Monday, November 28, 2011

The Seven Year Switch



The Seven Year Switch
A Novella by: Dana Littlejohn
Genre: Contemporary Romance Erotica
Cover artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Words: 15163
Pages: 47
ISBN: 978-1-927085-98-1
Warning: Contains adult sensual content

Back Cover:
Sonja Winters enjoyed the good life with a great job and being married to the man of her dreams. As she prepared to celebrate their seven year anniversary she came across a secret her husband had kept from her. It would alter the course of their marriage forever.

Excerpt:
Sonja went to their bedroom and discarded her clothes before entering the bathroom a few feet away. Just as the shower reached her desired temperature she heard a noise from the other room.
“Kyle?” she called out stepping under the water.
“Hey honey.”
Sonja snatched the curtain back and smiled.  “Hi sweetie. Happy Anniversary.”
Kyle caressed her wet face and kissed her soundly. “Happy Anniversary to you. Do you want me to start putting things away while you finish your shower? I’ll just take mine when you’re done.”
“Thank you baby. That would be great. Leave the meat in the sink and the veggies on the counter so I can cut them up.”
He left her with a quick peck and she slipped back under the warm cascading liquid. Sonja stayed longer than usual welcoming the relaxing feel of the water. Quickly she dried and slipped into the silky pajama set she knew was Kyle’s favorite. She sprayed perfume down her back and across her chest before leaving the room. As she walked into the bedroom she caught a glimpse of her clothes tossed on the bed. She changed course to retrieve them and went to the laundry room instead, promptly tripping over Kyle’s gym bag as she entered.
“Damn it!” she muttered as the clothes flew into the air landing all over the floor. “He could have put the bag somewhere other than the middle of the floor so I don’t kill myself.” Sonja gathered her belongings and dumped them on top of the bag. “Dang, he didn’t even unload it this time,” she grunted dragging the bag closer to the baskets.
She put her stuff in the designated hampers to be washed and unzipped Kyle’s bag to do the same.
“Towel, shorts, tee shirt, sweat band, sweaty drawers…” She continued calling off each item tossing them into the appropriate container. “Sock, sock, sock, tee shirt, geesh, how many weeks does he have in here?” she mumbled shaking her head. Her hand dug into the bag and suddenly stopped. “What the hell is this?”
Hard…wide…smooth, no wait… rough…a buckle?
Sonja’s fingers assessed the object and then she slowly withdrew her hand letting her eyes confirm the picture building in her mind.
“It’s too big for a dog, even a big dog…”
Her voice was soft and confused as she stared at the article in her hand. She flipped the collar over inspecting it further. Her eyes widened and Sonja jumped to her feet. She stomped her way to the kitchen where Kyle stood at the center island on the other side of the dining table chopping peppers. After a few moments he smiled.
“Mmm, I love that scent on you. I went ahead and used the guest shower so I could get dinner started.”
Sonja stood in the door way heaving, not knowing whether to scream or just throw the collar at him. Heat from her boiling blood rose on her skin. If she were not brown she would be glowing bright red with her anger. Kyle suddenly snapped his head in her direction and the knife fell from his fingers.
“What is it?”
Sonja’s hands shook and her heart pounded. Several emotions surfaced to ride along with the adrenaline pumping through her veins like a raging river. It was difficult to tap into one to guide her speech. Kyle shifted from one foot to the other. She could see his bottom lip trembling.
“Sonja, what’s happened? What’s wrong?”
Unable to find her voice, she held up the object in her hand to answer his question. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. She heard the soft gasp come from him and watched his face turn brilliant crimson. Just as fast as the red entered his face it disappeared leaving him pale. His eyes darted about frantically. He held onto the counter as his chest visibly expanded and deflated.
Sonja scoffed. “Don’t you dare pass out on me, Kyle! What you better do is tell me what the hell is going on,” she yelled moving past the dining table.
“Sonja, I—I—“
His stammering accelerated her anger. “Spit it out, Kyle! Is this yours?” She accentuated each word shaking the offending choker at him.
Fear glistened in his bright blue eyes. His mouth shook for a time as his voice failed to come forth before he finally nodded. Tears slid down his cheeks as his knees buckled. His shoulders sagged and he exhaled loudly continuing to nod confirming his silent confession.
“You’re somebody’s slave?” Her words spurt out as an astonished whisper. She didn’t really expect him to answer again. He looked like he would slide to the floor if she extracted any more information from him too soon. As comprehension dawned she held her head to stop the reeling. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? He was someone’s… slave? Who? When? Where? Why?
Sonja stumbled backward onto one of the chairs as questions assaulted her mind. Her breathing quickened as if she had been running. She took obvious deep breaths to calm herself. Suddenly exhaustion overtook her.
“Sweetheart, please, let me explain.”
Kyle’s plea slipped through the madness and she chuckled disbelievingly, looking up at him. “You can explain this? Really, Kyle? We have been together for ten years. Today is our seventh wedding anniversary. You can explain how come I don’t know anything about this collar in my hand with slave written on it? You’ve got an explanation that will put all this into perspective?” she asked using the band as a pointer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When We Were Amazing

There was a time, a few winters ago, when the fourteen hours of travel to fly down under was but a moment in time. Full summer Melbourne, warm breezy sun and a bouquet of wildflowers; the young man that greeted me at the airport radiated ebullient enthusiasm. Nervous? Were we not. The year and a half of emails and messages exchanged online had allowed us to know nearly everything about each other, yet nothing of true import. 

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So often I am asked if an author's fiction reflects true life. Whether it's a name, a scent remembered or a story lived, those who write can not help but include their experiences in their tales. From what else do we have to draw? What else would ring so true?

In the end it really does not matter where reality ends and fiction begins because a great story IS true whether or not it happened just that way,

or not. 

                                                                                                                    Australia

You are cordially invited to come along on a journey of discovery. Can a young man barely out of university be convinced that there is worth in paying societies dues? Can a life-worn woman years his senior have what is truly important to offer or will the secrets she’s' so carefully guarded destroy his faith in her as a wonderful human being? I could tell you what real life dealt. You might suppose that most young men could not handle the complexities of an adult life filled with truths and tragedies lived in all its messy realism. You might be right? Or would you…

I invite you to experience one young man who has that ineffable something that separates him from the crowd—extraordinary tenacity, the willingness to grow and change even when he thinks his heart might shatter and the stuff that makes a true hero— a leap of faith toward love.

 

“Walk me home, Bryan.”

The smile slid from his face. Re-fastening the stud of his jeans, he turned to her. “What’s wrong, Carrie?”

“Nothing.”

“Look at me.” He hooked her chin with two fingers. “Why are you treating me like I’m suddenly a stranger?” Tilting her face up to his, he lowered his head to engage her eyes. She still had hers cast to the ground. “Come on. Did I say something wrong? I felt…it was…you were amazing.”

Her eyes scrolled in reluctance to his. “I don’t think I can do this.”

“What do you mean? You just did…and in the most incredible way.” He smiled, testing the waters of her reaction.

“It’s not you…You were perfect.” She leaned her head against his shoulder. “I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it.”

Clamping onto her shoulder he looked into her with intensity. “God damn it Carrie. Don’t start clamming up. We never did online. Why start now?”

“We never had sex online.”

He raised a dubious brow.

“Okay…so we wrote about sex. That doesn’t get you pregnant.”

“So you are worried.”

“No.”

“I should have waited to go to the chemist.” He shook his head in self-recrimination. “Should have had a condom.”

“No…I can’t.” She stiffened again in his arms.

“You can’t what?”

“I can’t get pregnant,” she spewed.

He felt his jaw drop. “You can’t…”

“Yeah. Can’t,” she reiterated in cold indifference, like a news reporter delivering a story.

He instinctively drew her to his chest, holding her body as though it might break. “I never dreamed…I think it’s…okay…”

She pulled away from him, engaging his eyes once more. “Yeah…I can tell it’s just what you had in mind.” Turning, she began to jog away from him in the direction of the high-rise hotels.

“Damn it, Carrie.” He took off after her. She quickened her pace. Shit she was fast. He broke into an all out sprint to catch her.

Hooking her arm, he twirled her about like a top. She spun into him, air knocked from her at the impact. “Let me go, Bryan,” she spouted in gasp.

“I don’t even know where you’re staying.”

“Why do you need to know? It was obviously a mistake coming here.”

He took her by the shoulders. “Listen to me Carrie. It’s you who’ve decided what’s important to me. I don’t give a rat’s arse if you can have kids.”

“Yeah…that’s why you’ve been talking about what a great dad you’re gonna be…how much you want to watch them grow up.”

She’d caught him. He had said those things when they’d exchanged hopes and dreams online. He tried to keep his expression even, but the look on his face sent her over the edge. The pain in her eyes was something he never wanted to see, never meant to cause. He knew he’d sent a knife to her heart.

She turned from him again and ran. He stood, arms hanging in impotence at his side and watched her disappear into the night, her figure reappearing in the lighting of the awning of the hotel closest.

It seemed an hour before he was able to move. His feet felt glued to the pavement; his mind reeled in self-loathing and regret. Why hadn’t he stopped her? What was wrong with him?

The chill of the night invaded him. He felt it press into his bones through the thin t-shirt he’d dragged over his head. He’d left his jacket behind under the trees where they’d...

“Damn.” The word shot from him sounding like it came from someone else. His chest ached with it. He turned toward the beach car park and walked numbly to his Rover.

****

She fell into the center of the billowing white comforter. Clothes sweaty, she shivered. The envelope of the duvet surrounded her like a comforting nest.

She lowered her head to her chest. His aftershave clung to her skin, rose around her as though he were with her again. “Damn it.” She struck the mattress with clenched fists. Why had she even brought it up? It shouldn’t matter. They were, after all, fast friends first. He was a young man. Of course he had dreams of home and family. But when he’d made love to her so tenderly, with such ardor, she’d melted. She could still feel the touch of his mouth on hers.

“God, you’re an idiot, Carrie.” Her words sounded hollow, disembodied. She grabbed the edge of the comforter and rolled herself in it like a cocoon. Sweat beaded at her forehead and a wave of nausea swept through her. She had to escape.

****

He drove through the night along the road toward Mornington, every curve and bank negotiated by rote. Taking the long way through the hills, he made a sharp turn into the overlook and skidded to a stop, tires sliding on the gravel. Pulling the emergency break, it felt as though it would fracture in his hand. The percussion of his shoulder into the door sent it flying open, recoiling back into him as he exited.

He tore into the forest, stumbling along the narrow overgrown pathway leading to the ridge. The trees thinned, and then opened onto the broad ledge of an overlook. The heels of his shoes scrapped the rock face as he came to a standstill. The only thing he could hear was the sound of his breathing straining under the demands of his descent. The town of Mornington lay below, asleep. Only the occasional porch light dotted the shadow of homes sprinkled along its perimeter. Above the sky glowed indigo into purple with impending day. It was still an hour away, but the turn of the earth allowed first light to seep into the blackness.

Eyes scrolling to the sky, he looked at the winking stars spread across the path of the Milky Way in artist’s stroke of genius. God, but he lived in a beautiful place. Why did it seem suddenly flat, cardboard? He drew the resinous air in through his nose expanding his lungs until they ached. Holding his breath for a moment, it burst out of him in a mirthless laugh. His shoulders shook with the violence of the emotion erupting from him. Abdomen contracting, he wiped at the corner of his mouth.

“God forgive me, Carrie.” The words tore from his chest. “I can’t.”

When We Were Amazing

A Novel by: Christine London

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release: November 11, 2011

Editor: Fiona Young-Brown

Line editor: Antonia Tiranth

Cover artist: Delilah K. Stephans

Words: 79402

Pages: 218

ISBN: 978-1-927361-08-5

Buy Now through MuseItUp Publishing 

Coming soon to Amazon.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011

MuseItUp's Authors Gathering and Mega Book Signing- Montreal

Friday Night November 4th, an international representation of Muse authors gathered for a welcome aboard to celebrate the first year in business of this exciting new company.

Publisher, Lea Schizas and Promotions Goddess, Litsa Kamateros set a splendid scene in a Montreal Greek restaurant. Every author had the opportunity to speak in personal introduction. Thank you gifts were given to Lea and Litsa as well as received from these two wonderful 'boss ladies' to each author.DSC02006DSC02037

Nancy Bell awards gifts to Lea and Litsa

A fun competition of dress up was played.DSC02068

Karen Cote dresses Heather Haven

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Sandra Clark dressed by Madeleine McLaughlin

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Our colleague, Karen McGrath was remembered.

And authors from around Canada and the United states got to network with each other—up until now, faces only known from the internet.



(Oh yeah...and there were (real) cheesecakes...lol)

Sinful desserts

Saturday Afternoon a Mega book signing was held at Zellers Super Store in Pointe Claire. Each and every author was thrilled to be able to meet and greet the public. There shining faces and pride in their work showed…

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Charles Mossop                      Christine London

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Barbara Ehrenthreu

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Barbara Ehrentreu

Barbara Ehrenthreu  If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor  Carolyn Samuels’ freshman year becomes a series of lies to cover Jennifer Taylor’s terrible secret in return for popularity.

Charles Mossop

Charles Mossop  The Devil At My Heels  A modern murder mystery with a historical twist.

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Kevin Craig  Summer On Fire  Summer…fire, bodies, murder, enemies and lies. Is it too much for three friends to handle? The race is on…

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Grace De Luca  Betwixt and Between  Suspended between two worlds, teenager Michael must set out on a Quest in order to return to Earth. The only way home is through a fantasy land of adventure, suspense, and incredible experiences-- the world of Betwixt and Between.

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Heather Haven  A Wedding To Die For  PI Lee Alvarez knows better than anyone when Cupid’s wings start flapping, love and murder can’t be far behind.

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Arlene Webb  Ashes  Lyle holds his murdered brother and wants his life to end too. When the unbelievable happens, he’ll sacrifice anything to avoid the final stage of grief, and comes to learn life is just beginning.

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Madeleine McLaughlin  The Mountain City Bronzes  How far will a community go to protect the safety of their children when they start to disappear?

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Karen Cote  Erotic Deception  Told she’d never have children…abracadabra, she’s pregnant. Would the man she loved disappear when he found out?  (Adult Content)

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H.M. Prevost  Desert Fire  After Nick Chevalier stumbles across a plane crash in the middle of the desert, the dying pilot slips him military secrets that a ruthless terrorist is determined to possess.

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Richard Burns  Sweet Chocolate’s First Taste  A young white soldier’s first encounter with a woman, a black woman in the racially turbulent southern US in 1979...a hooker?  (Adult Content)

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Sarah Durham (left), and daughter (right)  The Powers A woman with a wounded past is awakened by an ancient warrior angel to fulfill a destiny meted ages before man...

and Lycan Moon A cursed seventeenth century man’s life is turned upside down when a Seattle columnist comes to town in search of a legendary werewolf  The_Lycan_Moon_4c7a5a2362737

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Nancy Marie Bell  Laurel’s Miracle  YA FANTASY Laurel isn’t out to save the world, just her mom from cancer.

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Editor Natisha La Pierre

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   Lea Schizas Autism Epidemic Shaking the System  A helpful guide to sensitize people on autism.

The Halloween Dino Trip  Jillian Waylan planned the perfect Halloween party until things go a bit...wacky?

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Litsa Kamateros  Autism Epidemic Shaking the System  A helpful guide to sensitize people on autism.

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Joanne Elder  Spectra

What happens when the fragile line between genius and insanity is drawn with the blood of an entire species?

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Christina Schizas  Ahtabat: Man’s Extinction  What if you were told you had to abandon your home, your friends, your loved ones,   your career,  your money, your dreams, and most importantly, your life? And not only  temporarily but indefinitely? 

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Lisa Forget  (left)

Deathly Quiet  Moira Murphy encounters a terrifying stranger who forces a new existence upon her - one that is deathly and quiet.

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Christine London  (right)   Shadows Steal The Light  It’s love at first sight for rock star Colin Dunlow when he runs into sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, with a few complications. The woman of his dreams hates rockers and there’s someone who wants him dead. (Adult Content)

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Sandra Clarke

Sandra  “S. J.” Clarke   Mind Over Matter    A mother faces her worst nightmare when she discovers her missing daughter is scheduled to die in mere days.



MuseItUp Publishing Authors

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Bonella made an appearance.

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Our living avatar, Karen Cote