Almost two years later, hard-shelled Shelley Miller has tried to forget Ray. But when tragedy strikes there’s no one else she can turn to. All she has to do is give in; tell him she needs him. But she can’t.
Exasperated that Shelley would contact him after so long with the exact same hang-ups, still pretending the feelings don’t run deep, Ray tries to leave it alone, but he can’t.
When he sees her again all bets are off. Ray has to have her and this time she needs him more than he needs her. For once, she’s not just going to have to ask for what she wants, what she needs.
A Sexy Excerpt from If You Asked Me To:
Shelley had gone right to sleep. Ray wasn’t so lucky. He found himself checking on her through the night. He just needed to see that she was there, that she was okay.
Sometime after four, he went to the bathroom. When he padded back into the bedroom, he found that she had turned. He crept closer to her trying to tell if she was up or not.
She rolled over and her eyes, black quarters in the night, fluttered open. She smiled, or at least he thought she smiled and raised her blanket. Ray slid in beside her without question. With an incomprehensible mutter, she reached for him. Ray slipped his arms around her and his chest beneath her head so that her silken hair slid across his skin. Her body was small and warm and soft next to his.
He pressed a kiss to the crown of her head and she slid against him with a purr. She was wearing some satiny top, but the shape of her breasts and her hard nipples were clear against his chest. Skin to skin, he wanted it to be skin to skin. He slipped his hand under the edge of the night shirt. The tips of his fingers grazed the softest skin he’d ever felt. A trail up over her hips, down into her waist, up higher to graze the outside of her breasts. He pressed his hips back, almost off the bed, trying to hold off the inevitable confrontation of his arousal.
In the dark, her face was pressed into his chest, but Ray wanted to see it, wanted to be able to watch her. For just a moment he didn’t know. Could he continue to hold her this way without taking the plunge? She rubbed her cheek against his chest and whispered something. He couldn’t hear her, but he took it as encouragement and eased into the center of the bed turning fully on his back. He dragged her over him biting down on his lips when her legs, also clad in the silky pajamas, parted over his.
She raised her head looking down at him in the dark. Ray stroked her hair back from her face.
“Kiss,” she responded with a brilliant smile and pressed her lips to his. But her smile was short-lived.
“Nothing,” she responded. “I d-don’t do this sort of thing all the time.”
Had it been another woman, a woman without this disease, he wouldn’t have believed it. Had it been a woman with just these mesmerizing, twinkling black eyes, strong cheekbones, and generous lips he wouldn’t have believed it. But he believed it and he knew what it meant. She wasn’t going to pull away from him. She wasn’t going to get scared and tell him to fuck off. She was going to trust him in this.
For a moment, he looked up at her, studying her. Then he gently rolled her over onto her back and undressed her. He wished the room wasn’t so dark, that he could see her body better, but there was time for that. He wanted her so badly it hurt and he had to wonder why this woman in particular was able to push him so far.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Model Lover by Aubrey Leatherwood available from Cobblestone Press.
Even if she is pushing forty, confirmed bachelorette, Pamela Lane, is not interested in a husband and kids. She’s already got more than she can handle taking care of the models contracted with Lane V Modeling Agency, as well as some of their overreaching parents. When she finds new model Alicia who’s destined for fashion greatness, of course she expects the minor to come with an over-protective father, but who knew he would look so good?
Your kids are not my kids…” graced the front of the oversized white T-shirt and “I don’t love ’em like you do” the back.
Pam Lane wore her single favorite article of clothing over black sweatpants and sneakers. Her usually pristine bob had been hastily pushed back with a tortoiseshell headband. Friday afternoons were always open call and drew tons of people. While Valeria Valvo, her partner, wore a professional and fashionable black suit, she chose to wear this shirt to keep overreaching mamas and papas at arm’s length.
Foot tapping impatiently, arms crossed over her chest, she tried to keep her mouth shut as Sherrod, one of her in-house photographers, silently snapped frame after frame of their potential client. The clicking of the shutter and hushed voices served as the only background music while the model posed for the camera.
Every time Pam raised a finger to make a suggestion, he clucked his tongue, which forced her to remain still and patient. Patience had never been one of Pam’s virtues. The drive to direct and mold a new model tested her mettle, especially when that new model was an absolute diamond. The young woman oozed raw talent, which kept triggering Pam’s need to say something. Tilt your chin down a little, sweetie. Flex your fingers slightly. Find the light. That is a perfect example of what a beauty shot should be. He didn’t even allow her to compliment the young lady when she was doing well.
Sherrod had the right of it, of course. They liked to get a feel for a model’s raw talent before contracting her. Letting a girl take control of the first session without aid of music, scene, or direction exposed all. Frame after frame, this model posed like a pro. Already, on a purely physical level, the young woman had the power to steal one’s breath. But as she flirted with the camera, every eye in the room was on her. Stylists clumped in corners nodding and whispering to each other that Alicia was pure devastation. Devastation was synonymous with beauty at Lane V Modeling Agency.
The hair already made her a standout, thick coarse waves erupting from her head and down her back like a wolf’s mane. Wild, it looked, and at fascinating odds with the poise of her sculpted but not overly full pink lips, patrician nose, and startling, startling crystal blue eyes. Where in the hell had the girl gotten true to life, honest-to-goodness blue eyes? Eyes closed, she could have been any ethnicity, black, Latin, Middle Eastern, even Asian. Deliciously perfect, her skin matched the color of a hot latte. Creamy but with a caramel undertone. Gorgeous. Eyes open? An English rose kissed long by the sun. Magnificent.
In a room filled with stunning models, she drew undivided attention. For that reason alone, Pam knew she would sign her. A look like that didn’t come along every day. If she didn’t sign her, someone else would, potentially someone who would not look out for the girl the way Lane V Modeling Agency would. For all her beauty and sensuality, the girl looked young, fragile, like someone could take advantage of her with ease. That thought, Pam could not abide.
After raising two younger siblings pretty much on her own after her parents died, she was tired, and she had no desire to have children. Too much stress, too much drama, too much lip, too much money, too much fear and worry. When Rasheedah and Patrick had finally finished school and landed jobs, she’d washed her hands of the idea of ever having her own kids. Unfortunately, the universe had had the final say in the matter. Lane V employed the largest population of models under the age of eighteen, which meant that Pam had dozens of kids…and apparently she was about to adopt another one.
“Let me see her sheet.”
As she reached for the clipboard clutched to her partner’s chest, Valeria smacked her on the back of the hand. “Her name is Alicia. That’s all you need to know.”
When Pam told her team to help control her workaholism, they’d gone a little too far. “You know this is having a reverse affect on my stress level.”
Valeria only smiled.
Pam sorely wanted to say something about Valeria’s cat-that-ate-the-canary smile, but she felt her cell phone vibrate in her pocket. She took it out and looked down at the screen.
That was not a sigh. That was not a sigh. That was not a–
“Did you just sigh?” Valeria arched an eyebrow at her over an even wider than normal smile. “Awww…”
“I hate you,” Pam mouthed as she made her way away from the shoot and toward her office.
“Hi!” her voice was light, airy, teenager-y. New. Even when she had a crush on someone as a kid, she hadn’t sounded like that.
“Hello, beautiful,” a deep, slow rumble caressed her from the other end.
She let her eyes roll closed for just a second. Maybe it made sense that she melted when she was with him. Yes, that made sense. But his ability to reduce her to warm pudding with only a voice disturbed her more than a little bit.
“What’s going on?” she asked, hoping she sounded cool and not at all breathy.
He hesitated. “Not much. Just wanted to hear your voice.”
Sinking into a chair in her office, Pam covered her eyes with her palm, letting herself be consumed by the moment. “I’m glad you called.”
“I missed you.”
Pam wasn’t going to be able to take much more of this. Did anyone in the world know how sweet he was? Anyone? Did anyone know that he wasn’t an enigma at all, but rather an open book? Heart on his sleeve.
“I missed you, too,” she murmured back before adding, “Even if I did just talk to you last night.”
“But you didn’t see me.” He sounded steady, manly, not at all pouty. Okay, maybe a little bit pouty.
“Don’t pout. Did you forget a little thing called Fashion Week? We’ve been swamped since it concluded. And we had work to complete ahead of open call today.”
“Then afterwards you should have spent the night with me.”
The very thought made her shiver. She rubbed the back of her neck and squeezed her legs together. If he had asked her, would she have come? Maybe it didn’t matter, because he hadn’t asked. Instead, he’d called her late and groggily assured himself that she had made it home safely and her day had gone well. Now, he sounded…pouty, or at the very least upset about something. Was that it? Was he upset that they’d gone out for over a month, and nothing more than heavy petting had happened?
“My knee’s bothering me.”
The answer came quickly, but Pam frowned. What she heard in his voice was more than physical pain. She didn’t want to know, but maybe it was time to slay this sexual dragon. “And?”
“I know your knee’s hurting, but I want to know what else is on your mind.”
“You’re so good at that.”
“It’s easier when I hear you rather than see you. You’re…distracting when I see you.”
Thankfully, he had no response to that. He was probably used to women saying the same thing. She heard him swallow, then say, “There is something I need to talk to you about.”
Her stomach, kidneys, lungs, heart, spleen all raced up into the back of her throat to form a strangling knot.
He was going to dump her because they hadn’t had sex.
The nutty part was that every time she was in the same room with him, she was assailed by hot sweaty images of them doing things that were probably illegal in some states. Oh, she wanted him, that was certain, but, Pam had avoided that kind of physical intimacy with him for a couple of weeks.
To be certain, Pam didn’t have a messed up relationship with coitus. She had a healthy sexual appetite. She just chose very carefully–and infrequently–when and with whom she would indulge that appetite. In truth, she had had very few partners if one compared her to just about anyone else in the industry. But what did link her to most everybody in the fashion world was that those few relationships had been short lived and more about a physical need than anything else.
Pam didn’t want kids and she didn’t want a husband. She didn’t want ties at all. And she railed regularly at the cosmos for binding her to so many people already against her will. Every day, she felt stretched too thin. Every day she felt worry. Every day someone near to her nearly broke her heart. How much worse would it be if…
This was it. This was the time to face the truth. Pamela Lane was scared. Once she slept with this man, once she gave in to that intimacy and accepted him body and soul, she was going to feel these things, worry over him, worry about him. She was going to want to make sure he ate regularly and didn’t drive too fast and got that knee replacement he’d been needing for more than a year. He was going to have another piece of her heart, and she was so afraid, as with one or two of the kids who came through the agency, as with her siblings when they got into trouble or even her parents when they died, that he might break it. She might not be strong enough to recover this time.
But she wanted him, more than she’d ever wanted anyone, and it scared the living daylights out of her. Because, if truth be told and as stupid as it sounded to her, a mature, no-nonsense woman of thirty-nine, she was already in love with him. Completely. Head over heels. Whatever he wanted from her, he could have, because he already had that piece of her heart she worried over.
Why she was still holding out was beyond her. Hell, how she was still holding out was beyond her. Beyond her. And, apparently, beyond Valeria and Sherrod as well. Pam had realized long ago that she could never keep anything from those two.
“You’re planning to tell me you’re a mass murderer, aren’t you?”
“You have a hidden wife?”
He coughed. Not a good sign. “No, Pamela, I do not have a hidden wife.”
“Are you going to break up with me?”
“So you admit we’re a couple? You admit that I’m your boyfriend?” He laughed. In the past, when Pam would argue, he’d counter, “No, you can’t try and take it back. You can’t break up with someone who isn’t your boyfriend!”
“You are not charming,” Pam told him drily as she repressed a sigh of relief.
“People across the globe would disagree with you.”
“Oh, shut up and act your age!”
“That’s low, very low. Wait…hey, babe, I got a call coming in. Have to go. See you tonight?”
“It’s Friday–you know I’m working late.”
“Sooo, see you late tonight, darling?” he persisted. If a wink could be sent through phone lines, Pam had just received one.
She sent him a smile. “Yeah, honey, see you late tonight.”
After Pam hung up, she sank back into her chair, limbs loose but nerve endings electrified. So, tonight they would talk, and if she escaped being dumped, she was going to finally let go.
Buy link! http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b113245/?si=0
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A tale of perfect commitment, perfect love… and perfect sex.
The People You Know, The Sex They Have
ROMANTIC TIMES NOMINEE FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY EROTICA 2008
CAPA and PSYCHE AWARD NOMINEE FOR 2009
Filed under: Coming Soon, publishing, romance | Tags: grayson reyes-cole; inside out, interracial romance
OK. So I’ve been trying to keep this under my hat, but I am so excited I can’t stand it. After taking about ten years to get this book where I wanted it, I’ve finished Inside Out and hopefully it will be available at your local bookstore in June 2011!
As a result, dear friends, I have made the fateful decision to go through an amputation of sorts with this new release. Yes, I am going to drop the Reyes from my name when it comes to publication. Why you ask? No, it has nothing to do any mid-life crisis, it’s just that my name is much more succinct that way, and you won’t have to check two places for me on the shelf! Tahdahhh! Nothing more to it than that.
Sooo, about Inside Out: This book was a labor of love an while the central character is definitely not me she is a part of me in many, many ways and her struggles with identity and love resonate with me, and I hope it will with you readers as well.
So here’s a bit about the book, and an UNEDITED Excerpt:
Inside: I never really fit in anywhere as a child, so I work hard for college to be different. Out in the world, I don’t talk about my parents, or my travels, or the languages I speak. I don’t talk much at all, because it frequently leads to black people asking me why I talk “white” and white people asking where I’m from; no one believes I’m a native Southerner.
But the people I meet in grad school aren’t satisfied with knowing me on the surface. And Garrett… well he isn’t satisfied that even though I can’t help falling in love with his southern charm and overall gorgeousness, I can’t be “that girl” that ends up with a white husband.
Out: Entering his last year in law school, Garrett Atkins can’t complain about his life. At graduation, he’s guaranteed a job in a prestigious firm… and a wife. But one mix-up on campus introduces him to stubborn, snide and sexy Tracey McAlpine. She may not be what’s best for him, but God help him, she’s what he wants, and Rett has never been a man whose accepted being told he can’t have what he wants, no matter the consequences.
In a vision I saw Garrett. I whispered his name.
My mother shook me, a hand on my shoulder that brought me back. I put a hand to my head. Flames were rippling over me like rapids.
“Baby, are you alright?” her voice was shaky and urgent. She was holding on to me and I was holding on to me.
“I’m fine,” I answered with a Herculean effort to smile. I patted at my face with a napkin I got from God knows where then shuddered as heat pumped through me again.
“Tracey, Good Lord, you’re burning up,” I barely heard it. The sound of her voice barely registered.
And then I saw him again, as if I summoned him. He was coming towards me. He was running towards me. I was shaking. My whole body quivered from the inside out. Hot blood rushed and I imagined I could feel it—actually feel it—surging from one place to another through my veins. From one place to another. I swallowed but the lump growing at the back of my throat only got bigger. My eyes were tightening, my vision blurring. He had me by the arm. He wasn’t saying anything. His eyes were just locked with mine. His breath was coming so fast that mine became more labored. I struggled to let the air in deep and steady but it came out sputtered and erratic. Tears were streaming from my eyes mixing with the burning haze around me. I couldn’t focus. His broad hand wrapped all the way around my upper arm and I could feel him squeezing. He was squeezing so hard that my arm was throbbing painfully making me cry even more. He wouldn’t release me, not from his grip and not from his eyes. And he still stood there silent. He didn’t even know he was hurting me.
As I get moer publication details, I’ll be certain to share them with you!
–Grayson BigBlank Cole 🙂
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: aubrey leatherwood, contemporary, cover, erotica, fiction, new release
I just got my new cover for If You Asked Me To and it is… dare I say it? Awesome. Love, love, love it. The couple is sooo right, I couldn’t have asked for better.
Filed under: writing | Tags: Lesli Richardson, Tymber Dalton, writer beware, writing
Well, making the rounds are advertisements for a new e-book “contest.” They claim to be the “only awards program in the world” for digital publishing.
Let’s start off by blowing that claim out of the water. The EPIC contest (for electronic publishing) has been around for a dozen years or so. And off the top of my head I don’t remember if they are the oldest, but they are certainly one of the oldest ones around. (And yes, while EPIC members have sent them notices that they are NOT the only one around, they have yet to change their website to reflect the correction. To me, that’s blatant misrepresentation.)
Secondly, this “contest” claims to be “unaffiliated,” yet it’s being run by a book promotions and marketing company.
Hmm. Conflict of interest much?
That’s not to mention the outrageous entry fee for said contest.
Before you start willy-nilly entering contests, do your research. Find out about said “contest” because like the old poetry and short story “contests” of old, chances are it’s just a front for a money-making scheme. I remember in high school entering a poetry “contest” and *gasp* lucky me, I was able to purchase a copy of the anthology my poem was published in even though I didn’t win the grand prize! So they made money off me with the entry fee and with buying a copy of the book.
I mean, yeah, I know better now, of course.
This is why it’s vitally important for writers to join professional groups. RWA, EPIC, or even non-official groups like the Internet Writing Workshop or Absolute Write forum where you can network with other writers and find out more information before plunking down money you might or might not be able to afford. Surf the Preditors & Editors site. http://pred-ed.com/pubctst.htm Now, I don’t go so far as saying don’t enter a contest with an entry fee. I’m saying do your research first. Make sure the contest is affiliated with a reputable organization.
And make sure it’s more than a money-making scheme.
OK, so I’m taking a big breath and, well, now I’m releasing it. It looks as if I have just received a contract offer and I’m ecstatic! Hugely! I can barely contain myself, lol! This contract is for a romance (I don’t think it’s quite erotica) that is near and very dear to my heart… and also the scariest romantic piece I think I’ve ever done.
Why is it scary? you ask, or maybe you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s scary because the heroine of the story is physically impaired. Yep. She has a debilitating disease and it is not just a side note about her. Shelley’s condition is up front and center in the novella If You Asked Me To.
I started this story with the hopes of donating it to a charity anthology. The anthology’s purpose was to emphasize the fact that we all need love, to be touched, and to connect on the most primitive of levels with another human being. I ended this story figuring out that it was way, way, way too long to be a part of an anthology. First things first, I had to become engaged with Shelley, I had to be her just a little bit and let her be me just a little bit, so that a reader, any reader wouldn’t pity her, disease or not, and would relate to her instead. We’re all a bit damaged in one way or another, and intense friendships–love for characters–are born from the bond of adversity. Building that, however, takes time, and space and growth. OK, OK, so I admit it freely, I just couldn’t keep the story short :).
In paying respect to Shelley, I had to make her real, making her both strong an vulnerable, in paying respect to the romance, I had to give her a man, a gorgeous, sexy, man who was also both strong and vulnerable, and just a little flawed so that he, too ,was real. Then Ray Costas took over! Somehow, in all of this, writing a romance about a woman with a “disability” turned into writing a romance about a man trying to love a woman with a “disability”. And you know, I have to say, I like it better this way, and I’m hoping you and other readers will, too.
Ya know what else? I did mention that at it’s heart, this story is a romance, but, you guys know me, It has to be, has to be, HAS TO BE hot! Yep, there is one scene, that I literraly fantasize about at least once a week, and hell I wrote it! LOL!!! So come on, If you’d like to ge t a sample of the story, go ahead, click here: http://www.aubreyleatherwood.com/home_files/IfYouAskedMeTo.htm
Filed under: fiction, life, new release, Obsession, publishing, romance, writing | Tags: Spark Of Desire
I just got the author copy. Oh yeah, it’s here, live and in my hands. My mom will be so proud!