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Sustainability x Sex – Love Not War’s Winning Equation for the Ultimate Valentine’s Day #guestblog #guestblogger #ecofriendly #green #sustainable #sustainablebrand #sextoys

By Will Ranscombe Co-Founder and Managing Director of Love Not War, maker of eco-friendly sex toys that don’t cost the earth.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. A day totally set apart to celebrate love, sex and everything in between. It’s therefore no surprise that at Love Not War we absolutely love Valentine’s Day, it also just happens to come with the added bonus of being one of the busiest times of year for the sex toy industry.

Although, with that being said, we aren’t blind to the negativity that can often surround Valentine’s Day with many feeling it’s too commercialized, promotes waste and was created purely with the intention of selling inventory en masse. I suppose the rumour of Hallmark’s involvement in the creation of the day must have originated from somewhere, right?

And while we enjoy the sentiment behind it, what we don’t enjoy is the 124 million adults across the world who jump on the Valentine’s love train every year, exchanging enough gifts, cards and chocolates to generate more carbon emissions than driving around the world 3,993 times.

With millions of pounds being spent globally every year as February 14 rolls around, it’s obvious to see that romance is very much alive and well but at what cost?

That’s why at this is a time of year, perhaps more so than others, we want to help people see that while ‘sustainability’ mightn’t seem like the hottest subject to bring up as we approach Valentine’s Day, it actually has the potential to be pretty damn sexy. At Love Not War we actually don’t think of sex and sustainability as the ‘chalk and cheese’ of the sex toy world, in fact, we believe they have the potential to be intertwined with one another. So much so that we went as far as creating an entire business firmly rooted in the common ground that they share.

At Love Not War we know how important your pleasure is, but we also know that it shouldn’t come before the planet. That is why we created the world’s first range of sustainable eco-friendly vibrator sex toys, all made using the highest quality materials, including FDA-grade silicone and aluminium. At Love Not War we also don’t believe in scrimping when it comes to function or quality, quite the opposite actually. We have created a range of toys that will make you feel great, both inside and out, all while knowing that your pleasure hasn’t come at a cost of the earth.

So for those interested in keeping that Valentine’s Day fire burning, while also respecting the earth, here are some of our top tips to get you ready for the ultimate sexy yet sustainable Valentine’s Day.

  • Set the mood…

Creating a sexy environment is the first port of call for any Valentine’s Day. Why not purchase some coconut oil candles, turn the lights out and enjoy an evening off the grid with your partner without electricity. Order in some food, play some strip poker, give each other a sexy massage, all by candlelight.

It’s also good to be prepared for your evening by purchasing some lubricant and condoms. Two items that can be difficult to get right when you’re trying to be sustainable, especially condoms, the catch 22 of the ‘green sex’ world. An item that we need to practice safe sex but they are just one-time use products so it’s important to find a condom brand that is cruelty-free and considerately made. A great option is ​​Hero Condoms, an eco condom brand that’s products are 100% electronically tested, paraben-free and vegan friendly.

Lingerie is also a frequent staple for Valentine’s Day and with a growing number of ethical and sustainable clothing brands coming to the market, this is the perfect way to ensure you look and feel sexy while remaining sustainable. Find a brand that is ethically sourced, organically made and uses recycled packaging. Some ethical clothing brands include Organic Basics, Cosabella and Pact.

  • Gifts, cards, wrapping and everything in between

When we think of Valentine’s Day, the picture that often comes to mind is the colourful cards, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and teddy bears.

However if you’d like to show your love sustainable way, why not this year ditch the cards, wrapping paper and plastic disposal gifts and opt for something eco-friendly yet just as thoughtful.

How about giving an e-card or a gift that is built for longevity, such as a sustainably created Love Not War vibrator.  At Love Not War, we offer have seven vibrators made from predominantly recycled and recyclable materials in our custom-built, green-powered factory. Our fully waterproof and rechargeable vibrators also come with interchangeable heads, meaning that only one battery base is needed for all the available heads making multiple products in one.

This Valentine’s Day we have also teamed up with popular British illustrator Charlotte Willcox to create a range of limited edition Valentine’s e-cards. With three designs in the LNW x Charlotte Willcox downloadable e-card range, the cards are available free of charge directly from our website.

  • Support local

One of the best ways to ensure you can remain sustainable at Valentine’s Day is to trace the supply chain of any brand you purchase from. Choosing and supporting local companies that ethically, sustainably and locally produce, design or source their products is a great way to do this.

We know that choosing to implement eco practices in your everyday lives, especially at Valentine’s Day, is definitely a learning process, but it’s important to remember that anything big always starts with small steps. Making the decision to not send a paper Valentine’s Day card this year might seem like nothing monumental but as the saying goes, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”.

As a sustainability brand, it is our responsibility to create products that are green. We know the industry is not perfect and we still have a long way to go, but if we all make a conscious effort to try, we’ll be able to make a difference.

The full range of Love Now War products is available directly from our website at www.l-n-w.com.

How Did I Start on This Path? – A Guest Post from Carrie Whitethorne/Shae Banks

Hi, I’m Carrie. I publish under two pseudonyms, Carrie Whitethorne, for my paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and Shae Banks for my more contemporary work.

I wasn’t always a writer. I was supposed to be a nurse. Instead I took a completely different path.

I followed my heart. How many eighteen-year-old girls do that and it ends in disaster?

I could have become a statistic. Instead, after weathering the storms that come with ten years of marriage, we were stronger than ever. Decisions were made, I become a mother, and every hard lesson I learned over the years turned out to be a training exercise for some of the most difficult days of my life.

Fast forward a few more years and my children were going to school, one of them against all odds, and after a minor incident one morning I found myself sitting at the laptop, writing.

It poured from me. I didn’t have the first clue how to write a novel. I’d always been an avid reader, but I wasn’t a writer. The short stories I wrote as a child were just something I did to pass the time. I didn’t have the experience or the ability.

Then, late 2016, I read an article about self publishing on Amazon.

By this time I had two books written, a third in progress, just sitting on my laptop and thought “what the hell? Even if I don’t sell any at least I can say I published a book,” and so the Riftkeepers series was born.

It’s been three years. I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author. I have the bug and I couldn’t stop writing now if I tried.

I have two completed series spanning nine books under Carrie Whitethorne’s belt and a third publishing later this year.

Shae banks has two books published over two series and I’m enjoying the new venture as much as I did the first time.

It hasn’t been an easy road, but the experience has been worth every trial.

I have my first signing in Sheffield (UK) this June. I’ll be fan girling all over the place, but I don’t care. This is me being where I never thought I could be.

I don’t want to be anywhere else.

***** 

Carrie Whitethorne

RiftkeepersRiftkeepers: https://amzn.to/2KpOjTK

One night stands are all fun and games until you discover you’re pregnant.

With twins.

Having no idea where the father of her children was, Charlotte raised them alone, dealing with the trials of parenthood as best she could.
When strange events bring her face to face with Callan McAidh, the man she hasn’t seen since that fateful night, she has no option but to tell him who the little girl at her side is.

To her surprise, he wants to meet his children.

But Charlotte isn’t the only one with revelations to share, and when Callan shows her what he is, she is thrust into a world she could never image existed- much less have come from herself.

But as well as the magic and wonder of the Fae realm, Charlotte discovers there are darker forces at work. Forces that know who, and what, she is.

Can Charlotte protect her family from this enemy while holding on to the love of her life?

This Paranormal Romance Saga will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Charlotte’s evolution from struggling single mother to Fae Princess in this story of family, friendship, and love.

Discover how one person can make such a difference to so many, and how a single decision can affect the lives of people you have never met.

*****

Three Tricksters: https://amzn.to/2If8JwJ

Trickster’s Hunt

Eat, win, get paid, go home.

That was the plan.

I wasn’t looking for guys.

Okay that’s a lie, it’s been a long six months, but I didn’t expect Silas, Rhett, and Amos to turn up.

I don’t believe that stuff just happens.

I didn’t believe in genies, either, until the three of them started disappearing and reappearing at will.

The truth is I wouldn’t be here without them. But sometimes you don’t always appreciate what you have while it’s right in front of you with all that bronze skin and hard abs. There’s something uniquely hot about a guy dressed as a Middle Eastern assassin defending you against an Egyptian God. I have three.

Silas has sworn to protect me. Amos, too.

Rhett… well he can please his miserable self. But they all think I’m someone important. Someone impossible.

They want to stay close.

I can see a number of benefits to having them around but do I really want three genies following my every move?

*****

Trickster’s Guard

Being a Goddess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I never said I was perfect. Far from it. And when I sent them away it proved it.

Now my mistakes have caught up with me and I’m wishing I’d done things differently.

Rhett, Amos, and Silas are doing everything they can to uncover the mysteries surrounding our attraction and my role in all of this, but it takes time.

Time we don’t have with a god hunting me down.

Faced with the prospect of losing everyone I love, it’s time for me to step up.

I hold the power to balance the universe.

I just hope I can work out how to access it before we’re found and destroyed.

*****

Trickster’s Consort

Despite the best efforts of the djinn to keep me hidden, Set found me.

I sent him home with a knife in his face.

Does he think he can break into my home, kill my best friend, and get away with it?

Maybe the old me would have let that slide, but I’m not her any more.

I’m not who he thinks I am, either.

I’m something different.

With Amos, Rhett, and Silas at my side I’m going to Duat.

I’m taking back what’s mine.

I’ll make him pay for every life he’s taken. Even if that means razing his world to the ground.

But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

*****

Shae Banks

Things We Lost: https://amzn.to/2X5aFLY

For Nathalie Johnson, securing a new job closer to home is a cause for celebration. On a night out with a friend she runs into the very last person in the world she expects to see…

Jason Locksley.

He was her everything, until he took off to university without so much as a goodbye thirteen years before.

He broke her heart.

Despite her attempts to evade him, Jason is persistent and manages to talk her into coffee.

Coffee leads to dinner. And the rest, she thought, would be history. But walking away from Jason is harder than she ever thought it could be, and despite her trepidation, he wins his second chance.

Thirteen years is a long time, and people change.

Both have broken marriages behind them, and while much is shared, there are many things left unsaid.

Will a misunderstanding cause irreparable damage?

*****

Discarded: https://amzn.to/2uXcbUa

Working two jobs just to stay afloat, Bekah Daniels is short on time. Any she does have she devotes to her boyfriend, Johnathan.
But when he abandons her over the holidays, Bekah finally sees where his priorities will always lie.

With his wife.

Despite her efforts to break it off, Johnathan won’t let go, and when he becomes aggressive she finds friendship and refuge with her boss, millionaire chef Callum Lowell.

Their friendship takes a surprising turn, and Bekah soon finds herself not only on his books but in his bed.

When Bekah wants to further their relationship Callum has a condition; she has to hand herself over to him entirely, purging Johnathan from her mind and body.

Can she submit to Callum after all she’s been through, or is he asking too much?

*****

You can follow either of my pen names here:

Carrie Whitethorne:
http://www.carriewhitethorne.com
https://www.facebook.com/Whitethornebooks/
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carrie-whitethorne
https://facebook.com/groups/138915443519708

Shae Banks:
http://www.shaebanks.com
https://www.facebook.com/Shaebanksromance/

‪You can get a free ebook by visiting my websites.

The Beauty of Forever (A Christmas Realm Tale #1) by Elyzabeth M. VaLey (@ElyzabethVaLey)

The Beauty of ForeverA Christmas Realm Tale, 1

Once dead, always dead. 

Christopher Beaufort works in what could easily be the most cheerful place on earth, Santa’s Christmas Realm, but as a vampire, he is nothing more than a shadow among the living.

Worn out by the demands of his job as Chief Toy Officer, Santa assigns a human woman to help him, Samantha Kraus. Tantalized by the fiery red-head, Christopher makes it his business to seduce her, but as he does, something within him begins to stir.

Life is a gift in which every moment counts. 

When Samantha Kraus accepted the job of assistant manager at Santa’s, she expected elves, fairies and maybe some shifters, but definitely not vampires. Least of all did she imagine her boss would be one of them or that she’d be attracted to him.

Though she tries to remain professional, Samantha finds herself falling for Christopher. But, can a vampire’s heart ever beat again?

Available at:
Evernight Publishing
Amazon.com
Amazon.uk
Bookstrand

Thank you for having me on your blog today!

I’m excited to share my latest release with you, The Beauty of Forever (A Christmas Realm Tale I). This is the first story in a new paranormal – holiday themed series, which revolves around Santa’s kingdom in the North Pole and the different people who work for him.

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I’ve always enjoyed both reading and writing holiday-themed stories. One day, I was chatting with my sister about some story ideas I had and she mentioned vampires. My muse immediately made the connection.

Vampires + Christmas.

I was a bit baffled. How was I going to make that work? After all, vampires are supposed to be dark, gloomy and Christmas is the opposite. I set the story aside for a good year or so, until, I began toying with the idea again and that’s when Christopher formally introduced himself. I could picture him, a 500 year old vampire standing at a floor to ceiling window, looking down at what was supposed to be the happiest place on Earth and feeling miserable.

Why?

Little by little, Christopher opened up to me along with Santa’s empire. I had turned the key to the door of a world in which vampires, elves, fairies, fauns, shifters and more co-inhabited and I greedily immersed myself in it.

Every time I think about Christopher, Samantha and everyone in The Beauty of Forever, my heart soars. I can only hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

 

Excerpt:

“That went well with Jacobs, right?” she blurted, searching for a distraction.

Christopher looked at her. The intensity in his gaze threw her back and her knees weakened.

“Yes,” he replied. “You were fantastic. I can see now why Santa hired you.” His mouth thinned. “Jacobs was practically salivating after you.”

Samantha blinked, surprised by the ferocity in his tone. “I don’t know him as well as you do, but from what he spoke, he seemed devoted to his wife.”

“It’s not what I saw.”

She smiled, trying to ignore the low timber of his voice and the way it curled in her belly, heating her from the inside out.

“Is that why you were glaring at him while we were working?” she joked.

“I wasn’t glaring. I was simply—” Christopher raked his gaze over her. “Watching.”

Samantha shivered. She lifted her chin. “And did you observe anything of interest?”

Christopher slid his arms to the height of her elbows. He didn’t touch her, but the hairs on her body rose. Nerve ends tingled. Christopher leaned in. “Absolutely.”

“Mind sharing?”

What was she asking? She knew full well they weren’t talking about work anymore, but she couldn’t stop herself. Her body had taken over her mind and all it wanted was for Christopher to come closer. She craved to see him bring out his humanity in the most carnal way possible.

“I’m not sure you’re ready.”

“Try me.”

Christopher grinned. His gaze held a warning which she should have heeded because the moment his lips touched hers, she knew she was lost. Burying his hand into her hair, he slanted his head and dove into her mouth. Like a flower urgently seeking sunshine, she opened up to him. His groan reverberated through her and she arched against him. His minty taste swept over her, taking her by surprise. Holding her firmly, he devoured her like a man starved of nourishment. Each stroke of his tongue drew her further away from reality, into a bubble where only they existed. Desperate to find something to hold on to, to keep her grounded, Samantha fisted his shirt.

It didn’t help. The world vanished, leaving only him behind. His essence. His strength. The heat of his passion, which she frantically desired.

The train lurched to a stop and they stumbled, breaking apart. Gasping for air, Samantha stared at Christopher. His eyes had deepened to an indigo blue and he had a wildness to him that spoke of danger and unyielding hunger. For her? She swallowed. She had to stop this now. Before it got too far. It was one thing to flirt with him so he would smile, and another one entirely different to kiss on a train full of people.

“Christopher—”

People shoved their way out of the wagon, drawing them close again. Christopher wrapped her in his arms. His scent flooded her and for an instant, she shut her eyes and pretended the sound against her ear wasn’t her own heart thrashing, but his, beating.

But it wasn’t. The knowledge chilled her to the bones. Christopher wasn’t really alive. He spoke and he moved but his heart was dead. How did he even exist?

The piercing whistle of the shutting doors signaled the train’s departure. Christopher tilted her chin.

“Are you all right?”

Samantha sucked in her cheeks.

“Christopher, we can’t do this,” she said.

“By this, I imagine you’re talking about the kiss?

She nodded.

“Why not, Samantha?”

He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb, leaving a tingling trail which echoed in other parts of her body. Damn it all if she didn’t want to nip his finger and tease him. She yearned to kiss him again, to feel his unpredictable heat against her.

“I don’t see the problem. We’re both adults and we’re attracted to each other,” he continued.

You’re not alive.

“We need to work together. Things could get complicated,” she said instead.

Christopher cupped her cheek. His eyes narrowed and he set his jaw. “Complicated?”

“We work together,” she repeated.

Wanting you scares me. It’s unnatural.

Christopher raised his eyebrows.

“I see.” He disentangled himself from her. Samantha shivered and fought the urge to wrap her arms around herself. Christopher smirked. He knew.

“I’ll respect your wishes, Samantha. For now. But, just remember, doll, I’m an animal of prey. What I want, I hunt down and get. I’ve lived long enough to know I want you, Samantha, and a night of hot, passionate sex won’t make things, as you put it, complicated.” The train started to slow again. Their stop was next. Christopher leaned in. “Sooner or later, doll, I will have you.”

*****

About Elyzabeth M. VaLey

Elyzabeth M. VaLey is a writer of sizzling, sexy romance who firmly believes in happy ever after.  From paranormal to contemporary, fantasy, or historical, she enjoys exploring her characters’ darker side and writing stories about tortured heroes, strong heroines, and all that comes between them and their love.

When she’s not writing, she can be found walking in the Spanish countryside with her black Lab, exploring castles, or enjoying some tapas with her friends.

Follow her at:

Blog
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram (@elyzabethm.valey)
Goodreads
Pinterest
Amazon

The Challenge – A Hot New Reverse Harem Series by Lily Harlem (@lily_harlem)

What’s reverse harem? Basically it’s having your cake and eating it, one girl, however many hot guys she can handle, no jealousy. Think of it as a tasty little nibble here and there, a few big delicious bites when the mood arises and a whole lot of flirty, steamy fun.

So, with that cleared up here’s a little about erotic romance series THE CHALLENGE by Lily Harlem. It’s a new on-going contemporary reverse harem best-read-in-order series that sizzles from the page. The first book CASTAWAYS is available for pre-order at just 99c and will release on 15th October (grab your copy now while it’s cheap!), and book two TEARAWAYS is also available for pre-order, release date 26th October.

*Please note, the entire series will be available on Kindle Unlimited*

Back Cover Information for CASTAWAYS

Olivia Bailey is up for The Challenge. Why the heck wouldn’t she be? With mariner qualifications piled high, engineering experience to rival someone twice her age, she’s ready to take on the mighty Pacific Ocean and win.

But what about her fellow crew? Five guys, four nationalities. A billionaire’s heir who likes to take charge in every aspect of life, an outback expert with a heart-stopping smile, a Spanish chef with mouthwatering moves and sexy twins who reveal themselves slowly, until it matters, then they act fast.

An adventure was what Olivia wanted, it’s certainly what she gets. Because things at sea happen in a heartbeat, friendships grow, tempers heat and desire flares. But what about when it all upends? When the unexpected happens? Will they pull together, or will fear drag the crew of The Temptress apart?

PRE-ORDER NOW – http://myBook.to/Castaways

Back Cover Information for TEARAWAYS

Having survived The Challenge, Olivia is now hitting the road with her five sexy men. Seeing them all dressed in tight leathers, with big, growling Harleys between their legs, is enough to have her pulse racing and her mouth watering. So naturally, before long bonds strengthen, love blooms and they’re all enjoying the ride of their lives.

But with little more than bikes and the clothes on their backs, how will they survive a long, arduous journey? Having a billionaire’s heir in their midst is no help when Dante Vidal is insisting on them being cashless and having to work for their supper.

Amongst all of that, Olivia finds herself performing a complex juggling act. Having Alpha males sparring, sparks flying and tempers flaring needs a strong woman to take charge. Is she up for the challenge of keeping her men happy, connected and most of all satisfied? One thing is for sure, it’s a task she’s willing to throw herself into heart, body and soul.

PRE-ORDER NOW – http://myBook.to/Tearaways

 

Excerpt from CASTAWAYS

“How is my galley?” Raul asked, pulling on a t-shirt, then settling back in his seat.

“All tidy.”

“You are too good to me, mi niña hermosa.”

“I try.”

Mason appeared on deck. “I suggest, Captain, that we shift a degree west, it will put us in line with a tiny crop of islands. Uninhabited, but it might be nice to see land on day three.”

“Good plan.” Harry nodded and looked down at the compass. He then turned the helm a fraction. “Can’t believe we’ll be on our third day tomorrow. We’ve made good progress.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Evan said, plucking a pack of cards from the pocket of his shorts. “Who’s up for poker?”

Si.” Raul rubbed his hands together and grinned.

“I’m game,” Mason said, sitting next to him. “What are we playing for?”

“Let’s make it strip poker.” Evan twitched his eyebrows at Olivia.

“I think not.” She laughed. “That would leave me at a definite disadvantage.”

“You call having five blokes admiring your body a disadvantage?” Evan chuckled. The sun had given his cheeks a faint pink hue and his lips were shiny, as if he’d slicked on balm.

Damn it, the guy could be an advert for healthy, outdoor living.

“Knowing you lot, you’d club together and fix it so I lost.” She narrowed her eyes at him.

“I wouldn’t.” Lucas shook his head.

It was the first time he’d spoken in front of everyone, but Olivia decided not to make a thing about that. “Okay, not Lucas, but the rest of you would.”

“I think it’s sad,” Raul said. “That you have so low opinion of us.”

“It’s not that.” She shrugged. “You’re just guys, with lots of testosterone and you like…” She glanced at her chest. “Boobs.”

“Boobs!” Evan burst out laughing. “Yeah, we like boobs.”

“What are boobs?” Raul asked.

“These.” She pointed at her breasts.

“Ah, boobs!” Raul grinned. “I learn another new English word.”

“I bet she could teach you some more.” Evan winked at her and dropped the deck of cards into his hand.

“Probably. But I won’t.”

Lucas took over the helm and Harry sat at the table, his elbows propped on it and leaning forward. “We play for who gets to take Olivia out on a date in Sydney.”

“Fine by me,” Mason said.

“But what if I don’t want to go on a date…with any of you.”

“Ah, you will.” Evan expertly shuffled the pack.

She frowned. “And what if I win? What do I get?”

“To choose who takes you out on a date.” Harry grinned. It was a cocky grin, as though he presumed it would be him she picked.

“What if I don’t want to go out with any of you?” How could she not? She looked around the table. Four guys, very different both physically and in personality, but each gorgeous, intelligent, witty and very eligible. Throw in sweet, sensitive Lucas who was also a lean, strong guy in the prime of his life and just waiting to be discovered, and most girls would be salivating at the thought of being able to take a pick. “No scrap that,” she said. “What if I can’t choose?”

“What because we’re all so hot it’s an impossible decision?” Harry asked.

“Well, I guess I’d have to go by personality, and thinking you’re hot might not be the best trait.”

“Hey.” He held up his hands. “I’m only saying what the gossip mags and my one million Twitter followers tell me.”

“One million Twitter followers?” Mason said. “Jeez, you really got that much to say?”

“No.” Harry shrugged and picked up his deal of cards. “But what can I do? They follow me, I don’t follow them.”

“I bet you get loads of girls desperate for you to notice them,” Olivia said. “All hoping to bag themselves a billionaire.”

“For the record, I’m not a billionaire, my father is.”

“And you’ll inherit it some day,” Mason pointed out.

“Some of it. I’ve got a sister remember. It’ll get halved.”

“But still be in the billions?” Evan said.

“I guess.” Harry looked away, a slight crease between his eyebrows.

For the first time Olivia wondered if he’d like to have grown up in a normal family, with a normal childhood. His must have been one of privilege and indulgence. How had that molded him into the man he was today? Did he regret not blending in with the crowd, or did it suit him to harness attention wherever he went?

She made a sudden decision to never treat him differently from the other crew, okay he was the captain, but other than that, he was just a guy whose father happened to be stinking rich.

And damn it, he was cute with it.

“Everyone know the rules?” Evan asked, turning his hand over.

“Aye,” Mason nodded.

Si. Very well.” Raul grinned as he looked at his cards.

Olivia looked at hers. Not great, but it would be a start.

They played for an hour and a half. There was much laughter, quite a few insults and possibly some cheating on Raul’s behalf.

Mason took a turn at the helm so Lucas could join in and he won his hand quickly.

“Last game,” Harry said. “It’s getting late.” He glanced at his watch.

“Ah, but I want to play all night,” Raul said. “I love to play poker. Better with rum but this is what it is.”

“Nah, last one.” Harry shrugged.

Olivia pulled her fleece up around her neck. It was getting chilly, she’d be glad to get to bed.

Her last deal of the pack was a great one, and within a minute she’d won.

“Bravo,” Mason said.

“Are you sure you’re not a hustler?” Evan asked.

“That’s for me to know and you to find out.” She grinned.

“You must have a prize,” Raul said.

“Okay.” She paused. “Kind as it is of you all to offer yourselves up for dates in Sydney, what I’d really like is…”

All five men looked at her. Lucas seemed to have held his breath, and Evan tugged on his bottom lip as if a whole bunch of wicked thoughts were going through his mind. Harry raised his eyebrows and Mason leaned closer.

“Tell us,” Raul said. “Anything we have, it is yours.”

“Did I see some hot chocolate in the galley?” she asked.

Si.” Raul nodded.

“That’s what I’d like as my prize. Then to bed….alone.”

All five men seemed to sag a little as they sat back. Lucas returned his attention to the helm.

“I will do it for you. I will get your prize.” Raul stood.

“Thank you.” She passed her cards to Evan who was stacking the pack together again.

Had any of the guys really thought she’d pick one of them as her prize? Was it so obvious she fancied them all?

Oh God.

 I do. I really do.

And I’d never be able to choose between them.

 

PRE-ORDER NOW – http://myBook.to/Castaways

PRE-ORDER NOW – http://myBook.to/Tearaways

About Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award winning, bestselling author of sexy romance. After giving up a busy career in nursing she now spends her time enjoying her army of rescued pets and penning steamy stories. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including, HarperCollins, Evernight, and Stormy Night Publications. She also self-publishes novels that range from emotionally charged erotic romance, to steamy ménage a trois.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, in whichever pairing or genre takes your fancy, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy so make sure you hang on tight for the ride! Subscribe to her newsletter to get a FREE ebook.

Website – http://www.lilyharlem.com

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Working with Police on Research – A Guest Post by Lisa Mondello (@lisamondello)

Writing crime romances can be difficult.  You never know who is going to you’re your story and you want to get procedure correct if you’re writing about specific special law enforcement agencies.

When I wrote Safe Haven, I knew there were certain things I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure if they were legal.  Luckily, my husband was a part time police officer in a neighboring town and I knew I lot of police officers I could bounce ideas off of.  Some authors go to the Writer’s Police Academy.  One day maybe I will attend.  But I relied on in house feedback for Safe Haven.

One of the things I quickly learned was that police officers have seen a lot and are suspicious of everything you say.  They have fertile imaginations, too, which made it fun to brainstorm ideas.  I would go down a path with my idea and they would quickly reel me in though when it was clear I wanted to do something that wasn’t plausible.  They’d reel me in.  They wouldn’t give me ideas of what to do.  But if I had an idea, they’d help me flesh it out.

But I had to be careful.  It’s easy to get excited about a new book I’m working on.  I do a lot of Google searches that lead me down paths and help me build on the seed of an idea.  But then when I get that idea, I have to be careful when I call on a professional to ask them questions.  It’s important to preface each call with why I’m asking a question.

For example, in Safe Haven, there is a bloody scene.  I needed to know details about blood, how it’s collected, preserved, how much blood a person could lose to give suspicion that it might be fatal.  You get the idea.  As he scene was coming to me and I realized I needed to know detailed information, I called one of my neighbors who is a medical technologist.  I figured she’d at least be able to lead me in the right direction.  She knows I’m a writer.  We’d sat at enough neighborhood campfires together at that point.

But in my excitement about this scene I was about to write, I neglected to tell my neighbor who I was when she picked up the phone.  I just started rattling off about blood and how I was going to use that blood and asking how much blood a person can drain from their body before it’s fatal.  Well, I think the blood drained for her face even though I couldn’t see it.  She sputtered a bit and then asked who it was on the phone.

We had a little laugh and once her heart stopped pounding so hard, she gave me the info I needed and I wrote my scene.  I made a mental note to myself to make sure I announced myself and what I was calling for before launching into gory details.  I was also thankful that call hadn’t been to the police station.  Even though I know a lot of police officers and they’ve helped me before, I have a feeling I would have had blue lights flashing in my driveway before I finished writing my scene.

*****

Safe HavenBook Description:

When someone you once loved wants you dead, is there any SAFE HAVEN?

Finding out her ex-husband hired a hitman to kill her didn’t leave Daria Carlisle all warm and fuzzy. But Detective Kevin Gordon’s suggestion she flee the only home that had ever truly been hers was downright crazy. Forget that the sexy police officer made her heart pound and her blood stir. She’d worked too hard to get what little she had. She wasn’t leaving.

Kevin Gordon didn’t make mistakes, but he’d made a big one in letting Daria’s ex slip through his fingers. Although he tried to make it very clear to Daria that the fixer upper home she considered a palace was no safe haven, she just dug in deeper and insisted on staying, leaving him no choice but to be her protector. Left on her own, she surely faced murder at an assassin’s hand. But can Kevin spend every waking hour sleeping on her doorstep just to keep this stubborn woman alive without risking his heart to love?

Amazon US | Amazon UK |  BN | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes

*****

Excerpt:

“Your husband hired me to kill you.”

The last words Daria Carlisle expected to hear in her kitchen on a bright and sunny Sunday morning were those. She stared at the man who’d just uttered the frightening words. Words spoken with such ease and comfort it made her blood run cold.

She stood statue still, almost glued to the aged linoleum floor that was too frail to be salvaged. Her gaze swept from his face to the decrepit floor as she dragged in a breath of air. Earlier that day she’d been obsessing over how she was going to afford replacing the linoleum. Hearing these words from a man she’d just invited into her home willingly put a slightly different spin on her priorities.

Your husband hired me to kill you. The words just hung there in the air between them like some bright red cartoon balloon, mocking her.

*****

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published author is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen. Her book The Knight and Maggie’s Baby is a New York Times Bestseller. Her popular series includes TEXAS HEARTS, DAKOTA HEARTS, Fate with a Helping Hand and the new SUMMER HOUSE series. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List and was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012.

You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at lisamondello.blogspot.com and sign up for her newsletter to receive new release information at http://eepurl.com/xhxO5

Website: http://www.lisamondello.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaMondello.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisamondello

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/71059.Lisa_Mondello

Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/xhxO5

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-mondello

*****

GIVEAWAY!

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Cold Nights, Hot Bodies by Lily Harlem is FREE! (@lily_harlem)

Grab your FREE copy of COLD NIGHTS, HOT BODIES, a steamy first-time romance set in beautiful Cotswolds by bestselling author Lily Harlem now. Free for a few days only – 2nd – 6th June!

Cold Nights, Hot BodiesBack Cover Information.

All my life I’ve been the quiet bookworm, the office mouse. It hasn’t bothered me. Immersing myself in erotic novels has kept me wriggling on the edge of my seat at work and firmly entrenched in my own fantasy world at night.

Though one thing is bothering me—my damn virginity. If only I could find a sexy bedroom expert to introduce me to the delights of having a lover. Someone handsome and charming, who can rival the hunky alpha males in my books. I have a very vivid, very well-fed imagination—he’ll have to keep up.

Then, one bitterly cold night, thanks to a devious, conniving, so-called friend, the perfect opportunity to rid myself of this pesky virginity problem comes along. Before I know it, the heroes in my novels have come alive in the person of Shane Galloway, who’s pleasuring me with every trick in the book and wheedling into my heart in the hottest ways possible.

**Please note Cold Nights, Hot Bodies was previously published with different cover art.** 

*****

Excerpt

I stood, arms hanging at my sides, knees buckled, as he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to mine.

It was a gentle kiss, not wet and not dry, the perfect combination of smoothness and maleness. I parted my mouth and held my breath as he delicately traced my bottom lip with his tongue, then I captured his taste—wine and water, man and musk. Pulling in air, I was treated to his gorgeous light scent again.

“You’re so sweet,” he murmured, pulling back a fraction. “Like a little sugary doll.”

Pushing to my toes, I pressed my lips to his, wanting more of his taste and his desire.

This time the kiss quickly turned hotter and harder. Still he kept my face cradled in his hands, holding me just where he wanted me as he probed his tongue deeper, searching for mine with the hot, insistent tip.

I lifted my tongue from the base of my mouth and tentatively touched it to his. He gave a small groan and slanted his head. Our tongues tangled and I reached up and curled my hands into the material of his shirt. Hung on as our breaths quickened and our mouths fed off each other. I became lost in his kiss, he was all I could think of. His taste, his smell, the way he was holding me was my entire universe. Bubbles of pleasure erupted deep within me. A crazy new need flowed like lava through my veins, settled in my breasts, seeped between my legs and spread over my skin.

He pulled back and dropped his hands from my face.

I opened my eyes.

His mouth was shiny from our kiss and his eyelids heavy. “Lose this,” he whispered, sliding his fingers beneath the thin shoulder straps of my dress.

I prayed my heart wouldn’t give out, it was beating so hard and fast. He wanted me to take off my dress. Of course he wanted me to take off my dress. We were going to have sex for heaven’s sake. The dress had to come off.

I slid down the zip and the material loosened around my ribs. He stooped, gripped the hem and began to lift. It smoothed up over my thighs and waist and air breezed over my buttocks, which were exposed by my thong.

He straightened, his expression heavy with concentration as he carried on peeling the dress upward. I stretched my arms above my head and was blinded momentarily as the dress brushed over my face.

Shane didn’t drop the dress on the floor. Instead he shook it straight and laid it on the back of the sofa. Instinct made me want to cross my arms over my breasts, flatten a palm over the shockingly tiny piece of lace that made up the front of the thong Dawn had provided. But I forced my arms to remain still, hanging at my sides as he turned to me.

“Phew,” he said, blowing out a breath and scanning my legs. “I must have been a really good boy this year to get stockings filled so sweetly.”

I couldn’t help but notice there was a long, hard bulge straining against his fly. My stomach flipped and I quickly averted my eyes and glanced down at my legs, which were encased in black fishnet. The scalloped tops looked fine and dainty against my pale thighs. The flickering shadows from the fire caressed their outline and even I had to admit, they looked damn good.

“You think so?” I asked nervously, trying not to dwell on the size of the bulge I’d just seen.

“Hell, yeah.” He stepped back over. “I must have accidently found a cure for cancer or secured world peace to get such a great present.”

A small, apprehensive giggle escaped my lips. “You like the stockings then?”

“I’ve never liked stockings more than at this moment in time,” he whispered onto my mouth. “Promise me you’ll keep them on, even when you take everything else off. I want to feel them rubbing against my skin when you’re wrapped around me.”

I shivered in a breath at the wonderfully erotic image he’d just created. “I promise.”

He glanced down at my jutting breasts. “You’re beautiful, you know that.” He traced his finger over the soft curve at the top of my right breast and into my newly deepened cleavage.

A dart of pleasure shot to my nipples, as though the weight of my breasts had doubled under his touch. They were suddenly tingly and tight.

“You do know that, don’t you?” he said again as he traced over my left breast. “Of course you do, I’m sure you’ve been told by plenty of guys.”

“Er, no,” I said, pressing my palm over his shirt and feeling his hard pectoral muscle shifting slightly beneath.

“No, you don’t know it or no, you haven’t been told?”

“I…well…I…”

His gaze captured mine and he tipped his head to the side. “Are you okay?” He stilled his finger.

“Yes, it’s just…” I slid my hand up to his shoulder and held on for support. I had to tell him. I didn’t think I could go through with “wrapping myself around him” if he thought I was experienced and confident. I’d be sure to disappoint or let him down somehow. He deserved to know. Besides, Saffron had told Tobias, so had Felicity in Lord Morton’s Maid and Skye had left a note for Ralph in Optimum Pleasure. All my heroines told their men it was their first time. It was the right thing to do.

“What is it?” Shane asked again, his eyes searching mine.

“I-I haven’t, you know, done it before.”

“Done what?” He creased his forehead into a frown.

“You know, it, had sex.” I stared down at my dark, stockinged feet. They contrasted sharply with the golden carpet. “I’m a virgin.”

His whole body snapped backward. It was as if he’d been electrocuted. “Jesus,” he said, shoving his fingers through the hair on the crown of his head and stretching his elbows out to the side. “What the hell?” He stared at me with wide eyes.

I crossed my hands over my chest. “I’m sorry.” A shard of fear sliced into my heart. He didn’t want me anymore. Now he knew I was a virgin he no longer desired me. He’d wanted an experienced lover for the night, not some naïve little girl.

“And you let it get this far before you told me?”

“What do you mean? We haven’t done anything other than kiss.”

He huffed. “Yeah, one hot kiss with you looking like the best damn Christmas present of my life.” He shoved his hands down his waistband and appeared to re- arrange the bulge behind his fly.

“I’m sorry. Partly for letting it get so far and…” I paused. “And partly because you appear to be in physical discomfort.”

“There’s no need to be sorry,” he said, glancing at the door and pulling his hand from his pants.

“Well, clearly there is.” I was getting frustrated now. “If I wasn’t a virgin we’d be heading into the bedroom by now. Clearly my inexperience has put you off.”

“I had that in mind actually,” he said, pointing at the deeply cushioned sofa next to us. “It’s wide and soft and by the fire. It would have done just fine.”

I tightened my arms around myself. He’d wanted to make love to me on the sofa. Just the thought of it sent a tremble up my spine. It would have been so perfect. So sensual and sweet.

He rubbed his hand around the nape of his neck. His dark, tousled hair fell over his ears and he cast his eyes downward.

“I had to tell you,” I whispered, shivering despite the blasting heat of the fire.

“Thank goodness you did. Imagine if I’d just gone for it, not knowing. It would have been catastrophic.”

“What do you mean?”

“I haven’t been with a woman for a while,” he said, frowning. “And you in those damn stockings and with your sexy little body.” He pulled in a deep breath. “I was just about to lose control. It wouldn’t have been the gentle initiation to sex that you deserve, Ashley, it would have left you dazed and confused and wondering what kind of beast you’d invited to your room.”

He didn’t look like a beast, and he certainly hadn’t touched me like one. His fingertip on my flesh had been gentle and reverent. Although now he mentioned it, when he’d looked at my stockings there’d been a glint in his eye that had made me wonder how much control he had.

“Does it change things between us so much?” I asked quietly.

He sighed. “Of course it does.”

“But why?”

“Because your first time should be special, with someone you care deeply about…love.”

“I care about you.”

“But we’ve only just met.”

“But I still care about you more than any other guy I’ve ever met.” I swept my hands down the exposed skin on my body. “No one else has seen me like this before.”

His eyebrows twitched as his gaze roamed my underwear. “Lucky me.”

I frowned. “Shane, I want to do this, with you. Tonight.”

“But surely you want more than…” He shrugged and clamped his lips into a tight line.

“Than what? Go on, say it. We’re both adults. We both know what we’re doing.”

“Okay, surely you want more than a one-night stand to give away your virginity to?”

My jaw clenched. Of course I knew that’s what this was. But having it said aloud hurt. Quickly I shoved that stupid bit of hurt way down deep. I had a more pressing matter to concentrate on and I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip through my fingers. “I’m twenty-three, Shane, I’m still a virgin and I don’t want to be.” I pulled in a deep, determined breath. “I’ve chosen you over a bunch of losers who’ve chatted me up and asked me out over the years. It’s taken me a long time to find someone I want to have sex with. One-night stand or not, I want you to make sure I’m not a virgin when I wake up in the morning.” I put my hands on my hips and narrowed my eyes. “Do you think you’re man enough to do that?”

“Oh, I’m man enough all right. I’m also man enough to walk away and stop you making a mistake you’ll never be able to undo.”

“But how can it be a mistake if it’s what I want?”

“Because you don’t know what you want. Why can’t you see that?”

“How dare you.” I stepped up to him, poked out my index finger and pressed it against his chest. “You have no idea what I want or need.”

He looked surprised by my sudden rise in voice and stern tone.

“I’m a virgin not an idiot. I know about love and lust and I know there’s a difference. I also know I want to be initiated into the world of sex by someone handsome, intelligent, experienced and…and…”

“Expert?” He raised his eyebrows.

I tutted and lowered my finger. “Yes, that will do quite nicely, expert. I want someone who isn’t going to fumble and falter. I want someone who knows which buttons to press.”

“Buttons?” He gave a hesitant smile and a lock of hair fell over his right eye.

“This is not funny, you know.”

“Oh, believe me, there’s nothing funny about the ache in my pants I can’t do anything about.” He pushed his hair from his face.

“Of course you can.” I lowered my voice, gentled my tone. “I’ve been reading up and I know what you need too, I know what you’d like, Shane. It doesn’t have to be boring because it’s my first time.”

“What have you been reading?”

I shrugged. “Stuff.”

“Elaborate.”

“Stories about sex, men and women, things they do other than just the missionary position.”

A flicker of interest crossed his face. “Like what?”

“Things like oral sex,” I said quietly. “A woman taking a man into her mouth, sucking and licking until he comes down her throat.” I paused, sensing his heightened attention at my words. “I want to try that.”

“Anything else you been reading about?” he asked, shifting from one foot to the other.

“Yes, tying up a lover and doing whatever you want to their bodies, making them squirm with pleasure and cry out for more.” I could hardly believe I was saying all this stuff.

“You want me to tie you up?” His eyes widened.

“Not my first time.” I silently congratulated myself on not blushing.

“Your second?”

“Maybe, perhaps I’ll wait ’til third though.” I reached for the first, fastened white button on his shirt.

Opportunity. Grab it like a terrier.

“There’s something else I want to try before that,” I whispered.

“And what’s that?” he asked, watching me undo the button. His voice had calmed, his body was still. He was no longer stealing glances at the door.

“I want to try it from behind.”

“What, in your—?” His eyes snapped up to mine.

“No, no, just from behind so I can find my G-spot.”

“Jesus, you have been reading up.”

I undid the next button and the next and reached for the cuffs. “Yes, I like to do my research.” I tugged his now-undone shirt from the waistband of his smart black pants. “If I’m going to do something, I like to do it properly.”

“Me too,” he said in a quiet, calm voice.

Shoving the shirt over his shoulders, I stepped in real close and let my breasts press into the tightly coiled hair sprinkled over his chest. “Which is what makes you so perfect for my needs,” I said, sliding the shirt down his arms and letting it fall on the floor.

“Damn, you’ve nearly got me persuaded,” he said, lowering his head. His lips rested against my temple and I heard him swallow tightly.

I pulled back and looked up at his dark eyes, they were thick and velvety. I parted my lips and held them a whisper from his. “Will this persuade you?” I cupped my palm against the taut material of his pants and gave his cock a firm, confident squeeze.

** Grab your copy NOW, enjoy on Kindle Unlimited or listen to on AUDIO **

*****

Reader Reviews

“I have read a good number of Lily Harlem books, but this might be my favorite.”

“This was a great book that really showed two characters that had amazing chemistry and how the author was able to tweak them in just a way as to make the story different from all the others on the market today.”

“I love this couple and the HEA was brilliant. This is the perfect story to keep you warm at night.”

“Well all I am going to say is DAMN it is one steamy hot read…Loved it!”

*****

About Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of sexy romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride, Evernight, and Stormy Night Publications. Her work regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Silk Tie, The Glass Knot, Cold Nights, Hot Bodies, Bite Mark and Shared have been blessed with many 5* reviews – all available on Kindle Unlimited.

If you love sporty romance don’t miss Hot Ice a seven novel 5* series about those sexy bad boys of the ice all available on Kindle Unlimited and the first book FREE when you sign up to her newsletter. And also check out Formula One themed novel Accelerated Passion and sexy soccer story Scored, also on KU.

Lily writes MF, MM and ménage a trois, her books regularly hit the #1 spot on Amazon Bestseller lists and Breathe You In was named a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2014. Her latest MM novel is Dark Warrior and you can grab Part One of her MM series Caught on Camera  for FREE!

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes darker plot lines and suspense under the name Harlem Dae – check out That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’ and is available in book stores nationwide. The Sexy as Hell Trilogy, a critically acclaimed boxed set, is available on Amazon and KU.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and deliciously sexy. Enjoy!

Visit Lily’s website for more details of her other books or her Amazon Author Page. Subscribe to her newsletter to get a FREE ebook and be the first to hear of new releases, and if you enjoy Facebook, hop on over there and say hi!