Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prizes and Spooky Fun!

In keeping with the Spooky fun, LASR and Whipped Cream are having a Halloween Blogfest! The theme of the day is real life ghostly encounters and other chilling things - I've chosen to write about an incident that happened over 20 years ago that I've never before commited to the page. It really happened and it's still creepy, so if you're curious, come over and check it out:

Oh, did I mention you could win some wonderful prizes? Books, gift certificates, and other fun stuff!! See you there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dreaming of Cade - Flash Fiction

Cade Maddox strode through the cold, marble tiled corridors of Renault Publishing, his expression reflecting his considerable anger if the wide berth he was given was any indication. He entered his office and slammed the door behind him with a force that resonated throughout the suite.

Damn Isabeau Renault! She was the most exasperating woman he’d ever met in his life, and he’d known a fair few women in his time. She fought him on everything, challenged him regardless of his logical suggestions, and she did it with a smile and a fire that made him want to get lost in her. She needed a damn good spanking some days, and others he would have sold his soul to lie next to her at night, the way he used to.

He sank into the leather chair at his desk and pulled the keyboard for his computer toward him, intent on making use of what remained of the work day. Once she exited the building, he’d be following  her. As he started scrolling through emails and seeing what needed his attention, he caught movement on the monitor that showed him her office. She was pacing…and she looked more lost than he’d seen her in years, her delicate features drawn with sadness. He forced himself to look away and get back to his work. The moment she left the office, he’d be notified.

A couple of hours later, a beep from the security panel made him turn, and he watched her lock the door to her office then head for the private elevator. She wasn’t going home tonight, but taking the lift to her penthouse on the top floor of the office building. He’d already done the security for her apartment, a few keystrokes and he was able to observe her every move there, too, though she hadn’t been told that in any of his reports.

* * *

The day had been much longer than she’d meant it to be, and she keyed in the security code to her office before heading to the private elevator that would take her to the penthouse. She was too weary to drive, even though her body was buzzing with restless energy on the way to the only floor this particular elevator was programmed for. She stepped out into a cool, silent entryway, and smiled.

She took the few steps that would put her at the door, then pressed her thumb to the panel that slid open when she punched in another code. A barely audible click told her the door was open and she went into the apartment, turning the lights on as she went, though only on dim, not full power.

She slipped her shoes off and left them by the curving sofa, then headed for the kitchen. Nothing appealed to her as she stared at the contents of the two fridges through their glass doors. She wasn’t really hungry anyway. The past couple of evenings had been spent at the privilegeNyc nightclub, drinking too much Scotch–again–and sparring verbally, then physically, with Cade Maddox.

She rubbed the heels of her hands over her tired eyes and sighed as she made her way back through the apartment. The entire place was laid out in a near horseshoe shape, the open end a wall of heavy, bulletproof glass that overlooked the glittering city below. On the left was the kitchen, small dining area, and her library/office. To the right, taking up most of the floor was the master bedroom suite, which contained a spacious bedroom, wide stone balcony attached, a bathroom straight out of Homes and Gardens, with waterfall shower and deep Jacuzzi bathtub. A smaller guest room was across the hall, richly appointed and comfortable. So far, no one had ever stayed in the apartment with her.

While she went through the familiar routine of undressing and showering, her thoughts returned constantly to Maddox and his unexpected reappearance in her life. Their past was lodging itself firmly in her present, and she wondered how long it would be before they were forced to talk about what had happened to put them on opposite sides of a chasm so dark and deep, it would be damn near impossible to bridge the gap. Then again, she chided herself, why would Cade want her near him again once he knew the truth?

She emerged from the bathroom after a quick shower, not bothering to put on a robe or nightgown, and she flopped on the silk and lace coverlet of the soft bed. They’d danced again tonight at the club, and he’d kissed her. She licked her lips, and in her mind the faint, lingering taste of him made her smile. She shivered, letting the memory expand outward, seeing every tiny detail of his face, tracing it with mental fingers, from the curving arch of his brow, across the sloping plane of his beard-stubbled cheek, and brushing softly over the lush curve of his lips. She loved Cade’s mouth, the soft sensuality of it so at odds with the stark masculinity that defined every inch of his body. He’d aged since they’d lived together, his eyes spoke of horrors seen, and acts committed that would never quite fade from his mind. He’d gained weight, but it was all hard muscle and controlled power. There’d been a time when she knew the taste and texture of every part of him, the soft silken hair of his chest, and how she loved to rub her cheek against it, or her breasts when she sat astride his hips. She bit her bottom lip, and memory took her back to the first time they’d made love…

God, Cade’s hands had been so gentle, and so knowing. She’d never been with anyone before him. She hadn’t told him, letting him believe she knew precisely what she was doing when she didn’t know a damn thing outside of her want for him. He’d figured it out fast, though, and once he’d stopped being pissed off at her for what might have happened, he’d made love to her for hours, showing her heaven over and over until she was limp and exhausted in his arms. That had been the beginning of the most perfect and happy year of her life.

Under Cade’s loving guidance, she’d learned to enjoy her body. No one else had ever touched her the way he did. She’d known other lovers since him, not many, but they weren’t Cade, and even in her anger and her feigned hatred for him, she knew she’d never love anyone else. He was the best part of her, he was inside her like the blood in her veins and the beat of her heart. She rolled onto her side and reached out to drag the second pillow close to her, hugging it tight.

“Cade…” she whispered in the silence, where it was safe to admit to the air that she still wanted him as much now as she had years earlier. Sighing heavily, she closed her eyes, let her thoughts drift…

She heard him come into the room, the heaviness in his breathing telling her he’d been drinking too much, which meant he’d been out with his old unit. The bed rocked a little as he sat on the edge and she turned to watch him pull off his shoes and go through the motions of getting undressed. With Cade, she never tired of seeing him stripping down to bare skin, and he was magnificent, all hard muscle and tanned skin. He turned back to the bed and she saw the flash of his smile in the dim light from the lamp on his side of the bed.

“Good night?” she asked.

He shrugged. “I think it’s about to get better.” He grinned down at her.

Laughing, she threw back the bed linen and opened her arms to him. He wasn’t long accepting her invitation and she arched up off the mattress when he settled over her, their mouths fused, tongues entwined, soft moans sighing in the silence of the room.

His hands glided over her, slowly stroking over her curves, and she felt him ease away. He hooked her legs over his arms and her fingers tangled in the thick silk of his hair while her entire body shuddered when he spread her thighs wide and bent to kiss the soft thatch of hair before moving lower. The stroke of his tongue over her clit made her gasp his name, and he slowed his pace, kissing and sucking softly, drawing her nerves so tights she was certain she was going to faint before he ever let her come for him…

Her head thrashed from side to side as he held her in place and his tongue began to flick rapidly over her clit. The building heat inside her would have had her writhing against the sheets if he’d loosened his hold, but he held her exactly where he wanted her, and she screamed as her orgasm trailed flames along her veins. Her hips rose off the bed and she pulled at his hair, panting for breath. He let her breathe for less than a minute, then he covered her again and lifted her hips to meet his thrust as he buried himself fully inside her still quivering pussy.

She hardly heard his soft, lust-roughened voice growling close to her ear, but she felt the tremor it evoked rushing through her entire body. He was still for a moment, allowing her to relax and adjust to him, then he moaned softly when she pushed against him, and whispered, “hard, baby, please…” His body answered her, and she came apart in his arms again, her senses exploded as tiny showers of light falling behind her closed lids as she cried his name…

Isabeau woke from the dream shaking and sweaty, the wetness seeping between her legs coating her thighs when she sat up, her clenching pussy still rippling with the remembered feel of Cade inside her. She ground her teeth and tears sprang to her eyes.

She fell back on the bed, her breathing quick and erratic. Closing her eyes, she let her hands begin to caress her heavy, sensitive breasts, tugging on the hard, distended nipples as she pinched and traced circles around them, remembering Cade’s tongue, and the way his mouth worked her into a frenzy with this touch alone. Low in her body, the tugging sensation of weight and need grew. Groaning, she rolled and pulled the vibrator out of the nightstand drawer, flicked the switch, and slid it deep inside her, slowly creating a steady rhythm as tension began to build. Within minutes her body shook, the orgasm sweeping over her as she cried out Cade’s name, and in her mind, saw the incredible pleasure than transformed his handsome features when she took him over the edge with her.

Breathing hard, she slid the vibrator free of her body and tossed it aside, the overload of emotion suddenly battering her in the aftermath of the sexual release… She lay flat on her back and cried, soft, low sobs that were broken only by his name… She loved him. Against all her efforts to make it go away, she loved Cade as much as she had when he loved her, too…

On the bedside table, her cellphone began to ring and she knew who it was before she answered. “I’m tired, Cade, what do you want?” She heard the tears in her voice, the rasping quality making the pitch low and husky. Maybe he’d assume it was because she’d been asleep… He used to tell her he loved the sound of her voice after they’d made love, and she hoped he wouldn’t remember that now as she waited for him to speak…

* * * * *

Cade Maddox and Isabeau Renault are living their story on the pages of Facebook. If you’d like to know more about them, and read about them, visit here:

New York Minutes

©2012 Denysé Bridger - ALL rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NEW RELEASE - Return To Love

Genre: Historical Western - sensual romance
Available from Barnes&Noble, Amazon, ARe, and others

Blurb: Clay Butler is a man who rules the quiet town of Cedar Springs with an iron will, and a code of honor that defines all he is. But the past haunts him, and the loss of a woman who was his second chance at happiness weighs heavily on his over-burdened mind...


The stage came thundering to a stop a short distance from the Lucky Star Saloon, and the driver, a man called Noah, shouted greetings, his laughter filling the air outside the carriage. Inside, the sole passenger fought down waves of nerve-induced nausea.

Amber Hamilton clutched her stomach for a second, and offered Noah a weak smile when he opened the door and held out his hand to help her to the street. The ground below her feet was hard, still frozen by winter. In a few weeks the road would be a mire of mud.

Butler’s gonna be a happier man than he’s been lately, once he sees you, Miss Amber.”

Her smile brightened a little and she touched his arm in a gesture of appreciation.

“I hope you’re right, Noah,” she replied, though the knot of apprehension didn’t ease in the slightest.

“I know I am, ma’am,” he said with a grin.

Amber hesitated, stared up at the balcony that ran across the front of the club. Clay’s door should have been open. He should have been perched at the corner, smoking, smiling at the people who populated the busy street. The shutters were still down, and there was stillness about the place that was unnerving.

“He’s not out of town, is he?” Inside, she knew he was only a short distance away; she could feel his presence as keenly as if he stood next to her.

“No, ma’am,” Noah answered, then turned to shout at Walker.

Amber turned as well and saw guarded curiosity in Jesse Walker’s light blue eyes as he halted next to the stage. He hadn’t changed much in the past six months. Walker was still the scruffy, attractive, mysterious, outwardly hard man she’d always felt mildly intimidated by. Yet, there was a peace in his manner that had been absent before. She spotted the silver star pinned to his vest and inquisitiveness all but ran away with her.

“It’s nice to see you again, Mr. Walker.” She smiled. “Sheriff Walker?” she corrected with enough surprise to make it a question. Jenny and Austin had always wanted him to be the Sheriff of the town, he’d never been interested. She admired Jesse, he was one of the few men who challenged Clay, and kept him from crossing lines from which there would be no returning.

Butler know you’re back?” Walker acknowledged her greeting with a nod of his head, and ignored the query she hadn’t directly made.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Insider Look at the Publishing World

This is the first interview in a new series I’m doing with the people who work behind the scenes of publishing. Those who accept the books, promote them, edit them, etc., the inner workings of the publishing houses. We so often see only the finished books, or hear the authors either praise or bitch about their experiences, I thought it might be nice to showcase a cross-section of the professionals who make all the books happen.

My first guest is Penny Adams, the Vice President and Acquisitions Manager at Toronto publishing house XoXo Publishing™, so let’s get to the interview.

1. How long have you been handling day to day operations at XoXo Publishing™, and what does your typical workday involve?

I have been with XoXo for  two years now. I started off as the acquisitions editor and am now the C.O.O.  . My typical work day begins bright and early answering emails, , contacting various staff to see how things are progressing; from edits to formats to covers.  . At some point I get to the submissions as that is still my main job. As I cannot possibly read that much I will look at the first few paragraphs. If it looks like a decent read, I will then pass it on to a couple of people that will read it and give me an honest opinion. If they disagree then I have to read more and make the decision to publish or not.

2. On average, how many manuscripts does your house vet in the run of a month?

On average it’s about 100  per month.

3. What is the most frustrating aspect of your job, in terms of the authors who are submitting to you?

When and author sends a ‘sample chapter’ with instructions to go their blog and or they paste most of the story in to the body of the email. There seems to be a lack of common sense and a complete lack of professionalism in far too many cases.

4. What is your most rewarding experience (to date) in this business?

The amazing people I have met, and have made friends with. I love this business and the learning process that goes with it. I came in knowing nothing and still consider myself a novice, but one that is more than willing to do what it takes to make this a very successful company. 

5. If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice to always keep in mind, what would it be?

Follow the submission guidelines to a T. There is nothing more annoying than reading a very good cover letter then glance down at the attachment and see it is in the wrong format.

6. In your experience, what is the biggest failing with regard to authors and their understanding of what’s expected from them when the contract is signed?

Many do not realise this is a business.  . As such your book is a product, one of many that we have. We will do what we can to get your product out there. What are you, as an author going to do to drive people to buy your book? The name of the game is sales, and we are all sales people of a product that being a book. If you are in it for fame, do not apply.

7. Be blunt, what is your pet peeve about being in publishing? And, in reverse, what is the part of the business you like best?

Everyone thinks they are a writer.  . That is true in less than 5% of the books that are submitted for consideration. When I get a book that is repetitive, full of spelling and grammatical errors I   simply want to scream. Sadly with those same submissions comes an ego the size of a football field and they appear to have a sense of entitlement, like they are doing me a huge favour by submitting their masterpiece. They treat the business like it’s a game to be played.  . On the reverse side, I get the professional author. They are helpful, understanding of the business and while we may not agree on everything, we agree to disagree and end up finding a middle ground. I love working with those people, they are true rare gems in this world.

8. Since we’ve discussed your most rewarding experience, what has been the one that made you want to forget your professionalism and just “react”?

Oh there are many but the one thing that will do it for me, is an unjustified attack on our authors and or staff. At that point I just want to throw the gloves down and have an all out brawl. 

9. All publishing houses have problem authors, if you were to have the chance to tell your authors as a group what NOT to do, what would you tell them?

Do not come to me with a problem and then run to the owner of the company hoping for a different outcome, or vice versa. We do our best to treat everyone fairly. The divas and divos quickly get put on the termination list. We have over 100 current authors and more coming in every day. I don’t care if you are a best selling author or a brand new one, you cannot quit learning this craft, there is always room for improvement. Support your fellow in house authors. If they are blogging take a second of your time to stop in and say a few words. If they have a contest, repost, they will do the same for you.  . One of biggest sources of support  besides family and friends are the people in the same business as you. Don’t overlook that valuable resource.

10. What do you feel are the trending genres in your business at the moment?

Sweet romance is on the rise. BDSM of course is also on the rise . Vampires and werewolves are not as popular but are still holding their own. Sensuous romance  remains timeless. 

In closing, if you have any general comments or observations you’d like to make, please feel free to add your personal remarks.

I cannot stress enough, if someone wishes to be published, before you even dream of sending work to a publisher, get some beta readers. If you have close friends who are avid readers and are not afraid to be honest, that might be your most valued resource as a writer. They have to tell you honestly what works and what does not. Check your ego at the door and hone your craft. Today’s best seller can be knocked down and off the charts in a heartbeat to never see another book sell again. Be true to yourself while writing, write what you love. Study, learn and keep on studying and learning. You can only get better. Never ever assume because you were published once that it will happen again. Always check the publishers guidelines just prior to submitting.  What was on there last week may not be on there today. Ensure your information is current and up to date.

Thank you, Penny. Future interviews will features editors, owners, and at least one cover artist - this entire series of interviews will be compiled next year as a special feature issue of Sensual Treats Magazine, as well.