Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Free First Chapters - Lily Harlem

Many of my first chapters are available for FREE on D Renee Bagby presents first chapters blog. Click the covers below to head on over and indulge in some saucy words that set up the stories and will hopefully tickle your fancy!

If these chapters have whet your appetite buy links can be found on the right of this blog or head over to my website for more purchasing options. Remember, I write to pay the bills so purchasing my work from reputable sites means I can continue entertaining you and other. Many millions of thanks for your support and Happy New Year ;-)

Monday, 30 December 2013

Breathe You In - My Inspiration #ebook #romance #amazon #inspiration

Breathe You In, starring Ruben Strong and Katie Lansdale, was a wonderful book to write and played like a movie in my head for the few months it took to pour from my fingertips onto the screen.

I'm absolutely thrilled that it's just had a mention in USA Today as a reviewer's favourite book of 2013 - this is what they say " Harlem never fails to heat things up quickly, which I love, but proves she can bank the fire with this sizzling mainstream romance. Breathe You In was an emotional, powerful read that left me wishing for more pages."

It's an unusual plot and I'm going to give a spoiler now - though if you read it, it's only a chapter before you find this out - in order to chat about why this book is so important to me. (Chapter One available here.)

Katie is having a rough time and struggling to move on from the death of her husband Matt. But one thing has captured her attention and she can't let it go. "Had I learned nothing about grief and its obsessive, dark, manipulative nature?".  She's become fixated on finding the recipient of her husband's donated heart. A difficult decision she made on the day of his death.

Perhaps this makes it sound like a really sad book, it isn't, it's fun and flirty, sexy and steamy. Breathe You In is about picking up the  pieces after tragedy, finding laughter and love again and moving into a bright future after being in a dark place.

Many of you know that I was a nurse before I took up writing erotic romance. I worked in London mainly but did spend some time in Oxford at the John Radcliffe Hospital. I was only just qualified and working towards a post grad in acute care. I spent some time in the operating theatre as part of a cardiac rotation. The John Radcliffe is a pioneering hospital, the work they do there is outstanding, life saving and life changing.

The heart has always fascinated me as a structure, the chemicals and electrical impulses, the constant contractions and the problems that can arise when things go wrong. I saw patients before, during and after major cardiac surgery. Got to know them, spent time with them, celebrated their recovery with them and their families. It truly was an amazing experience for me, as a nurse, but for the patients, it was something else.

Which is why I dreamed up Ruben Strong, a man who'd physically  and emotionally been to Hell and back when his health declined and he needed a new heart. But like Katie, his story picks up a couple of years down the line and he's well and strong and getting on with his life. He's a gorgeous, fun-loving, adrenaline-junkie who's had to make adjustments, of course, but is raring to go again.

The trouble is Katie seeks Ruben out, even though confidentiality laws in the UK require donor families and recipients to co-ordinate any communication through a transplant liaison officer. Actual meetings can be set up but usually years after the transplant and only if both parties agree. Katie can't wait, she wants, no needs, to see Ruben, the man who has the heart of the man she loved mind, body and soul. She hires a private detective to track him down with the intention of seeing Ruben from a distance, believing this will help her sleep at night, knowing where the heart that loved her for so many years actually is.

What Katie doesn't count on is that she literally bumps into Ruben, in of all places, a museum's World War 2 display that is having a malfunction with the audio - the sounds of bombs and explosions are rattling her nerves...

I moved through to the next room. It was dark, the walls painted black, and in the corner was what looked like a bunker and some kind of corrugated iron shelter. A sudden wail—an air-­raid siren—blasted out of a speaker above me. The lights flashed on and off, and a deafening boom rattled across the ceiling and pounded up through the soles of my feet.
I clutched my handbag. Stepped backwards. What the hell...?
A loud voice hollered out. “Northampton during the blitz. This is what it was like to live in the town in nineteen forty-­‐three.”
“Oh, shit, really.” My heart was galloping, and my bearings had slipped. I couldn’t see the way out, other than the archway I’d just come through. There was no obvious exit that would keep my journey progressive through the museum.
Another loud bang, followed by whizzing and an explosion that clanked several wall-­hanging gas masks and jerry cans against one another.
I had to get out of there. It smelled musty, and it was so dark and loud I could hardly think.
Spinning, I came face to chest with another person.
“Sorry,” I said, the need to flee now overwhelming. “I’m just...” I glanced left and right. Staggered slightly.
“Hey, are you okay?” He cupped my elbows, steadied me.
I looked up through the shadows into dark eyes. “Er, yes, I think so. It just made me jump, that’s all. It’s a bit loud.”
“I’m sorry. It’s supposed to be noisy but this is too much.”
“Yes, it’s ear-­‐splitting.”
Bomb sounds were raining down on us with gusto. Screams and shouts were mixed into the soundtrack now, adding to the chaos. “Which, er, way...?” I asked.
“Through the army camouflage curtain, just there.”
Shadows sliced across his face but were lost momentarily when the lights flared again, simulating explosions. I reckoned he was about my age, maybe a little older. He had a straight, long nose, wide mouth and a flat, brown mole on his right cheek.
“Okay.” I was about to step away but realized I’d placed my hand on his chest, right next to a small badge that had a picture of the museum in the left hand corner. Also on that badge, written in bold black letters, was the name Ruben.
I snapped my hand away. Had I felt the thud of a heart beating beneath my palm? Panic raced through my body, starting in my fingers and shooting up my arm. It went into my lungs and belly, weakening my knees and softening my spine.
It was him. I knew it was. How many Rubens could possibly work here? Not only that, I’d touched him. Hell, he was still touching me. This wasn’t my plan, not at all. No way.
Gasping, I moved back, still staring at his badge, at his chest. Beneath that neat white shirt, his skin and bones, was Matt—Matt’s heart and lungs. Beating. Inflating. The heart that had loved me so much.
Oh, God.
My plan had gone terribly wrong. I was only supposed to see Ruben from a distance, not speak to him, definitely not touch him.
“I have to...” I said, bumping into the plastic-­molded bunker and the side of the Anderson shelter. “Go.” I straightened, just; my body didn’t feel like mine. I was shaking, hot and cold, my brain infused with fear and fascination.
“Are you okay?”
What the hell was the matter with my vision? I couldn’t peel my attention away from his chest, his name badge, the way his shirt hung down, flat against his long, lean body. It was buttoned at the top, the collar sitting neat against his neck. There was no scar that I could make out, but there would be one. I knew that much.
“Are you sure?” he asked over the din.
“Yes.” I managed to move toward the exit he’d indicated. “You really should get this volume turned down before you give someone a heart attack.”
He laughed as another flash filled the room. “The kids love it, but yes, you’re right. I was actually just fiddling with it.” He turned and disappeared into the room with the plow and the grinding wheels.

This is just the very start of Ruben and Katie's story and I adored all the twists and turns of Katie's thoughts especially as she realises that she's attracted to Ruben and their friendship turns to more.

The sexy scenes are high-level emotional. Katie because she hasn't been intimate with anyone since the death of her husband and Ruben, because, let's just say he was a bit of a Casanova before he became ill.

Working on a Formula One racing team and travelling the world meant he had his fair share of beauties in his bed, but now, well, his confidence has been knocked and he hasn't dated since his operation. It takes Katie's gentle support to turn him back into the vibrant, passionate man he once was, but when he finds himself, wow, there's no stopping him!

I used this serene expression as inspiration for the first sex scene.

But by the time Ruben has his mojo back this is definitely more his brand of action...

Here is a sexy snippet. Ruben and Katie have just made it home through a storm and are dripping wet...

“I’ll grab us some towels,” I said, dashing to the laundry pile. I retrieved a couple of freshly washed pink towels that smelled of fabric conditioner and passed one to Ruben.
He took it and dropped it over his head, rubbed vigorously. I did the same to mine and toed off my sandals at the same time. I dabbed my face, collected an oasis sitting in the groove of my throat and patted beneath my eyes, hoping I wasn’t displaying a panda look.
Ruben buried his face in the towel then dropped it to one side. “I don’t think I’ve ever got so wet so fast,” he said, trying and failing to flatten his now fluffed up hair.
“It was fun,” I said. “I’d forgotten how much I like to splash through puddles or how much I enjoy a good storm.”
As I’d said the last word a tremendous boom, accompanied by white light, filled my flat.
I jumped and let out a slightly hysterical squeak. “Well, that’s maybe a bit too close for comfort.”
Ruben smiled, but then the smile fell. His gaze dipped and he stepped up to me. “Did you know your blouse is see-­‐through?”
“Is it?” I glanced down, automatically pressing my arm over my breasts.
He caught my hand, tugged it to my side. “The best type of blouse as far as I’m concerned.”
My white blouse had indeed turned transparent, highlighting my white cotton bra and the small pebbles my nipples had become in the cool rain. I could just make them out, dark disks beneath white material.
“Ruben, I...”
Suddenly I was face-­‐to-­‐face with him. He’d picked me up, arms tight around my body and our chests pressing together. My bare feet were dangling.
I put my hands on his shoulders and stared at his face. His lashes were still heavy with water and had become tiny triangular points. A large drip was rolling from his right temple into the fuzz of hair by his ear.
“I think it’s time,” he said, his lips almost touching mine. “To pay my debt.”
Beneath his wet clothes, his body felt hot and hard. There was also a seriously sexy glint in his eye that held determination and lust—a delicious combination.
I pushed my hands through his damp hair and kissed him. Was vaguely aware of him walking, heading to my bedroom, as our tongues weaved together. I slanted my head, deepened the kiss, and he moaned gently, feeding me more of what I wanted.
Ruben Strong.
He set me on the edge of the bed, his mouth not leaving mine. I was wet, turned on, scared and excited. It was like living in a cloud, someone else’s life. But it was mine. My life. And I was here with Ruben, gorgeous Ruben who was acting like he was more than ready to give me what I was owed.
He kissed across my cheek, his hands busy roaming down my chest and my stomach, seeking out my fly button.
I tugged at his top, wanting the wet material out of our way.
He paused to fist it between his shoulder blades and drag it over his head. His chest was beautiful, the hair damp and flat with rain, his nipples, like mine, taut and hard. I looked at the scar, smooth and pink, and the neat trail of hair that feathered across his stomach and disappeared into his jeans.
“Say yes,” he said, kissing my right breast through my top and bra. “Katie, say yes.”
“Yes,” I murmured, laying fully back and trying to push at my trousers. “Yes, Ruben, yes.”
He kneeled between my legs, helped me drag my jeans past my hips and over my buttocks. Peeling away the tight material that was clinging to my skin. He worked fast, his hands gripping and tugging the denim downward.
Eventually they bunched at my ankles and with a final jerk were off.
He shoved them aside and kissed my knee then my thigh, his lips and hands warm on my cool, damp flesh.

I hope you enjoyed reading a little about Breathe You In. You can grab a copy from Amazon US or Amazon UK for just $1.24/77p! Read another excellent review here and if you want to chat to me about this sexy novel then just leave me a comment.

Lily x

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tamsin Flowers is Here!


It's great to be here, so a big thanks first off to Lily for inviting me over.

This definitely has to be one of my favorite times of year. Christmas is finished and the dust is settling. The New Year's parties are just around the corner. And I get a nice quiet moment to sit by the fire and reflect. I'll think about the year gone by - a rollercoaster ride during which I finally got to grips with my writing and was thrilled to have several stories published in great anthologies, along with my own short story collection - Zombie Erotoclypse - and two novellas, The Christmas Tattoo and The Crimson Bond. And I'll take a look at the year ahead - I hope to finish my sequel to The Crimson Bond along with my NaNoWriMo 'sexspionage' thriller, Honeytrap, as well as contributing to a whole load more anthologies with deadlines on the horizon. Add to that the marketing and social networking that needs to be done on a daily basis - and the word busy doesn't even begin to cover it!

So that's why I love this quiet week - and I hope I can snatch a bit of time for a simple pleasure I love - reading. After all, that's why I'm a writer! If you got a new e-reader or Kindle for Christmas, can I suggest you fill it full of smut as fast as you can?

Here are a couple of suggestions, with excerpts…

The Crimson Bond Blurb

Willow Jackson develops an unhealthy obsession Etienne Corbeau; little does she realise he's a suave, sophisticated vampire.  After appearing in her dreams, Willow is astounded to find Etienne in her room for real and even more shocked when, in the throes of a passion she can’t resist, he sinks his teeth into her neck and drinks her blood. 

But Etienne is greedy and to save Willow's life, his wife Elouise forces her to drink vampire blood.  From this moment Willow is herself a vampire, forming an unbreakable bond with Elouise which forces her to choose between the beautiful new vampire and her husband of two centuries. 

As Willow learns to tame her bloodlust and vampire sex carries her to new heights of physical pleasure, Elouise is snatched away from her.  The battle lines are drawn: now she and Etienne will fight for possession of the woman they both love...

The Crimson Bond Excerpt 

“What’s your name?” said Willow, still leaning back against the wall. Her voice was shaky and she glanced at where she’d left the whisky on the table.
The woman followed her gaze and picked up the glass. 
“I’m Elouise. Elouise Day. I married Etienne in 1920, the year he changed me.” 
“Changed you?” Willow couldn’t believe the woman in front of her was claiming to have been married for nearly a hundred years. 
“Into a vampire.” 
She pointed up to her open mouth with a finger and for the first time Willow noticed two sharper looking teeth on either side of her upper jaw. Hardly fangs, but definitely pointed. 
She stepped toward Willow with the glass and held it to her lips. Willow gulped the strong alcohol gratefully. 
“For you to have become a vampire, you would have had to drink some of his blood in return.” Her eyes narrowed for a second. “Which I assume you didn’t?” 
“No,” said Willow, shaking her head. 
Elouise put the glass down on the table behind her. She was standing very close to Willow now and she placed one of her hands on Willow’s shoulder. She stared intensely at Willow’s face with sharp, emerald eyes. Willow took a nervous breath. The air around her smelled deliciously of sandalwood and myrrh. 
“Etienne was telling the truth. You are very beautiful.” Her voice had lowered by a half tone and she spoke slowly, each word caressing Willow’s ears. 
In a sudden blur of movement she had both Willow’s hands pinned back against the wall above her head. Her wrists were crossed and held in a vice-like grip by one of Elouise’s hands. With her other hand, she gently peeled away the dressing on Willow’s neck. She moved in closer until Willow felt the vampire’s breath on her throat. 
Willow turned her head away from the vampire. But the rest of her body was powerless to move, paralyzed by something stronger than fright. Elouise Day had a power that drained her will to resist. She felt the stroke of a tongue close to her collarbone, gliding over the two wounds. 
Not again, she thought to herself and a whimper escaped her lips. But even as she shied away from the female vampire, she needed to experience the searing combination of pain and pleasure again. 
“Shhhhhh, pretty girl,” whispered Elouise, lifting her head to look up at her. She touched Willow’s mouth with a soft finger, a caress that made Willow’s legs weaker still. 
“Etienne,” she called in a deep, guttural voice. “Come and watch me feed on your little blood-baby.” 
Willow saw a streak of grey cross the room and then Etienne Corbeau appeared at his wife’s side. He put a hand up to her bobbed hair at the nape of her neck and pulled her head back, kissing her ferociously inches from Willow’s face. Willow felt the pleasure sensors deep within her waken and stir. 
Then he pushed Elouise roughly away and turned the full beam of his dark eyes on Willow. Elouise licked her lips with a satisfied smile. 
“Please let me go,” whispered Willow. 
But as she said it, her mind was bombarded with memories of what had happened last time she’d seen Etienne. His hands on her breasts and his mouth at her throat. The searing pain had become as addictive as pleasure. She whimpered as her back arched involuntarily, thrusting her hips away from the wall toward the vampire. 
As fear was overcome by longing, Willow felt both of the vampires’ hands on her body.

Buy links

You'll find The Crimson Bond at Secret Cravings, Amazon US, Amazon UK, All Romance and Smashwords.

The Christmas Tattoo - blurb

When sexy red-head Bradie Clements comes home from Washington to nurse a broken heart and build bridges with her estranged father, she’s certainly not on the lookout for romance. After catching her boyfriend Kris in bed with her best friend and boss, all she wants to do is run and hide. But a chance encounter with local tattoo artist Colton Bassett leads to an unexpected appointment with his needle. Even though it’s cold outside, the temperature rises to boiling point as the two discover an irresistible attraction. But then Kris arrives on the scene to claim her back in time for his family Christmas and Bradie starts to remember what she saw in him. Tormented by jealousy and suspicion over Colton’s pregnant business partner, Bradie starts to wonder if her new romance is over before it’s begun...

Buy links

Available at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Kobo, and Xcite Books

The Christmas Tattoo Excerpt

Bradie followed him through to a small studio.  The walls in here had the same patchwork of designs and there were two work stations, one with a black reclining barber chair and the other, a sort of articulated massage bench which could be arranged into a range of positions.   A work station along one wall carried the tattoo artists’ equipment: a huge selection of ink bottles and a number of scary devices that looked for all the world like medieval torture instruments.
Bradie considered them and swallowed hard.
“Take a seat,” said Colt, going over to the bench and picking up a particularly vicious-looking instrument.
Bradie backed up and found the back of her thighs pressing against the arm of the barber chair.
“Sit.  I can’t do you standing up.”
Bradie stumbled back into the seat, her breathing suddenly faster and the sound of her heartbeat drumming in her ears.
“But… I haven’t told you…”
Colt advanced on her and pressed a button on the device.  A sudden whirring noise whined out of it.
Colt towered over her now.  He turned the gadget off.  
“You don’t remember me, do you, Bradie Clements?”
Bradie sat bolt upright.
Colt rolled his eyes.
“School.  Only four years in the same homeroom, Bradie.  We even went on a date once.  But the less said about it the better.”
Bradie closed her eyes and delved back in time.  The height… the dark eyes… a date to the movies.
“Colton Bassett?  But you had black hair at school.   And you were skinny.”
“Okay, enough,” said Colt, running a hand through his blonde hair.  “It figures, I’ve changed.  But you haven’t.  Still the long red hair.”
“So why didn’t you say anything on the train?” said Bradie.
Colt put down the tattoo gun and perched on the edge of the massage table.
“I saw you and I remembered the date.  I didn’t want to remind you of it.”
Bradie could see why.  It had ended in disaster.  She had been an innocent co-ed and Colt had tried to feel her up in the back row.  She’d panicked and run out of the theatre and then spent the rest of the school year regretting it.  The blood rose to her cheeks again.  Shit, why did he keep having this effect on her.
“And now?” she said.
“Probably better to get it out in the open if you’re gonna be in town for a bit.  Look, I’m sorry for the way I behaved back then.”
“No, I am.  I always wished I’d stayed in there.”
WTF?  She had some sort of runaway mouth on her this morning.  She bit her lip.
“That came out wrong.”
“I’ll change the subject,” said Colt.  “So what sort of tatt do you want?”
Bradie thought for  a moment and then shrugged.
“A Santa sleigh?”
Colt laughed.
“Or perhaps a candy cane?” he said.  “They’re always popular.  But seriously?”
“I had a bad year, so something that means a new beginning maybe.  Perhaps a few words or a quote.”
“Where would you have it?”
“Not on my arm or leg.  Somewhere more private.  My hip, maybe?”
The room seemed suddenly smaller, hotter.  Colt stood up.
“Show me.”
With shaking fingers Bradie popped the top button of her jeans and tugged the zip halfway undone.  Then she pushed the waist band down a way to expose the jut of her hip bone.
“Here,” she said.  It came out a whisper.
Colt came closer.  He ran his thumb over the place she indicated, brushing the top of her black lace panties.  His warm skin hummed against hers but his touch sent a red hot jolt of current up through her.  Her breath caught in her throat as she was suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to stroke his skin in return.
“It’ll hurt, across the bone there.”
He moved his thumb a little closer to her navel, pushing the black lace and denim down a fraction further.
“Whereas here would be less painful.”
Bradie’s eyes met his.  Colton Bassett.  Her teenage crush.  And now with his hands back where they’d been once before.  Their eyes locked and his face came closer.  Bradie took a deep breath as a surge of adrenalin, lust and anticipation flooded through her.  Was this about to happen?

Tamsin Flowers

Tamsin Flowers loves to write light-hearted erotica, often with a twist in the tail/tale and a sense of fun.  In the words of one reviewer, 'Ms Flowers has a way of describing sexual tension that forces itself upon your own body.' Her stories have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies , for publishers including Cleis Press, Xcite Books and Go Deeper Press. She has now graduated to novellas with the intention of penning her magnum opus in the very near future.  In the meantime, like most erotica writers, she finds herself working on at least ten stories at once: while she figures out whose leg belongs in which story, you can find out more about her at Tamsin's Superotica or Tamsin Flowers.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Lily Harlem Newsletter #bargain #ebook #discount #eroticromance

My Christmas newsletter is now available on my website, check it out and find bargains, free books and all the gossip.

Want to sign up for notification of my future newsletters - do so here!

Weekend Writing Warriors - Madam President #WeWrWa #SundaySnippet

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I have a new erotic romance anthology out and it kicks off with the short story I won the LoveHoney Award for Erotic Fiction with, Madam President. Here's a few lines that might make you give Stories for When the Sun Goes Down, your vote!

Anxiety was something I thought I could control because as the first ever female President of the United States public speaking, crowd circulating and star-studded events are everyday occurrences for me now. But if he’s in the equation, if anything involves him, then my supreme confidence, rational political mind and steadfast surety goes out of the window and I’m back to being an infatuated, lust-blind woman again.
I pull out a solid gold compact engraved with my first name, Raine and check my pale pink lipstick, powder my nose and smooth a hand over my glossy auburn bob. I took extra care dressing this morning and opted for my trademark skirt suit, a delicate cream blouse with a low neckline as well as a string of pearls to sway over the rise of my breasts. Clint told me I looked pretty at breakfast then he kissed my cheek and said he hoped it went well with my first introductions to the British Prime Minister.
If only he knew. 
If only he knew that today is hardly the first time I’m meeting Prime Minister John Reynolds. We’ve been studying international relations for quite sometime and encouraging cross-Atlantic communications in the purely physical sense of the word for years.

Saturday Spankings - I Promise to Surrender #Sat Spanks

Hello Spanker and Spankee devotees. This week a sexy strike from my new anthology Stories for When the Sun Goes Down. This is taken from I promise to Surrender, a naughty tale that involves sexual favour vouchers!

“Giving up responsibility and handing yourself over to another person can be very powerful. It is also a great responsibility for me to not hurt you in a bad way.”
“I know you wouldn’t do that.”
“I wouldn’t forgive myself if I did. But this.” He pointed to the voucher. “I think might just work. If you trust me.”
My body was humming. Little fissions of desire shooting through me. Talking about spanking, imagining Jake’s hand coming down on my arse was turning me on. The thought of being over his knee, butt cheeks in the air, all exposed and vulnerable had moisture seeping from my pussy. It was then I realised one major thing. I didn’t want to wait for this promise to be fulfilled. I wanted it now. While I was excited, in the mood and curious as hell to know what it would be like.
“Here,” I said, giving him the voucher.
His face dropped. “Have you changed your mind?”
“No, not at all.” I ran my tongue over my lips and gums, my mouth suddenly dry. “I want my promise now.”