Lean and Mean released! That calls for a contest…

For most writers, release day is always exciting and I am no different. Not least because the hero, Isaiah is one of my favourite characters-he has all the right qualities.

Lean and Mean is released with Total-E-Bound today. I have used touches of humour in this contemporary novella to tell the tale of Remy and how she reacts when Isaiah challenges her exercise regime.

Leave a comment before 5 March 2011 for chance to win a free ebook copy.  

An excerpt follows:

Somehow, the walk seemed shorter than it normally did to Remy, who felt a touch crestfallen as they approached her front door. The idea of the couple parting ways was enough to make her think of a way to prolong their conversation, of ensuring she didn’t make the same mistake as before.
“Now your shirt is soaking,” she commented, looking at him as she retrieved her keys.
“It’s only water,” he smiled. “Are you worried about me?”
Reluctantly, she let him go to unlock the door, smiling shyly instead of answering his teasing question.
“You should come inside to get dry and have a hot drink, or at least get an umbrella.”
After a moment of silence, he nodded his agreement and thanked her as she unlocked the door and led the way inside.
“Make yourself at home, I’ll go and get you a towel.”
After switching on the light to the living room and directing him into the room as she took off her coat, she hurried up the stairs. His presence in her home made her heart beat faster and she was in a hurry to get away in case he noticed a change to her demeanour. Being upstairs would give her the opportunity to compose herself before she returned, which allowed her to take a deep breath as she rushed to the cupboard.
Back at the top of the staircase, towel in hand, Remy found that Isaiah had already taken off his shoes and coat. Rather than go into the living room, he remained in the hallway, watching her as she descended the stairs.
She did so carefully, fearful of tripping, which only made her wonder if it would be such a bad thing. The image of her slipping on the stairs led to one of her being caught by him, held in his strong arms before he kissed her.
“Here you go.”
Remaining on the first step, she was still unable to match the height of the man who stood facing her, failing to take the towel that she offered. Simply looking at him undid all the good work she had done. Her breath came quicker as she tried to cope with the heat that flooded her body.
Close enough to see the droplets of water that clung to his hair and ran down his face and neck, she decided against reiterating the offer. Instead, she lifted it to towel him dry off herself. Using a corner of the soft material, she wiped it over his face and neck, forcing him to briefly close his eyes. The moment she moved down to his neck, he reopened his eyes, watching her as she performed the actions to which he acquiesced.
She studied every inch of his smooth brown skin as she passed the towel over it, bringing it as low as his open collar would allow. Though her head told her to follow this by drying his hair, her heart wanted her to continue on the route that it had started on. Her hand remained at his neck as she debated whether to make a move to feel if his chest was as solid as she thought.

A Verse in Briefs: A Saviour in Uniform

My restless, raunchy mind was inspired to write a poem to celebrate the bargain that can be gained by readers at Amazon – the price of ebook Uniform Behaviour has been reduced! Stop by and make a contribution to Help for Heroes as well as entirely more selfish reasons…  

Something’s not right,

Yet the cause is quite tricky.

But, as a result,

I’ve been left hot and sticky.

 

The bedroom’s so stifling

It’s making me sweat.

It must be a calamity

That has left me so wet.

 

Only a defective boiler

Could have caused so much heat.

But I know the damn thing

Was just serviced last week.

 

Is the house on fire

Though no alarm sounds?

I seek out some sign,

But none can be found.  

 

My mind is in frenzy,

My body on fire.

Not the right conditions

For me to retire.  

 

A natural disaster?

A flood from a leak?

There must be a reason,

Why I just can’t sleep

 

Though not entirely sure,

Whether lost in a dream.

It’s apparent that things

Are not as they seem.

 

I finally realise

That the heat’s localised.

Accompanied by a throbbing,

Deep between my thighs.

 

I need a solution,

Where to find a saviour?

Surely there are several

In the pages of Uniform Behaviour.

Pursuit of the Body Beautiful

A simple phrase that can mean so much.  

I wonder how many read the title and immediately thought ‘cosmetic surgery’. I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed as I’m an old fashioned gal. For me, that particular meaning of pursuing the body beautiful comes by way of exercise.

I’m a firm believer in putting in a little hard work to achieve the body beautiful, rather than with any chemical or surgical assistance. Anyway, why go straight to that particular place when the meaning of the body beautiful has yet to be settled?

The media have made their opinion on beauty clear, but the rest of us have a whole range of different ideas as to what is considered beautiful. The varied range of traits that we find attractive demonstrate that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

For me, what the body looks like is only half of the story, as it is also whether it can cope with everything you ask of it. I suspect that’s why I’m impressed by the likes of those that push their bodies to the limits, like break-dancers and athletes.  

Pursuing the best in ourselves as well as in others is only natural, even if we have different ways of getting there. This is the premise for my latest novella, Lean and Mean, which is released with Total-E-Bound next week. Hero and heroine, Isaiah and Remy, pursue the body beautiful in their own ways before pursuing each other and making up a few new ways to exercise!

The route to the body beautiful doesn’t have to be all that serious, it is quite possible to have some fun along the way, which the couple demonstrate in their battle of the workout tines.

Stop by on Monday 28 February to read an excerpt and for your chance to win a copy of novella, Lean and Mean. Better still, make sure you subscribe to get an automatic reminder.

Falling over in the snow is an embarrassment Remy doesn’t need—however, the help of a cheeky stranger is all that is required to make her feel better.

Remy can’t help rising to the bait when Isaiah criticises her keep-fit method, leading to a battle of wills and fitness regimes. Despite his unerring confidence and powerful body, she still believes she can give him a run for his money. She may emerge relatively unscathed, if not hot and sweaty. Is it possible for them both to come out on top in the hard fought battle, or will she get more than she bargained for?

An Erotic Poetic Interlude: Submission

Submissive

I simply adore you,

You don’t know how much.

All it takes to please me,

Is one little touch.

 

From your lips your fingers,

Or your body on mine.

I just need to feel you,

All of the time.

 

I completely submit

When you need to do more.

I’ll remain on my hands and my knees

On the floor.

 

Waiting to find out

What you might do.

The crack of the leather strap

Gives me a clue.

 

You parade it in front of me

To see if I’m scared.

But you wouldn’t do it

If you never cared.

 

I relish every stroke

As it stings my skin.

Punishment I deserve

For some unknown sin.

 

Delicious heat flows through me,

I need you inside.

But for now you just concentrate

On tanning my hide.

 

I know that you love me,

And I deserve what I get.

You know that no other

Can make me so wet.

 

I know that you want me,

I have always known.

You wouldn’t want another,

While its me that you own.

Welcome Rachel Randall…introducing Taking It Off

A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you — Françoise Sagan

I know you’ve seen them too.

All that wasted potential, just…sitting there. Masculinity in stasis. The stultified disconnect in their eyes tinged with a real hint of terror that they might be asked for an opinion. Hope spurring them out of their slouches every time the door swings open, disappointment bringing them low again when she’s not finished, just heading for the bigger mirror.

That’s right. I’m talking about the BBSs of the world. There’s something just, well, desperately sad about these Boyfriends Brought Shopping. To see them in that twilight-zone outside the fitting rooms you’d think they were at the dentist’s office rather than two feet from a lot of half-dressed ladies.

But why be bored when you could be finding the perfect fit?

Imagine you’re there shopping with someone you want. The heat of his eyes on you makes you feel naked before you’ve even stripped off your coat and fumbled with the hanger. You shut the door on him, still feeling that heat, playing coy and confident because he’s right where you want him and he’s not going anywhere. You play the tease, because you can, as you kick off your shoes and shimmy down your jeans. He’s watching, and you’re going to put on a show.

Taking It Off, my latest erotic romance from Total-E-Bound, plays hard with this premise. I’ve dressed characters Lucy and Valentine up in lust, flirtation, and fun before stripping them right down again so they can’t deny how much they need to get naked with each other, now.

From Taking It Off:
The Herve Leger bandage dress was gloriously short, gloriously form-fitting. Lucy gave him a slow spin, her eyes heavy-lidded and unreadable as she posed for him. Her arse was a gorgeous inverted heart and the dress hugged what it could, cradling her curves and tugging them into prominence. The one-shoulder neckline brought the elegant slope of her throat, the musculature of her exposed shoulder into sharp relief. And when she completed the turn, facing him with breasts and thighs and waist painted in tight gradations of peach-orange-white, he really was done for.

“Oh,” he said, because it was either that or bloody well moan out loud.

“You approve?”

He let out that moan after all. “Christ, you’re a tease.”

Taking It Off by Rachel Randall

Valentine knows when he’s found the right fit — whether it’s matching an executive to a job or finding a lover for himself — but he’s never had a first impression quite like Lucy before.

Commandeered by the intriguing stranger at a luxury London department store, Valentine’s more than happy to provide the masculine opinion Lucy demands. After all, watching her model fabulous cocktail dresses, saucy shoes and mouth-watering lingerie is his pleasure.

He soon realises that he wants more than just one seductive afternoon with the luscious Lucy. Getting under those new clothes will be a challenge since she’s gone back to New York, but he’s not the only one being driven mad by the heat of their long-distance flirtation. Now Valentine just needs to convince his little tease that the best part of trying things on is taking them off again.

Taking It Off is available to buy now. You can find excerpts, music mixes, free stories, graphic art, and more at rachelrandall.wordpress.com

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’m giving away a PDF of Taking It Off to one lucky blog reader. Just leave a comment on this post by Tuesday midnight for a chance to win!

(Thanks for having me, Shermaine!)

What Makes a Woman?

Not long ago, I found myself in conversation with one of these moronic misogynistic types that make you wonder why they are actually heterosexual as they seem to have nothing but disdain for women. (Don’t ask, it was both our first and last conversation). However, imagine my surprise when I found myself agreeing with something he had to say.

Though he spewed a significant amount of nonsense, the point that raised my hackles was his disdain for women who dare to be over a size 12. Of course, I should have ignored him, but I can’t help myself in that type of situation. Anyway, while trying to defend himself from my verbal onslaught, he confirmed the reaction he often gets when revealing his opinion to women over size 12: he was often told that it was because he couldn’t handle a real woman.

According to him, this meant that any woman of a smaller size wasn’t a real woman—which is ridiculous. This is the only point on which Mr Moron and I agreed.

If I was to do a survey with the post title being the only question, I know I would get a whole range of answers. Certainly not, she has to be over a certain dress size.

Men and their maddening opinions may be bad, but somehow – in some circumstances – women can be worse.

Recently, a woman justified her need for a boob job because she was jealous of women with bigger breasts than her, who she considered real women while she wasn’t. I do wonder what she was instead—android? alien? male? When you think about it, you recognise how ridiculous the idea is.

Others are of the opinion that one can only become a woman on having a child. Really? I don’t know about you, but I can still distinguish a woman from a man whether or not she has a child. In reality, this type of mindset is borne out of a need to feel superior.

Maybe it is that we are just a bit too flippant in the way we speak, but shouldn’t be used as an excuse because this doesn’t diminish the consequences. We end up in a situation where anyone who doesn’t fit a certain mould is less of a woman.

Attempting to justify a situation or making yourself feel better by putting others down is abhorrent. Not least because a woman is a woman no matter what she does or what she looks like. Chromosomes don’t change, so while the contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race look fantastic after their transformations, they can’t truly be called women. Those born female can.      

I invite you to offer an answer to the question of the post title. While it may be impossible to answer succinctly (Alanis Morissette’s ‘I’m a bitch, I’m a lover’ comes to mind) that is a small price to pay to avoid sweeping generalisations.

Life Imitating Art

I’m sure that many people believe that writers of erotic romance draw on their own experiences when writing their erotic scenes. A case of art imitating life. They’re not entirely wrong—many do, but that doesn’t mean it is always true.

The imagination is a wonderful thing. Without it, there would be a whole array of television programmes, movies, plays and books that we would never have been able to enjoy. This is equally the case when it comes to erotica. Creating an imaginary world is par for the course for fiction writers, allowing to bring to life all the goings-on in our minds.

Of course, there are times when a story is purely imaginary, seeming to stem from nowhere. (For me, this is often when doing the most mundane things, like washing dishes and supermarket shopping.) But other times, we just can’t help but using our own fantasies for inspiration.

The question of genres made me think of this topic because I write in several of them, but then considered whether that arises simply becuase I have a vivid imagination or whether I am also using a few fantasies. 

For my part, the two seemed to have combined in many cases. I suspect it is a situation that is mostly unique to writers of romance fiction in its many forms. For example, I have just finished reading Blaze by Stephen King as Richard Bachman. While it is an engaging tale about a career-criminal who finds his soft side after kidnapping a baby for ransom, I can’t imagine that anyone in possession of all their faculties would fantasise about such a thing.

Writers will offer a number of reasons for why they enjoy the process—making up the plot, creating the characters, the satisfaction of getting a story accepted or even release day. However, getting a fantasy down on paper can also be one of the more pleasurable aspects.

After the gratification of putting a fantasy into words, tweaking and embellishing to make it perfect, the first thing you want to do is try it. What else would you do? I wonder whether it is just me or whether other writers have the same reaction. Creating a world that seems authentic makes me curious to see how an experience from that world stands up to reality.

There are so many experiences that I have enjoyed, which I’m not sure I would have if it wasn’t for my writing. Just another reason why I love erotic romance! Besides that, my adventures have also served to fuel more of my fantasies. And so it continues…