#Excerpt “Handle With Care” by A.N. Verebes

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Contemporary Romance/Erotic Romance

 

Date Published: 07-23-2021

What would you do if you had twenty minutes alone with your idol?

Gemma Fox is a self-confessed unlucky-in-love geek treating herself to a weekend at a pop-culture convention on Australia’s sunny Gold Coast.

Drawn there by the temptation of seeing her celebrity crush, Everett Rhodes, the last thing she expects is to wind up trapped in an elevator with him. Parting ways, Gemma has no reason to suspect that their paths will cross again. After all, he’s a celebrity. She’s just a fan who lives on the other side of the planet.

Besides, her life is not a rom-com. (At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.)

However, life has other plans. And Everett -stupidly charming, frustratingly handsome Everett- is hard to resist.

But when things get complicated, Gemma and Everett are both faced with the same dilemma:

How can they make things work when they live in completely separate worlds?

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Excerpt from Chapter One

The silence stretched on as the floors seemed to inch down to the ground level. Then the lights flickered, and the lift made a strange grinding-clunking sound, stopping abruptly. The display on the screen said that they had reached the 7th floor, but the doors didn’t open.

“That didn’t sound too good,” Gemma observed slowly, frowning at the still-closed metal doors. She pushed the ‘open doors’ button. They remained shut. The lights flickered again ominously.

“Pretty sure we’re stuck,” her companion remarked, frowning and pulling out his own phone. She assumed he had a travel sim installed or simply didn’t care about exorbitant roaming charges. “I don’t have any reception.”

“Well, fuck,” she muttered, realising that she didn’t either. They must be in a dead zone, because Murphy’s Law was an actual thing in her world. “Neither do I.” She held up her phone to prove that, for all her joking about crazed fans, she wasn’t lying to him.

She hit the emergency call button in the lift.

Nothing happened.

Gemma blinked, incredulous. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” She hit the button a few more times with increasing frustration and just a hint of panic. She just about jumped out of her skin when a warm hand landed on her shoulder.

“Sorry,” Rhodes backed up again, holding his hands up in surrender. “Are you okay?”

Fighting down a hysterical laugh, she swallowed and shoved shaking hands into her pockets. “I’m not the best with confined spaces. For short periods of time, it’s fine, but…” she blew a breath out slowly. “Sorry. I promise I’m not actually a raving lunatic.”

Talking to him was distracting enough from the plight of being stuck in a small metal box suspended between hotel floors, though, so she kept going. “I don’t suppose you have bodyguards or assistants or handlers or something? You know, someone that knew you were getting into this lift and who will raise the alarm if you don’t wander out on the ground floor in the next couple of minutes?”

He laughed at that, and it surprised her that it was a self-deprecating sort of sound and it was accompanied by a shrug. “No. No, I’m not that famous. In fact, you’re the first person to recognise me.”

Objectively, if she hadn’t been such a huge fan (with a crush to boot) she mightn’t have recognised him at first glance, particularly with the shaggy haircut he was sporting and if he slid his sunglasses on. Additionally, his show had been off air for two years: if he were off being successful and relevant, he wouldn’t have been booked at a random pop culture convention in Australia, would he? But that thought seemed a little unkind, considering how much she –and thousands of other people–looked forward to these conventions.

“Oh.” Gemma shook her head, feeling a little traitorous for her musings. “I’m willing to bet the closer you get to the Convention Centre, the faster that will change. Whether that’s a good thing or not, well…” she trailed off and offered him another small smile. “We’re not all crazies, remember.”

“I thought that was my line,” the actor grinned, and she felt her heart do a little flip. Damn him and his aesthetic charm. He stuck out his hand, officially introducing himself, “Everett, or Rhett, if you’d prefer.”

“Gemma,” she responded, shaking the offered appendage. Cocking her head to the side, she mused on his chosen nickname. “I never picked you as the ‘Rhett’ type. I would have thought it was Everett or bust. You know, if I’d given it much thought. Which I hadn’t. Well, until now.”

His lips twitched upwards into a smirk. “Rhetts have a type?”

“Yes,” her reply was one of affected haughtiness, because she got weird when she got nervous. And boy was she nervous. “They wear shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and thongs.” At his raised eyebrows, she corrected, “Flip-flops, or sandals, sorry.” She looked him over again, taking in the form fitting jeans, polo shirt (with sunglasses tucked in at the unbuttoned collar, offering just a hint of his dark chest hair) and dress shoes. “You’re dressed like an Everett.”

This earned her another laugh, but it was warmer and richer than any of the previous iterations of the sound. “You were trying to convince me you weren’t crazy, remember?”

“Oh,” she waved her hand dismissively, “I abandoned that plan at least three seconds after I said it. Lost cause and all that. Still,” she mused aloud, gesturing to the shut doors, “I wasn’t exactly expecting this.”

It was probably a good thing that she’d gone to the bathroom before she’d left her hotel room, too. She pressed the emergency call button again. Still nothing. She clenched her hand into a fist and gave the button a good thump for its uselessness.

“Okay, so we’re going to leave the button alone now,” Everett told her, gently pulling her away from the panel. “I’d guess there’s been a glitch of some kind. But I get you’re a bit claustrophobic, and the talking was helping right?”

She glanced down to where his hand was still on her forearm, warm and solid and connected to his own toned arm and delicious biceps, which looked so good in the tight sleeves of the black polo and…Fuck! Focus, Gemma.

“Yes,” she acknowledged, a blush staining her cheeks. She was a terrible person for objectifying him. And yet, courtesy of her crush, she couldn’t help it. Not that that was a valid excuse, she knew. And now her traitorous thoughts were turning circular. “It was. Sorry. Trying to rein in the crazy.”

“I have a fear of anything reptilian, if it helps,” he admitted, surprising her with the information. “So, I get it. Your country terrifies me with its wealth of deadly snakes and lizards and even turtles! Seriously, you have turtles that can maim people. That’s not normal.”

“I mean, most of our wildlife is engineered to kill you, so I guess that fear’s warranted.” Who was this person that was in control of the sounds coming out of her mouth, she wondered. She needed them to stop now.

“It’s the blasé way you say that that really worries me.” Everett still sounded amused, though, so she figured she hadn’t made too much of a fool of herself.

“I’m also afraid of snakes, don’t worry,” she shuddered. “I’ve been considering moving to Hawaii or New Zealand. Or even Ireland. No snakes there. Could get my hike on without being afraid of certain death.”

“Oh, you like hiking?” There was additional animation in him now, a genuine interest with the topic. Of course he was the outdoorsy type – he was practically built for it.

Gemma nodded. “Yeah, I have a thing for views and scenic vistas. Don’t much love the actual hiking itself, especially with Eastern Browns at every turn here, but the payoff is usually worth it.”

“Yeah. There’s definitely something magical and rewarding in getting to the top of a climb and looking down over the rest of the world, right?” Everett smiled conspiratorially.

“Right.” Her heart was not thumping away at a billion miles per minute just because seeing his eyes all lit up and crinkled at the edges made him extra handsome. Nope. It wasn’t. She swallowed. “I’m thinking of travelling to the US in the next couple of years. Any choice spots I should focus on if I do want to come off the beaten track and do a hike?” She knew he was English, but that he’d spent at least the past eight years living in America, filming television shows and movies.

“I guess it depends on where you’re talking about visiting. East Coast or West Coast? Or desert? Tourist destinations, or the cities that most people dismiss because they’re not famous?”

She slid down the wall, deciding that she might as well settle in and get comfortable. “I’m kind of a Broadway baby,” she confessed, “so I’d love to see New York City. Not a lot of hiking to be done there, I know.”

He considered this, following her example to slide down the wall beside her, resting his wrists on his elevated knees. She hated herself for thinking that even that simple action seemed sinful coming from him. “It sounds overdone, but Central Park is awesome, and huge. No hiking, but it’s scenic at any time of year. You could spend days wandering around in there and still not see it all.”

“That does sound like a Bucket List activity.” She was even good enough to not mention the crime stats and the concept that she might get mugged.

He smiled and her heart did that flopping thing again. “There are plenty of hiking spots in Upstate New York, too.” He began listing them, counting them off on his fingers, “Lake Placid, Bear Mountain, Watkins Glen…or, if you Google, you can find a few spots closer to NYC that you’d probably also love.”

“Google!” She cried, startling him, and pulled out her phone. “I don’t have reception, but if we can get WiFi…” Her face fell. The little metal box they were in did not get WiFi reception either. “Never mind.”

Everett’s hand was on her back, patting consolingly. “I’m sure someone is already on it. Fixing the lift, I mean.”

Her head hit the mirrored wall with a dull thunk. “Didn’t Speed start this way?”

He blinked at her abrupt change of topic. “Huh?”

“I’m sure it did,” she continued. “Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels were trying to save a bunch of people from plummeting to their deaths in a lift.”

“You’re really not a fan of confined spaces, are you?” He was starting to sound concerned now, his cobalt eyes wider as they peered at her. “Don’t pass out on me, okay, love?”

Gemma forced herself to calm, taking a few deep breaths and feeling completely embarrassed. Closing her eyes and resting her head against the cool surface behind her, she said, “I am sorry for this. I’m sure being locked in a box with a panicky random isn’t quite how you imagined spending your morning.”

“I’ll admit,” he conceded, “there was more caffeine and less claustrophobia in my original plans.”

“When we get out of here, I’ll owe you a coffee.” The casual offer escaped her before she remembered who she was talking to. A flush immediately suffused her cheeks, and she stammered, “I mean, sorry, I didn’t mean…” she winced and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Stopping talking now.”

The fact that her unwitting companion was actually laughing, shoulders shaking and all, didn’t help matters.

“If nothing else, I’m glad I’m able to entertain you,” she snarked at him, feeling her cheeks burning. She’d probably actually seek therapy after this, the mortification of the entire encounter burning deep into her psyche. “Just promise me that when you get your next big role and start wheeling out this story in interviews as ‘that time I was trapped with a crazy fan’, you’ll at least fib a little and say I was stunning or something complimentary alongside the humiliation, yeah?”

Everett sobered a little, a frown pulling his eyebrows down, giving him the broody expression that he’d practically patented during his run on Happily Never After. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, as though trying to find the right words. She cursed herself for making him uncomfortable. Well, more uncomfortable.

Fuck her life.

“So, I’ve watched you on a few panels. Online, obviously. You’ve got this wicked sense of humour,” she found herself explaining into the awkward silence, blaming her lack of filter on an imagined decreasing amount of oxygen. However, at this point she was pretty much in for a penny, in for a pound when it came to her embarrassment anyway, and she had a point to make. “The playful narcissism is entertaining, and you just ride the line between knowing you’re attractive and still being charming. Personally, I can’t pull that off, so my style of deflection –as you’ve noticed by now– is more self-deprecating.” She shrugged. “What a juxtaposition, right?” She swept her eyes over him again. “Of course, if I were as pretty as you, maybe things would be different.”

“Hey, I can’t control that this was the jawline I was born with,” he defended lightly, gesturing towards his face with the back of one hand, “or my eyes. Or cheekbones. Or–”

“Yeah yeah, buddy. You’re rocking your natural aesthetic,” she threw her arms wide, indicating an invisible audience, “we all know. Pity about your height, right?”

He snorted, “I think I liked you better when you were starstruck. Besides, I’m five ten and a half, so I’m not exactly short.”

“Of course you did.” Rolling her eyes as her brain caught up with the rest of his sentence, she repeated, “And a half,” with a laugh in her voice. “Every half-inch counts, right?” Somehow, she managed to deliver this absolutely deadpan.

She had no shame.

His lip curled upwards again at the innuendo, but he let it be. “Well, I could stretch the truth a bit and say I’m six feet tall. If I wear lifts, it’s not a lie.”

This made her chuckle and shake her head before knowingly observing, “There’s definitely an element of truth to your narcissist shtick, isn’t there?”

“That’s the thing about landing jokes, isn’t it? The best ones all have a bit of truth to them.”

Gemma acknowledged this argument with a jut of her chin. “Yeah. Well, at least, that’s what they say. Whoever they are.”

“A secret society, I’m told. Very exclusive,” he tapped the side of his nose with the tip of his index finger and she laughed again.

“Right. Seems legit.”

There was an awkward lull in conversation, and just as she was beginning to feel the walls closing in, her companion asked, “So where would you recommend for hiking around here?”

Gemma’s building anxiety receded again, and she was glad for the ongoing distraction. The guy was a saint. It did nothing to abate her crush on him. “It depends on what you’re after or how far you’re willing to travel,” she mused aloud. “Bushwalks around here can get you to ocean views, mangrove walks, waterfalls…” she shrugged. “I’ve always found the short track between Burleigh Heads and Tallebudgera relaxing, but it’s not what I’d call a hike. More like a nature walk. If you’re looking for epic views and are happy to set aside pretty much a whole day –including the drive there and back– there’s Mount Warning. It’s not an easy climb, though. At least, not to get to the summit.” She was proud that she’d managed it. Once, and she maintained that it had almost killed her, but she had managed it, and that was enough. “Or there’s Mount Ngungun, which is a couple of hours’ drive north from here and is a much shorter, easier climb with an epic pay off at the top on a clear day. Mount Coolum, also a couple of hours north, is the same.”

“A relaxing nature walk sounds pretty good,” Everett mused thoughtfully. “And that one’s close to here?”

“Yeah, just a short drive down the highway. If you get a few hours free, you should check it out.” Unless we die in this lift, her brain added testily.

Oblivious to her internal musings, he nodded again. “Right. I’ll add that to my To Do list.”

“So, you’re not just here for the convention?”

“No, I’ve got a few days reprieve before I have to head back home. Thought I’d do a little sightseeing. Maybe even pat a koala or something.”

“I guess flying halfway around the world for a three-day stay does sound a bit rough,” Gemma acknowledged with a tilt of her head. Then she made a face. “You know koalas carry chlamydia, right?” They were cute, but there was no way in hell she’d ever touch one again.

Everett let out a bark of almost startled laughter. “What?! That can’t be a thing.”

“It is,” she responded emphatically, slapping her thigh. “Koalas can carry the clap. Google it.” Her brows drew down into a frown. “Once we’re out of here and there’s WiFi and reception again.”

He snorted inelegantly. “If you’re lying to me, I’ll be collecting on that coffee.”

Her heart skipped a beat. Was that flirting? No. The lack of oxygen was clearly getting to them both now. But her mouth fired off before her brain, “And when you realise that I’m not, you can shout me a coffee.”

“You’ve got a deal,” he told her with a smirk and extended his hand for her to shake.

Gemma did so with an accompanying shake of her head. “Sure,” she told him, mild disbelief colouring her tone. As if he was even going to remember her once they were released and he was swept up in his celebrity duties. Still, it was kind of nice to pretend that he was an ordinary person and that they’d just arranged a coffee date. “I take mine white, no sugar. Preferably a latte, but a flat white will suffice.”

“Confident, aren’t you?”

“Eh,” she shrugged, her lips quirking upwards, “I know my country.”

“Well, then, if you’re so knowledgeable,” he shot back playfully, leaning into her space and nudging her shoulder with his own, unaware that the action set off a flurry of butterflies in her belly that had nothing to do with her fear that they were going to die trapped in the broken-down elevator, “what should I do with my free time here? Other than go for a nature walk where I might encounter a snake and die.”

“Melodramatic, much?” Gemma snarked with an exaggerated roll of her eyes. “You’re a big boy, you’ll be fine.” She only barely resisted the urge to reach out and pat his shoulder with blatant (light-hearted) condescension. “What sort of stuff are you into? We’ve got a bit of everything here: theme parks, beaches, botanic gardens, wildlife sanctuaries…” She drummed her fingers on her thigh as she considered what else was on offer locally. “Australia Zoo’s only a couple of hours’ drive north, too. That’s always a favourite with tourists. So’s Byron Bay, which is an hour or so south of here, but…eh…it’s a bit hipster and a whole lot overrated, if you ask me. Which, I’ll remind you, you did.”

Everett affected faux offence. “Are you calling me a tourist?” He spoke the word as though it was a slur.

Snickering, she shrugged again. “I mean, you kind of are.”

“You wound me,” he continued his exaggerated act, clutching imaginary pearls. He widened his eyes, the colour more crystalline in the artificial lighting of the elevator. “I thought we were friends now.”

There went the butterflies again. “Oh, it takes more than a shared near-death experience to become my friend.”

Everett laughed, his eyes crinkling at the corners, and the sound delighted her. “I’ll win you over yet, sweetheart.”

“Yeah, nah,” she responded, “not if you call me sweetheart again.” She’d liked it way too much for it to be healthy.

Chuckling, he asked, “Did you just say ‘yeah-nah’? What the hell is that?”

“It’s Aussie slang for no.”

Blinking at her, the incredulous question “Why don’t you just say no?” followed, before he added, “And, what, do you say ‘nah-yeah’ for yes?”

“We do, actually,” the corners of her lips twitched at his bewilderment. “Honestly, it’s more a bogan thing than anything, but–”

“Bogan?” The word sounded bizarre in his accent as he tested it out.

Her shoulders lifted and dropped while she raised her hands with their palms facing upwards. “Kind of our version of a redneck or a chav?”

“Right,” he drew out the word, clearly amused. “And you just happen to fall into this use of slang at random?”

“When I’m comfortable enough,” she responded without thinking, feeling her cheeks burn as she realised what she’d admitted.

Everett held his index finger towards the ceiling, “Ah ha!” he cried, victorious, now using that same finger to poke her shoulder. “You admitted it. We are friends now.”

Gemma was convinced that he was running out of oxygen now. Still, his enthusiasm was contagious, and she found herself grinning and shaking her head. “Fine, okay, whatever.”

“I knew I’d win you over.”

“Why?” she queried, feeling bold. “Because I’m a fan? Because of your obvious–” sarcasm abounded “–charm?”

He wriggled his hips and stretched out his legs, settling in for the long haul. “A little from Column A, a little from Column B.”

She hated herself a little for finding the narcissist shtick so endearing, but with his eyes glinting at her and that mischievous smirk on his sinfully scruffy face, she felt powerless to resist it. Still, she didn’t need him knowing that.

“I think I liked you better when you were a mysterious celebrity,” she twisted his earlier words back at him playfully.

“I’ve already used that joke, love,” he snarked back. “Find some new material.”

Gemma opened her mouth to argue, but the elevator seemed to lurch back into life, jerking and clunking and startling her enough that she squealed and clutched at her companion’s arm.

“Hey, it’s okay,” he soothed, rubbing her hand but making no move to throw her off. He glanced up at the ceiling and then the display panel. “I think we’re back on the move.”

Sure enough, the number had changed to 6 and she could feel the lift descending. Everett pushed himself to his feet and offered Gemma his hand, which she took and allowed him to help her stand. “Thanks,” she said softly, suddenly overcome by the realisation that their brief friendship was about to go its separate ways. “Sorry again for freaking out on you.”

“What are friends for?” he cajoled, brushing the apology off, unaware of the melancholy turn her thoughts had taken.

She smiled, hoping it met her eyes, and gave his hand one last squeeze. “Well, thank you, then,” she said, watching the numbers tick down. She stepped back. “I hope you enjoy the convention. I’m sure your panels will be awesome.”

Everett inclined his head, “Are you going to be there?”

Given that he had been her motivating factor for attending, she’d been planning on it but, after this, did attending make it weird? Though, she supposed, it wouldn’t be odd for a friend to go watch another friend perform or give speeches or answer fan questions, would it?

She was overthinking it.

“Wouldn’t miss it,” she informed him as the doors finally slid open at the ground floor. She was oblivious to the crowd of people assembled outside. “I’ll be cheering you on from the back of the room, I’m sure.”

Then, with a final (if somewhat awkward) wave, she turned around, ducked her head once she saw the large group of people gawking at them, and made her way out of the lift and across the hotel lobby.

~~~

About the Author

Anita (A.N.) Verebes is a daydreamer, writer, and author of the debut romance novel Handle With Care.

As a professional civil marriage celebrant, Anita makes a living telling other people’s love stories and celebrating real romance! Also armed with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Anita is a qualified -but not practising- High School English teacher who loves to read anything she can get her hands on, including fanfiction. (And, yes, she’s written her fair share of that, too.)

Living directly between Queensland’s sunny Gold and Sunshine coasts, Anita spends her days exploring the Great South East with her husband and their two rambunctious sons. When at home, she’s also a slave to two cats and one very spoilt Great Dane X.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Blog

Goodreads

~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Books2Read

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookBlitz “Handle With Care” by A.N. Verebes

~~~

Contemporary Romance/Erotic Romance

 

Date Published: 07-23-2021

What would you do if you had twenty minutes alone with your idol?

Gemma Fox is a self-confessed unlucky-in-love geek treating herself to a weekend at a pop-culture convention on Australia’s sunny Gold Coast.

Drawn there by the temptation of seeing her celebrity crush, Everett Rhodes, the last thing she expects is to wind up trapped in an elevator with him. Parting ways, Gemma has no reason to suspect that their paths will cross again. After all, he’s a celebrity. She’s just a fan who lives on the other side of the planet.

Besides, her life is not a rom-com. (At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.)

However, life has other plans. And Everett -stupidly charming, frustratingly handsome Everett- is hard to resist.

But when things get complicated, Gemma and Everett are both faced with the same dilemma:

How can they make things work when they live in completely separate worlds?

 

~~~

About the Author

Anita (A.N.) Verebes is a daydreamer, writer, and author of the debut romance novel Handle With Care.

As a professional civil marriage celebrant, Anita makes a living telling other people’s love stories and celebrating real romance! Also armed with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Anita is a qualified -but not practising- High School English teacher who loves to read anything she can get her hands on, including fanfiction. (And, yes, she’s written her fair share of that, too.)

Living directly between Queensland’s sunny Gold and Sunshine coasts, Anita spends her days exploring the Great South East with her husband and their two rambunctious sons. When at home, she’s also a slave to two cats and one very spoilt Great Dane X.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Blog

Goodreads

~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Books2Read

~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#GuestPost Meet the Character Day: Chatting with Brian from “Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover” by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Meet the Character Day” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each “Behind the Scenes” blog, I talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. The “Meet the Character Day” blogs are fun chats with the heroes and heroines from my romances. Warning: blogs may contain spoilers.

Hello romance lovers! Today we’re chatting with Brian, the hero from Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover by Kelli A. Wilkins. Let’s see what’s on his mind…

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover cover

 

Greetings, Brian. Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is a contemporary paranormal summer romance. Can you tell us more about the book?

Hi! Well, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is what the title says, confessions of a vampire’s lover. It’s the story of how I met and fell in love with a woman named Anya, who turns out to be a vampire.

The story is told entirely in first person from my point-of-view. That’s unusual for a romance, because most of them are third-person stories and you get a variety of different characters’ points-of-view. Or, if it is a first-person romance, it’s usually told by the heroine, not the hero. But this is my story and I tell it the way it happened.

Readers should know that the story is an erotic romance. I don’t shy away from sharing explicit details about our sexual encounters. Some people might be turned off by the high heat level (3), but they would still enjoy the story. They can skip over any scenes that are too “hot!”


What drew you to Anya?

I was on the beach at night, toward the end of the summer season, and I saw her reading a book (it was a romance novel, of course). It was strange because she was reading by moonlight. Anya was alone, but something about her seemed lonely, and kind of aloof. I thought she was cute, and I wanted to talk to her, but when I looked back, she was gone. The book was lying there in the sand, but she had vanished. Needless to say, that got me very curious. The next time I saw her (at a party) I made a point of talking to her and getting to know her.

When did you find out Anya is a vampire and how did you take it?

How do you think I took it? I thought she was nuts! (Laughs). Who wouldn’t? I mean, really, if someone told you they are a vampire, would you believe them? And besides, I first saw Anya on the beach. Most people don’t think of the beach as a place to find a vampire.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I knew Anya had peculiar habits (she never came to see me during the day, left my place before dawn, she never let me see where she lived), but, being a guy, I thought she was being secretive and seeing someone else on the side. When I confronted her about cheating on me, she confessed that she was a vampire. I didn’t believe her at first, but then I started piecing other things together, and it made sense. (Plus, she showed me her fangs!)

What’s Anya’s personality like? Are you very compatible?

Yes, we get along great and are still in love. Of course, I had to make certain ”adjustments” to be with Anya, but it was certainly worth it. I’ve always been a bit of a loner and so had Anya. Now we can be “alone together” so to speak. I wasn’t close to my family, and her family has been gone for a few hundred years.

Anya has a great sense of humor when you get to know her. She loves watching movies, listening to music, going to concerts, and traveling. Even after all these years, there’s so much to do and see in the world. She told me it’s much more fun to do things as a couple. Anya has her serious side and can get a little moody, but so do most people.

Okay, we need to ask… Feeding is mentioned in the story… how does that work exactly?

Kelli decided to keep Anya’s feeding “off-page” in the book. After all, this is a romance. Readers might be turned off by the bloodier, or more violent, aspects of Anya’s life. I’d like to say that we’re not how vampires are portrayed in the movies and tv shows. We’re not lurking in graveyards or castles, wearing capes or filly dresses, and attacking people in their beds.

We basically live like any normal couple (except we’re nocturnal and have special dietary needs). Anya has asked that I don’t go into too many specific details (for obvious reasons), but I can say we don’t harm anyone or “feed” from anyone without consent, and we don’t need to feed as often as people think.


Do you have other vampires in your life? Human friends?

Sort of. Anya knows where there are one or two other vampires nearby (they have a psychic connection), but we don’t socialize. We do have mortal friends and coworkers (yes, we have jobs), but we’re not incredibly close and they don’t know our secret. Vampires have been living alongside mortals for thousands of years. We live in the background (or the shadows!) and tend to mind our own business.


A big part of the story is how much you love surfing and going to the beach. Do you still surf?

Yes, I’m still surfing. Of course, I can’t go to the beach during the day, but I surf at night. I still love being near the ocean, and I’ve starting deep-sea diving. It’s amazing what treasures you can find underwater!

Anything else you want to add?

I hope readers like Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. It’s a quick summer read (maybe even a beach read!) that blends a dreamlike romance with sizzling love scenes. Kelli says it’s gotten several great reviews, too.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone! If you missed any blog in this series, you can catch up here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog

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Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover

The moment Brian spotted Anya sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Anya was the girl of his dreams. She didn’t mind that he spent the hot summer days riding the ocean waves, because once the sun set, he belonged to her—all night long!

Everything is perfect between them—until Brian discovers Anya’s shocking secret. Can Brian give up the sun, sand, and surf to be with the woman he loves?

Read Brian’s first-hand account of their unusual love story in… Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.

Order Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IBYWYCI

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/49xp1J

Read reviews & more here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/confessions-of-a-vampire-s-lover

 

Want more? Follow Kelli’s Facebook Contemporary Romances page: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 3 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

She released Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing in early 2021. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

In 2020 Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

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#GuestPost Behind the Scenes: Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is a unique end-of-summer romance. The story is told in first person by Brian, the hero. Why? It just came out that way. As I was writing, it felt more believable to have Brian tell the story of how he met and fell in love with a vampire. Readers meet Brian and are swept into the story as it unfolds for him, so they’re more personally involved.

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover cover

Most romances are told in third person and alternate between the hero and heroine’s points-of view. This story is different in that we don’t hear from Anya (the heroine) at all, other than in dialogue, and we only get to know her through Brian.

The setting also makes it a bit unusual. Most readers don’t think of the beach as a place to find a vampire. When Brian first sees Anya, she is sitting on the beach at night reading a book by moonlight. I wanted to contrast the differences between Brian and Anya from the start. He’s a sun-worshipping surfer who is outside all day, and she’s a nocturnal loner, happy to lose herself in a romance novel when nobody else is around.

The idea for the story came to me as I was sitting on the beach one afternoon in late October. It was cool and windy, and I had on a light jacket and sunglasses. Nobody else was on the beach (except for my surfer husband) and I liked the desolate surroundings.

I started thinking… what if a vampire went to the beach at night to do all the things regular people did during the day? What if the vampire fell in love with a surfer? It would be like night and day. Would he give up his life in the sunlight to be with the woman he loves? That’s the main question of the story, and Brian’s ultimate dilemma.

As I was writing, I wanted to capture the essence of what Brian was experiencing when he was with Anya. So I gave the book a surreal, almost Gothic, dreamlike feel. I also knew that a vampire romance could easily become too gory or too realistic when it came to feeding and turn into a horror story.

When I’m writing a paranormal romance, I have to be careful I don’t cross the line from paranormal romance into horror. The “monster” character must retain human traits and remain a sympathetic character the reader can identify with and like.

If your paranormal creature is too scary or the story gets too gory it will turn off romance readers and cross over into the horror genre. I liked creating Anya. And I deliberately kept a lot of her background a mystery. Anya is a gentle, sensitive vampire… up to a point. We do get to see a more violent and assertive part of her vampire nature—but she has a good reason.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is also a very explicit erotic romance. Anya is a sensual woman with needs that must be satisfied, and Brian is all for helping sate her desires. (Believe it or not, some e-book sales channels won’t carry the book because it’s erotica).

But this isn’t just an erotic love story; there’s plenty of plot and drama for all romance lovers. It’s a unique blend of vampires, romance, and the beach. Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover makes a great summer read and I’m proud to say it got several excellent reviews.

~~~

Confessions of A Vampire’s Lover

The moment Brian spotted Anya sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Anya was the girl of his dreams. She didn’t mind that he spent the hot summer days riding the ocean waves, because once the sun set, he belonged to her—all night long!

Everything is perfect between them—until Brian discovers Anya’s shocking secret. Can Brian give up the sun, sand, and surf to be with the woman he loves?

Read Brian’s first-hand account of their unusual love story in… Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover cover

Order Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IBYWYCI

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/49xp1J

Read reviews & more here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/confessions-of-a-vampire-s-lover

Want more? Follow my Facebook Contemporary Romances page: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

 

I hope you enjoyed this “Behind the Scenes” look at the making of this hot summer romance. I welcome questions and comments from readers and other authors. Contact me via the form on my site or on social media.

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 3 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

She released Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing in early 2021. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

In 2020 Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

~~~

#BookSale “The Benjamin & Selina Trilogy” by Kiru Taye

cover

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PART ONE: SCARS

She clutches at control to cover her flaws. He wants to strip her bare because she’s beautiful.

Selina Moss hides a secret beneath her controlled happy exterior. Her body is covered in scars and she’s never revealed them to anyone. However, it’s her wedding night and husband, Benjamin Moss, is determined to strip down her barriers. Benjamin is not playing fair, not when he’s deploying breath-stealing seduction as well as mind-melting sex toys. But will he still want her when she bares all?

PART TWO: SECRETS

Her body is his to command, her heart his to win. Selina bared her body to her husband and allowed him to see her and touch her like no one else has ever done. When a member of the family visits, she realizes there is still so much about her husband she doesn’t know. Benjamin’s remorse about his family history drives his actions. Selina is his present and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her from being contaminated by his past, including revealing the shame that burns his soul. But for Selina, finding out about Benjamin’s past means investing emotionally in a man who’s only going to walk away once their temporary arrangement comes to an end. Is she ready to bare her heart to him along with the secrets of their past?

PART THREE: SCORES

His love possesses her. Will it protect her too? Benjamin has proven how much he cares about his wife, Selina. She pushed him to shred his iron control and bare his soul to her. In return he’s earned her much guarded heart as well as her body. But her past has finally caught up with her and scores will have to be settled before they can have a happy ending. Can Benjamin’s love protect her from those who seek to destroy both of them? Or will she finally lose the man who’s possessed her body as well as her heart?

50% off at Smashwords thru July 31st!

1.49

Smashwords

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#NewRelease “CEO June: Robbie Hill (CEO Series Book 6)” by Tracie Podger

FB Banner-june copy

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JUNE BOBBIE HIL ebook copy

CEO June: Robbie Hill

by Tracie Podger

#OneClick: mybook.to/CEOJune

Also Available with #KindleUnlimited

*Blurb*

Robbie Hill was a playboy and proud of it. Between him and James, his friend and business partner, they’d gone through most of the women that frequented their establishment.

A chance meeting with a woman much older had Robbie questioning not only his education but how to please as well.

As CEO of a high-end London club, Robbie should be keeping his eye on his DJ’s and dancers. Instead he’s getting himself in a spin with a woman that could tie him in knots.

A couple of nights in her classroom was all it took for Robbie to learn his lesson.

The CEO series of STANDALONE erotic novellas is for readers over the age of 18 and most certainly contains scenes that are super hot. Some novellas are hotter than other, and some contain a little humour. #OneHandedReads

If you are new to the CEO series, then you should know they are all standalone naughty novellas that you can read in any order but if you want to start at the beginning, then you can start here: mybook.to/CEOJanuary

Other Novellas currently available in the series…

CEO February: Brax Danvers: mybook.to/CEOFebruary

CEO March: Alex Cotton: mybook.to/CEOMarch

CEO April: Zed Barker: mybook.to/CEOApril

CEO May: Frankie Tate: mybook.to/CEOMay

**A message from Tracie Podger: The CEO Series of Standalone Novellas will be taking a break, but will return July 2022, thank you for your support**

#NowLive #Romance #CEOJune #RobbieHill #TraciePodger #KU #MustRead #Series #NewRelease #EroticaRomance #CEOSeries

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “Kept By The Mountain Man (Montana Mountain Men #3)” by Gemma Weir

AVAILABLE NOW!

Kept By The Mountain Man by Gemma Weir

The Montana Mountain Men Book 3

Available Now: hyperurl.co/montanamountainmen3

Check out the Series – FREE in KU

Genre: Erotic Mountain Man Romance

Interconnected Standalone in the Montana Mountain Men series

#MontanaMountainMen #GemmaWeir #KeptByTheMountainMan #NewRelease #KindleUnlimited

BLURB

Kind, insistent and refusing to go away, Granger Barnett is one of the most gorgeous men I’ve ever met. I imagine every woman in Rockhead Point wants a taste of the mountain man. Except me.

When my RV breaks down, he shows up like the good Samaritan ready to save me, only I’m not looking for a hero. But it turns out no isn’t a word Granger hears that often, especially not from the woman he thinks is meant to be his.

He says it’s fate, I’m confident he’s got the wrong girl.

Only apparently the Barnett brothers know how to get their own way. So now I’m staying at his house and he’s talked me into giving him the weekend to convince me I’m his.

But while I’m planning my great escape, I realize he doesn’t just want the weekend, he wants to keep me forever.

 

Check out Book 1: Property of The Mountain Man:

Buy Now! hyperurl.co/MontanaMountainMen1

Check out Book 2: Owned By The Mountain Man:

BUY NOW: hyperurl.co/MontanaMountainMen2

 

Meet the Author

Gemma Weir is a half crazed stay at home mom to three kids, one man child and a hell hound. She has lived in the midlands, in the UK her whole life and has wanted to write a book since she was a child. Gemma has a ridiculously dirty mind and loves her book boyfriends to be big, tattooed alpha males. She’s a reader first and foremost and she loves her romance to come with a happy ending and lots of sexy sex.

Her social media links are:

https://www.facebook.com/gemmaweirauthor

https://www.instagram.com/gemmaweirauthor

https://twitter.com/gemmaweirauthor

 

#ReleaseBlitz “You, Me, and The Secret” by Elle Luckett

You, Me, and The Secret

(Club Stigmata Series)

by Elle Luckett

BUY You, Me and the Secret: mybook.to/ACSN4

 

 

Blurb

Shauna Monroe had it all once upon a time, but life got in the way, and she was forced to walk away, but not without a parting gift.

Seven years later, Asher Morris walks back into her life, and all those emotions she buried resurface, especially when he makes it clear he’s there for her.

Only Shauna has a secret, and it could change everything.

Other Novellas in the series:

You, Me, and the Memories: mybook.to/ACSN1

You, Me, and the Crazy Ex: mybook.to/ACSN2

You, Me, and the Stalker: mybook.to/ACSN3

Full length Novel in the Stigmata Universe:

The Favor: mybook.to/TheFavorElleLuckett

Coming Soon:

You, Me, and the Experiment: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54756634-you-me-and-the-experiment

 

Elle Luckett was born in Houston, mainly in the mind of Lou Stock. As the darker side of a generally light personality, she became the voice that would tell lustful stories, something born from a very vivid imagination and an amass of characters with some interesting habits and tastes.

Elle on Social Media:

Facebook Elle: https://www.facebook.com/elleluckett/

Instagram Elle: https://www.instagram.com/elleluckett/

Goodreads Elle: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14124391.Elle_Luckett

www.loustockbooks.com/elle-luckett

Readers Group: facebook.com/groups/395801814191384

 

#ReleaseBlitz “The Facilitator: Part 3” by Tracie Podger

***** New Release *****

The Facilitator, Part 3 by Tracie Podger is Now Live!

One-Click your copy TODAY

Amazon: mybook.to/TheFacilitatorThree

#New Release #NowLive #TheFacilitator #TraciePodger #EroticaRomance

#MackenzieMiller #Amazon #Erotica #Romance #MustRead #FacilitatorSeries

Cover Designer: Francessca’s PR & Design

*Blurb*

When life is settled, what’s left to do?

Lauren Perry knew her life was fine. She was married, she was happy, but the loss of her brother made her re-evaluate. She wanted to make sure she did all the things.

Mackenzie Miller knew his life was fine. He was married, he was happy, but there was one thing playing on his mind. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t the only one.

So what happens when you’re content and afraid of becoming complacent?

You make another list, of course.

Except, is Mackenzie’s list achievable?

The Facilitator, part 3 is told from Mackenzie Miller’s point of view and contains graphic scenes of a sexual nature and is intended for mature audiences.

New to The Facilitator Series by Tracie Podger?

Meet Mackenzie Miller The Facilitator of Fantasies with Part 1 Today!

Amazon: mybook.to/TheFacilitator

Also Available with #KindleUnlimited

Meet the Author

Tracie Podger currently lives in Kent, UK with her husband and a rather obnoxious cat called George. She’s a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor with a passion for writing. Tracie has been fortunate to have dived some of the wonderful oceans of the world where she can indulge in another hobby, underwater photography. She likes getting up close and personal with sharks.

Tracie likes to write in different genres. Her Fallen Angel series and its accompanying books are mafia romance and full of suspense. A Virtual Affair, Letters to Lincoln and Jackson are angsty, contemporary romance, and Gabriel, A Deadly Sin and Harlot are thriller/suspense. The Facilitator is erotic romance.

 

#ReleaseBlitz “Treat or Hex” by Jane Colt

 


Erotic Romance 

Date Published: October 13, 2020

Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Drama student Gabrielle is distressed to find herself lusting after her best friend and improv partner Paul. Refusing to give in to her desire and ruin their relationship, she attributes it to having gone too long without sex. G’s friend Natalie proposes the perfect solution—a Halloween party featuring a special guy for her horny friend. 

But the party is more complicated than Gabrielle imagines. Since they’re actors, when she and Paul get in costume, they become different people—the rakish ‘Mississippi Gambler’ Colonel Bartholomew W. Davis and sexy ‘Bourbon Street Madam’ Miss Tiffany. She is shocked when Paul comes on to her! Is he as attracted to her as she is to him? Or wait! Is this just another round of ‘improv chicken’—a game they play in which they try to rattle the other so much they break character?

Natalie asks for the green light to seduce Paul. Gabrielle’s ‘sure thing’ fails to show. Three horny witches tempt Paul with a foursome. He agrees! Or does he? And what about The Colonel’s offer to pay Miss Tiffany for a night of pleasure? Gabrielle’s head is spinning. Jealousy, lust, such confusion! Oh my!

Could it all be a trick that leads to a romantic treat?

 About the Author

Jane Colt began writing romances to deal with the stress of a ‘day job’ that’s mainly about examining the various ways people treat one another badly. An incurable romantic, her stories give her hope that we really can live happily ever after—even if only in our imaginations. She writes erotic romances because, having been raised in a morally rigid home, she wants to encourage in her readers a healthier, ‘sex positive’ outlook. She especially wants her heroines to be as sexy and passionate as they desire. You can count on the fact that her couples end up in love and having great sex! … OK, maybe they have the sex first!

Her stories aim to be light-hearted, fun, upbeat—and sexy! No dark, brooding, broken, tortured guys who need fixing. Just great, handsome, smart, sexy, ‘real men’ whose only weakness is being unable to resist the women she pairs them with. Think Lifetime or Hallmark movies plus hot sex!

She’s lived on both coasts of the U.S., recently leaving the beaches of Los Angeles to return home to the glorious autumn foliage of western Massachusetts. Married, she and her spouse are happy to be the devoted servants of two adorable cats. She loves traveling. Favorite cities: San Francisco, Boston, Venice, London, London, London!

By the way, anyone who knows her would be shocked to learn she writes erotic romances. “Jane Colt” is a pen name. So, shhhhhh.

Contact Links

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Purchase Links

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Totally Bound

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