Category Archives: F/F

Love Spanks 2015 — “Gold Rush”

Love Spanks 2015 is here!

AND GONE!

It went fast, but what a ride! The stories have been read! The comments have been made and are being tabulated by a very sophisticated and advanced system of algorithms and….something. I have no idea. All I know is that Love Spanks 2015 is officially over as far as commenting. Now we wait a bit to see who won what!

All the stories are down because we are having an anthology put together. More on that at a later date. So if you missed any of the fab offerings, they’ll be available in one volume at a ridiculously low price 🙂Spanks-Lovespanks-2015-wnames-200x300

If you have any questions about Love Spanks 2015, head over to Ana’s and she’ll gladly help you out 🙂

Thanks again for reading and commenting and being your awesome selves! I was touched by all your kind words and encouragement about the setting and characters in Gold Rush. I’m seriously considering more with Pen and Rowena. I have a few things on my plate right now, but their story may be too compelling to ignore for long 🙂

 

Posted in Alaska, Cathy Pegau, contest, F/F, fun, romance, win stuff | 42 Comments

Welcome to Love Spanks 2014!

FB-Love Spanks 2014-525

***Warning, Part I: The contents of some of the works associated with this event are meant for ADULTS ONLY! If you are under 18, please skedaddle. Thanks!***

 

 

Love Spanks 2014 is finally here! You’ve tasted us, and now you get to sample free stories from top F/F authors. Please visit Governing Ana for the prize list, sign-up sheet, and free books. You can win from a prize pool valued at over $1,000, including a Kindle Fire or Nook HD!

Many authors will also offer a contest on their individual blogs. Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests!
What’s the catch? Absolutely nothing! We love writing for you and want to thank you for your readership. Perhaps someone might get a spanking or two, but that’s a reward rather than a catch, right?

How do you play?
1. Visit each blog between Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 9 to read the posted stories and excerpts.
2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog. You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing. You will also be automatically entered in that author’s individual contest, if she has one.
3. If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.
4. Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on February 9!!
5. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012), you may add “VIP” to your comments. You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize. (Yes, we will be doing this again. Yes, if you successfully complete the Love Spanks 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)
6. If you are a F/F author or thinking of becoming one, please add “FF” to your comments. That way, your name will be entered in the special F/F author prize drawings.
7. If you are Love Spanks 2014 Ambassador, please add “Amb” to your comments to receive your extra prize drawing.
8. Visit any of the participating blogs on Friday, February 14 to find out the lucky winners. Will it be you?

Like these events? Want to support your friendly F/F authors? Become a Love Spanks Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes! To find out the details, send an email to tarafinneganromance@gmail.com, with the subject line “Love Spanks Ambassador.”

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog.

Like Love Spanks on Facebook!

Tweet #lovespanks on Twitter!

For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.

So, now that you know where all the Spanking fun can be found, here’s MY contribution. I hope you enjoy it : )

***Warning, Part II: The excerpt below is rated for ADULTS. It is a bit racier than normal fare found on this blog.***

I’ve Never Done Anything Like This Before….

When Ana invited me to participate in this event, my first thought was “OMG! None of my pubbed stories involve any sort of spanking or the like! What would I post?” Then I remembered I was working on a Science Fiction Romance that did, indeed, involve a little hand to bum (and then some) activity.

I usually write one or two relatively sedate (but hopefully sensuous!) love scenes in a book, so what had possessed me to attempt a scene with more graphic action? Well, I could blame the erotica romance writers I hang out with on Twitter (you know who you are). But I don’t think “blame” is the right word. I enjoy reading saucier love scenes. Maybe the better word to use is “inspired.”

When I came up with the idea for this story, I knew Bijou and Faris would have a very physical relationship. In fact, that’s ALL their relationship was going to be in their minds, but we know how that really works in romance land ; ) And for them, physical meant a little more than what *I* generally have in mind for sex scenes.

Below is an excerpt from their story. The set up: Bijou is a pilot who runs a courier/cargo service between planets. She’s hired by a man named Doc to deliver a box to Faris. Instead of giving Bijou a response, Faris decides she wants to return with Bijou. Bijou is used to flying alone, and is more than a little uncomfortable with having a passenger on her ship for two weeks. But the money offered is good, so she agrees.

As expected, the proximity becomes a bit too much for both women…

Bijou set the half-empty bottle on the table with a thud. No label, which meant home brew. Two shot glasses followed and she sat down opposite Faris. She poured a finger of clear liquid into each glass and slid one over. “Truth or Dare,” she said.

Faris eyed the drink. “Ale with dinner, now this? Are you trying to get me drunk?”

Bijou raised her glass, her dark eyes fixed on Faris. There was a glint of amusement there, but behind it was determination. She wanted something.

“Just killing time. You playing?” She tossed down the drink and refilled her glass.

Faris lifted the shot and sniffed. No discernible odor, but her eyes watered. What the hell was this stuff? Under Bijou’s unwavering gaze, she swallowed the alcohol. It slid past her tongue and down her throat like water. At first. Two seconds later, the bite-burn exploded at the back of her throat and into her sinuses. She closed her eyes to keep the tears from falling, her throat tightening against the assault. Three years ago, she would have drank twice as much without a hitch; living on Kepler had softened her.

After a few moments, she opened her eyes. Bijou watcher her, judged her. “Dare.”

A slow smile curved the other woman’s sensual mouth. “Actually, you already took on the first one.”

Faris cocked her head and poured another round. “I thought you were just offering me a drink. You didn’t say we’d started.”

Bijou shrugged. She raised her glass, and the silver buckle of her fingerless glove caught the light. “Call it a warm up. Besides, you’re a guest. You get to ask first.”

Faris met her gaze. “Truth or Dare?”

“Truth.”

She nodded toward Bijou’s hand. “Tell me about the gloves.”

The pilot hesitated, shot glass at her lips, then sipped. She set the glass on the table. “When I was six, my sister and I were playing tag in the engine room of our family’s cargo ship. Dad told us to stop, but we didn’t. I slipped and fell, and put my hand out to catch myself. Right into the open engine casing.”

Faris winced in sympathetic pain. “Oh, no.”

Bijou unsnapped each glove. “Yeah. Mangled it pretty good. I don’t remember much, thanks to the painkillers, but there were surgeries and regen therapy and grafts.”

She tugged off the gloves, showing Faris the backs of her hands. Long, slender fingers that appeared agile enough to play an old-fashioned harp as well as they danced across the nav panel of her ship. She turned them over. Perfect. Unmarred.

Faris looked up. “They’re fine. So why the gloves?”

“The damaged hand, the palm in particular, didn’t really heal right,” she said. “It looks and works like the other.” She opened and closed her hands. “But very sensitive to temperature and touch. The gloves allow me to function without distraction.”

“Which hand?”

Bijou gave her a sly smile. “You already asked your Truth question.”

Faris drank her second shot. “Fair enough. Your turn.”

“Truth or Dare?”

She had the feeling Bijou knew what she was going to say, but said it anyway. “Dare.”

Bijou finished her drink and licked her lips. Faris’s gut warmed. The pilot laid her hands palm up in front of Faris. “I dare you to figure out which one.”

Faris quirked an eyebrow at her. “Why? What happens if I do?”

Bijou leaned across the table until all Faris could see was her eyes, nose and mouth. God, what a mouth. “Try and you’ll find out,” she said in a husky whisper.

She sat back, her hands open before Faris. Oh, this was going to be much more fun than reading up on the political wranglings between Kepler and Jarvis IV.

Faris moved their empty glasses aside. She slid her hands under Bijou’s, all the while their eyes remained locked. “I promise to be gentle,” she said as she stroked the other woman’s palms with her thumbs.

Bijou swallowed hard, but she didn’t twitch or try to pull away. “Not too gentle, I hope.”

Faris smiled. “Only if you like it that way.” The pilot laughed. Faris lifted her hands and looked closely at the skin of her palms. “Beautiful.” She glanced up. “And the cosmetics are amazing too.”

Something in Bijou’s gaze changed, heated. There, behind the effort to not reveal which hand had been damaged, desire.

Faris pursed her lips and gently blew across Bijou’s palms. Bijou tensed, but no obvious reaction of one hand over the other. Faris touched her lips to the left palm. Bjiou trembled. She flicked her tongue against the smooth skin then blew again. The black of Bijou’s pupils expanded and her breath hitched. Faris waited a moment then repeated the test on the right palm. Expecting the second flick and blow, Bijou’s breathing remained even. The look in her eyes didn’t change. But that didn’t matter.

Faris laid her hands on the table and sat back. She poured them each a third shot and passed Bijou her glass.

Bijou drank it fast and blew out a cooling breath. “Figure it out?”

“Maybe.” Faris swallowed her drink then rose. She moved to the other side of the table, in front of Bijou.

The pilot turned in her chair and looked up. Faris sat on her lap, straddling Bijou’s thighs. She grasped the other woman’s wrists and ran Bijou’s hands along her own thighs, up her sides to her breasts. Bijou’s palms were hot through her thin shirt and Faris shivered.

“Which one?” Bijou asked quietly.

Faris scooted closer, pressing her breasts into Bijou’s hands. Bijou stroked her from nipple to side, slow, sensuous caresses that tightened her nipples and sent pulses of need into her groin.

Hands on the pilot’s shoulders, she tilted her head and touched her lips to the other woman’s mouth. “It doesn’t matter.”

Bijou captured Faris’s lower lip between her teeth and flicked her tongue against it. “Are you conceding the game?”

“Would you like that?” she asked. She trailed kisses along Bijou’s jawline, felt the woman trembling between her thighs. “Do you want me to surrender to you?”

Bijou lowered her hands to Faris’s hips and pulled her snug against her body. She nipped the juncture of Faris’s neck and shoulder. “Yes,” she said, her breath hot on Faris’s skin.
Faris leaned back. “I don’t submit easily. Make it worth my while.”

The smile Bijou offered was at once amused, intrigued and…hungry. She eased Faris off her lap and they both rose. The pilot took her hand and led her to Faris’s cabin down the short hall off the galley, not her own, which was closer.

“Yours is cleaner,” Bijou said by way of explanation. Faris had seen Bijou’s cabin. She was right.

She guided Faris to the narrow cot. They faced each other an arm’s length apart. Bijou’s gazed dropped to Faris’s mouth, her throat, her breasts. Each shift of the woman’s focus increased the tingling heat of Faris’s body.

Faris moistened her lips. “What do you want, Bijou?” That brought the pilot’s gaze back to hers. The desire in her eyes had grown to an almost fevered glint. “Tell me, and I might do it.”

“Undress,” she said simply.

With deliberate slowness, Faris slid her fingers along the closure of her trousers. Bijou followed her every move as she lowered the garment down over her hips and to the floor. She stepped out of them and pushed them aside with her bare foot. The hem of the blouse she wore brushed the tops of her thighs. She started to unbutton the first button.

“Wait,” Bijou said. Faris stopped, her finger toying with the bit of plastic. “Let me.”

Faris’s heart thudded hard in her chest and heat pooled between her legs. She lowered her hand. Bijou stepped closer. Eyes locked on hers, Bijou started at the top and slowly unbuttoned Faris’s blouse. She didn’t touch Faris anywhere else, didn’t let her fingers come in contact with Faris’s skin, though she felt the warmth radiating from Bijou’s hand.

When the shirt was unbuttoned, open to reveal a path of bare skin, Bijou lowered her hand and rubbed her thumbs along her fingertips. “Turn around.”

Faris’s first inclination was to disobey, but a shimmering thrill ran along her spine. She’d told Bijou it would have to be worth her while to submit to her. What did the brash pilot have in mine? Only one way to find out. She turned around.

Bijou’s fingertips glided up her arms to her shoulders. Faris felt warm breath against her right ear. “Close your eyes.”

Heart fluttering, she complied. Bijou feathered delicate caresses across her collar bones. Her fingertips stroked Faris sternum to breasts, across her nipples. Slowly, Bijou removed the blouse, kissing the side of Faris’s neck, along her shoulder, following the path of skin as it was revealed. The material brushed Faris’s back and shoulder blades, down her arms to where the cuffs prevented the blouse from coming off. Bijou eased Faris’s arms behind her, bringing her wrists together.

Faris’s breath caught and her eyes flew open. She turned her head. “Bijou.”

The pilot brushed her lips across Faris’s. “I won’t hurt you. I promise. Trust me?”

She’d known this woman for barely a week. Doc had trusted her to bring Faris’s documents, to keep her task of finding Faris on Granger to herself. But that was for money. What would Bijou want for her trust here?

Faris swallowed hard. Her next word came out in a dry whisper. “Yes.”

Bijou smiled and kissed her. Her tongue flicked against the seam of Faris’s mouth. Faris parted her lips, let her in. She leaned into Bijou, enjoying the soft press of the other woman’s breasts against her back. Bijou ran her hands up Faris’s sides and caressed her breasts. She pinched Faris’s nipples, sending licks of electricity through her.

The pilot broke the kiss. She wrapped the shirt around Faris’s wrists, binding her securely enough that she couldn’t easily get free but loose enough that her shoulders didn’t ache.

“Kneel down.” Faris knelt. Bijou nudged her knees apart. She touched Faris’s shoulder with one hand and her cheek with the other. Faris turned her head and kissed Bijou’s palm. The pilot caressed her jaw. “Lay your head on the cot.”

Faris leaned her forehead on the soft blanket covering the lumpy mattress. Her breathing had increased and she had to consciously slow it down before she hyperventilated. Naked, on her knees and arms bound, she’d never felt more vulnerable. Even during questioning by Stannish Prime’s security agents, Faris had felt some sense of control. She wasn’t sure she’d have it here.

Wasn’t sure she wanted it.

Yet she also felt powerful. One word, one indication that whatever Bijou had planned wasn’t fun anymore and she trusted the pilot to stop. For her.

Bijou moved away and the air around Faris immediately cooled. The quiet zip of her trouser closure made Faris smile. Soft rustling told her Bijou was undressed as well. The equality of nudity eased her mind some. She felt Bijou kneel beside her, her small breasts pressing into Faris’s right arm. Deft fingers stroked her from navel to breast.

“What would make you surrender to me, Faris?”

“I thought I was surrendering.”

The sharp pain of the swat Bijou delivered to her bottom made Faris gasp and her heart race.

“I think you’re following direction, but not quite surrendering.” Fingertips skimmed along Faris’s spine. Up. Down. She tickled the top of the cleft of Faris’s ass. “Would you like me to touch you some more?”

Faris nodded. Bijou’s hand landed on her buttock again. The delicious sting traveled up Faris’s back, making her shake. Wrong answer. Or rather, wrong way to answer. “Yes,” she said hoarsely.

***

Cathy Pegau’s muse almost always finds some sort of science fiction, fantasy or paranormal bend to the stories it offers. Her debut novel, Rulebreaker, was released in 2011. Caught in Amber in January 2013, and the third installment of her Nevarro books, Deep Deception, came out in May 2013. Rulebreaker and Deep Deception are F/F romances.

Cathy enjoys chatting with other writers and readers. Drop her a note at cathy@cathypegau.com or find her on Twitter @CathyPegau.

Pick up her books at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble in ebook format. Caught in Amber and Deep Deception are also available at Audible.com

Posted in Caught in Amber, Deep Deception, F/F, Rulebreaker, SFR, win stuff | 55 Comments

Love Spanks 2014!

LoveSpanks2014When two grown-ups love each other, someone might get a spanking!
How would you like a brand-new Kindle Fire or Nook HD or another prize from a pool valued at over $1,000?

How about free stories from award-winning authors?

This Valentine’s Day, you can participate in a short story extravaganza! F/F authors will showcase romance, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and spanking fiction for your enjoyment. Chat with your favorite authors, meet new-to-you authors, find great new books, and meet new friends!

Want to become a Love Spanks ambassador and earn an extra prize entry? See below!

Even better, participation could earn you a GRAND PRIZE!

• Kindle Fire or Nook HD (winner’s choice)!
(donated by Blushing Books)

• Book cover plus author promotional package for one F/F book
(donated by Fantasia Frog Designs)
• Custom social media package for a F/F author
(donated by The Cover Artisan)
• Pre-publication consultation of a F/F manuscript up to 15K
(donated by Wizards in Publishing)

• Beginning Domestic Discipline Boot Camp package:
2 books and a 6-month online couple membership
(donated by Learning Domestic Discipline)
• Three-month membership to Discipline and Desire

• $50 gift certificate to Amazon
(donated by Beachwalk Press)
• $25 gift certificate to Evernight Publishing
(donated by the same)
• $10 gift certificate to Amazon
(donated by Read the Rainbow)
• $10 gift certificate to All Romance Ebooks
(donated by the same)
• Custom-made wooden paddle*
(donated by Blondie’s Place)
*Available to US and Canada participants only
• Author spotlight feature
(donated by VC Erotica)
• Author feature
(donated by Fallen Over Book Reviews)

• Book Bundles from:
Bold Strokes Books
Coming Together
Decadent Publishing
JMS Books
Library of Spanking Fiction
Loose Id
Phaze Books
Ylva Publishing

Plus, the first 50 Love Spankers will receive a copy of The Bodyguard by Saranna DeWylde!

Free book! Vampire’s Bard by Kate Richards

Many authors also will offer a contest on their individual blogs. Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests!

LoveSpanks2014banner-525

What’s the catch? Absolutely nothing! We love writing for you and want to thank you for your readership. Perhaps someone might get a spanking or two, but that’s a reward rather than a catch, right? 😉

Here are the rules:
1. Visit each blog between Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 9 to read the posted stories and excerpts.
2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog. You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing. You will also be automatically entered in that author’s individual contest, if she has one.
3. If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.
Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on February 9!!
4. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012) challenge, you may add “VIP” to your comments. You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize. (Yes, we will be doing this again. Yes, if you successfully complete the Love Spanks 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)
5. If you are a F/F author or thinking of becoming one, please add “FF” to your comments. That way, your name will be entered in the special F/F author prize drawings.
6. Visit any of the participating blogs on Friday, February 14 to find out the lucky winners. Will it be you?

Like these events? Want to support your friendly F/F authors? Become a Love Spanks 2014 Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes!

To find out the details, contact Head Ambassador Tara Finnegan at tarafinneganromance at gmail dot com, with the subject line “Love Spanks Ambassador.”

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit:

http://governingana.wordpress.com
Like us on Facebook!
Twitter hashtag: #lovespanks

Posted in contest, F/F, win stuff | 2 Comments

Colors of the Rainbow Blog Hop: The Pixar Story Rules and Writing Deep Deception

 This 3-day hop for authors and readers of GLBT fiction is hosted by the Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) Organization. Lots of great authors are participating and you’ll have an opportunity to sample their novels through excerpts and more. And prizes to be had! Be sure to leave a comment on each blog for your chance to win at each stop.

The twenty-two rules developed by Pixar story artist Emma Coates have been floating around for some time now. No one can argue the success of Pixar stories. No matter what you see, from their shorts to their full-length movies, you will be given a well-rounded story with fully developed characters. The Pixar Rules may have been developed for a visual medium, but storytelling is storytelling. The Rules are essentially the same in motion pictures as they are for novels.

Writing lesbian romantic fiction is no different to than writing hetero romantic fiction, so to be honest the Rules I selected aren’t specific to one or the other. But I’ll tailor the three I selected to my latest release from Carina Press, Deep Deception.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

Deep Deception came about as I was writing my second science fiction romance, Caught in Amber. I’d used the one character, Natalia Hallowell, in minor roles in CiA and in my debut novel, Rulebreaker. She was always more complex than her bit parts suggested. And when Genevieve Caine popped up in CiA, I knew the two of them would make a great pair. I HAD to get their story out. Once I found a plot and a sub plot it was off to the races.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

Natalia is trying to keep her job and Gennie needs to protect her family. Noble causes. And if they don’t succeed? Well, Natalia might end up in a correctional facility if she’s charged with taking bribes. That’s not good. Gennie could lose everything she loves. That’s not good either. But wait! In the words of Donald Maass and other gurus of fiction, make things bad for your characters. Then make them worse. Now make it worse than that. Not only do Natalia and Gennie have those threats against them, they could be killed along with others. (I won’t go into spoiler details ; )

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

Identifying with your character and/or their situation requires putting a bit of yourself on the page. Sometimes it requires ignoring the fact you don’t possess certain skills, but that’s beside the point. Skill isn’t the issue. I’m not trained as a government agent (or am I???). I’ve never shot anyone to save a loved one. You have to ask yourself, as a person, what you’d do. How you’d react. But at the same time, you have to know your characters well enough to show what they would do.

And staying in character is important. My tough government agent Natalia didn’t have much to say in the first two books, but since she’s a main player in Deep Deception, readers get to see her more clearly. One commented on this, saying Natalia’s sudden chattiness and all felt off. Well, sure, I can understand that because Natalia didn’t get a lot of screen time in the first books. Now that I had the chance to show her side of things, she let her personality and her feelings out. To me, they were very true to her character.

Next time you read or write a story, see how the Pixar Rules apply. Every one of them will help you understand the process. Do you follow any particular rules?

MY GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and win a copy of Deep Deception! Please check out an excerpt of Deep Deception here : )deep-deception-final

Blog Hop Goodies!!! GIVEAWAY Free to everyone! No entry needed.

Download your favorite version of the exclusive Marketing for Romance Writers  Rainbow Excerpts Book – 60 pages of erotic excerpts and samples from MFRW  authors.

 

Posted in blog tour, Carina, Cathy Pegau, Deep Deception, F/F, writing | 7 Comments

Founder’s Day–A Free Short Read

Hi, all! I wanted to share a short piece set after Rulebreaker featuring Zia and Liv. It’s a holiday story originally posted on Jessica Subject’s blog last year. Bit of a warning, there is some girl lovin’, so if you’re underage or just not into it, don’t read.

Otherwise, I hope you like the piece. Happy New Year!

Founder’s Day

Zia drew in a long, slow breath, letting the warm salt and floral tinged air of Pacifica fill her lungs, and released it with a contented sigh. The cooling pad beneath her provided the perfect barrier between the hot, lavender sand while countering the heat of the sun’s rays baking her from above. Optimum comfort was promised and delivered. Somewhere in the distance, she heard shouts and laughter of others, but no one close enough to bother her mid day repose.

She’d never allowed herself time to relax like this back on Nevarro. It was always work work work, stress stress stress. But since coming to the resort planet two months ago, she’d slowly let go of the natural drive that had seen her become VP of Research and Development for one of the top mining companies on Nevarro before she’d reached her thirty-fifth standard year.

Correction: Former Vice President.

Being on Pacifica was the result of her forced departure from Exeter Mining, but she was so very lucky to be here. And even luckier to be here with the woman she loved. Those last few months on Nevarro had been strenuous, and had nearly killed both her and Liv. They were safe now, taking a short holiday while they figured out where to go next.

Eyes closed, her breathing and heart rate synchronized with the lulling sound of the surf against the soft sand. Zia forced herself not to dwell on the worries of what they’d do to make their living after the visit to Pacifica was over. They’d figure it out soon enough. Right now, she just wanted to soak in the sun while she waited for Liv to join her.

“Happy Founder’s Day.”

Reluctant to rouse from her doze, but responding to the familiar voice, Zia opened one eye just wide enough to see Liv standing over her. Liv’s short dark hair flittered in the sea breeze, haloing her head. Like Zia, she wore a snug one piece outfit. The strapless garment showed off Liv’s lithe body, and Zia smiled in appreciation. “We’re not on Nevarro anymore, hon. They don’t celebrate Founder’s Day here.”

Every day was a celebration on the resort planet. How could it not be in a world marketed specifically for its just-hot-enough beaches, placid oceans, and low, rolling hills?

“I know.” Liv held out a red and silver box slightly larger than her fist. “Here.”

Zia rose to lean on her elbows. She’d assumed that leaving Nevarro meant they wouldn’t celebrate. Apparently she’d been wrong. “Sweetness, I didn’t think we’d be observing the day. I didn’t get you anything—”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” She shook the box. “Just open it.”

Zia sat up and crossed her legs as she gave Liv a reproachful look. They often exchanged gifts—flowers or small tokens—without the expectation of reciprocation, but Founder’s Day was a major holiday on Nevarro, with parades and parties scheduled across the planet. Not that she’d participated in many. Work had always come first, and the few times she had someone to share the festivities with, she’d felt a certain amount of resentment if she had projects pending.

But things were different now. She was different now. And it was all because of Liv.

Smiling, Zia took the box and gave it an experimental shake. Neither heavy nor rattling, whatever it was thumped against the sides. Slowly, she ran her finger under the edge of the paper.

Liv bounced on the balls of her feet, sinking deeper into the sand. “You’re doing that on purpose.”

“What?” Zia asked, widening her eyes in mock innocence. Liv was not the most patient person; in some things, anyway. She finished loosening the paper and set it on the pad. Lifting the top off the box, she stared down at the circle of white fur inside. “Is it alive?”

“No, silly.” Liv huffed dramatically and reached in. With a flick of her wrists, she held a furry disc in each hand connected by a springy, flat band wrapped in the same material.

“Ear muffs?”

“Put them on.”

The grin on her face made her look like a kid, and Zia couldn’t help but smile back despite her confusion. “It’s over 34 degrees. Not exactly ear muff weather.”

A sly glint lit Liv’s brown eyes. “Put them on and come with me.”

What was she up to? Zia set the furry head gear over her ears, muffling the sound of the ocean waves. Liv extended a hand to help her up. When Zia was on her feet, she kissed Liv’s cheek. “They’re great, but—”

Liv covered Zia’s mouth with her own, eliciting a moan of desire from Zia as heat flashed from her breasts to her groin. God, she loved kissing this woman. Before Zia could deepen the kiss, Liv broke away and started toward the cottage they shared, tugging Zia along by the hand. “Come on.”

Feeling a little silly mincing across the scorching sand while wearing ear muffs, Zia wondered what Liv had in store. The breeze off the ocean tossed her long hair over her shoulders, but the ear muffs kept it out of her face. Another change since being with Liv; she used to wear her hair up and controlled.

The sweet scent of the false hibiscus blooming beside the cottage drifted on the air as they walked to the rear door. Like the other dwellings further along the beach, the white-washed exterior reflected the sun’s heat while the blue roof tiles collected and converted its energy for use.

Liv stopped on the slate porch of the rear entrance and let go of Zia’s hand. Instead of opening the door, she reached behind the carved stone bench beside it. She turned around, a long, puffy coat the color of putty in each hand.

Zia took a coat from her, one eyebrow cocked in a silent question.

“Humor me,” Liv said. She shrugged into the other coat, closed it up to her throat, and withdrew her own ear muffs from the deep pocket. “And hurry up before I melt in this thing.”

Zia donned the garment as Liv reached behind the bench again. The coat came down to Zia’s shins. It was already getting too hot, and she was grateful for the cool stone beneath her feet.

“These too.” Liv handed Zia a pair of fur-lined boots.

She brushed the sand off her feet and did as she was told. The boots felt awkward and alien after weeks of running barefoot on the sand or with the thinnest of sandals when propriety demanded shoes.

Liv put on her own pair, a grin still splitting her face. “All right. Now, close your eyes.”

Zia complied. She had an idea what Liv had done, considering the cold weather gear she currently wore on a beach planet, but didn’t want to spoil it. Part of a gift was the giver’s anticipation. Goodness knows she was just as delighted to give Liv some trinket as Liv was to receive it. She felt Liv’s fingers entwine with her own and gently squeezed them. Liv squeezed back.

The door clicked open. A burst of icy air hit Zia’s face and she instinctively sucked in a breath. Beneath the coat, her body gave a reactionary shiver, even though it was well protected. Her sudden inhalation brought with it a distinct metallic hint to the air. Just like Nevarro’s. How had Liv dropped the temp in the short time Zia had been out of the house? How had she managed the very taste of the air? The enviro controls must be pushed to their limits.

“Don’t open your eyes,” Liv admonished.

She ushered Zia in and the door closed behind them. In her mind’s eye, Zia saw the layout of their little cottage by the sea. They’d entered the enclosed porch with a long, low couch she and Liv often used during their evening meal so they could watch the peach and purple sunsets. From the outside, the one-way windows appeared to be solid walls, giving them complete privacy while enjoying the view. And each other.

Through the arched doorway and to the left was the kitchen where Liv sometimes cooked their meals, but more often than not they had the Compu-Chef whip up something.

Liv led her to the right, into the small living room. After a day in the luscious heat of Pacifica, Zia’s cheeks felt frozen even though it was probably only ten degrees C. A trace of some tantalizing scent came to her. Cinnamon? Hard to say with her nose as cold as it was.

“Over this way.” They approached the place where a low table sat between two chairs and a short couch. Instinctively, Zia swerved away from what would be the corner of the table.

“Now sit,” Liv said, taking her shoulders and easing her down to the couch.

Trusting her lover, though still not quite sure what to expect, she sat on the edge of the seat. Liv moved away and busied herself in front of Zia. Though she listened hard, she couldn’t determine what Liv was doing. A few taps, a muted beep. The urge to peek nearly overwhelmed her, but she didn’t want to ruin Liv’s surprise. Whatever she had planned was important to her, and that meant it was important to Zia. After a moment, Zia felt a wave of warmth cut through the cold.

“Open your eyes.”

Zia opened them and gasped in delight, the cold all but forgotten. The entire living room was lit with strings of tiny white lights. The table had been moved aside, and on the bare floor in front of her was a roaring fire encircled by smooth stones. The hologram looked and felt so real, Zia’s nose warmed. Liv stood near the table. On the honey-colored surface waited a platter of pastries, a basket of huskberries, and a colorful coffee pot with two matching mugs.

“I couldn’t find a Founder’s Day flag here,” Liv said, her breath coming out in a silvery puff, “and getting one shipped over was more credits than I could justify.”

“It’s amazing.” Zia’s voice caught around the lump in her throat as a surge of love squeezed her chest. “I can’t believe you did all of this.”

Liv shrugged, but the smile on her beautiful face told Zia she was pleased with Zia’s reaction. “I programmed the Chef with a recipe I found for the pastries. They’re pretty close. And the cocoa is good. Had to fight to override the temp setting. Seems the Chef couldn’t quite understand why I wanted such a hot drink here.”

Zia laughed. Leave it to Liv to argue with a kitchen appliance.

Liv’s grin faded a little as she continued. “What happened on Nevarro probably isn’t stuff either one of us wants to remember.” She knelt in front of Zia and grasped her hands. Cool skin warmed quickly when their palms came together. “But it’s where we met, and I never want to forget that. By leaving like we did, we never had the chance to share one of my favorite holidays.”

She released Zia’s hands and rose to pour cocoa—the Nevarro Founding Father’s preferred beverage and a tradition of the holiday—into each of the mugs. Passing one to Zia, Liv sat beside her. The mug radiated enough heat to warm her hands while the delectable scent of chocolate made her mouth water.

She sipped the rich beverage and smiled. Careful of the hot drinks, Zia kissed Liv’s cheek. “I will never forget this. Thank you.”

Liv took the mug from her and set both back on the table. “There’s one more thing.”

She rose, taking Zia’s hand again, and led her toward the bedroom.

Zia’s smile broadened. This was definitely going to be one of her better Founder’s Days.

Liv glanced at her as she pushed the door open and moved aside. Zia stepped into the room and her mouth dropped open. Flames flickered from dozens of white candles that filled every flat surface except the white fur-covered bed. The scent of wax and cinnamon tinged the icy air.

“How?” Was all Zia could manage.

“I’ve be getting things together for the past two weeks,” she said. “It’s not easy keeping surprises hidden from you.” Liv took Zia’s hand and led her to the bed. She ran her fingers under the closure of the coat and pushed the garment off Zia’s shoulders. The chill air on her chest made her shiver. “I took advantage of your time down at the beach. Now I’m going to take advantage of you.”

Eyeing the promise of the fur on the bed, Zia’s nipples tightened from the cold and from the anticipation of what was to come. She covered Liv’s mouth with her own as she opened Liv’s coat and ran her hands up her lover’s arms to her shoulders and neck. She threaded her fingers through Liv’s hair and deepened the kiss. Liv’s arms came around Zia’s waist, one hand at the small of her back, pulling their bodies together, and the other working the closure of her beach frock.

“Hurry,” Zia said as she lowered her hands to Liv’s clothing and did the same. “I’m freezing.”

They peeled each other out of their clothes and kicked off the fur-lined boots. Despite the cold, Zia stopped for a moment to stare at Liv. The Pacifica sun had darkened her skin to a golden brown that glowed in the candlelight. Cold and arousal made her nipples pebble, and Zia couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to caress Liv’s breast.

Liv sucked in a breath and moved closer, her hands skimming along Zia’s sides and up to her chest as their mouths came together. Tongues twined and heat blossomed throughout Zia’s body. Liv’s scent filled her, increasing Zia’s need to have her.

One hand at Zia’s breast and the other at her waist, Liv eased her around and guided her backward toward the bed. Zia’s legs hit the side. As she lowered herself, still kissing Liv, she reached out and flipped back the fur blanket. They broke the kiss only long enough to get into bed, but kept one hand on each other as they moved, neither willing to lose contact with soft, hot skin even for a moment. Zia realized they both still wore their ear muffs, but didn’t care.

Liv covered Zia’s body with her own, her weight and they way they fit together giving Zia a sense of contentment she’d relished for the last two months. Breast to breast, stomach to stomach, thighs pressing between legs, she couldn’t think of any other place she’d rather be than in the chilled room with the woman she loved.

Liv pulled the fur around the two of them, creating a cocoon of warmth. Only their heads were exposed, and Zia delighted in the contrast of the nip in the air while her body heated beneath Liv’s as they kissed. After several breathless moments, Liv lifted herself away, her gaze wandering over Zia’s face from brow to eyes to lips.

Zia cocked her head. “What? What are you thinking?”

Their gazes met and Liv smiled. Zia’s insides melted. “I’m thinking,” Liv said, “how I’m very grateful Carmine Nevarro discovered keracite on that cold rock, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. I love you.”

Zia ran her fingers through Liv’s hair and drew her back down for a kiss. “Love you too. Happy Founder’s Day.”

************

rulebreaker-smjpg_0I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Liv and Zia’s life. If you want to see how they got together, check out Rulebreaker, available at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N.

Posted in books out, Carina, Cathy Pegau, F/F, fun, romance, Rulebreaker, SFR | 2 Comments

The Next Big Thing! Deep Deception

The lovely and talented Amber Kallyn tagged me last week for The Next Big Thing blog meme (her post is here) where writers can connect with readers to reveal a little something about their works in progress.

I’m cheating a tad, since the book I’m showcasing is almost done being a WIP and on its way back to my editor : ) Still, it and the connected books are fantastic and you should totally check them out! 

What is the working title of your book?

DEEP DECEPTION is the only title it’s been known as, really. During the writing, it was “Book Three” or “Natalia and Gennie’s Story.” Neither terribly creative : ) So I challenged my family to come up with a title. After giving them the premise of two women digging for secrets in a mine while trying to keep their own secrets, my husband suggested DEEP DECEPTION.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

While writing the first book in the series, RULEBREAKER, I thought some of the secondary characters were too dang interesting just to leave alone. Nathan Sterling gets his story in CAUGHT IN AMBER (Jan 2013). Natalia had small roles in both RULEBREAKER and CAUGHT IN AMBER, and Gennie is in CAUGHT IN AMBER.  Now both are in DEEP DECEPTION, which is a kicking ride ; )

Though the books are connected by being set on the same planet and some overlapping characters, I’ve tried to write them so you don’t have to read them in a particular order to understand the current story. But read them all! ; )

What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction or futuristic romance. It’s not hard SF. And if you read lesbian or f/f or want to give it a go, this would fit the bill. There are a couple of love scenes that are more sensual than erotic. I’m not one to write graphic sex.

Which Actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I have always seen Tricia Helfer as Natalia, especially during her Battlestar Galactica years. When she first shows up in RULEBREAKER, she is platinum blonde, like Caprica 6. In CAUGHT IN AMBER and DEEP DECEPTION, her hair is a slightly darker shade. She definitely has the tall, cool blonde vibe going. Well, cool until she meets Gennie ; )

Anna Torv would be perfect as Gennie, with darker hair and eye color. Her mannerisms and intonations when she plays Olivia Dunham on Fringe are spot-on Gennie in my head. Like Olivia, Gennie plays things close to her chest, but there’s an underlying passion that erupts as violence or actual passion, depending on circumstances.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A Colonial Mining Authority agent and a former drug dealer’s assistant join forces to learn what a corporation is really shipping out of one of its mines, but while mutual attraction flares both have their secrets to keep.

That’s not the official one-line synopsis, but you get the gist of it.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be out in May 2013 from Carina Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Several months. I started it pretty much as soon as I was done with CAUGHT IN AMBER. Then both books got contracted (yay!) and I suddenly had a real deadline : ) That’ll move things along.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Wow, I stink at this part. Um, books with a good amount of action, smoldering looks between characters, shooting and sex? (Not sex while shooting people though. That would be tricky.)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since this book is the third in the series, the characters did. I don’t necessarily think characters speak to me, but they sure as heck stand around in my head, tapping their toes and looking very impatient. Then they poke my brain until a plot oozes out and off we go!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The characters are very real and down to earth. They are far from perfect, and often far from law-abiding. The setting is on another planet in a far-off future, but the problems my heroines face both personally and professionally are relatable.

For next week (#19) check out who I tagged in The Next Big Thing:

Diane Dooley

Alyssa Linn Palmer

Posted in book coming out, books out, Carina, Cathy Pegau, F/F, romance, SFR | 1 Comment

The Value of “Women’s Work”–Ruth Diaz on Super Women

(excerpt fromThe Superheroes Union: Dynama)

“Why do you think I decided to work with children?” The smile spread across her whole face. “Everybody thinks it’s easy, like it was a gimme degree and anybody could take care of kids. They’re wrong. Some people are really bad at it, and some people just don’t care enough. A lot of supers just have too much on their minds. They get lost in the crisis and forget about what’s really important. So yeah, I may be twenty-seven and still living with my roommates from when we were all undergrads, but I love what I do.”

“Good for you,” TJ said softly. She cleared her throat, trying not to go all awkward in the face of that confession. “Me too. I was the kid that was always a crusader in search of a crusade, and I went into the Foreign Service. Probably do more saving the world in my day job than I ever will as a superhero.”

Annmarie shrugged and toyed with the stem of her wine glass. “The world needs both.”

***

When I began working on The Superheroes Union: Dynama, I knew I was writing a love story and I knew I was writing comic-book suspense. I didn’t expect the strong feminist undercurrent running through the book. But with TJ and Annmarie being who they are, I couldn’t have written a story that felt true for them without it.

It’s not that it revolves around feminist philosophy. But TJ is a superhero and Annmarie is a childcare worker, so questions of work and worth keep coming up for them. TJ is trying to save the world, both in her day job and as a superhero, and she’s hampered by centuries of Western culture influencing the people around her to believe that as a woman, she can’t do that. Being a woman and a Latina are both central to her identity, and she constantly has to prove that her work is as valuable as that of a man doing the same job.

Even superheroes have some bigots and idiots amongst them.

As a childcare worker, Annmarie has the opposite struggle. Because the work she does is historically considered “women’s work,” it is traditionally undervalued. At one point, TJ observes something Annmarie is doing and thinks to herself that “it’s like having a wife”–not to devalue what Annmarie does, but in appreciation of the level of hard work that goes into taking care of TJ’s rambunctious seven-year-old twins.

When you’re reading, do you ever find yourself noticing the type of struggles a heroine has simply because she’s a woman? And if you do, is it something you appreciate, or just one more element in a well-written story?


What if your evil ex really was evil?

TJ Gutierrez used to be a superhero. But after the birth of her twins seven years ago, she hung up the yellow spandex. Until the day her archenemy and ex-husband, Singularity, breaks out of prison. When it becomes clear he’s after the kids, she’s forced to call the nanny helpline—and once again become…Dynama!

Annmarie Smith doesn’t have a superpower. She saves the world by keeping kids safe while their parents fight evil. She temporarily moves in with TJ, and the way the magnetic mama puts family first captures Annmarie’s respect, and maybe her heart—even though she knows better than to fall for a superhero. Still, it’s hard to resist their wicked chemistry. Kapow!

But they can only hide from the world for so long. When Singularity’s quest for custody puts the kids’ lives in danger, can the two women conquer the evil villain and save TJ’s family—all before their first date?

The Superheroes Union: Dynama is available from Carina Press. You can read an excerpt here.

Carina Press store | Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com

**********

Cathy here: I’m always on the lookout for great speculative fiction, and the superhero genre is gaining momentum. Ruth Diaz’s f/f tale The Superheroes Union: Dynama is sure to please!

And bonus! There is a giveaway of cool stuff on Ruth’s blog Go! Go now! Win stuff!


Ruth Diaz writes genre romances about non-mainstream relationships. She hides a number of publications in a different genre under another name, but The Superheroes Union: Dynama is her first romance publication. For more information, you can subscribe to her blog, like her on Facebook, or follow @RuthDiazWrites on Twitter (where she is most active and, well, opinionated).

Posted in books out, Carina, F/F, romance, win stuff, Woo hoo | 2 Comments

Happy First Year, Rulebreaker!


One year ago today my debut novel, Rulebreaker, was released by Carina Press. It’s been a wild ride for the past year. Lots of ups, a few downs, but overall fantastic. I can’t say too often how fabulous Carina Press and my editor Rhonda Stapleton have been, or how much I appreciate the input and patience of my agent, Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency.

I’ve received great feedback from readers. No, not all of it was “OMG! This book rocked!” And that’s all right. I need to know what works and what doesn’t so I can make future books better. So thank you ALL for your comments and reviews.

Rulebreaker’s actual birth/conception (ie: first words on paper or into computer) took place long before last August. Perusing old files, I found the original bits that dated back to 2008, a full manuscript dated late 2009, and the full I’d sent to Carina after getting picked up in a pitch contest in May 2010. But it didn’t stop there. Rulebreaker went through a few changes, including the title. It saw the red pens—or rather, the red of Track Changes—of two critique partners and a couple of beta readers. Two different editors worked on it with me. There was a cover that wasn’t really the cover that had to be straightened out. For the record, I loved both versions. Carina covers rock!

So now, over three years later, Rulebreaker is out there. I have two more books in the works with Carina Press. Other stories are in various stages of development. I’m busy writing and researching, falling in love with new characters and trying to keep some of the plot bunnies wrangled for later dates. Life is good and I couldn’t be happier. And I have many people to thank for that. So thank you!

To celebrate, I’m having a giveaway. A digital copy of Rulebreaker and a $25 gift certificate to Amazon or B&N or wherever. There may be another surprise prize, if the stars align themselves. I’ll keep you posted.

EDITED TO ADD: I just received actual print copies of Rulebreaker that were not needed for the Ritas. So there will be more than one prize winner. Ebook or print copy plus the GC for the first person chosen. Ebook or print for a second lucky duck. Comment away, people!!!! Oh, and funny thing, the cover of the print book is not the same as the ebook. Heh!

What do you have to do? Comment on this post. Ask me about my writing process. Tell me if you’ve read the book and what you liked or didn’t like. Ask me about living in Alaska. Whatever. I’ll do a random drawing on Sunday, August 12. Also, can you answer this question: What was Rulebreaker’s original title? No, you don’t have to answer correctly to win anything. I just want to see who’s paying attention : ) BTW, my CP’s cannot answer this one!

ETD, Part 2: We have winners! Helgagrace won a print copy of Rulebreaker and asked for an iTunes gift card. Taryn Rose won an ebook copy of Rulebreaker. Thanks for commenting everyone!!!

Oh, and the original title for Rulebreaker was….Hmmm…I think I’ll save that for another time ; )

Posted in books out, Carina, contest, F/F, Rulebreaker, SF, SFR, win stuff | 12 Comments

2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event

I’m a bit behind in posting this, but lucky you! The great 2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event is going on at Babbling About Books and More through January 21! There are some great insights into publishing, reading and discovering lesbian fiction by authors and publishers. Plus, some fab giveaways!

The F/F market isn’t as “mainstream” as the M/M market seems to be, but the following is strong and getting stronger. Which is good, considering what I have in mind for the next couple of books : )

I’ll be posting my publishing journey on the 14th, but please drop in and say hello. Even if you aren’t a reader of lesbian fiction the posts are interesting and heart-felt. Good stuff!

Posted in Elsewhere, F/F, reading | Leave a comment

2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event

I’m a bit behind in posting this, but lucky you! The great 2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event is going on at Babbling About Books and More through January 21! There are some great insights into publishing, reading and discovering lesbian fiction by authors and publishers. Plus, some fab giveaways!

The F/F market isn’t as “mainstream” as the M/M market seems to be, but the following is strong and getting stronger. Which is good, considering what I have in mind for the next couple of books : )

I’ll be posting my publishing journey on the 14th, but please drop in and say hello. Even if you aren’t a reader of lesbian fiction the posts are interesting and heart-felt. Good stuff!

Posted in Elsewhere, F/F, reading | Leave a comment