Spooky, sexy reads for Halloween

Are you looking for some spooky, sexy reads to get you in the Halloween mood?  Might I suggest a couple of my stories?  They’re perfect for reading next to a fire, all curled up as the house settles and footsteps ring out from the empty attic above.

KimberlyDean_Everlasting_200pxFirst, there’s my Gothic novella Everlasting.

Genre:  Contemporary, Gothic erotic romance
Release:  September 2011
ISBN 9780984651108

When innocent college student Chevon takes an impulsive road trip, she finds herself lost in a thick, unpredictable fog.  Out of nowhere, the Everlasting Inn appears.  The remote house on the cliffs is a haven, yet it evokes erotic thoughts and a haunting sense of déjà vu.  The hazy memories consume Chevon, arousing her and tempting her. She takes a job at the inn and when the sexy new owner shows up, she remembers what she’s been craving.  And why…

Everlasting excerpt

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The Romance Reviews gave it a Top Pick Award and described it as “temptation incarnate.

 

ghostfluteNext, there’s my story Ghost Flute, that’s heavily influenced by a Sioux legend.  Native American culture is rife with spirits and monsters and mystery.  I loved doing research for this story.

Genre:  Paranormal erotic romance
Release:  June 25, 2010
ISBN  9781419927690

Serena Little Feather is hoping to reconnect with her heritage when she agrees to house-sit on the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation.  She just never realized how close to the past she’d get.

At night, Serena hears a flute playing behind the house.  The music is haunting and seductive, rousing intense feelings of lust and need.  But music isn’t the only lust-inspiring thing in her life.  Her neighbor Chayton is dark and sexy, but she’s been warned against him.  She doesn’t know which scares her more—the overwhelming pull of the music or her attraction to the bad boy.

Chayton wants his beautiful neighbor.  Their kisses sizzle and their touches burn, but the music she’s hearing worries him.  Legend told of a Sioux brave who’d lured many women with his flute playing.  He’d seduced them and cast them aside—until he was found dead with a knife in his stone heart.  It was said that the brave’s spirit still roamed the countryside, playing his songs and looking for love.  Every so often, a pretty girl responded.  Chayton fears that this time, the pretty girl is Serena.

Ghost Flute excerpt

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RT Book Reviews says, “This eerie ghost story is brimming with steamy sex set in an interesting plot.“  Read the interview they did with me about Ghost Flute here.

Newsletter contest winners

Solace_In_Scandal_webThe winners in my newsletter contest have been selected.  Each of the following people have won a free e-copy of Solace in Scandal and have been notified by email.

Congratulations to:
Tina R.
Carolyn R.
Gayle P.
Cheryl M.
Sandy P.

If you’d like to be included in upcoming giveaways and learn all the latest about my books, just subscribe to my newsletter.  It includes all kinds of fun stuff.

Private Dancer is an EPIC finalist!

2014_EBook_finalist-smPrivate DancerIt’s an awesome day.  I was just notified that Private Dancer is a finalist in EPIC’s ebook competition.  EPIC is the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, and this is a  major competition with books being entered from all kinds of genres.  Private Dancer was submitted in their erotica division.  For a writer, it’s super-exciting to get this kind of validation.  Winners will be announced at EPIC’s national conference in San Antonio in March.

Private Dancer excerpt

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Twisting my words

I recently bought some dictation software.  It’s supposed to translate everything I say into a microphone into words on the screen.   I’d heard that it can be a helpful tool.  Some authors swear that it helps them write faster.  Others use it because of carpal tunnel problems and other ailments.  I can relate to that.  When I’m writing a book, my forearms get to be as powerful as a major-league slugger’s.  And let’s face it, the technology is cool and fun to play with.

But I’m not so sure this is going to work for me.  Why?  I must mumble or slur or something, because here are some hilarious examples of how my sentences are turning out.

Spoken:  “Not as short as you like to think.”
Written:  “None assurance you like to thing.”

Spoken:  “It sent a hot shiver across her skin.”
Written:  “It sent this hot sugar through hers kin.”

Spoken:   I think it was, “She let out a sigh that emptied the breath caught in the base of her lungs.”  (Definitely a first draft sentence.)
Written:  “She let out a sigh that emptied the breath that it caught in the base of her lines.”

Spoken:  “They’d been in lust ever since they’d first clapped eyes on one another.”
Written:  “They been in was ever sensate first clapped eyes on one another.”

Spoken:  “She ran her fingertips over the table.”
Written:  “She ran her anger tips over the table.”  Anger tips?  Hahahaha

And my favorite…

Spoken:  “He brushed a curl away from her face and tucked it behind her ear.”
Written:  “Eucharist Caroli from her face behind her ear.”

minion

Obviously, I need to enunciate.  I’ll admit that the software is learning and getting better, but I’m getting frustrated.  As you can see above, it can be funny reading things back, but I have to watch each sentence carefully.  I’m spending more time correcting than writing, and even that’s an adventure.  I think it could be a helpful tool.  Maybe I’ll use the keyboard some days (like today) and talk on others.  One unexpected consequence – my forearms feel better, but my voice is hoarse.

Plus, I don’t know how much more my “anger tips” can take!

Alex and Elena

Alex 3Writers like to try different techniques as they’re writing, or at least I do.   Sometimes the process is easier than others.  I’m always looking for ways to get my brain synapses firing.  With Solace in Scandal, I tried something new.  I posted pictures above my desk of people who represented my characters.  Some authors do this with every story they write.  This was a first for me – and I hesitate to even show them to you – because undoubtedly the characters look different inside your head.

That’s one of the things that makes reading so personal.  The pictures we see in our minds are ours alone.  We create personal visions of what we’re reading, and nobody else sees quite the vision that we do.  That’s why people making movies from books need to be so careful with their casting.  We each see things a certain way and we don’t want to jar that picture.  So I’m posting these with the disclaimer that they were my models. These were the physical representations of Alex and Elena in my mind’s eye.Elena

For Alex, I posted a picture of Stephen Amell from Arrow.  Sigh… It’s one of my favorite television shows.  I saw the Season 2 premiere tonight.  The similarities between the character of Oliver Queen and the character of Alex Wolfe didn’t strike me until I was watching tonight’s show.  They’re both rich and entitled and come from families that have disappointed them.  I don’t know if Alex can do those salmon ladder pull-ups, though!

For Elena, I envisioned Nina Dobrev from Vampire Diaries.  I’ll admit I don’t watch that show, but she had that innocent, beautiful quality that I was looking for.

As for the technique, having the pictures posted helped in the beginning, but I looked at them less and less as the book took form.  And, honestly, looking at the Green Arrow was just plain distracting, so that didn’t help my productivity at all!  I’d be really interested to hear or see what your visions of Alex and Elena are.  Anyone willing to share?

Inspiration

Writers often get asked what triggers their story ideas.  It can be a lot of different things:  the news, movies, television shows, overheard discussions, etc.  It’s really anything that strikes a chord.  It has resonance inside, whether it’s a scene that’s pictured in the writer’s head or even just a mood they feel.  That’s what happened to me this past weekend.  I was driving home from the Save the Cat workshop and trying to work through some issues I’ve been having with Roxie’s story.  That’s when a song came on the radio.

It was Emeli Sande’s My Kind of Love.  Oh My God.  I’d never heard it before, but the mood it gave off was perfect for what I’m trying to do with Roxie’s book.  Plot is important and characters are key, but if I can hit the chord that song was giving off, that story would fly.  Suddenly my worries faded.  I just need to keep that mood in mind as I’m writing.  And probably play the song a million times.  If I come even close, I’ll be happy.  Because that song is so passionate.

I’ve been inspired by songs before, but I’m curious if readers can see/feel that inspiration in my stories.  So I’ll share a bit.  Let me know what you think.  Do you see any links between these?

Hit the Ground Running by Jonny Lang …. inspired my novella Wanted in Red’s Sage’s Secrets Volume 9

Savin’ Me by Nickelback … inspired Solace in Scandal

 

 

Save the cat!

I went to a writing workshop this weekend, titled “Save the Cat!”  It’s a technique to help with plotting stories and, since I’m a plotter, it was right up my alley.  It’s all about pacing to keep things moving.  I am a bit worried about it being too formulaic, so I’ll use it judiciously.  I really enjoyed being amongst other writers and being able to bounce ideas around.  That’s always fun for writers who spend so much time inside their heads.

Interestingly enough, there is no Save the Cat step in the actual technique.  Silly.

My most important achievement, however, was figuring out how to fix a problem I was having with Roxie’s story.  Yay!  It was worth the price of admission, just for that – even if the answer came to me as I was driving home the next day.

Solace in Scandal release day!

Solace_In_Scandal_webSolace in Scandal is finally available for readers to download.  The print edition looks like it will be released on October 2.  I hope you enjoy Alex and Elena’s story.  It’s a steamy erotic romance.  If you can post reviews telling me how you liked the book, I’d appreciate it.

Greed and lies bound them together, but will the truth tear their love apart?

When Elena Bardot suffers the backlash of a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by her father, she retreats to the abandoned estate of his partners in crime.  Wolfe Manor is lush and private, a perfect place to lick her wounds – until the notorious prodigal son returns.  Disgraced billionaire Alex Wolfe is aloof, imposing, and sexy as hell.  Elena knows she shouldn’t want him, but attraction overrules her head.

Life behind bars has changed Alex.  He doesn’t have time for the complication of a gorgeous little brunette – especially one with her name – but the tension between them escalates.  Lust overwhelms their resistance, and the sex is hot and cathartic.  They’ve both been betrayed by family, hurt by society, and cast as villains.  Alone together, they take solace in slow kisses and sensual nights.  Yet while Elena may be content to hide from the world, Alex is driven to reclaim his place atop it.  This time, he’s determined to take her with him.

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4 days to go!

Solace_In_Scandal_webSolace in Scandal will release this Thursday.  In some ways it seems like forever and, in others, it feels like I just finished writing the story yesterday.  The book is finally up for pre-order on most booksellers’ websites and people have remarked to me how beautiful the cover is.  It is, though, isn’t it?

Now that fall is here, the setting is just perfect.  In the book, leaves are falling and there’s a crisp nip in the air.  I love this time of year.  I think this is the perfect book to curl up with on your couch with a blanket and a hot cocoa.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Excerpt from Solace in Scandal

  An Excerpt From: SOLACE IN SCANDAL

© Copyright KIMBERLY DEAN, 2013.

Published by Mischief Books

Peace and calm.

Elena focused on her breathing as she tried to quiet her mind. She’d thought she’d been making progress towards that goal, but she’d worked too long on her dissertation today without taking a break and the effects were showing. She should know better by now.

Focusing on the tall trees across the lake, she inhaled fresh air through her nose and felt her lungs expand. It was that mystical part of the day where the sun sat fat on the horizon behind her and the night waited impatiently to move in. The beauty of nature surrounded her: a dense forest, a secluded private lake, and aromatic earth. Tranquility was practically reaching out to her, if only she could let it in.

Exhaling, she bent at the waist and planted her hands flat on the dock in front of her. The position lifted her hips and she felt tightness in her hamstrings. The disquiet in her mind was seeping its way into her body. She lifted her hips higher, pushing carefully against the tension, before dropping flat and arching up in the Cobra pose. The position opened her chest and released a kink in her back.

‘Mm,’ she sighed.

The leaves were heavy on those trees, she noticed, turning in color but not yet ready to fall to the ground. Some looked as if they were hanging on for dear life.

She knew how that felt.

Serenity.

From the prone position, she swung back up into Downward Dog. She blew the air in her lungs out through her mouth until her chest ached. The need for oxygen brought her concentration back and she relaxed her shoulders. She couldn’t let herself get worked up like this. She was safe here, hidden and protected. She’d come here to find answers to all the questions running around inside her head, but she’d found something she hadn’t expected. A haven.

In this, the unlikeliest of places.

Twisting into Warrior pose, she looked up to the house. It sat perched atop the hill behind her. The trees around it had been cleared, making sure there were no distractions from what was important. Wolfe Manor.

The sun was level with it now, making it almost glow, but it was impressive no matter the lighting. Built in the late 1800’s, the residence was a testament to human ingenuity and grit. Thick limestone walls stood four-stories tall, with a stair tower taking precedence out front. Turrets overlooked the corners, while two larger-than-life wolf statues guarded the main entrance. It was a mansion that made a statement.

Although that statement was being questioned after recent events.

Elena stretched her arms high overhead and felt the knot in her shoulder pop. It was ironic how she felt here, on this property. By all rights, she should feel anger and distrust. Outrage. The Wolfe family represented everything that the 99% hated – greed, opulence, excess, and unscrupulous entitlement. Yet while the manor stood proud and stately, its owners’ house of cards had finally fallen down. Deservedly so.

Although their deception had nearly pulled her down, too.

She shivered a bit under the cooling breeze. She didn’t understand that kind of ruthlessness. What made some people think they were better than others? That they could push the less fortunate down and not allow them to breathe? She never would have come here if she hadn’t been in dire straits, but Leonard had offered her refuge. The Wolves wouldn’t be needing the residence for some time, and the lake house had been empty before she’d moved in. Only the staff and groundskeepers remained.

Dear, sweet Leonard. Out of everyone, he understood the position she was in and how powerless she felt. He’d come to her rescue when she’d needed him most, and she didn’t know how she’d ever repay him.

She could start by taking better care of herself.

She focused on the lake again as a breeze stirred her hair and was surprised to see a thousand diamonds glittering back at her. The sun was glinting off the surface of the water now, making it appear as if lights were dancing on its surface. The beauty was undeniable. Pure, spiritual, and unexpected.

Yet that wasn’t what made her breath catch. ‘What?’

The air. It had just changed.

It felt heavier… pricklier… It was subtle, but the hair at the back of her neck rose. It was the sensation one got in a quiet old house when a floorboard squeaked and nobody else was supposed to be home.

She was being watched.

The awareness destroyed her rhythm and the inner peace she’d fought so hard to obtain. Her first thought was predator. She scanned the area around the lake and the rocky beach behind the dock. What roamed these woods? Coyotes? Red foxes? Deer? She couldn’t think of anything dangerous, yet the feeling remained.

She finished the sequence she was going through, but turned reflexively when she felt the air behind her snap. ‘Ah!’

A man.

Looking up, she spotted the source of the disquiet. Suddenly, the benefits of the yoga disappeared. She recognized him on sight. Alex Wolfe. In the flesh. The most dangerous predator of all.

‘Oh, dear God.’ What was he doing here?

Their gazes connected and she felt a jolt. Even with him hundreds of yards away and up the hill, she felt his attention and it was solely on her.

Her stomach tightened and, for the first time, she felt the chill of the evening. With the sun going down, it was getting brisk. Too brisk to be wearing a skimpy sports bra and thin pants. She pressed her hand against her bare stomach, but was surprised to find her skin hot. Tingly.

Sweet heavens, he was something.

His hair was shorter than it had been in the last newspaper picture she’d seen of him. So short, it was almost spiky. His face wasn’t as clean-shaven, either. He had that rough stubble that only male models and movie stars could seem to pull off.

And, apparently, billionaire felons.

His expensive shirt and pants fit him impeccably, yet the power radiating from him wasn’t only the power associated with wealth and status. The disgraced entrepreneur was lean and chiseled. He’d done more on the inside than read books.

Warning signs flared in Elena’s head, and she knelt to pick up her yoga pad. She’d learned to listen to her gut. The exercise usually sped up her pulse, but right now, it was racing. He shouldn’t be here – or she shouldn’t. Her hands felt clumsy as she rolled up the springy foam. When she looked up again, he was still staring. Energy crackled in the air between them. She could feel the charge all the way down to her bare feet and her toes curled against the sensation.

Sex. The man practically radiated it.

Goosebumps rose on her skin.

She didn’t know him. She’d never even met him, but she wasn’t stupid or naïve. Men found her attractive, and she recognized lust when she saw it. With the way he braced his hands against the marble railing and leaned towards her, the wolf seemed ready to pounce. When he uncoiled from his ready position and folded his arms across his chest, her stomach sucked in even further.

‘Mm,’ she whimpered. She also recognized when the feeling was mutual.

Her response was inappropriate – unthinkable – yet she couldn’t stop staring at him. Her nipples tightened, and she held her yoga mat against her chest to hide her reaction. The sun was gone, and its trailing streaks of light were dimming fast. The noises coming from the woods were getting louder. The chirps of crickets… The hoots of owls… A hot shiver went down her spine, and she started moving to the lake house.

She’d come here to retreat, but had she just ended up in the wolf’s den?

One last time, she cast a glance up towards the main house. Her ponytail swung over her shoulder with the movement and she felt the caress of a hot look slide down her bare back. He was still there. Watching. Wanting.

Quickly, she moved inside and locked the door.

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