MuseTracks Guest – Eliza Knight – Highland Striptease

November 16, 2012

Good grief, my buddy Eliza Knight is at it again! Check out what’s got her riled this time. I’m already fanning myself. 🙂

Highland Striptease…

By Eliza Knight

Have you seen Magic Mike? If you haven’t… please do yourself a favor and watch that movie!!! It was totally a hot display of gyrating, perfectly formed male bodies, and I admit to drooling shallowly over their sexiness… So much so I’m going to have a party with my girlfriends—we’ll watch the movie and drink cocktails just so I can see it again .

The only thing that would have made that movie better was if the hotties were in kilts! Seriously, could you imagine? Whew! *Fanning self frantically*

Besides the erotic movements that simulate sweaty sex, what makes stripping so sensual? To me, it’s the anticipation, the heat of it, the imagining what’s underneath and just how far they’ll go.

I’ve used the art of Highland stripping in most of my stories. I like my heroines to watch each and every move as the hero slowly reveals his flesh. To see every inch of skin and wonder what it will feel like under her fingertips. In my novella, Take if Off, Warrior, the heroine actually mistakes my Highland hero for a stripper—he’s traveled forward in time and heck, she’s planning a bachelorette party! That was a fun story to write!

In the second book of my Stolen Bride series, THE HIGHLANDER’S CONQUEST, I really tried to slow down my hero Blane’s undressing the first time they made love. It upped the tension and anticipation for my heroine. Every sound, movement is intensified too by her own fear, desire and curiosity.

Here’s a look!

“You came back quicker than I thought.” She found her eyes wondering over his shadowy form, still soaked with fabric clinging to him. Her breaths quickened and she pulled the blanket up to her mouth, trying to hide the way she licked her lips, yearning for what she couldn’t have. Then she said something she’d never in her wildest dreams imagined saying to a man, but what was worse was the images that flashed in her mind. “You’d best take off your clothes.”

Without taking his eyes off her, Blane tossed his pack somewhere into the back of the cave. She heard it bounce with a soft thud. Eyes wide, frozen in place, she watched as he unlatched the pin from the plaid at his shoulder, letting the fabric drop. Her gaze locked on the fabric of his shirt, clinging indecently to his broad chest. Blane’s nipples, tiny dark dots, were taut. She couldn’t recall a man’s nipples ever having the effect on her that his were. Then again, had she really witnessed many naked chests? Her breath caught, insides quivered. The wet shirt followed the dips and ridges of his muscles and her hands itched to reach out and stroke each one. With deliberate slowness, Blane reached up and untied the strings at his neck, allowing her to see actual smooth, muscled skin. Her mouth went dry.

Aliah’s feet remained rooted in place. She felt ethereal in this magical place. The sound of the waterfall, the silvery light of the moon, this man, so unbelievably handsome and with a look of sensuality upon his face geared just for her…

Part of her knew this was wrong. That to feel the way she did, both physically and emotionally, was bound to get her into trouble. But she didn’t care. She wanted to watch him undress. Wanted to touch him. Wanted to tell him how much she loved him. To show him how much they made sense. Blane would only fight her on it. Some part of him wouldn’t allow her in. The damaged part that he’d hinted of. Consciously he would push her away, she knew that. ’Haps though, she could show him the right of it. Show him how much being together would only make their two worlds perfect.

Aliah took a step forward, faltered as he reached for the edges of his shirt and pulled it up over his head. That too he tossed. Her eyes were riveted on his flesh—smooth, muscled flesh. A long scar curved wickedly over his ribs, intimating at some deeper struggle. A male had never entranced her more.

Blane’s eyes were still connected with hers, as if he challenged her to continue watching. She was up for the task, her lip curling slightly in invitation. A shudder of pleasure passed over her at the boldness of her actions. She was tempting this man. Blane had already called her temptation itself once… Now she toyed with him, wanting to see just how far he’d go.

His fingers fiddled with his sporran, undoing the leather strap, he tossed it somewhere. The corded belt came next and with it…his plaid pooled at his feet. Aliah’s eyes widened, stretching so far open she swore they’d pop from her head.

Blane was naked. Gloriously, frighteningly, naked.

Nude, muscled flesh.

Aliah’s breath caught. Her heart stopped.

So tell me, have you seen Magic Mike? Do you think there should be a sequel with Highlanders in it?

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Highlander’s Conquest, Book Two: The Stolen Bride Series 

What is a Highlander to do when he falls for the daughter of his enemy?

Highland warrior, Blane Sutherland, has one mission: disguise himself as an Englishman, cross the border and retrieve Lady Aliah de Mowbray. Always up for a challenge, he agrees, pursuing his conquest with vigor—and trying to deny the powerful desire that eclipses him each time he touches his charge. A rogue of the highest order and a younger son, he has nothing to offer a lady but a broken heart.

And what is a lady to do when she cannot trust her heart?

Aliah is skeptical of the English noble who has come to take her to her father and sister in Scotland, but she pushes her doubts aside. Without word in months, she must make certain her family is safe, then she can return to England to join the convent to which she has sworn to pledge her life. But then her escort reveals his true self—he’s a Highlander and his kisses are more seductive than the sweetest of wines.

Surrender never tasted so sweet…

Read it!: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Eliza Knight is the multi-published, award-winning, Amazon best-selling author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor. Visit Eliza at http://www.elizaknight.com or her historical blog History Undressed: www.historyundressed.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizaknightauthor. Twitter: @ElizaKnight


MuseTracks Guest – Blythe Gifford – Movie as Muse

November 9, 2012

We have a special, special guest today. Please help me give a warm welcome to Blythe Gifford, author of medieval romance.

Blythe Gifford – Movie as Muse

Thanks for having me today.  I’m talking movies, so chime in at the end for a chance to win a copy of my new book.

Recently, an enthusiastic new friend asked when my book was going to be made into a movie.  I resisted the opportunity to launch into all the business reasons that was unlikely, because the truth is, I must be one of the few writers on the planet who does not long to see her book on the silver screen.

That’s not to say the inspiration doesn’t run the other way, though.  Every book of mine has a playlist and movie soundtracks can be perfect for sweeping me away into the world of the story.  When I first crossed the border to set a story in Scotland, I leaned on the emotional power of music from the iconic movies, “Braveheart” and “Rob Roy” to get me in the proper mood.

The actual story on the screen, however, rarely triggers anything in my work, but I must admit a buried movie inspiration for the excerpt I’m going to share today.  “The Mask of Zorro,” 1998, has a wonderful swordfight between Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas.  It comes early in the film, when they are immediate antagonists.  The confrontation crackles, as a romance writer would say, with sexual tension.

While my hero and heroine and story share nothing else with those characters, I think that fight must have served as an unconscious muse for following scene.

First, a little setup.   RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, a current release from Harlequin Historicals, launches my trilogy about the Brunson Clan, a family of Reivers on the Scottish Borders during the early Tudor era.  CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD follows in January 2013, and TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL in March 2013.

RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR is the story of John, the youngest son, who returns home after years of serving as a “big brother” to the young Scottish king.  John is a man with something to prove, both to himself and to his family.  As the only blue-eyed Brunson, he’s always felt as if he didn’t belong.  Now, he no longer wants to.  As soon as he enforces the king’s command for peace, he plans to return to his life at court and leave the valley of his birth for the last time.

But first, he must persuade Cate Gilnock to release his family from their promise to avenge her father’s death.  Cate is a woman fierce as a warrior, but behind her eyes John senses vulnerability and secrets she refuses to share.  Bit by bit, he falls in love with her, and with each step, he is drawn back into the life he thought he had left behind forever.  Because of Cate, he discovers he is more like the rest of his family than he thought until, finally, he must decide:  Is he truly a Brunson?  Or is he the King’s man after all?

In this excerpt from Chapter One, John has come across Cate, practicing her sword fighting against her own shadow.  He thinks to play with her, easily besting her sword with his dagger, but the woman proves more capable than he imagined…

He jumped just in time to escape a touch.  Now was not the time for distractions.  He had expected a playful joust.  Instead, he faced a warrior.

He swung high, but she held up her sword, turned sideways, to block his stroke.  A clever move, but lifting the two-handed sword had strained her strength and when she lowered it, her arms shook.

Seizing on her weakness, he attacked and they crossed blades again.  Prepared now, he leveraged his strength against her sword.  Though she kept her grip, he pushed the blade away, coming close enough to feel her chest rise and fall, nearly touching his.

Close enough that his mind wandered, careless of the blades, thinking that under her tunic and vest, she had breasts.  Now he could see her face, the angles of it, sharp and cleanly sculpted as her sword.  Yet thick lashes edged her brown eyes, disguising some of the hatred there.

“Surrender now?”

Panting, she shook her head.  Yet her lips parted, tempting him to take them.  She was, after all, a woman.  A kiss would be mightier than a sword.

He pushed her sword arm down, pulled her to him, and took her lips.

She yielded for a breath, no more.

But it was long enough for him to lose his thoughts, to forget she held a sword and remember only that she was a woman, breasts soft against his chest, smelling of heather…

In a flash, she turned stiff as a sword and leaned away, though her lips did not leave his, so he thought she only teased.

When he felt the point of a dirk at his throat, he knew she did not.

“Let me go,” she said, her lips still close that they moved over his. “Or you’ll be bleeding and I’ll leave you to it, I swear.”

He eased his arms from her back and she pushed him away, wiped her mouth, and spat into the dirt.

He touched the scratch she’d left on his neck, grateful she had not drawn blood.

Her eyes, which he had thought to turn soft with pleasure, narrowed, hard with fury.

“It’s a Brunson you’re facing,” he said, trying a smile.  “Not a Storwick.”

She raised both sword and dirk, the larger wobbling in her grip.  “It’s a man I’m facing who thinks what I want is of no consequence if it interferes with his privileges and pleasures.”

Had he imagined the echo of the bedchamber in her voice?  No more.

He raised his eyebrows, opened his arms and made a slight bow.  “A thousand pardons.”  Words as insincere as the feelings behind them.

She frowned.  “You are a stranger here, so you know no better.  And because you are a Brunson, I’ll let you keep your head, but I’ll warn you just once.  You will not do that again.  Ever.”

She lowered her sword, slowly.

You are a strangerShe was the Brunson, besting him with a sword, displacing him at the family table.  His temper rose.  “And what if I do?”

The blade rose, this time, not pointed at his throat, but between his legs.  “If you do, you won’t have to worry about bedding a woman ever again.”

He swallowed, gingerly, his body on fire.  Only because she had challenged him.  Nothing more.  No man could desire such a woman.

“Then have no worries on that score, Catie Gilnock,” he said, flush with anger.  “When next I bed a woman, it most certainly will not be you.”

So, talk about movies!  What are your favorites?  A lucky reader who comments on today’s blog will be randomly selected to win a signed copy of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR.  

The lucky winner randomly chose is Cynthia! Congrats!

Blythe Gifford has been known for medieval romances featuring characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. Now, she’s launching a trilogy set on the turbulent Scottish Borders of the early Tudor era, starting with RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, November 2012, Harlequin Historical.  CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD will follow in January 2013, and TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL in March 2013.  The Chicago Tribune has called her work “the perfect balance between history and romance.”  Visit her at www.blythegifford.com, www.facebook.com/BlytheGifford, or http://www.twitter.com/BlytheGifford.

Photo credits.  Cover used with permission.  Author photo by Jennifer Girard.


MuseTracks Guest – Eliza Knight – Watch Out For Those Scots!

July 23, 2012

Today, MuseTracks is hosting my twin. Well, all right, she’s not really my twin, but when I first met Eliza Knight some four years ago, we quickly found we had so many things in common – aside from writing historical romance and both being 8 months pregnant, that is. Naturally, we hit it off famously and have been getting into trouble ever since.

But enough prattle. Eliza has a new book ,THE HIGHLANDER’S REWARD, and she’s stopped by to share a little about it.

Take it away Eliza!

Watch Out for Those Scots!

Throughout history, the Scots were thought of by the English as barbarians, and the Scots didn’t think too highly of the English either. I love using this conflict in my books, and in THE HIGHLANDER’S REWARD, I decided to make it a running joke for the reader. Our heroine, Arbella de Mowbray, has grown up hearing awful things about the Scots, especially Highlanders, from her maid Glenda.

By the end, she’s learned that these rumors were not true, but they sure were a lot of fun for us! And they drove Magnus to his wit’s end.

Want to hear some?

  • The men ate their young.
  • The warriors kept the bones of their victims tied to their beards.
  • The horses were trained to sniff out an English lady and trample her to death.
  • The women were witches.
  • The children ran naked, even in the dead of winter.
  • No person of truly English blood could survive one.
  • And so many more 🙂

Imagine her terror when a fearsome Highlander whisks her from her horse? Never fear, Magnus is one hot, hunky hero and the only thing she needs to watch out for is the sultry pull of his kiss. Then again, why watch out? Why not just enjoy?

I hope you enjoy the fun of playing these characters off of each other like I did. I’ll leave you with a fun sneak peak.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

She belonged to another… But was destined to be his…

Lady Arbella de Mowbray abhors the idea of marrying an English noble occupying Scotland. When she arrives in Stirling, she is thrown into the midst of a full battle between the Scots and the English. Besieged by rebels, she is whisked from her horse by a Highland warrior who promises her safety. But when he kisses her she fears she’s more in danger of losing herself.

The last thing Magnus Sutherland wants is to marry the beautiful English lass he saved. As the laird of his clan, he has a responsibility to his clan and allies. But when Arbella is attacked by one of his own men, he determines the only way to keep her safe is to make her his. A decision that promises to be extremely satisfying.

Magnus brings Arbella to his home of Dunrobin Castle in the Highlands. And that’s where the trouble begins… Their countries are at war and they should be each other’s enemy. Neither one considered their mock marriage would grow into a deeply passionate love. What’s more, they were both unhappily betrothed and those who’ve been scorned are out for revenge. Can their new found love keep them together or will their enemies tear them apart?

AN EXCERPT – Arbella starts off this conversation… Taken from the middle of chapter eight…

“Do you have many attacks at Dunrobin?”

“Attacks?”

“Aye. Glenda said that the Scots fight nonstop.”

Magnus growled low in his throat. If he ever got his hands on this Glenda…

“I willna say we are never attacked, but ’tis rare. Our last attack was over five years ago.”

He heard her loud intake of breath, and rolled his eyes. “Dinna be so shocked. We are not all the heathens the English make us out to be.”

“I never said that.”

“Ye dinna need too. Your gasps and expressions and mutterings of the foolish Glenda are enough.”

“Glenda is right about a lot of things.”

“I challenge ye to name one.” He couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say.

“Well, she was right about Highland warriors.”

“And what did she say about us?”

“That they were gigantic. That if I ever encountered one, he would frighten the breath from my body. Perhaps I might even die upon seeing one.”

Buy LinksAmazon / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords

Available in PRINT, too!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eliza Knight is the multi-published author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor. Visit Eliza at http://www.elizaknight.com or her historical blog History Undressed: www.historyundressed.com Twitter:@ElizaKnight and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizaknightauthor


MuseTracks Guest – William Simon – Love Is Murder

May 29, 2012
It’s Release Day for dear friend and MuseTracker, William Simon. And to help him celebrate, we’re sharing in his glory – Movie poster-style. Isn’t that a GREAT cover?
“Here’s a piece of advice you won’t find in any manual, leaflet, monograph, self-help book, or national talk-show: when an agent with the FBI’s Violent Crimes Unit opens an email, then spends the next ten minutes vomiting in the men’s room, do not under any circumstances lean across the desk and look at the screen….”
—Nicholas White – “Spider’s Tango”
STARRED REVIEW IN PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7783-1344-1
Go ahead, check it out! We dare you!

The Siren’s Song – Release Par-Tay!

May 16, 2012

Break open another bottle of rum! Today is the official release party of THE SIREN’S SONG.

What, you say? Another release soiree? Why, yes. Carina Press has published the third book in my Romancing the Pirate series. And if you missed out on the last shindig, here’s your chance to boogie down with me. Besides, is there such a thing as too much partying?

True to my pirate wenching nature, I’ve got booty to share. 😉

  • Read an excerpt here.
  • Get in touch with your Inner Pirate. Find out what kind of pirate you are!
  • Name your pirate ship.
  • Learn to talk like a Regency Pirate.
  • Got a pirate question? Ask me!
  • Leave a comment for a chance to plunder a copy of THE SIREN’S SONG or a skull and crossbones necklace. (Don’t wear necklaces? Hang it from your rear view mirror!)

The Siren’s Song Blurb:

Pirate captain Thayer Drake lures ships onto reefs for plunder, and business is lucrative. Yet, saving a lass from drowning after her ship wrecks becomes more than he bargained for when the crazy wench dives back into the raging sea for her blasted purse.

Tavern songstress Gilly McCoy, penniless and fleeing from the man who murdered her lover, stowed away on the doomed ship. Now at Drake’s mercy, Gilly must earn her passage by performing for the captain. And that is not all: she must also kiss the captain at every ring of the ship’s bell. But she discovers kissing the handsome rogue is not entirely a bad bargain…

Drake is intrigued by the beauty, but there is no room in his black heart for a woman. He has demons that he drinks nightly to forget. Meanwhile, Gilly has her own secrets to keep–including why her purse is more valuable to her than her life…

One of my favorite scenes from the book:

“Sometimes, you must circle your quarry.” He stalked around her, shedding his jacket as he came up behind her and whispered in her ear. “Tease her with the skirmish to come.” Her floral scent wrapped tendrils of desire around his every nerve. He shrugged out of his bandolier and tossed it into a chair. “Don’t raise your flag too soon.” He swept her golden locks aside and kissed the milky white column of her neck. “Leverage is when she doesn’t know what move to expect.”

“What would you do next, Captain?” she whispered. She bit her full puckered bottom lip like a coy and naughty child. But she wasn’t a child. She was a full, blossomed woman. The coy and naughty part was debatable.

“I’d brand her as my own.” Drake stared deep into her eyes before placing a chaste kiss to her luscious lips. Pulling back only a breath, he continued. “But, then, I branded her during my first pass around her bow.”

“Does she surrender?” Gilly whispered against his lips.

“She should.”

“Perhaps she would seek to even the advantage.” She rubbed her hands over his shoulders and gently tugged on his sleeves.

“Having me naked does not give you an advantage.”

“What? No more innuendos?” she asked playfully.

“There is less negotiating when the battle begins. And the battle has begun, love.”

One of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Ah. Rum and a new flintlock.” Henri grinned. “Brings a tear to me eye.”

And yet another:

“Remind me to raise my cup to gluttony tonight,” Drake said.

“No need, Thayer. ’Tis what we toast to every night.”

~~~~~

Want to HEAR an excerpt. Click here to listen to a snippet. I get all giggly listening to the narrator’s British accent.

Click HERE for your copy of THE SIREN’S SONG.

The book is also available at Amazon, B&N, All Romance, and Audible.

Want more booty? Did you read A KISS IN THE WIND? Did you know there’s an epilogue the publisher decided not to include that links the book to THE SIREN’S SONG? Want to read it? Tell me so in a comment and I’ll send you s SPECIAL link!

Don’t forget to leave a comment! You could win a copy of THE SIREN’S SONG or the skull and crossbones necklace.


A KISS IN THE WIND – Release Par-Tay!

March 28, 2012

Break open the bottle of rum! Today is the official release party for my inaugural Carina Press pirate historical romance, A KISS IN THE WIND.

And to celebrate, I’m sharing the BOOTY! Adventure, a wee bit ‘o sport, ‘n treasure awaits.

  • Read an excerpt here.
  • Take a quiz and get an authentic pirate name.
  • Ask me a question about pirates or
  • Dunk A Wench by trying to stump me with pirate trivia.
  • Above all,  leave a comment for a chance to score a copy of A KISS IN THE WIND or a pair of skull and crossbones earrings.

A Kiss in the Wind Blurb:

Marisol Castellan is in trouble–again. Against her pirate father’s orders, she snuck off their ship to intercept a message meant for a rival captain, one that offers a clue to the whereabouts of her estranged brother Monte.

Pirate captain Blade Tyburn is not pleased to find the letter he’s been waiting for is missing. He’s even less pleased when he discovers the thief is a raven-haired beauty who bewitches his senses and muddles his thinking. The note gives the location of a silver-laden ship that’ll make his fortune; Blade must find it, and if that means bringing Marisol along on the voyage, so be it.

Marisol believes Monte sails on the very ship Blade is to meet and strikes a deal with the handsome rogue. If he will give her passage to her brother, she will give him the exact location he needs. And both will get more than they expected…

One of my favorite lines in the book:

“You have stolen not one, but several items that belong to me. You wounded one of my men. And…” Blade stepped in close to Marisol, close enough that her breath fell on his face. “You tried to kill me. I don’t believe you are in a position to argue.”

“Maim you.”

“What?”

The tips of her lips curved up into an impish grin. “I tried to maim you.”

What a devil of a woman. Cloaked in beauty, she was wicked. Wicked and deceptive and, oh so close to finding herself naked beneath him. He groaned inwardly. He wanted her, despite the urge to strangle her. And that peeved him.

More favorite lines:

“Blazes.” Henri grumbled, grunting from the effort of climbing the ladder with his lame leg. At the top, he paused long enough to scowl at the offending steps. He toddled over. “What’s gotten into the lass? She came flyin’ down the ladder an’ nearly plowed me down. You go an’ make her mad, Tyburn?”

“What makes you think that?”

“She was sayin’ somethin’ ‘bout a capt’n needin’ to grow some ballocks.”

And yet another favorite:

Blade had taught Marisol many new things. He had more to offer, no doubt. His company, his imminence, the trust she placed in him, it was like a strong bottle of the finest liquor. Too much of him and she could become drunk, a

slobbering, moon-eyed drunk. Hear, Hear! To a plentiful cup of Tyburn.

Click HERE for your copy of A KISS IN THE WIND.

*And for a special treat, you can HEAR A SAMPLE of the book as well.  It’s also available in audio form through Audible. How cool is that?

Don’t forget to leave a comment! You could win a copy of A KISS IN THE WIND or the skull and crossbones earrings.

Update! Winners! Melanie Macek is the winner of a copy of A Kiss In The Wind. Susan Muller is the winner of the skull and crossbones earrings. Congrats, ladies. And thanks for your support!