionless save for the rise and fall of their chests with each rapid breath.  When the sheriff spoke, his voice was a delicious baritone rumble that echoed in her core.

“Well?” he managed.  “What do you think?”

That she was mad to want him.  Mad to marry him.  She had vowed to never be at the mercy of a man.

She wished that he would kiss her again.

 

Excerpt 3:

“I’m afraid that you’ll have to tell me what to do.  Matthew, how do you want me?  Where do you want me?”

He swallowed hard, his throat muscles working.  Focused on him, she watched his Adam’s apple move above his cravat. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  Tearing his gaze away from her lips, he looked towards her bed.

“Stand up and take off your dress for me.”

He offered his large, strong hands to help her off the floor.  Staying close, she unbuttoned her cuffs and bodice, bent to catch the hem of her skirt, and pulled her dress over her head.  Turning it right side out, she shook it straight and hung it back in her wardrobe.

Acutely aware of his gaze on her, watching, she untied the waist of her hoops and dropped them.  They collapsed at her feet.  Her two petticoats and corset cover were next to go, leaving her standing in her corset, shift, pantaloons, stockings, and shoes.

“Sit on the bed,” he rumbled, pushing himself to a stand.  She watched, mesmerized, as he pulled off his frock coat and removed his vest.  He reached for his belt buckle.  She felt herself pale, remembering the bite of leather into her flesh.  Noting her reaction, he tossed it aside.  When he turned back, his lips were pressed tightly together and his brow was creased with concern.

“I’ll switch to suspenders,” he promised.  “I never thought—”

“No!” she whispered.  “Please.  I need to get used to it, is all.  I’ve managed with other things.  I can do it with your belt, too, but it takes time.  Just be patient with me, please.”

“You have my word, Becca.  I’m a patient man.  And in case you didn’t notice that day you came into the bathing room, I can control myself.  Otherwise, I’d have pinned you against the door and taken you then and there.”

The husky timbre of his voice echoed in her core, triggering a primal response that left her swollen, wet, and aching with an emptiness that he would soon fill.

“You wanted me?”

He nodded slowly, his expression earnest.  “I’ve wanted you since I first laid eyes on you again.  Back in Jeffersonville, you were always a pretty thing, but you were young.  Way too young.  Next thing I knew, you were married.  All I could do was watch from a distance and hope for the best.  But when I walked into Harrell House and saw you again, all grown up…”

He pulled out his stickpin and untied his cravat.  “I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.  I still do.”

She knew that she was passably pretty.  The way he looked at her almost made her believe that she was more than merely easy on the eyes.

His hands went to the front of his pants.  His nimble fingers worked the buttons to open his fly.  Beneath the fabric of his shirt and drawers, she could see the bulge of his erect manhood, rising straight against his belly.

She was no authority, but to her eyes, he seemed very well-endowed.  Very.  He was large enough, he would have to prepare her to receive him.

The prospect was both tantalizing and terrifying.

The sheriff’s very life depended on being observant.  Tonight, with all of his attention focused on her, he saw everything.  The rapid lift and fall of her chest with every corset-constrained breath.  The night breeze that lifted the curtain and sent gooseflesh rippling across her skin.  The uncertainty on her face when she wondered just how large he was and thought of his possession.

“I’ll go slow,” he said.  Dropping his gaze to her secrets, he looked determined to uncover them all.  “We’ll fit.  You’ll see.”

ENEMY MINE

ENEMY MINE

by Nia Farrell

Length 11,681 words

Originally part of With Love from New Orleans anthology (May 2019).

Single Title Release Date June 6, 2020

Amazon Universal Link     Amazon US     Goodreads TBR     BookBub reviews

It’s been a horrible day for Ophelia Delacroix in Union-occupied New Orleans. Orphaned, destitute, and responsible for a younger sister and their servant, she’s just been offered a job at an upscale bordello that requires wearing a wig and being called “Pearl.” Accosted as she leaves her interview, she is saved by Federal Cavalry officer Henry Sharp, who offers to escort her safely home.

Ophelia does not correct the second lieutenant’s belief that she is already a high-class prostitute working for Madame Beauvais. That will be true enough tomorrow. Tonight, though, she has a choice and agrees to let Henry buy her—plus extras—for the night. She has no idea what the dominant officer will ask of her.

They’ll learn each other’s secrets soon enough.

War makes strange bedfellows. Henry’s not complaining. This officer is about to discover that his very ungentlemanly offer has bought him much more than he bargained for.

Enemy Mine is the past life of the ghost in Slow Burn by Nia Farrell (http://mybook.to/SlowBurn). An erotic historical BDSM romance written for Ages 18+.

Excerpt from Enemy Mine by Nia Farrell:

Ophelia unlocked her front door and opened it wide. Sally had lit a betty lamp and left it in the foyer. The smell of burning pot liquor reminded her that she couldn’t afford candles or kerosene. Poverty served to steel her resolve.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

“Come in,” she said blithely. Stepping inside with his coat still around her shoulders, she gave him no choice but to follow. She breathed a little easier when he took off his hat and hung it on the hall tree by the entrance. Surely he wouldn’t have done that if he wasn’t intending to stay. “May I offer you something to drink? Water? Whiskey? Wine?”

They had nothing as fancy as fresh lemonade, but she was willing to break out her late father’s last bottle of anything if that’s what Henry wanted.

He smiled softly. “No, thank you.” His gaze fell on her father’s portrait. Taken in his uniform, it was draped in the black crepe of mourning.

Henry looked at his hat, probably questioning the wisdom of entering a Confederate household. “I should get going,” he murmured. “I need to write a full report on tonight. Once again, I apologize for the indignities that you suffered.”

Ophelia wrapped her arms around herself and breathed deeply, immersing herself in Henry’s scent. Reluctantly, she shrugged off his frock coat. Gripping it by the back of the collar, she held it out in silent offering.

He looked at it for a long, telling moment.

When he reached for it, she was slow in letting go.

“Stay,” she whispered.

He sliced a concerned glance at the stairs.

“They’re asleep,” she assured him. “My sister and our maid. We’re all that’s left.”

She felt her throat grow tight with tears and swallowed her grief for everyone that she’d loved and lost. Her parents. Her brothers.

Her fiancé.

Henry pulled on his coat, a long, slow tug that made her lean so far into him, it felt like she was falling.

“I’m not like him,” he murmured.

No, he was night-and-day different from Jefferson. Her fiancé had been a college-educated scholar and an armchair historian. He taught rhetoric and believed in the right of states to choose their destiny. He’d supported secession and had answered the call to arms.

He’d died of cholera without ever seeing a battle.

Henry had fought his way here. Fort Donaldson. Shiloh.  Vicksburg. Raymond. When Farragut’s fleet had slipped past New Orleans and the Confederate troops had withdrawn, there was nothing left to stop the Federal advance but women, children, and men who were too rich, ill, or old to fight.

New Orleans had fallen without a shot.

“How much for the night?”

His question was another reminder of how very different Henry was from Jefferson. Her fiancé had finally kissed her cheek when he’d bid her adieu and boarded the train with his men.

Henry would do more than kiss her.

His question was another reminder of how very different Henry was from Jefferson. Her fiancé had finally kissed her cheek when he’d bid her adieu and boarded the train with his men.

Henry would do more than kiss her.

Ophelia felt her face grow flush. “Five dollars,” she guessed. Madame Beauvais’s elite clientele paid two dollars for a tryst, double the going rate. Surely five dollars for an entire night was not too much to ask.

He looked at the primitive lamp that they were forced to use. With no coin to spare for candles, they were reduced to burning grease saved from cooking and fish oil when they could get it. The foyer currently smelled of bacon and ham. It was pleasant, at least, compared to some of the drippings they used.

“Five dollars,” he nodded slowly.

Well, that was easy enough.

She released the breath that she’d been unconsciously holding.

Just when she considered their bargain struck, Henry upped his game, asking, “And what if I want more?”

More?

Anything was possible, she supposed.

“Then we’ll talk,” she said. If tonight went well, hopefully, he would want more. If he wanted much more… if they could come to an understanding and agree to exclusivity, she might not have to prostitute herself with other men.

The thought gave her hope.

Henry took his coat and nodded. “Lead the way.” His voice had grown deeper, hoarser. His whole body seemed to vibrate, pulsing with desire.

Picking up the betty lamp, she lifted the front of her skirt and preceded him up the stairs.

Sally slept in the servants’ quarters behind the kitchen. Juliette’s door was closed when they passed it. Ophelia’s room was at the far end of the hall. The other rooms housed only the ghosts of those who’d gone before.

Henry looked around her comfortably furnished space and nodded his approval. She liked order and kept things tidy, allowing herself two books at a time from the library, otherwise, she would be drowning in them. Before the war, she had considered becoming a governess, teaching needlework, watercolors, and literature to young, impressionable minds. Juliette was all that was left to her. Whatever she did now, she did for her.

She would see that her little sister kept her innocence, whatever the cost.

Ophelia shut the door behind them and turned the key.

She left it in place. Her guest would need it, should he wish to let himself out.

Henry spread his frockcoat on the back of a chair. Removing his embroidered leather gloves, he laid them on the seat. His nimble fingers untied his cravat. Reaching for the buttons of his waistcoat, he slipped them through the linen-bound holes. When the two sides fell free, he shrugged it off. Removing his pocket watch and setting it on the bedside table, he added his vest to his spindled valet.

Unbuckling his leathers, he hung his gun and sword off the chair back, draping one belt over each corner. She watched with rapt attention when he unwound the red officer’s sash and unbuttoned the placket of his shirt.

Her mouth went dry at the tantalizing glimpse of his manly chest. She licked her lips, feeling suddenly very thirsty.

“Are you certain that you don’t want some water?” she croaked, wondering how he could be so calm when something so momentous was about to happen. But his seamless motions were like the smooth surface of a lake where danger lurked in the deep. She glimpsed it first when he pinned her with his gaze, unfastened the belt that held his pants, doubled it, and weighed it in his hand.

“What do I get for my money?” he asked. Fishing a five-dollar piece from his pocket, he laid it on her washstand.

His query caught her off-guard. She didn’t know how to answer him except with another question. “What is it that you want?”

Henry chuffed and angled his head. There was an intensity about his face that was arresting. Mesmerizing. When he spoke, his words seemed tinged with regret.

“Probably more than you’re willing to give.”

Ophelia searched his gaze, wondering what he meant by that singularly cryptic remark. She appreciated that he was being forthright, but his frankness was disturbing because of the questions it raised.

She was rattled to think just how little she knew about this man.

Determined to not show her unease, she lifted her chin with false bravado. “Technically speaking, I’m not giving you anything, not if you’ve paid.”

“But paid for what?” Musing over the question he posed, he came to where she stood, shaking in her shoes and wondering if she’d made a terrible error in judgment. He reached for her throat and closed his fingers lightly around it in a show of possession. “What if I want the French treatment and have you suck me?” he murmured. “What if I want to fuck your mouth, screw your pussy, and bugger your ass?”

Having her mouth and her womanhood used was expected. Madame Beauvais had been very clear on that point. But sodomy…?

The idea of something so taboo sent waves of gooseflesh rippling over her skin.

Henry smiled darkly at her reaction. “You’re a dirty girl,” he said. “A naughty girl. I should spank your bottom for the risk you took tonight. You could have been beaten. Raped. Killed,” he growled. “I want to tie you to your bed and keep you there… at my mercy. All. Night. Long. I’d like to take your every orifice and mark you with my seed. How much?”

She stared at him, speechless. No man had ever said such things to her. No one had ever wanted what he did.

Unnatural lusts.

She’d heard whispers but not details. Nothing that could have prepared her for this intimate glimpse into Henry’s baser appetites.

And if I want more? he had asked her.

Now she knew. Knew what he wanted. What would please him. What he found exciting. Arousing.

Bondage.

Discipline.

Ultimate possession.

Claiming her in every way that he could.

She would not leave this room the same.

“Twenty,” he grated. “Five plus fifteen for the extras.”

Holy Mother of Pearl.

Henry wanted to tie her up and have his way with her. He was willing to pay good money to do it. Twenty Federal dollars that had value, not worthless Confederate scrip.

She could buy food and firewood and a candle for Juliette’s birthday cake.

Ophelia was nothing if not practical.

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INDEPENDENCE DAY

ID-0 Independence Day 5x8 sm

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY

by Nia Farrell

(Updated)

Length 22,753 words.

Single-title release July 4, 2020

Originally appeared in the Stand Your Ground anti-bullying/antiviolence anthology (Goodreads http://bit.ly/StandYourGroundGR)

Amazon Universal Link      Amazon US    

Goodreads TBR      BookBub reviews      Teasers and Excerpts webpage 

 

To protect her son, boarding house owner Becca West agrees to a marriage of convenience with the town’s new sheriff.

Fearing for her life, Becca West escaped her abusive husband and has been living under an assumed name.  When the new sheriff comes to town, he knows that she’s not really Molly Malone.  Truly widowed, Becca vows to never again be at a man’s mercy.  Sheriff Donovan insists that marrying him is her best—possibly her only—chance of keeping custody of her boy when Billy’s rich, ruthless grandfather discovers where they are.  What will a mother do to protect her son?

Independence Day is an erotic romance set in 1868 California.  The heroine was inspired by the gut-wrenching true-life story of Anna Glud, who served as a drummer boy under General Grant.  The fictional story includes post-rape PTSD and adult themes and may contain triggers.  Written for Ages 18+.

 

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Excerpt 1:

As apprehensive as Molly had been when Sheriff Donovan first arrived, she was soon thanking her stars that he had come to Walnut Creek.  He was firm but fair, enforcing statutes that the last sheriff had been lax on and making improvements to their community.  Billy adored him.  The sheriff had quickly, disturbingly grown on her as well.

So far, she had done her best to ignore it.

At night was the hardest.  When her father was dying and insisted on seeing her safely settled before he met his end, she had honored his wishes and wed the man he picked for her.  At fifteen years of age, she felt that she had no choice.

Grayson was kind in the beginning.  Her wedding night was more than she could have hoped for, given his true nature, with a gentle deflowering and hours of passionate lovemaking.  Despite the brutality that Grayson had descended into once her father was gone, she could remember when their marital bed harbored more than forced entries and sleepless nights.

Her body yearned for that again.

She ached for Matthew Donovan.

She could not let him know how he affected her.  She longed to touch the shadow of his beard-stippled face at the end of the day and sooth the tension from his brow.  The worst was remembering what he looked like naked.  Two weeks after he came, he’d failed to lock the bathing room door.  She had gone in to clean it…only to find him climbing out of the tub, water clinging to the mat of crisp curls that spanned his chest, thinned below it, and narrowed to a tempting trail that led to his manhood.

His body had stirred at the sight of her, while she watched, mesmerized.  He had snatched the towel and covered himself, breaking the spell and sending her flying out the door, her cheeks as red as chili peppers and the heart of her womanhood pulsing with new awareness.  It was as if a fire had been sparked inside her.  Unable to extinguish it, she now struggled to keep it banked.  If she allowed it to flare to life, she feared that it would consume her.

But there was no help for it.  Marriage would reduce her to the status of chattel.  She refused to put herself at a man’s mercy ever again, and no affair was worth the risk.  She would lose her reputation, her livelihood, her home, and possibly her son.  Should she be judged an unfit mother, the court would take Billy away.

She was doomed to live each day with the knowledge of what Matthew Donovan looked like naked, and a keen awareness that he shared that most intimate memory.

Things had been awkward between them ever since.

 

Excerpt 2:

His hazel eyes were as serious as she’d ever seen them.  “We can have a second ceremony in the Church when things settle, but we’re making it legal now.  As soon as supper’s done, we’re paying the justice of the peace a visit.  The only way to ensure that Francis West won’t get custody of Billy is for you to take a husband who can pass close inspection.  I’m not perfect, Becca, but my reputation is as good as any man’s and better than most.  Mr. West can look for dirt in Indiana or Kansas or California, but he won’t find anything on me.  I’ve kept my nose clean and chosen my friends well.  Being a lawman, you live a life of risk.  Under other circumstances, I’d give you plenty of time to think about that.  Once we’re married in the Church, that’s it for either of us.  There’ll be no backing out.  No divorce.  I’ll go off to work each day, and you’ll be here, not knowing if I’m coming home in my boots or in a box.”

She paled at his words and the bleak picture that he’d painted with them.

He shoved five fingers into his hair and sadly shook his head.  “Unfortunately, that will be our reality,” he said.  “I’ve always hesitated to saddle someone with it.  I wouldn’t now, but it can’t be helped.  It’s the only sure way to keep you and Billy safe.  But if we do this, I want us to be clear.  I plan to be your husband, in every way.”

She felt her cheeks warm.  A marriage had to be consummated to be legal.  If they married, they would share a bed.

His brow knit with worry when she said nothing.  “Some women who’ve survived what you did would rather die than be touched by a man.  I’m hoping that you’re not one of them.”

She remembered him naked and felt her whole body go flush.  “I don’t think so,” she whispered, blood thrumming in her veins to pool in her loins.  “How can I know?”

“Well,” he said, “why don’t we start with a kiss and see if you can stand me when it’s done?”

“All right,” she croaked, already wondering what he would taste like.

“Let’s get your chair turned.”  Taking hold of the seat from behind, he pulled her away from the table and turned her ninety degrees, so that she sat beside it.  He put an empty chair next to hers but in the opposite direction, forming a makeshift courting bench.  Folding his long body, he sat down, facing her, with their right hips nearly flush.

He inhaled deeply and exhaled, forcing himself to relax.  His hazel gaze snagged hers with the look of a man facing a challenge that he was hopeful he would win.

The sheriff grinned crookedly.  “It’s been a while for me, too,” he confessed, “but I think I remember how it’s done.”

Raising his right arm, he held her face in his hand, brushing her cheek with the pad of his thumb, letting her become accustomed to his touch.  After a long minute, he reached to cup her head.  Leaning forward, he gently pulled her to him.

They met in the middle.

He angled his head for perfect alignment and brushed his lips against hers.  His breath smelled of whiskey and lemon, from one of the hard candies that he bought at the mercantile and kept for a treat.  When she didn’t shy away, he grew bolder, pressing his lips fully to hers and holding them there, inhaling her breaths and letting her inhale his.

He pulled back his head and looked at her.  Keeping her hands clasped tightly against her waist, she met his gaze, unflinching.

“Whiskey eyes,” he murmured.  “I could drown in them, you know.”

Certain that they revealed the maelstrom that was wreaking havoc inside her, she was tempted to close them.  It was all she could do to sit, trembling at his touch, bathed in the fire of his breath that threatened immolation.

She wondered, would she burn or rise like a phoenix from the ashes?

“Becca,” he whispered hoarsely.  “I’m going to really kiss you now.”

Taking her head in both of his hands, he kissed her like a starving man.  He consumed her, covering her mouth with his and feasting on it.  His tongue came out, capricious at first, then deliberate, seeking her essence to claim for his own.  After thoroughly tasting her lips, he urged them apart and delved inside.

She moaned from the feel of it, of him.  Her curious fingers touched the faint shadow of his beard, delighting in their differences.  Hard and soft.  Masculine and feminine.  Leashed power and burgeoning passion.

Sensing it, he groaned and pulled away.  They stared at each other, motionless save for the rise and fall of their chests with each rapid breath.  When the sheriff spoke, his voice was a delicious baritone rumble that echoed in her core.

“Well?” he managed.  “What do you think?”

That she was mad to want him.  Mad to marry him.  She had vowed to never be at the mercy of a man.

She wished that he would kiss her again.

 

Excerpt 3:

“I’m afraid that you’ll have to tell me what to do.  Matthew, how do you want me?  Where do you want me?”

He swallowed hard, his throat muscles working.  Focused on him, she watched his Adam’s apple move above his cravat. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  Tearing his gaze away from her lips, he looked towards her bed.

“Stand up and take off your dress for me.”

He offered his large, strong hands to help her off the floor.  Staying close, she unbuttoned her cuffs and bodice, bent to catch the hem of her skirt, and pulled her dress over her head.  Turning it right side out, she shook it straight and hung it back in her wardrobe.

Acutely aware of his gaze on her, watching, she untied the waist of her hoops and dropped them.  They collapsed at her feet.  Her two petticoats and corset cover were next to go, leaving her standing in her corset, shift, pantaloons, stockings, and shoes.

“Sit on the bed,” he rumbled, pushing himself to a stand.  She watched, mesmerized, as he pulled off his frock coat and removed his vest.  He reached for his belt buckle.  She felt herself pale, remembering the bite of leather into her flesh.  Noting her reaction, he tossed it aside.  When he turned back, his lips were pressed tightly together and his brow was creased with concern.

“I’ll switch to suspenders,” he promised.  “I never thought—”

“No!” she whispered.  “Please.  I need to get used to it, is all.  I’ve managed with other things.  I can do it with your belt, too, but it takes time.  Just be patient with me, please.”

“You have my word, Becca.  I’m a patient man.  And in case you didn’t notice that day you came into the bathing room, I can control myself.  Otherwise, I’d have pinned you against the door and taken you then and there.”

The husky timbre of his voice echoed in her core, triggering a primal response that left her swollen, wet, and aching with an emptiness that he would soon fill.

“You wanted me?”

He nodded slowly, his expression earnest.  “I’ve wanted you since I first laid eyes on you again.  Back in Jeffersonville, you were always a pretty thing, but you were young.  Way too young.  Next thing I knew, you were married.  All I could do was watch from a distance and hope for the best.  But when I walked into Harrell House and saw you again, all grown up…”

He pulled out his stickpin and untied his cravat.  “I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.  I still do.”

She knew that she was passably pretty.  The way he looked at her almost made her believe that she was more than merely easy on the eyes.

His hands went to the front of his pants.  His nimble fingers worked the buttons to open his fly.  Beneath the fabric of his shirt and drawers, she could see the bulge of his erect manhood, rising straight against his belly.

She was no authority, but to her eyes, he seemed very well-endowed.  Very.  He was large enough, he would have to prepare her to receive him.

The prospect was both tantalizing and terrifying.

The sheriff’s very life depended on being observant.  Tonight, with all of his attention focused on her, he saw everything.  The rapid lift and fall of her chest with every corset-constrained breath.  The night breeze that lifted the curtain and sent gooseflesh rippling across her skin.  The uncertainty on her face when she wondered just how large he was and thought of his possession.

“I’ll go slow,” he said.  Dropping his gaze to her secrets, he looked determined to uncover them all.  “We’ll fit.  You’ll see.”

ENEMY MINE

VOTH EM-0 Enemy Mine 6x9 sm

 

ENEMY MINE by Nia Farrell appears in the

WITH LOVE FROM NEW ORLEANS ANTHOLOGY

(Voyages of the Heart #2)

by Alyssa Drake, Amy Allen, Annalise Alexis, Ashlee Shades, Autumn Sand, Bella Emy, Brian Miller, Carrie Humphrey, Jade Royal, Jas T. Ward, Lilly Black, Katherine L.E. White, Maggie Adams, Maria Vickers, Natalie-Nicole Bates, Nia Farrell, Patricia D. Eddy, Roux Cantrell, Sandra R. Neeley, and Tamsen Schultz

Release Date May 30, 2019

Amazon Universal Link ebook     Amazon US ebook     Goodreads reviews

Enemy Mine by Nia Farrell (length 11,671 words)

It’s been a horrible day for Ophelia Delacroix in Union-occupied New Orleans. Orphaned, destitute, and responsible for a younger sister and their servant, she’s just been offered a job at an upscale bordello that requires wearing a wig and being called “Pearl.” Accosted as she leaves her interview, she is saved by Federal Cavalry officer Henry Sharp, who offers to escort her safely home.

Ophelia does not correct the second lieutenant’s belief that she is already a high-class prostitute working for Madame Beauvais.  That will be true enough tomorrow.  Tonight, though, she has a choice and agrees to let Henry buy her—plus extras—for the night.  She has no idea what the dominant officer will ask of her.

They’ll learn each other’s secrets soon enough.

War makes strange bedfellows.  Henry’s not complaining.  This officer is about to discover that his very ungentlemanly offer has bought him much more than he bargained for.

Enemy Mine is the past life of the ghost in Slow Burn by Nia Farrell (appearing in the Dominated by Desire BDSM anthology http://mybook.to/DBD). An erotic historical BDSM romance written for Ages 18+.

 

Enemy Mine excerpt:

Ophelia unlocked her front door and opened it wide.  Sally had lit a betty lamp and left it in the foyer.  The smell of burning pot liquor reminded her that she couldn’t afford candles or kerosene.  Poverty served to steel her resolve.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

“Come in,” she said blithely.  Stepping inside with his coat still around her shoulders, she gave him no choice but to follow.  She breathed a little easier when he took off his hat and hung it on the hall tree by the entrance.  Surely he wouldn’t have done that if he wasn’t intending to stay.  “May I offer you something to drink?  Water?  Whiskey?  Wine?”

They had nothing as fancy as fresh lemonade, but she was willing to break out her late father’s last bottle of anything if that’s what Henry wanted.

He smiled softly.  “No, thank you.”  His gaze fell on her father’s portrait.  Taken in his uniform, it was draped in the black crepe of mourning.

Henry looked at his hat, probably questioning the wisdom of entering a Confederate household.  “I should get going,” he murmured.  “I need to write a full report on tonight.  Once again, I apologize for the indignities that you suffered.”

Ophelia wrapped her arms around herself and breathed deeply, immersing herself in Henry’s scent.  Reluctantly, she shrugged off his frock coat.  Gripping it by the back of the collar, she held it out in silent offering.

He looked at it for a long, telling moment.

When he reached for it, she was slow in letting go.

“Stay,” she whispered.

He sliced a concerned glance at the stairs.

“They’re asleep,” she assured him.  “My sister and our maid.  We’re all that’s left.”

She felt her throat grow tight with tears and swallowed her grief for everyone that she’d loved and lost.  Her parents.  Her brothers.

Her fiancé.

Henry pulled on his coat, a long, slow tug that made her lean so far into him, it felt like she was falling.

“I’m not like him,” he murmured.

No, he was night-and-day different from Jefferson.  Her fiancé had been a college-educated scholar and an armchair historian.  He taught rhetoric and believed in the right of states to choose their destiny.  He’d supported secession and had answered the call to arms.

He’d died of cholera without ever seeing a battle.

Henry had fought his way here.  Fort Donaldson.  Shiloh.   Vicksburg.  Raymond.  When Farragut’s fleet had slipped past New Orleans and the Confederate troops had withdrawn, there was nothing left to stop the Federal advance but women, children, and men who were too rich, ill, or old to fight.

New Orleans had fallen without a shot.

“How much for the night?”

His question was another reminder of how very different Henry was from Jefferson.  Her fiancé had finally kissed her cheek when he’d bid her adieu and boarded the train with his men.

Henry would do more than kiss her.

 

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DEMIGODS ORIGIN ANTHOLOGY

DEMIGODS ORIGINS ANTHOLOGY

Includes IRRESISTIBLE – A RETELLING OF LEDA AND THE SWAN by Nia Farrell

Anthology Release Date September 13, 2019

WATCH THIS PAGE FOR UPDATES

 

Irresistible2 6x9 sm

 

IRRESISTIBLE – A RETELLING OF LEDA AND THE SWAN

by Nia Farrell

Length 17,522 words

 

Nia Farrell puts a fresh twist on an ancient legend in this erotic telling of Leda and the Swan. After years of barrenness, Leda, the Queen of Sparta, is visited by Zeus in the form of a swan. The god of the heavens promises to fulfill her heart’s desires if she will yield herself to him. Desperate to give her husband an heir, Leda agrees.

A month later, Leda is sick to the point of miscarrying. Divine intervention saves her, but she dreads the day that her husband King Tyndareus learns the truth. She’s actually pregnant with two sets of twins, one fathered by him and one by Zeus.

A divine swan.  A god come down from the sky.  Quadruplets who were born in eggs. 

There are truths to be found in myth and legend if you open your mind to the possibilities.

Sizzling erotic sci-fi romance, written for Ages 18+.

 

EXCERPT:

The wounded swan landed on the bank with a thud to lie still and unmoving.  Tears stung Leda’s eyes to see such a beautiful thing laid low.  Injured, it was easy prey for hunters, animal or human.  If it wasn’t already dead, the bird was doomed unless she could find a way to help it.

The swan’s head lifted and dropped.  Relieved to see it, she released the breath that she’d been holding.  It folded its wings against its body, adopting a protective pose.  The blood on its back was plainly visible, but from this distance, she could not tell how deep its wounds went or what damage had been done.

She needed to be wise, though.  This was a wild creature.  The largest swan that she had ever seen was newly injured and in pain.  If her intent to help was perceived as a threat, she could end up being hurt as well.

She started praying, silently chanting a hymn to Asclepius, petitioning the god of healing to guide her willing hands.  When she walked out of the water, the swan turned its head and watched her approach with the same wariness that she was feeling.

“There, there,” she crooned, blanching when she saw how long the gashes looked.  It’s a miracle that the bird wasn’t bleeding more.  “Poor thing.  I don’t know what I can do for you.  We can try to find a place where you can stay until you’re strong enough to fly, but you’ll need to let me help you.  Will you do that?”

To make herself less intimidating, Leda folded her legs and crawled to a spot that was well in sight but out of reach.  Easing down to sit, she hummed and talked and crooned to the bird, doing everything in her power to show that she meant it no harm.

She wished that her harpist was here.  Music could be profoundly soothing, instilling a sense of peace and promoting tranquility.  Inspired, she started singing.  Hymns to the gods and goddesses.  Popular ballads.  Children’s lullabies.

Miraculously, the swan began to move, drawn by the music.  It inched closer … and closer yet, until its chest was by her upturned toes.  Hoping to get a good look at its wounds, she slowly, carefully parted her legs.  Before she had a chance to lean closer, the swan worked its way higher.

It didn’t stop until its breast was pressed against her chest and its head was on her shoulder with its bill buried in her hair.

She held herself perfectly still, wondering at what her efforts had wrought.  The creature seemed unafraid.  More than that, it seemed to take comfort from her presence, seeking shelter and finding it.  The bird nestled itself against her body, initiating contact.

Tentatively lifting her hand, she petted its long, elegant neck.

The swan sighed.

Impossible.

Confused by what she’d thought that she heard, Leda froze.

If she had any doubts, the swan sighed again.

It pushed against her, digging in with its feet to force her back until she was flat on the ground with its full weight on her body.

She swore that she heard it groan.

Panic gripped her heart and clawed at her chest, sharp as an eagle’s talons.

Fear not.

The words echoed in her mind.  She lay, unmoving, aware that she was part of some great mystery that had yet to be revealed, may the gods protect her from harm.

We will.  I swear it.

More words, heard as clearly as if they had fallen from human lips.

The meaning was clear enough.  She was in the presence of the divine—or so he wanted her to believe.

The swan stretched over her.  Its weight pressed down on her, increasingly so.  Its body lengthened.  Its neck grew shorter. Feathers disappeared, replaced by warm skin and magnificently sculpted, decidedly masculine muscles.  He kept his head to the side, denying her the sight of his face.  A pair of perfectly chiseled lips skimmed her throat, sending a bolt of sexual energy like lightning to her core.

“Close your eyes to be safe,” he rasped against her ear, his voice thick with arousal.  Flexing his hips, he let her feel the strength of his desire.  “Know that your prayers have been heard.  I am here to answer them.”

But who was he?  What was he—this man with wings who had fallen from the sky?

“No man,” he answered, reading her mind.  “But you know that, don’t you?  I have told you what I am.  Heaven-sent and wounded in your service.  Even gods bleed, Queen of Sparta.  Kiss away my hurt and I shall grant your heart’s desire.”

He was a god.

A deity come from Olympus in answer to her prayers.  If she kissed away his hurt, her dearest wishes would be granted.  Of late, she had asked for only two things—for her husband to return safely and for the gods to bless them with children.

Could she do this?  Submit to a god to secure her husband’s throne?

After years of barrenness, she felt that she had no choice.  Praying that Tyndareus would understand, she closed her eyes and submitted to the will of the gods.

He spread her legs and parted her folds with his crown.  Surging upward, he wedged his length inside her like a forester’s maul, threatening to split her asunder with his girth.

Tears stung her eyes to feel him where no man save her husband had gone.

“Fear not, Queen of Sparta,” he crooned in her ear.  “The mightiest of men must bow to the will of the gods.”  Pulling back, he thrust again, driving deep enough to make her wince.  “My priests will see that your husband does as well.”

Hips churning, he gathered speed until he was pounding into her, his rhythm as fierce as a war drum.  “You are blessed among mortal women,” he swore.  “My chosen vessel.  I shall anoint thy womb and make it fruitful.  Kiss me, mother of princes, and your husband shall have his heir.”

 

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WITH LOVE FROM NEW ORLEANS

WITH LOVE FROM NEW ORLEANS ANTHOLOGY

(Voyages of the Heart #2)

by Alyssa Drake, Amy Allen, Annalise Alexis, Ashlee Shades, Autumn Sand, Bella Emy, Brian Miller, Carrie Humphrey, Jade Royal, Jas T. Ward, Lilly Black, Katherine L.E. White, Maggie Adams, Maria Vickers, Natalie-Nicole Bates, Nia Farrell, Patricia D. Eddy, Roux Cantrell, Sandra R. Neeley, and Tamsen Schultz

Release Date May 30, 2019

Amazon Universal Link ebook     

Amazon US ebook

Goodreads reviews

 

Cities around the world have their own charming allure which pulls you in, allowing you to enjoy their secrets. They offer love, passion, laughter, healing, and even heartbreak. The authors have penned these emotions and more into their stories one page at a time. Pack your luggage to join us on our voyage of the heart. Our next destination: New Orleans!

With Love From New Orleans

Romance in the “Big Easy” isn’t for the faint of heart. The mystery hidden in the worlds created by VOTH’s authors will keep you enthralled in each and every tale. The only promise on this voyage of love is that we’ve sealed each story with a kiss of passion which will entice you to come back for more. Welcome to New Orleans where every page reveals a new secret as we explore the city’s round-the-clock appeal.

 

Amazon Universal Link ebook     

Amazon US ebook

Teasers and Excerpt webpage

Goodreads reviews

 

With Love from  New Orleans includes 

VOTH EM-0 Enemy Mine 6x9 sm.jpg

Enemy Mine by Nia Farrell

(length 11,671 words)

 

It’s been a horrible day for Ophelia Delacroix in Union-occupied New Orleans. Orphaned, destitute, and responsible for a younger sister and their servant, she’s just been offered a job at an upscale bordello that requires wearing a wig and being called “Pearl.” Accosted as she leaves her interview, she is saved by Federal Cavalry officer Henry Sharp, who offers to escort her safely home.

Ophelia does not correct the second lieutenant’s belief that she is already a high-class prostitute working for Madame Beauvais.  That will be true enough tomorrow.  Tonight, though, she has a choice and agrees to let Henry buy her—plus extras—for the night.  She has no idea what the dominant officer will ask of her.

They’ll learn each other’s secrets soon enough.

War makes strange bedfellows.  Henry’s not complaining.  This officer is about to discover that his very ungentlemanly offer has bought him much more than he bargained for.

Enemy Mine is the past life of the ghost in Slow Burn by Nia Farrell (appearing in the Dominated by Desire BDSM anthology http://mybook.to/DBD). An erotic historical BDSM romance written for Ages 18+.

 

Enemy Mine excerpt:

Ophelia unlocked her front door and opened it wide.  Sally had lit a betty lamp and left it in the foyer.  The smell of burning pot liquor reminded her that she couldn’t afford candles or kerosene.  Poverty served to steel her resolve.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

“Come in,” she said blithely.  Stepping inside with his coat still around her shoulders, she gave him no choice but to follow.  She breathed a little easier when he took off his hat and hung it on the hall tree by the entrance.  Surely he wouldn’t have done that if he wasn’t intending to stay.  “May I offer you something to drink?  Water?  Whiskey?  Wine?”

They had nothing as fancy as fresh lemonade, but she was willing to break out her late father’s last bottle of anything if that’s what Henry wanted.

He smiled softly.  “No, thank you.”  His gaze fell on her father’s portrait.  Taken in his uniform, it was draped in the black crepe of mourning.

Henry looked at his hat, probably questioning the wisdom of entering a Confederate household.  “I should get going,” he murmured.  “I need to write a full report on tonight.  Once again, I apologize for the indignities that you suffered.”

Ophelia wrapped her arms around herself and breathed deeply, immersing herself in Henry’s scent.  Reluctantly, she shrugged off his frock coat.  Gripping it by the back of the collar, she held it out in silent offering.

He looked at it for a long, telling moment.

When he reached for it, she was slow in letting go.

“Stay,” she whispered.

He sliced a concerned glance at the stairs.

“They’re asleep,” she assured him.  “My sister and our maid.  We’re all that’s left.”

She felt her throat grow tight with tears and swallowed her grief for everyone that she’d loved and lost.  Her parents.  Her brothers.

Her fiancé.

Henry pulled on his coat, a long, slow tug that made her lean so far into him, it felt like she was falling.

“I’m not like him,” he murmured.

No, he was night-and-day different from Jefferson.  Her fiancé had been a college-educated scholar and an armchair historian.  He taught rhetoric and believed in the right of states to choose their destiny.  He’d supported secession and had answered the call to arms.

He’d died of cholera without ever seeing a battle.

Henry had fought his way here.  Fort Donaldson.  Shiloh.   Vicksburg.  Raymond.  When Farragut’s fleet had slipped past New Orleans and the Confederate troops had withdrawn, there was nothing left to stop the Federal advance but women, children, and men who were too rich, ill, or old to fight.

New Orleans had fallen without a shot.

“How much for the night?”

His question was another reminder of how very different Henry was from Jefferson.  Her fiancé had finally kissed her cheek when he’d bid her adieu and boarded the train with his men.

Henry would do more than kiss her.

 

STAND YOUR GROUND (ANTI-BULLYING/ANTI-VIOLENCE ANTHOLOGY)

stand your ground cover

 

STAND YOUR GROUND ANTHOLOGY

with Nia Farrell, Ree L. Diehl, Patient Lee, Jack Crosby, James Hartley, JA Lafrance, and Christine Monroe.

Release Date June 7, 2019

Amazon Universal Link http://mybook.to/StandYourGround

No matter what walk of life you are from, we are all perfectly imperfect beings of ourselves. We don’t need to be someone else’s image, we only need to be who we are.

Remember, you are the only person who can disappoint yourself.  Others will try, but having the will and the want to stop the bullying where it starts is how you can beat a bully or end the violence.

The best way to stop violence and bullying is to think smarter and act brighter.

Proceeds from this anthology will go to National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Stand Your Ground includes

Independence Day by Nia Farrell and Damage Control by Ree L. Diehl.

ID-0 Independence Day 5x8 sm

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY

by Nia Farrell

(historical novella that addresses domestic violence)

Length 23,077 words. 

Fearing for her life, Becca West escaped her abusive husband and has been living under an assumed name.  When the new sheriff comes to town, he knows that she’s not really Molly Malone.  Truly widowed, Becca vows to never again be at a man’s mercy.  Sheriff Donovan insists that marrying him is her best—possibly her only—chance of keeping custody of her boy when Billy’s rich, ruthless grandfather discovers where they are.  What will a mother do to protect her son?

Independence Day is an erotic romance set in 1868 California.  The heroine was inspired by the gut-wrenching true-life story of Anna Glud, who served as a drummer boy under General Grant.  The fictional story includes post-rape PTSD and adult themes and may contain triggers.  Written for Ages 18+.

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INDEPENDENCE DAY Excerpt 1

As apprehensive as Molly had been when Sheriff Donovan first arrived, she was soon thanking her stars that he had come to Walnut Creek.  He was firm but fair, enforcing statutes that the last sheriff had been lax on and making improvements to their community.  Billy adored him.  The sheriff had quickly, disturbingly grown on her as well.

So far, she had done her best to ignore it.

At night was the hardest.  When her father was dying and insisted on seeing her safely settled before he met his end, she had honored his wishes and wed the man he picked for her.  At fifteen years of age, she felt that she had no choice.

Grayson was kind in the beginning.  Her wedding night was more than she could have hoped for, given his true nature, with a gentle deflowering and hours of passionate lovemaking.  Despite the brutality that Grayson had descended into once her father was gone, she could remember when their marital bed harbored more than forced entries and sleepless nights.

Her body yearned for that again.

She ached for Matthew Donovan.

She could not let him know how he affected her.  She longed to touch the shadow of his beard-stippled face at the end of the day and sooth the tension from his brow.  The worst was remembering what he looked like naked.  Two weeks after he came, he’d failed to lock the bathing room door.  She had gone in to clean it…only to find him climbing out of the tub, water clinging to the mat of crisp curls that spanned his chest, thinned below it, and narrowed to a tempting trail that led to his manhood.

His body had stirred at the sight of her, while she watched, mesmerized.  He had snatched the towel and covered himself, breaking the spell and sending her flying out the door, her cheeks as red as chili peppers and the heart of her womanhood pulsing with new awareness.  It was as if a fire had been sparked inside her.  Unable to extinguish it, she now struggled to keep it banked.  If she allowed it to flare to life, she feared that it would consume her.

But there was no help for it.  Marriage would reduce her to the status of chattel.  She refused to put herself at a man’s mercy ever again, and no affair was worth the risk.  She would lose her reputation, her livelihood, her home, and possibly her son.  Should she be judged an unfit mother, the court would take Billy away.

She was doomed to live each day with the knowledge of what Matthew Donovan looked like naked, and a keen awareness that he shared that most intimate memory.

Things had been awkward between them ever since.

INDEPENDENCE DAY Excerpt 2

His hazel eyes were as serious as she’d ever seen them.  “We can have a second ceremony in the Church when things settle, but we’re making it legal now.  As soon as supper’s done, we’re paying the justice of the peace a visit.  The only way to ensure that Francis West won’t get custody of Billy is for you to take a husband who can pass close inspection.  I’m not perfect, Becca, but my reputation is as good as any man’s and better than most.  Mr. West can look for dirt in Indiana or Kansas or California, but he won’t find anything on me.  I’ve kept my nose clean and chosen my friends well.  Being a lawman, you live a life of risk.  Under other circumstances, I’d give you plenty of time to think about that.  Once we’re married in the Church, that’s it for either of us.  There’ll be no backing out.  No divorce.  I’ll go off to work each day, and you’ll be here, not knowing if I’m coming home in my boots or in a box.”

She paled at his words and the bleak picture that he’d painted with them.

He shoved five fingers into his hair and sadly shook his head.  “Unfortunately, that will be our reality,” he said.  “I’ve always hesitated to saddle someone with it.  I wouldn’t now, but it can’t be helped.  It’s the only sure way to keep you and Billy safe.  But if we do this, I want us to be clear.  I plan to be your husband, in every way.”

She felt her cheeks warm.  A marriage had to be consummated to be legal.  If they married, they would share a bed.

His brow knit with worry when she said nothing.  “Some women who’ve survived what you did would rather die than be touched by a man.  I’m hoping that you’re not one of them.”

She remembered him naked and felt her whole body go flush.  “I don’t think so,” she whispered, blood thrumming in her veins to pool in her loins.  “How can I know?”

“Well,” he said, “why don’t we start with a kiss and see if you can stand me when it’s done?”

“All right,” she croaked, already wondering what he would taste like.

“Let’s get your chair turned.”  Taking hold of the seat from behind, he pulled her away from the table and turned her ninety degrees, so that she sat beside it.  He put an empty chair next to hers but in the opposite direction, forming a makeshift courting bench.  Folding his long body, he sat down, facing her, with their right hips nearly flush.

He inhaled deeply and exhaled, forcing himself to relax.  His hazel gaze snagged hers with the look of a man facing a challenge that he was hopeful he would win.

The sheriff grinned crookedly.  “It’s been a while for me, too,” he confessed, “but I think I remember how it’s done.”

Raising his right arm, he held her face in his hand, brushing her cheek with the pad of his thumb, letting her become accustomed to his touch.  After a long minute, he reached to cup her head.  Leaning forward, he gently pulled her to him.

They met in the middle.

He angled his head for perfect alignment and brushed his lips against hers.  His breath smelled of whiskey and lemon, from one of the hard candies that he bought at the mercantile and kept for a treat.  When she didn’t shy away, he grew bolder, pressing his lips fully to hers and holding them there, inhaling her breaths and letting her inhale his.

He pulled back his head and looked at her.  Keeping her hands clasped tightly against her waist, she met his gaze, unflinching.

“Whiskey eyes,” he murmured.  “I could drown in them, you know.”

Certain that they revealed the maelstrom that was wreaking havoc inside her, she was tempted to close them.  It was all she could do to sit, trembling at his touch, bathed in the fire of his breath that threatened immolation.

She wondered, would she burn or rise like a phoenix from the ashes?

“Becca,” he whispered hoarsely.  “I’m going to really kiss you now.”

Taking her head in both of his hands, he kissed her like a starving man.  He consumed her, covering her mouth with his and feasting on it.  His tongue came out, capricious at first, then deliberate, seeking her essence to claim for his own.  After thoroughly tasting her lips, he urged them apart and delved inside.

She moaned from the feel of it, of him.  Her curious fingers touched the faint shadow of his beard, delighting in their differences.  Hard and soft.  Masculine and feminine.  Leashed power and burgeoning passion.

Sensing it, he groaned and pulled away.  They stared at each other, motionless save for the rise and fall of their chests with each rapid breath.  When the sheriff spoke, his voice was a delicious baritone rumble that echoed in her core.

“Well?” he managed.  “What do you think?”

That she was mad to want him.  Mad to marry him.  She had vowed to never be at the mercy of a man.

She wished that he would kiss her again.

INDEPENDENCE DAY Excerpt 3

“I’m afraid that you’ll have to tell me what to do.  Matthew, how do you want me?  Where do you want me?”

He swallowed hard, his throat muscles working.  Focused on him, she watched his Adam’s apple move above his cravat. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  Tearing his gaze away from her lips, he looked towards her bed.

“Stand up and take off your dress for me.”

He offered his large, strong hands to help her off the floor.  Staying close, she unbuttoned her cuffs and bodice, bent to catch the hem of her skirt, and pulled her dress over her head.  Turning it right side out, she shook it straight and hung it back in her wardrobe.

Acutely aware of his gaze on her, watching, she untied the waist of her hoops and dropped them.  They collapsed at her feet.  Her two petticoats and corset cover were next to go, leaving her standing in her corset, shift, pantaloons, stockings, and shoes.

“Sit on the bed,” he rumbled, pushing himself to a stand.  She watched, mesmerized, as he pulled off his frock coat and removed his vest.  He reached for his belt buckle.  She felt herself pale, remembering the bite of leather into her flesh.  Noting her reaction, he tossed it aside.  When he turned back, his lips were pressed tightly together and his brow was creased with concern.

“I’ll switch to suspenders,” he promised.  “I never thought—”

“No!” she whispered.  “Please.  I need to get used to it, is all.  I’ve managed with other things.  I can do it with your belt, too, but it takes time.  Just be patient with me, please.”

“You have my word, Becca.  I’m a patient man.  And in case you didn’t notice that day you came into the bathing room, I can control myself.  Otherwise, I’d have pinned you against the door and taken you then and there.”

The husky timbre of his voice echoed in her core, triggering a primal response that left her swollen, wet, and aching with an emptiness that he would soon fill.

“You wanted me?”

He nodded slowly, his expression earnest.  “I’ve wanted you since I first laid eyes on you again.  Back in Jeffersonville, you were always a pretty thing, but you were young.  Way too young.  Next thing I knew, you were married.  All I could do was watch from a distance and hope for the best.  But when I walked into Harrell House and saw you again, all grown up…”

He pulled out his stickpin and untied his cravat.  “I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.  I still do.”

She knew that she was passably pretty.  The way he looked at her almost made her believe that she was more than merely easy on the eyes.

His hands went to the front of his pants.  His nimble fingers worked the buttons to open his fly.  Beneath the fabric of his shirt and drawers, she could see the bulge of his erect manhood, rising straight against his belly.

She was no authority, but to her eyes, he seemed very well-endowed.  Very.  He was large enough, he would have to prepare her to receive him.

The prospect was both tantalizing and terrifying.

The sheriff’s very life depended on being observant.  Tonight, with all of his attention focused on her, he saw everything.  The rapid lift and fall of her chest with every corset-constrained breath.  The night breeze that lifted the curtain and sent gooseflesh rippling across her skin.  The uncertainty on her face when she wondered just how large he was and thought of his possession.

“I’ll go slow,” he said.  Dropping his gaze to her secrets, he looked determined to uncover them all.  “We’ll fit.  You’ll see.”

Damage Control

by Ree L. Diehl

Length 18, 365 words.  A BBW/billionaire workplace romance (a contemporary novella with workplace bullying and body shaming).

Model Jenn R. Turnham Photographer Lori Stead Copyright 2019 Wet Silver LLC

Curvy Isabella DeLorean knows what it’s like to be the butt of jokes but she has brains, talent, beauty, an irrepressible sense of humor, and a plus-size body that matches her big heart.  Tough as steel and built for comfort, this DeLorean would love nothing more than to take her new boss for a ride.

Nicholas Wentworth III is CEO of the Wentworth’s department store chain.  His newest sales clerk is so popular with customers, Bella wins Employee of the Month and all the perks that come with it—a sizeable bonus, a premium parking space, and dinner with CEO.  Bella’s hot Italian-American blood thinks that a boss with benefits might just be what she needs.  She’s already dealing with vicious coworkers, a shady manager, and office gossip.  Accepting the award from Nick puts an even bigger target on her back.  Someone’s aware of their mutual attraction.  Someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep her and Nick apart.  With Bella’s life in peril, can Nick find her stalker before it’s too late?

Damage Control is Ree L. Diehl’s first novella, her first BBW, and first romantic mystery. It’s a sizzling addition to the Stand Your Ground anti-bullying anthology. 

 

DAMAGE CONTROL Excerpt:

Bella put the credit card printout with the cash register receipt and handed them to Lola.

The bride-to-be tucked them in her billfold.  “I’ll give these to Vito when I get home.  Thanks for all your help, doll.  You’re the best.”

“Thank you, Lola.  I wish you and Vito every joy.”

Glancing over, Bella saw Maria carrying Justinian on her hip.  The way that he was gnawing on a finger, she wondered if a tooth was coming in.

She was so focused on her nephew that she didn’t see Ms. Cohen coming from the back with a spray bottle of perfume in her hand.  “There,” she said, misting away.  “Much better!”

For Ms. Cohen maybe, but not for Bella.  One whiff and she felt her throat start to close.  She stumbled to the chair just outside the lingerie display room, gasping for air.

“Someone get a doctor!” Maria yelled.  Justinian burst into tears, wailing like a banshee.  Lola called 911.  “Bella, can you hear me?  Do you have one of those shot things for allergies?”

Bella shook her head weakly.  She had an inhaler if she started to wheeze.  A runny nose and sinus headache were the norm.  She’d never had a reaction this bad, with a fat tongue and dangerously constricted airways.  Dear God, what if her throat swelled shut before help came?  Not being able to breathe was the most frightening thing she’d ever experienced.

She felt dizzy.  She couldn’t get enough air, and she was losing consciousness.  Her eyelids closed, too heavy to keep open any longer.

“Hang in there, sweetie.  Help is on the way.  Stay with me, Bella.  Stay with me.  Come on, sweetheart.  Stay with me.”

Strange, but Maria’s voice had changed to Mr. Wentworth’s.

Try as she might, she couldn’t force open her eyes.  Couldn’t see him and couldn’t stay with him, as much as she wanted to.  How ironic was it, to win a date with the man of her dreams and die before dinner?

“I agree.  It is ironic.”

Bella stopped breathing again, but this time it wasn’t a medical emergency.  She felt the sting of an IV in the back of her hand and heard the blip of monitors even before she opened her eyes and saw Nicholas Wentworth sitting by her hospital bed.

He looked exhausted.

She was pretty sure that she looked worse.

“Hi,” she croaked.  “What are you doing here?”

He conjured a tired smile.  “Checking on my Employee of the Month.  Your mother tells me that you’re a fighter.  She swears that you’ll be out of here in time for the presentation tomorrow night.”

Tomorrow?

Good lord.  She’d lost a day?  A day’s pay.  No, two days.  Yesterday and today and maybe tomorrow, depending on how soon they would let her go.

Bella burst into tears.  “I’m s-sorry,” she keened.  “It’s just—I can’t afford to miss work.”

“Workmen’s Comp,” he said, waving a dismissive hand.  “Everything’s covered.  Your pay.  Your stay.  This is a result of an incident while you were on the clock.  Trust me when I say that everything will be taken care of.  All you need to do is relax and recover.  Lingerie will be waiting for you when the doctor releases you.  Ms. Cohen, however, will not.”

“Wait.  What?”

Bracing his elbows on the arms of his chair, he clasped his hands and leaned toward her.  “After your review yesterday morning, I started checking, comparing department profits and sales commissions paid.  The figures showed a disturbing pattern.  When I called Ms. Cohen to discuss my findings, I was told that she was busy with a medical emergency.  Yours.”

He rubbed a hand across his face and smiled grimly.  “Miss Chin—Qua—found your phone on the counter, still recording.  She had me listen to it.  Ms. Cohen was ready to let your sales go through another register.  But what she did next was worse.  Ms. Cohen knew that you had fragrance allergies.  That’s why we put you in lingerie, in a part of the store farthest from the makeup and perfume counters.  Yet she deliberately sprayed perfume without your permission, without bothering to ask if you were allergic to that brand.  It was an unconscionable act, and I fired her.  The search is on for a new lingerie department manager.  HR recommends the one from our Charleston, South Carolina, location.  Ms. Jackson—Evalynne—has an excellent record but she’s not fond of hurricanes and is looking to relocate.”

“Same job, new boss.  I can handle it.”  Truthfully, she was relieved to have a job to come back to, especially if it meant that she could catch a glimpse of Nicholas Wentworth III from time to time.

He smiled softly.  “I’m certain you can.”

“I’m a DeLorean,” she quipped.  “Tough as steel and built for comfort.”

It was one of her standing jokes when someone pointed out her weight.  Bella groaned when she heard what had flown out of her mouth.  “Forget I said that.  Jesus, take me now.”

Mr. Wentworth chuckled.  “Sorry, he’ll have to wait until I’m done with you.  We have a presentation tomorrow night, and there’s still your Employee of the Month dinner with me.  Your mother is looking forward to the first, and I,” he said, “am looking forward to the second.”

She looked for the signs, but he wasn’t joking.

Holy schneiky.

She needed to make a major fashion statement.  In her mind, she saw a basic black mermaid wrap with an asymmetrical draped bodice, crossing to one side and fastening at her waist.

“Two weeks,” she said.  If they were going to do this, she wanted enough time to make the perfect dress.

“Good,” he said.  “Good.  You’ll be out of here and back to work.  Speaking of which, I’d better get going.  I have a conference call in an hour.  I’m glad to see that you’re doing better, Miss DeLorean.”

That sounded so formal when she was sitting here with her ass hanging out of a hospital gown.  “My family and friends call me Bella, Mr. Wentworth.”

Standing, he smoothed the creases from his suit pants and draped his matching jacket over his arm.  “And my family and friends call me Nick.  I’ll see you soon, Bella.  Get some rest.”

She didn’t want to rest.  She wanted to watch that fine specimen of manhood leave her hospital room and memorize how his bubble butt looked in motion.  She wanted to bite it.  Lick it.  She wanted to bend over the bed and let the CEO of Wentworth’s own her every orifice.

God, what she wouldn’t give to have her vibrator right now.

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