Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Favorite Kind of Research (#travel #research #amwriting)


When it comes to research, I'm a bit lazy. Occasionally I'll get bitten by the research bug and spend a bunch of money on books – I dropped nearly a hundred bucks on material about Mayan mythology and culture when I was working on Serpent's Kiss – but usually I'm content with relatively superficial visits to Google or Wikipedia to answer my factual questions. It helps that I don't tend to write much historical fiction. My few attempts in that genre have confirmed my expectations that it would be a lot of work! No, I have to admit, I'll coast if I can, trusting my imagination and my intuitions when a more scrupulous author would be hitting the reference department.

There's one area, though, where I'm willing to do almost unlimited explorations in the interest of verisimilitude – preferably going to the original source – and that's my settings.

Anyone who's read much of my fiction (all three of you!) knows I often set my stories in foreign destinations. That's merely a symptom of the fact that travel is quite my literally passion. I've probably already shared the story of how my husband seduced me with tales of his adventures in Paris, Instanbul and Bali. Sex, love and travel totally intermix in my mind and my memories. So perhaps it's not surprising that I get story ideas when I'm on one of our international jaunts.

My very first published short story, “Glass House”, draws heavily on my experiences in Prague a few years before I wrote it. Even now, a decade later, rereading it brings back the weird, almost absurd beauty of that venerable city, the edgy, offbeat magic that infects its cobblestone streets and stone bridges, soaring cathedrals and basement pubs.


Let us walk down to the river,” he says, bringing me back to the present. “It is nearly sunset. And there is something that I would like to show you.”

We make our way westward toward the Vltava, in companionable silence. I am struck by the fact that, after all, I do trust Lukaš. For all his swaggering and sexual innuendo, he has treated me with respect. I know how easily he could have taken advantage of me; he probably knows it, too. Somehow, though I have told him nothing, he also senses my conflicts. He knows without being told that I am not free.

Clouds stained by the sunset heap high over the water, which flows gray and smooth like molten lead. Vermilion, ocher, coral, azure: ordinary color names do not apply to these flowing, burning shapes.
Against this multicolored background the spires and towers of Prague Castle on its crag across the river are fairytale silhouettes. For a long time, I simply stare, as the forms merge and change in the dying light. When I finally remember Lukaš, I see he is grinning again, as if he could take credit for this spectacular display.

Is this what you wanted to show me? It is wonderful!”

Not exactly. Look across the street.”

The first thing I see is a massive rococo building of yellow stucco, dripping with ornamentation and topped by an onion dome. Then I see the building beside it, and stop short.

It is totally fantastic, whimsical, and bizarre. It began as an ordinary, modern office building, with square windows and a flat roof, facing the river across Smetanova Street. But grafted onto this edifice is a second building, all of glass, shaped like an asymmetric egg timer and leaning at a crazy angle against the staid office block. The sunset colors reflect in its multifaceted façade, so that the building seems to shift and move.

Then there's Amsterdam. I've been there several times, but six or seven years ago we spent an entire week in a tiny guesthouse just around the corner from the train station. Something kept drawing me back to the red light district – maybe the fact my previous visits were prior to my rebirth as an erotica author. I found myself fascinated by the women in the narrow, rose-lit windows, wondering what their lives might be like. The experience ultimately produced my BDSM tale “Shades of Red”.


I've been obsessed ever since last night, when Jane and I wandered through the red light district, staring at the women who waited behind the glass in their rose-tinted rooms. We wove our way through clumps of nervous, intoxicated men who were all staring, too. I could smell their sweat, underneath the beer and the pot smoke. I could feel their lust. It infected me.

They barely noticed us, two teenagers in jeans, although the tight denim in my crotch was so wet, I half-expected they'd catch my scent and turn to me. They had eyes only for the bodies displayed in the rows of windows lining the canals.

Some of the women were ripe, blond, Slavic-looking, their breasts exploding out of their lace brassieres. Others were slight, deliberately child-like in Gidget-inspired bikinis or brief plaid kilts. There was a Brazilian beauty with golden skin and coffee-colored eyes; a voluptuous African princess with strings of ruby-hued beads dangling in her ebony cleavage; a serious-looking brunette wearing dark-framed glasses who sat, shapely legs crossed, like a secretary waiting to take dictation.

Some of the women posed. Others danced suggestively, or made lewd gestures at their prospective customers. There were masked women in leather, snapping riding crops against their boots. There were women whose pierced nipples and labia showed clearly through their translucent garments.

Men clustered around the dimly-lit windows like moths hovering by a candle. Mostly they'd just look, inflamed by the mere thought of all this available flesh. Sometimes I'd see a hushed conversation through a half open glass door. Such conversations might end with the man turning away, disappointed, rejected, or perhaps simply unwilling to pay the asking price. Other times the door would open wider, just enough to admit the supplicant. Then it would close and the red velvet curtains would be drawn, hiding the rest of the dance.

Those curtained windows drew me. I couldn't stop imagining what might be going on behind them. I knew it was a straight commercial transaction in most cases, a workman-like blowjob, or a quick, bored fuck. Still, I imagined occasional revelations, epiphanies, ecstasies -- meetings of strangers pre-destined to be lovers, brief but unbearably intense conflagrations of lust, lewd and mystical connections that would live in his memory, or hers, long after the curtains were flung open again.

I'm nineteen. I've had enjoyable but ultimately frustrating sex with two boys my age. I know that, practical as I am, I'm a bit of a romantic. Otherwise, I would not have continued to roam the red-lit alleys long after Jane gave up and went back to the hotel in disgust. As the Oude Kerk chimed two AM, I wandered up Molensteeg and down Monnikenstraat like some horny ghost. The crowds had thinned. The curtains were mostly drawn. Some of open windows were empty. Next to them were the signs: KAMERS TE HUUR. Windows for rent.


I remember those church bells, ringing through the damp, mostly deserted Amsterdam streets. I just had to capture them in a story.

Then of course there's Bangkok, familiar and yet ever strange after two years of living there and many visits since. I was there not long ago. The city's changing – there are more skyscrapers now, and everyone including the beggars has a cell phone – but the description I wrote nearly two decades ago, in “Butterfly” is still pretty accurate. Except for their piercings and tattoos, the bar girls haven't changed much...

One of my mates, Charlie, knew the city well. He checked us into a comfortable, ridiculously cheap hotel in the middle of the tourist district. Bewildered and dazzled, I followed him along sidewalks crammed with vendors hawking watches, tee shirts and toys, trying to avoid tripping on the broken pavement.

Beggars with shriveled limbs extended their bowls in silent entreaty. Blond, ragged-haired tourists in shorts and sandals, slender Thai women in tight jeans and silk blouses, monks draped in saffron, policemen standing stiffly at corners, their revolvers prominently displayed: it seemed that the whole of the Bangkok was here on this one street. Meanwhile, an endless line of vehicles crawled by us: tint-windowed Mercedes, sooty trucks, and rickety buses with people hanging out the doors. The air was heavy with diesel fumes, frying garlic, and jasmine. We dined at a quiet restaurant on a side lane, where the young waitress giggled every time we spoke to her. Then Charlie took me off to see what he called "the real Bangkok" - the go-go bars and sex clubs.

We sauntered into the "entertainment plaza". Three stories of indoor bars and clubs surrounded a central court, which was crowded with open-air bars and stalls selling skewers of grilled chicken, fresh fruit, and fried locusts. As we walked along the second-level balcony, bikini-clad girls tried to lure us inside their establishments.

"Come inside," they crooned. "One beer fifty baht. No cover charge." Briefly, the woman would hold back the dark cloth draping the door, offering a tantalizing glimpse of flickering lights and bare flesh. "Take a look, no charge, come inside."

The more energetic of these young marketeers would grab us by the hand, and laughing the whole while, try to pull us in. It was all good-natured, though. We'd extricate ourselves from her strong fingers and thank her. "Not now," we'd say. "Maybe later."

"Why not now?" she'd say, stamping her foot in mock anger. "Don't you like me?"


I've been lots of places I haven't written yet. There are stories inside me set in Instanbul, in Tokyo, in Lisbon. I'm sure they'll find their way out eventually. Of course, sometimes I'll want to set one of my tales somewhere I haven't traveled (at least not yet). Then I do have to do some research – but it's a pleasure.

For instance, a few years ago I wrote a short story that takes place in Varanasi (Benares), India. My one trip to India didn't take me anywhere near that ancient, sacred center. I spent delightful hours pouring over websites, gazing at maps, trying to grasp a sense of the place. I don't know how successful I was, but I had a wonderful time doing the research.

You can read that story (Naked in Varanasi) in my paranormal collection Fourth World (which is currently 50% off on Smashwords). Meanwhile, I've added the place to my (all too long) travel wish list!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Refuge of the Road (#flashfiction #wanderlust #erotic)

To Joni Mitchell

It's barely seven. The crystalline sky shades from indigo in the west to powder blue in the east, where the sun has already climbed above the horizon. The parched air still makes me shiver in my denim jacket. I know that won't last long; I'll be sweating by eight thirty.

Empty highway stretches to the horizon, to my left and right, ruler straight, a crisp black line stitching across the endless scrub. The land is shades of gold and amber in the lemony morning light, punctuated by pomegranate shadows where a boulder pokes through the thin soil. An occasional saguaro raises its dusty arms. It's a gray-green caricature of me with my thumb out, waving down my next ride.

The pick-up is visible from miles away, the only vehicle on this pristine morning road. I watch its progress, as it grows from a red dot to a rust-eaten hulk of steel with a Chevy logo above the radiator. I wait, breathing deeply, calming my racing pulse. Either he'll stop, or he won't. It doesn't matter.

He pulls over with a squeal and checks me out through the cranked down window. “Young girl like you shouldn't be hitching out here, all alone. It's not safe.”

I favor him with my sweetest smile. “I can take care of myself. Can you give me a ride?” His face is in shadow but I like his voice, deep and slow like the earth shifting under those mountains huddling off to the right.

Sure. Where you headed?”

I name a town some three hundred miles to the west. “You going that far?”

Lady, I'm going all the way to LA!” His laugh tumbles out, free, somehow innocent. “Climb aboard.”

After tossing my duffel into the back of the truck, I clamber up to the bench seat. He's off the shoulder and onto the pavement almost before I can close the door. I lurch, slamming into his arm. Heat shimmers through me, though the air outside hasn't lost its chill.

Sorry!” His grin is crooked. So is his nose, a bit, but he has a rough-hewn, solid quality about his face that appeals to me. “I've gotta be in Tarzana by the day after tomorrow for my brother's wedding. Guess I'm feeling the time pressure, a bit.”

Never mind. Are you sure you want a rider?I don't want to slow you down.”

Naw, that's fine. I like having the company. Keeps me from getting bored. I'm Dale, by the way.”

I tell him my name is Amy. It could be, after all.

Pleased to meet you, Amy.” He doesn't offer to shake. The speedometer's grazing ninety but despite that, he's a careful driver, both hands on the wheel most of the time. I find myself examining those hands, which are blunt-fingered and dusted with gold-brown hair, probably calloused from manual labor. He strikes me as a rancher type, or maybe a carpenter. 

I've got a hardware store in North Platte,” he tells me as we burn up the highway. “Can't really afford to take a week off, but Jim's my only family. What can I do? I know he'd come to my wedding.”

No band on those strong, stubby fingers. Not that it would matter.

After our introductions, we sit in companionable silence as the scenery flies by. He doesn't ask about me. He's got good manners, my speed demon driver. I'm pleased. I don't like to lie.

The sun climbs and we start to bake. I peel off my jacket, then my flannel shirt. He glances over. My nipples make noticeable peaks in my white tee. They wind into tighter knots as his eyes rake over me. The crotch of my jeans is soaked. He doesn't make a move. Polite, like I said. I know he feels the tension though, crackling through the cab. There's a visible lump in his denim work pants. He makes little noises of discomfort on the few occasions that he needs to work the clutch or the brake.

We've got the windows cranked wide. The hot desert air steals the moisture from my lips and whips my hair into wild tangles. He turns on some oldies station and songs from my mom's era blast out, “Satisfaction”, “Thunder Road”, “Life in the Fast Lane”. He's singing along, but the wind carries the words away.

I lean back against the sticky upholstery, close my eyes, listen to the music and the wind. Quiet lust hums through me, beating like a second heart between my thighs. I savor the only peace I know, the anonymous blessing of the endless road.

We don't stop. Together, we devour the miles. He has water in the truck, and sandwiches. We eat while he drives, pretending to ignore the sparks that shoot through us when our hands touch. I offer to spell him but he shakes his head. “I like to be in control,” he tells me. Lightning sizzles up my spine, sweet anticipation of a coming storm.

The sky overhead is a translucent teal when we finally pull in to the truck stop. I head for the toilet while he gasses up. He pays the motel clerk in cash, for one room. We don't discuss it at all. I smile at him, making myself as pretty as I'm able. I'm grateful and I want him to know it.

The room smells of mold and cigarette smoke overlaid with air freshener. Familiar, comforting. The drooping beige patterned drapes, the dun-green carpet, the fake pine paneling – I've been here before, haven't I? But this is the furthest west I've made it, so far.

He throws the deadbolt and we turn to one another in silent agreement. I make the first move, however, reaching up to pull his lips to mine. They're firm and sure, meeting me halfway, pushing beyond. His tongue in my mouth is ruder, more demanding, than I'd expected. Those hardware store hands roam over my body as we kiss, dragging up my shirt, worming into my jeans, fumbling with my zipper. I savor the hardness of him, everywhere, his rough fingers, his chest, the thigh nudging mine apart - not just the eager lump grinding against my mons.

Still kissing, we grope each other like teenagers. The heat of the long day driving has soaked into our pores. We're fevered and hungry.

We break our clinch to throw off the remains of our clothing. He's got muscles, but a bit of a paunch, too, a little softness that I don't mind at all. And hair, lots of it, brown curls on his chest, meandering down his belly to the thicket around his cock, solid as the rest of him. He bears me down onto the sagging mattress, grabs my wrists and holds them above my head while he drives into me.

There's no preparation, no foreplay, but that doesn't matter. I've been dripping and ready for hours. His cock in my cunt is everything I crave: pleasure, connection, oblivion.

Neither of us lasts long. We race up the slope to climax, biting and clawing, pelvises slamming together. We both want it faster, harder, deeper. He waits till I come, though, before he lets go. Woozy with delight, with my pussy fluttering around him like some sea creature, I'm still astonished when he pulls out. He sprays his jizz all over my breasts and belly. Then he collapses on top of my sated, sticky form.

We clean up, separately, in the rust-stained shower stall. He treats me to steak and beer at the diner next door to the motel. We sit in the booth, on the same bench, our thighs touching, floating on the cloud of new intimacy. The blowsy waitress gives me a complicit wink. Dale tells me about his Nebraska childhood, his reckless younger brother, the wife who died of cancer two years after they married. I spin him tales of my college years, my poems, my travels, a fantasy laced with strands of truth.

Back in our room, tipsy with beer and fresh lust, we fuck again. This time it's slow and sweet. There's time to feel every inch of him, sliding over my aching clit, through my slick folds, to settle in my cunt. His fingers trace the welts he left in our first coupling. He murmurs apologies; I kiss them away. After what feels like hours of bliss, we come together. His cock erupts inside me, inside the condom he bought in the diner men's room. His heat floods me, bears me away to some quiet, sparkling place where there's nothing but the beat of our hearts.

We cuddle together afterward, drifting toward sleep. “Amy,” he murmurs, licking my earlobe. “Maybe you'd like to come with me? To LA? We'd have a great time, girl...” His voice trails off into a yawn.

Maybe,” I whisper, something cracking open in my chest. “Let's talk tomorrow.” He's already snoring.

I wake at five, when the first hint of dawn filters through the lopsided curtains, and dress as silently as I can. Dale's still rocking on the currents of his dreams. He lies curled on his side, arms drawn in to his chest. I have the urge to stroke my palm over the golden down on his back, to plant one last kiss on his pale buttocks. I don't give in.

Donning my sneakers outside the door, I hoist my duffel onto my shoulder and head for the highway. I walk back, retracing our path for at least a mile, before I stop and put my bag down. I don't want Dale to pass me on his way west.

I'm hungry. I can't tell if the sensation is physical or emotional.

I watch the eastern sky brighten from ash-gray to pearl to peach. I fill my lungs with the crisp scent of sagebrush. My pussy tingles whenever the seam of my jeans grazes my clit. The road sweeps away from me in both directions, a graceful ribbon of darkness in the ripening dawn, a river of possibility. Calm settles on my restless spirit.

Humming a song from the seventies, I stick out my thumb.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sneak Peek: Little Queen by @AuthorACMelody (#pnr #giveaway #shifters)

Little Queen cover


The bliss Reyna and Corbyn found in their unique Úlfr engagement is quickly forgotten as their ongoing conflict grows just as passionately as their hearts and desires. Reyna needs her independence and reassurance that their feelings are real. Corbyn needs to keep her safe, and for Reyna to accept him as her mate once and for all. If only their enemies would give them a moment to sort out their relationship woes, but it seems their only interest is to tear the new Wolf King and his would-be Queen apart. With the clock ticking toward inevitable war, Corbyn's worst fears are realized when someone ups the ante, striking at his mate from the one place he never saw coming.

Frightened and angry, Corbyn rushes Reyna to the Elders, only to end up on their healing table next. After the back-to-back horrors, Reyna realizes she needs to make a crucial decision that will change their lives forever... and possibly save them. Fate decides to put that to the test immediately, drawing them right into enemy territory where Reyna will finally discover what's become of Jesse and gets an unexpected audience with real Úlfrinn royalty.

Just when it seems they've found solid footing at last, their world is shaken in a horrific homecoming of bloodshed and betrayal. Their greatest fears can no longer be ignored, as they find themselves facing the evidence of their arrival... along with a living Nightmare. Can Corbyn trust his Little Queen to make the right decision for herself and their entire pack, or will he lose everything he's ever loved in one fateful night?


Eying the door nervously, she quickly used Corbyn's toothbrush and mouthwash three times, before finally dragging her fingers through her curls and opening the door.

Corbyn filled the exit, causing her to jump. Happy for escape, the steam rolled over his body like a mystical molestation that had lust unfurling in her system, jealous of the wispy tendrils. Her gaze traced the tongue-tingling lines of his tattoos, the steel and sinew display of his muscles. The air thickened, her heart already beating too quickly from being startled. Corbyn advanced, and Reyna retreated into the steam. A flash of silver in his eyes stopped her, his nostrils flaring with an unspoken thrill. Oh, my. Heady desire had her mind swimming, a new fantasy born in her blood. What it would be like to be hunted by a man like him? To be caught?

Reyna.” A quiet moan of entreaty edged with warning, his eyes widening as if she'd spoken aloud.

I used your toothbrush,” she blurted, a self-defense quirk triggered by the increasing lust. “Three times.”

Corbyn stilled, before he groaned out a miserable laugh and shook his head. “I don't know why that sounded so fucking naughty, but coming from you, I think anything pertaining to things being in your mouth multiple times should come with a damn advisory label.”

Reyna laughed, her cheeks burning red and Corbyn touched them softly, as if trying to feel her blush. His gaze outlined the shape of her mouth, and she suddenly felt something a lot deeper than mere lust trying to snake its way through her system to dig its roots into her heart.

You stayed,” she whispered.

I told you I would and I keep my word, Reyna,” he stated clearly, leaving no room for doubt. “Always.”

About the Author

A.C. Melody is a hybrid author of Erotic Romance and its many sub-genres, enjoying the evergreen life of the Pacific Northwest. Confessed javaholic, introverted geeky girl with a twisted sense of humor and a wretched muse. She has a weakness for hard ass Alphas and the strong women who capture their hearts, without damaging their rough edges.

A lifetime lover of Fairytales, Myths, Legends and ancient pantheons, she spends more time researching than writing. A.C.'s biggest goal is to provide new, captivating angles on old, favorite tales with very naughty twists and characters that redefine preset expectations.

A.C. Loves interacting with readers and fellow authors, so make sure to stop by one of her favorite haunts below to say Hi!

Twitter: @AuthorACMelody

Little Queen Links:

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Politics and shifters make strange - but sexy - bedfellows! (@cw1985 #PNR #erotica #romance #gay)

Winning the campaign manager cover


Politics has never been so sexy!

Cade Avery is running for a position on his local county council. He’s extremely good at what he does and is a valuable asset to his community. The trouble is, he upsets people, says the wrong things, and rides rough-shod over other people’s plans and ideas. His assistant, Mary, eager to improve Cade’s public image, hires him a campaign manager.

Quentin Rayworth is thrilled to be working with such a formidable public figure. It’ll be a challenge, but he’s confident he can help Cade to win the election, and knows that the achievement will look impressive on his CV.

It’s soon clear that the two men are set to be an excellent team. That is, until
Cade’s werewolf makes its intentions known—in Quentin, it has found its mate, and it will not rest until he has claimed him. But can Cade—and his wolf—win over the campaign manager?

Buy links:

Amazon (universal link):

Other links will be added here when they become available:


You’ve done what?” Cade Avery yelled, fixing his long-time friend and colleague, Mary Summers, with a glare. He slammed his hands down on his desk, making a bunch of pens jump and rattle, and causing water to splash over the side of his glass. “Why the hell would you do such a thing?”

Mary, by now used to Cade’s temper and frequent outbursts, didn’t flinch. Standing firm on the other side of his desk, she calmly stated, “You heard me, Cade. I’ve appointed you a campaign manager. And as for the why, I think it’s pretty damn obvious.”

Not to me,” he grumbled, snatching a handful of tissues from the box in his top drawer and swiping irritably at the liquid he’d spilled. “Seems like an unnecessary expense.”

With a heavy sigh, Mary replied, “Do you want to win this bloody election or not?”

Yes, of course I do. What sort of a stupid question is that?”

Well then, you need a campaign manager. The rest of the team and I already have enough on our plates. We can’t handle that side of things, too. Not to mention the fact that you really need someone with … expertise … in that department. Someone who can boost your public image, make you more likeable … you know, so people will actually vote for you.”

Screwing up the wad of soggy tissue and dumping it in the wastebasket beside him, Cade snapped his gaze to Mary. She stood, the ever-present iPad clutched against her chest, looking as determined and immovable as a five-feet-one, slim thirty-five-year-old was ever going to get.

He sat back in his chair and folded his arms. “What’s wrong with my public image?”

Rolling her eyes heavenward, her body tensing, Mary’s cool demeanor actually looked on the verge of cracking. Taking a deep breath and releasing it, she looked back at him. “Give me strength, Cade. Are you fucking serious?”

She may have used the deep breath and probably a considerable amount of willpower to dampen down her physical reaction to his question, but her actual words gave her true state of mind away. As a rule, the word “bloody” was as bad as it got for Mary. To have enticed a “fucking” out of her, and within the same conversation, no less, meant she was in real danger of losing her temper with him. And despite her diminutive frame and usually chilled-out personality—especially in comparison with his huge frame and fiery personality—when she did lose it, she was utterly terrifying. Possibly the fact that she rarely got angry was what made it so potent when she did. Mary’s ire could turn even the thickest-skinned person into a blubbering wreck.

Mary,” he cooed, backtracking quickly, “come on, sit down. Why do you always insist on standing up in here?”

Because, unless we’re having a meeting, I don’t generally need to stay long. I normally impart my information, you give your feedback, and we get on with our day.” She shifted restlessly and narrowed her eyes. “But today, it seems, you’re having a bit of a brain fart. Do I really need to spell it out for you?”

Raising his eyebrows at her increasing irritation, and wondering if there was something going on in her private life that was making her so touchy, he nodded. “Yes, I really think you do.”

A few seconds of silence passed, in which Mary again seemed to be getting a grip on her irritation. She finally said, “All right. But don’t forget; you asked for it.”

About the Author

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of 100 Modern Erotic Classics That Youve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Cafés Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook:

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