Reintroducing an old book

As you may have read, Musa Publishing is officially closing its doors on the 28th of February.

Which means, come March the 1st, my short, hot little story, The One That Got Away will be homeless. But not for long.

I’ve decided to self publish the book, and the fabulous Ms. Valerie Tibbs has designed a new cover for me. Waddya think?

The-one-That-Got-Away453x680

In case you haven’t read the book yet, here’s the blurb:

The One That Got Away

What happens when the one that got away comes back into your life?

Lily Kember never dreamed a causal introduction to a friend’s friend would change her life, but three days after meeting Kai Jettison, she’s fallen deeply and irrevocably in love.

Kai falls just as hard, yet minutes after telling her as much he has no choice but to rip her heart to shreds, leaving whatever has blossomed between them lying in tatters on the ground.

It’s been five months since that fateful day. Five months of no contact. Now Kai is attending the same end of year bash as Lily, and bumping into him seems unavoidable. Lily’s choices are limited: either steel her emotions against Kai or risk losing her heart to him all over again.

Warning: You’ll be amazed how much heat can be packed into one short story.

The new version of the book hasn’t gone live yet, so I can’t post buy links. I promise to post them as soon as the book becomes available.

In the meantime, you can find out more information here.

:)

Jess

 

That first kiss…finally!

In the final ‘first kiss’ post, the focus is on Jared and Ava, from Dinner at Eight, book 3 in the Sunday Night Dinner Club.

This first kiss is a little different from the last two books, in that Jared’s been in love with his best friend for years – and Ava has no idea…

Dinner-At-Eight453x680

Dinner at Eight – the first kiss

Ava tripped. Had Jared not tightened his grip around her shoulders, she’d have broken her fall with her nose.

“Easy, tiger.” He released her shoulders to hold both of her arms, steadying her.

“Wh-what did you just say?” Her voice trembled as she gaped up at him.

They stood on the footpath under a pool of light from a street lamp.

“Just commenting on the workings of the universe.” He gave her a self-deprecating smile. “Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it?”

“Y-you’re in love with me?” God, her brain wasn’t processing this. Not at all.

“Head over heels.”

“You mean, you were in love with me, as in a school-kid crush sort of thing? Like I was in love with you.”

“Nothing like that.”

Jared’s gaze was so intense, Ava struggled to breathe. “You’re joking, right?” He had to be.

“Not even a little bit.”

“But…” She swallowed, trying to organize her thoughts into a coherent pattern, but failed miserably. Her head was all over the place. “But you haven’t seen me in eighteen months.”

“Crazy, I know. Time and distance didn’t change a damn thing.”

“You can’t be in love with me. You were seeing Angela.”

Angela. Arlene. Ava. What was it with him and A names?

“I was. Then I wasn’t.” He shrugged. “She’s not the one.”

The one. Jared had always had blind faith that one day he’d meet her.

As perplexing as their conversation was, one thing she had no trouble understanding was the movement of his hand up her arm. Every cell in her body was aware of it inching higher and higher, up to her shoulder, slow enough that she could shrug it off at any time.

It’s no threat. No threat at all.

Jared’s hand would never be dangerous. If anything, it sent oddly pleasant shivers across her skin.

Still, she focused on it, waiting, preparing in case the touch changed. “I have no idea what to say.”

A smile broke over Jared’s face, playful enough Ava’s lips twitched in response. “Don’t say a thing. Just shove the girls in my line of sight, and we’ll take it from there.”

She grinned, more comfortable with his teasing then his serious mood. “I tried that before. It never worked.”

“Try it again.” He tried to joke, but his voice was gruff, and that gruffness did funny things to her belly. “It’ll work this time. I swear.”

“I’m not showing you my breasts.”

“Fine. Just press them against my chest.”

“Jared!”

“Hey, it was worth a try.” His hand crept higher, and the humor in his tone vanished. “There’s something you should know.” Slow and serious, he enunciated every syllable, as though making sure she heard him clearly.

Nervous, she cleared her throat. “And that is?”

There it was again, that intense gaze. “I’m going to kiss you.”

“Wha—?”

“Within the next minute. I’m going to lower my face, press my lips against yours, and kiss you.”

“Y-you can’t.” Could he?

“When I do, I’m going to move my hand up so I can weave it through your hair. Like…this.”

His hand left her shoulder, grazing her neck as his fingers wound through her hair.

Goose bumps broke out along her spine, and she closed her eyes, fear rearing its ugly head.

Inhale. Exhale.

“Look at me.” His warm breath washed over her cheek.

Was that apprehension shooting the goose bumps down her arms—or something else altogether?

He tugged gently on her hair, tipping her head back. “Open your eyes so you can see my face, understand my intent.”

Helpless to resist, she did and found him staring at her. His face was close enough to jerk her heart into a jagged beat.

His gaze trapped hers, his eyes filled with tenderness. “You’re safe with me,” he promised. “Always.”

Ava couldn’t speak. Couldn’t remember how.

She was safe with him. She knew it deep in her bones. So why was she trembling?

“Trust me.” He inched closer, then closer still, until she had to squint to keep him in focus.

The trembling turned to full-blown shivers.

“Trust me?” This time it was a question, asked so close, his breath whispered over her lips.

“Always.”

With a low groan, Jared pressed his mouth to hers.

Ava’s eyelids drooped. She couldn’t possibly keep them open under the onslaught of emotion hitting her from all sides.

Oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God.

Jared was kissing her. Her best, closest friend in the whole wide world had set his mouth on hers—and kissed her.

God help her, it felt good. So good. So gentle and innocent. So sweet and…loving. Yet so unexpected. Eleven years ago she’d have died and gone to heaven at the feel of his lips on hers. Now? She felt…she felt…

———-

;)

Dinner at Eight is available now from your fave ebookstore, or you can click one of the links below:

Kindle –  Nook  –  iBooks  –  SmashwordsARe

Happy reading,

Jess

The inevitability of a first kiss

Continuing with yesterday’s theme of first kisses in romances, let’s turn our attention to book 2 in the Sunday Night Dinner Club series, Table for Two.

If that first kiss in a story is both hot and romantic, then the unexpected first kiss between best friends is even more so. Because, come on! Who’s expecting besties to share a sensational kiss? I’ll tell you something, until it happened to them, Liv and James weren’t expecting it. At all!

Table-For-Two-453x680

Table for Two: Liv and James’s first kiss

James dropped an arm around Liv’s shoulders and kept it there as they walked home. Liv didn’t react in kind, but she made no move to shrug it off.

He liked how she felt, tucked against him like this. She fit perfectly against his side, and was just the right height for him to sling his arm around her shoulders.

Yeah, they may have walked like this before, but James was aware of Liv in a whole new way, and that made the walk that much more enjoyable.

The pathway into the building was too narrow to walk side by side, so a reluctant James stepped back, allowing Liv to go first. But he couldn’t force himself to let go of her altogether. He placed his hand on the small of her back and left it there as they stepped into the building.

Okay, he didn’t leave it there. He let it inch down so he palmed the curve of her ass. And palming her ass aroused him further, which in turn made walking just that little bit more difficult. But it was all worth it in the long run, because Liv had a great ass. A bit skinny, but great nevertheless.

“You’re not fooling me,” she told him.

“Fooling you?”

“I can feel your hand, and it really shouldn’t be there.”

“Yet you haven’t moved it.”

“I’m waiting for you to come to your senses.”

“I already have. It took eight years, but my senses are finally and fully intact.” They crossed the lobby to her ground floor apartment.

“Your senses are poorly misguided tonight,” she argued.

“Overstimulated, as opposed to misguided.” Including his sense of smell. Why had he never noticed how damn good Liv smelled? Like a rose garden in springtime, all floral and pretty.

“James.” She whirled around to face him while still speaking. “This has to sto—”

She’d come to such an abrupt halt, he walked straight into her, leaving her gasping.

Instinctively, he placed his hands on her hips to steady her. No—to touch her. The whole holding-her-steady thing was just an excuse.

“Th-this has to stop now,” she repeated breathily, then balked. “Oh, God.” She glared at him, aghast. “You have an erection again.”

“Again?” He laughed softly. “Pretty one, it’s been there the whole night.” And for the first time since stepping into her room earlier, he felt a modicum of relief. His cock was pressed against her belly, right where he wanted it to be…for the time being.

“That is completely inappropriate,” she huffed. “You’re my friend, and friends don’t get aroused by other friends. Understand?”

“Understand? Yep. Agree? Nope.” He pulled her more snugly against him.

She smacked his shoulder. “Let me go this instant.”

Yeah, that was so not going to happen.

“Right now. Just move your hands from my waist.”

He didn’t.

“Okay, listen to me, and listen good. You walked in on me earlier, which was an honest mistake. You saw me naked, and you reacted. I get that. But it took place hours ago. The adrenaline rush is over. The excitement’s passed. Release me, and we’ll forget this ever happened.”

Not likely. He wasn’t letting her go, and he wasn’t forgetting. Not when she fit against him so perfectly and smelled like a warm spring evening.

“This is no longer a joke. If I’d known you’d take it this far, I truly would have poisoned your drink.”

Liv was on a roll, and he let her rant on, both amused and aroused by her.

“The last thing I need on my plate is another man refusing to listen when I say I’m not interested, and damn it, James, I am not interested.”

Her breasts said differently. The dusky pink nipples he couldn’t stop thinking about had hardened once again and were currently poking into his chest.

“You and I could never work. Friends can’t hook up and expect to stay friends the next day. Am I making myself—”

He kissed her. Dropped his head, took her lips with his and kissed her.

And just like that, Liv stopped talking.

————–

:D

Table for Two is available from your favorite ebookstore. Or you can just click on one of the links below:

Kindle  –  Nook  –  iBooks  –  SmashwordsARe

Keep a lookout for tomorrow’s excerpt, from Dinner at Eight.

Jess

 

 

This kiss, this kiss

Anybody who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for a first kiss. It’s my favorite part of any romance.

So for the next three days, I thought I’d share the first kiss scenes from the Sunday Night Dinner Club books, starting from the beginning, with Party of Three.

Party-Of-Three-453x680

The s cool thing about sharing this book first is you get two for the price of one. See, it’s a menage, so there are two first kisses.

:D

Kiss one: Levi and Chelsea

Levi took a long sip of water then sprinted after her. It took a good few minutes before he caught up. Minutes he spent looking his fill and enjoying every second immensely. “K, let’s simplify this. If you won’t marry me, How about we settle for a blowjob on a park bench?”

She punched him in the arm without missing a beat.

“Would that be a no?”

“Keep dreaming, mate.”

“A handjob at the bicycle track?”

“In your wildest fantasies.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Levi, Levi, Levi.”

“Sex beside the duck pond?”

“How about you shut up and run?”

“You’ve got to admit, compared to those options, marriage is looking pretty damn good.”

“Know what’s looking even better?”

“Tell me.”

“Running alone tomorrow.”

“You wound me.” No, she didn’t. She turned him the fuck on. “I have one more possibility for your consideration.”

“And that is?”

Levi came to a standstill.

Chelsea slowed down and then stopped herself, amusement making her lips twitch. As he walked towards her she took the opportunity to sip from her bottle.

Levi waited until she lowered her arm again, enjoying the way a couple of tiny droplets of water slid off her lips. “How about a kiss against the paperbark tree?”

Chelsea chuckled. “You’ll try anything.”

“For you? Anything at all. Only this time…I’m not kidding.” He gestured for Chelsea to look behind her, at the massive paperbark she’d stopped beside.

Before she had a chance to respond, Levi backed her up against the trunk of the tree, leaned in and kissed her. He pressed his lips to her utterly irresistible ones and gave himself over to the moment.

Apparently, so did Chelsea, who gasped in surprise before sinking into the kiss.

He took his time getting to know the feel of her soft, warm mouth against his, learning the fullness of her succulent lips and exotic spicy scent up close. The combination of the two did crazy things to his already aroused body, ramping up his need for her.

Perhaps Levi would have been able to keep the kiss chaste had Chelsea not emitted a muffled, needy moan and hooked her arm around his neck. But the second she reacted, pulling him closer, any chance Levi had of keeping his cool evaporated.

He deepened the kiss, opening his lips and letting his tongue delve between hers.

When he sampled the sweetness of her breath, he was lost. The studied self-control he’d summoned vanished in a heartbeat, and he plunged his tongue into her mouth, devouring her.

God, she tasted good. Better than any dish she’d ever served in her restaurant. She tasted of woman and dreams and desire.

 

Kiss Two: Spencer and Chelsea

“Do you think you’d remember a kiss with a sexy, genius bookkeeper?”

“Depends on the kiss, I suppose. It would have to be worth remembering.”

Spencer sighed hugely.

“What’s the matter?”

“I kind of wish I was a bookkeeper. I’d give you a kiss worth remembering.”

“Let’s see. You’re sexy, you’re a genius and you’re an accountant, so bookkeeping is a natural part of who you are. I think you’re probably qualified to attempt the memorable-kiss thing.”

“Probably or definitely?”

“Definitely.”

Spencer pointed to his mouth. “Then how about you put your lips here and see how memorable we can make it.”

“I think it would be way more memorable if you made the first move.”

“All right,” he agreed. “I’ll make the first move and then you put your lips on mine.”

“I think you misunder—Spencer!”

“Just making the first move, as per your request.”

She laughed as he twisted her around on his lap to face him with hers legs straddling his. She placed her hands on his shoulders for balance, stopped laughing and gasped as he rocked his hips, pushing himself intimately against her.

“Oh, God.” Chelsea gasped. “There it is again. That adrenaline shot straight to the heart.”

“That, sweetheart, is not your heart.” To prove his point, he rocked once more, dragging his rock-hard erection over the seam of her jeans, right where her pussy was. And damned if it didn’t make him even harder.

Chelsea’s eyes closed, her cheeks flushed, and Spencer thought he’d never seen anything as beautiful in his life.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” he asked.

“Hmmm?”

“It’s your move.” He rocked again, partly because he couldn’t help himself and partly to see her response.

The flush spread from her cheeks to her neck. It was all he could do not to lean in and nuzzle the spot where her jaw met her neck, but he needed his mouth free.

“It is?” She looked at him with dark-green eyes.

“It is,” he confirmed. “Your lips on mine.”

“Okay then.” Her hands found his cheeks and held his head firmly in place as she brought her face slowly towards his and settled her lips on his.

Oh. Yeah.

The second their mouths met, he parted his and touched her lips with his tongue. The kiss hit unforgettable when Chelsea’s mouth opened in response.

The woman rocked his soul. She tasted like an angel and kissed like the devil. Hot and sinful with a healthy pinch of spice and a smoking dash of zing.

Spencer would have brought his hands to her hips to guide her into the same rhythm his pelvis had found, but she needed no assistance. She naturally let her body dance against his, rocking her hips to a similar beat. Only her beat was more sensual. The slide of her clothed pussy over his aching cock made symphonies play in his ears.

And the deeper he kissed her, the more sensual the slide became.

————–

Party of Three is available now from your favorite ebook store, or you can just click one of these links:

Kindle  –  Nook  –  iBooks  –  ARe  –  Smashwords

Stay tuned tomorrow for the first kiss from Table for Two.

Jess

Waving a sad farewell to a decent publisher

I received some bad news about the industry the other day. In this dynamic and ever changing world of e-publishing it wasn’t overtly shocking or even horribly unexpected news, but it did leave me feeling sad.

Yet another e-publisher is shutting its doors. Musa Publishing is closing after four years in the business.

 

This publisher was run by decent people with the best intentions. They bent over backwards to do whatever they could for their authors. Even in the last few days of business, they are doing right by those authors, ensuring every one receives the rights back to each book that was contracted, and paying out every last cent of royalties owed.

After living through the collapse of two other publishers, I think I can speak with a bit of authority when I say Musa is doing good by their authors.

Triskelion Publishing did not. About seven years ago, when Triskelion declared bankruptcy, the owner screwed over every one of its contracted authors. Years of bankruptcy problems and litigation ensued. Authors were not paid, and hundreds of books, whose rights were retained by the publisher, were caught up in the legal proceedings. The entire debacle was nothing less than a major cluster fuck.

Following Triskelion’s demise, one of the Triskelion authors, Sandra, opened her own publishing house and called it Aspen Mountain Press (AMP). Sandra ‘saved’ many of the books once thought lost to the Triskelion bankruptcy horror and republished them – along with other new books. For a while everything was fine and authors were happy. And then, everything was not fine. Suddenly, communication between authors and publishers stopped – as did royalty payments.

To our surprise, along came four women who bent over backward to get AMP back in shape. For months they paid authors, promoted books and tried to clean up the publisher. Unfortunately, they fought a losing battle. Sandra was not interested in saving AMP – and she pretty much disappeared off the face of the publishing planet, leaving our contracted books hanging in cyberspace and earning her royalties that were never passed on to the authors.

It took several months before authors could get their rights back.

Those four women who strived to save our books at AMP did not give up . They opened their own publisher, and called it Musa Publishing. For four years they ran it beautifully, giving their all to the authors they signed up. Musa was never a massive publisher, but it backed every book it released, promoting the stories as much as possible.  Communication channels were open at all times and royalties paid like clockwork.

But in this ever changing world of e-book publishing, sometimes even the best intentions and the finest professional ethics cannot save a business. As of the end of February, Musa will close its doors. I’m sad for the publisher and I’m sad for the women who did so much to try and make the company – and the authors – successful. It sucks that a business can do everything right and still not make it.

To Dom, Kelly, Kerry and Celina I say thank you. I know how difficult this decision was for you, and I wish it wasn’t your only option. But you did good – and your authors will always know and appreciate that.

Jess

 

 

Newsletter Signup

Follow us on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 268 other subscribers

Join Heat Wave

Recommended Host