Tumbling Hearts – Love and Balance Book 3

The third and final book in the series is now available at eXtasy Books and all online retailers!

Two hearts tumbling together through love and life.

Anna Fortier’s heart tumbles head over heels for the head coach in her gym. His gruff demeanor toward her suggests he couldn’t care to give her the time of day. Determined to get over her crush, she devises a plan to tell him how she feels, and free herself once and for all.

Taras Volkov moved to Canada from the Ukraine to further his education and career. He didn’t factor into his plan falling for Anna—a coach under his command at the gym.

When Anna makes her feelings for him known, he chooses to reveal his secret desire for her. As they explore their new personal relationship, they are faced with one crisis after another. Will their hearts tumble together, or will their romance fall short?

EXCERPT:

“I’ve had it bad for you since the day we met, too,” she admitted. “I teased you and flirted, but you never noticed.”

Butt wriggling, she shifted in his lap and laughed. “You always seemed angry with me.”

“Oh, I noticed.” He shifted her closer to his hard cock.

One fingertip drew a line over her cheekbone. “I am sorry if my coldness hurt you.”

 “But this isn’t wrong, right?” She snuggled closer to him, burying her head under his chin.

The hope in her voice stirred the lust in his loins. “I suppose not.” His fingertips drew circles up her leg to the side of her knee under her skirt. “We have much to talk about. Is this something you want?”

 “Yes.”

Her body trembled, breathing quickening, as he continued tracing flower patterns on the outside of her thigh. He needed to take this relationship slow and make sure Anna communicated with him every step of the way.

She never broke eye contact with him, and he liked her bold stare. He moved his hand higher up her thigh until he caressed the side of her butt. Her pupils flared, and her breath caught, but she made no move to stop him.

Splaying his fingers over the flesh of her ass, one eyebrow rose when the edge of her barely-there underwear tickled his pinkie finger. The heat of her centre radiated toward his hand, beckoning him to dip inside her well and sample the waters.

Taras froze, heart pounding, lust racing through his veins. They played a dangerous game, and it wouldn’t take much to convince her to do a lot more than they were doing now. He wanted her bad. His cock ached for her, but he was too much of a gentleman to take advantage of her affections or state of arousal. The need to protect her would always be strong.

He leaned in and nipped her bottom lip. He would show her what it was like to be with a man. No way would he do anything to hurt her or make her run from him. He’d make sure she stayed in his arms for a long time. “Anna—you must promise me something.”

Breathless, she asked, “What’s that?”

Now available at eXtasy Books and all online retailers! (The books section contains links to other third party sites.)

Release Day! The Perfect Score

This book was previously published. It has been re-edited, re-formatted, and re-released. Thank you to eXtasy Books for giving this series a home and breathing new life into a great story. When I first wrote them, I was at a very different place in my life. Having the chance to re-write the characters and showcase my growth as an author has been an honor. This book in particular hits the heart in some deep places. I hope readers will love their story, and laugh and cry along with Shelley and Jack. Available now from eXtasy Books!

What will they risk to achieve the perfect score?

Fun-loving and free-spirited Shelley Longstaff summons her iron will to stand up to Jacques Fortier when he demands she accept his daughter into the gymnastics program, or he will sue.

Jacques Fortier is at his wits end with his daughter for her unsportsmanlike behavior. In his frustration, he threatens to sue Shelley and the club for discrimination if they don’t accept her for training.

As Shelley and Jack discuss terms of Anna’s acceptance into training, Shelley discovers a tragedy that is causing a rift between father and daughter. When Jack asks for a favor, Shelley finds herself hard pressed to refuse.

When a crisis of teenage proportions threatens their relationship, will they retreat, or risk everything for the chance to achieve The Perfect Score?

EXCERPT:

“If I find out you’re lying about your program being full, I’ll sue both you and this club.”

“You wouldn’t dare.” Shelley Longstaff stared at the giant of a man bracing himself on the front edge of her desk. She rose from her chair, neck cramping in order to maintain eye contact. Good God, he’s tall. Drawing herself up to her full height—all five feet four inches—she prepared for battle.

Cocking his head to the side, he gave Shelley a silky smile. “Try me.”

Shelley’s eyes narrowed at his arrogant attitude. The threat of a lawsuit didn’t bode well for her future as head coach of the club. How had she ended up in this impossible position? This is all Claire’s fault. She recommended me for head coach. She thought I could do it. A small voice laughed inside her head. You wanted this job, chickie. And you’re damn good at it. Don’t let Mr. Jolly Green intimidate you. You have the upper hand.

To calm the butterflies battering her insides, she drew in a deep breath which brought the scent of his cologne to her nostrils. A queer feeling shot through her stomach. Damn! What is that? She took a moment to study him. The suit he wore screamed money. Close-cropped black hair, peppered gray at the sides, the square angle of his jaw, perfect nose, and nearly black eyes surrounded by thick dark lashes, made the breath clog in her chest. Handsome for an older dude.

Her knuckles whitened as she gripped the desk, fighting the hormonal surge in her body. Shelley pursed her lips together and blinked. He threatened to sue me, remember?

His gaze pierced hers. Sexy or evil? Sexy with a hint of ‘I don’t take no for an answer.’ Without breaking eye contact, she returned the stare, not one to back down from a challenge.

Jacques Fortier spoke through clenched teeth. “One more time—is your program full?”

Yes. She practiced the lie in her head, but the deepness of his voice washed over her like a wave drowning a surfer. What is wrong with me? Concentrate!

When she didn’t respond immediately, he went on. “You can’t refuse my daughter the right to train here. This club is run by a board of directors. It’s not a private facility.” He paused, no doubt for effect, but his voice held a note of defeat when he spoke again. “Besides, this club is our last resort.”

Damn. He had a point. Four points actually, and with his last statement, she felt a little sorry for him.

This would be Anna Fortier’s fourth club in two years. Shelley had long ago been convinced it wasn’t the clubs—it was the girl. Shelley folded her arms over her chest. “Seems to me that if our club is your last resort—you’d be a little kinder in your demand.”

He hung his head in defeat. Maybe it would finally sink in that his daughter wasn’t elite material. Anna took more time than allowed during warm-ups at competition, she had no sense of sportsmanship, rarely smiled, and gossip about her poor training habits had spread far and wide. Shelley didn’t want to ruin the positive gym atmosphere here by admitting Anna.

She lifted her chin. “I’m sorry Mr. Fortier, we are not admitting gymnasts of Anna’s caliber at this time,” she restated. “And the club has the right to turn away potential gymnasts if the program the gymnast is seeking to enter is full.”

Please accept my half-truth and walk away. Her group only had six gymnasts in it. Technically she could accept Anna into the program—she just didn’t want to. Crap. She’d always been a lousy poker player. Would he believe her or call her bluff?

 

EXCERPT #2:

He rewarded her statement with an eye roll. “Anna always accuses me of not listening.” Relaxing back in his chair, he pulled up the sleeves of his sweater, revealing his lean, muscled forearms.

Based on the sight, she wondered what the rest of his body looked like. She gave herself a mental head shake. This wasn’t a date. It was a business meeting, and she had no business thinking those things.

Shelley put her hands up in a gesture of surrender. “Whether or not you listen isn’t my business. It’s her perception that you don’t. From personal experience, you certainly don’t take no for an answer. Threatening to sue me is a case in point.”

He dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand. “I wouldn’t have gone through with it. You caught me off-guard when you didn’t jump at the chance to train my daughter. Knee-jerk reaction.”

“You had me fooled.” She rested her forearms on the table. “Since Anna has assured me what she told me in confidence today is something you’re already aware of, I see no reason to bore you with the details. I’d like a chance to work with her without having to run to you and report every detail.”

He picked up his water glass, and took a long sip, considering her request. “You’ve agreed to train her?”

She nodded. “Yes. I think she and I have come to an agreement.”

“All right,” he conceded. “I’ll respect the request for now.”

Sitting across the table from him didn’t feel as awkward as she thought it would. She figured now would be as good a time as any to broach the subject of his deceased wife. “Tell me about Anna’s mother. I understand she’s—”

“—dead.”

Shocked at the brusque manner in which he’d delivered the news, she stammered to find a reply. “I-I’m sorry.”

He studied the table top rather than looking at her. “I gather you didn’t know.”

Now available from eXtasy Books!

Rebound ~ Love and Balance

Preorder link: Rebound

“This is a powerful and marvelously told story. I never saw the first version, so I have no idea what was missing from Claire’s story/experience, but whatever it was, this full-on revision will knock readers’ socks off. Kudos to you for reaching deep and putting it on the page. Very real and moving.”

**This book was previously published. It has been re-edited, re-formatted, and re-released.**

An award-winning choreographer faces her biggest heartbreak when she’s teamed up to coach with her former lover at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.

Claire LeMay is at the top of her game—she’s head coach for a top gymnastics facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she’s avoided for three years after rejecting his offer of coaching under his command at his club in Ottawa, Ontario.

After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire’s presence invades his space, he realizes she’s the one thing that’s missing. Clueless about why she didn’t accept his earlier job offer, he is determined to discover why she turned him down.

Will they be a rebound romance, destined to repeat the same old routine, or can they choreograph a new one?

EXCERPT:

“Nice, eh?” Shelley said. “Want to check out the second floor?”

Tamping down on the rising emotion, Claire nodded and turned, following Shelley up the stairs. At the top, they walked straight into a viewing area equipped with enough chairs to seat an army and a bunch of toys in one corner. A small canteen filled the opposite corner, complete with vending machines.

She stroked her chin thoughtfully and smiled. Justin knew the parents and other family members of gymnasts had a place in the gym, and he wanted them comfortable, albeit from a distance. She’d heard he trained his own coaches and made sure they received coaching certification. If the rumor held true, his club had upwards of a thousand members, from preschool to elite.

Tears pricked her eyes. And he did it all without me.

The murmur of voices drew her attention to the left, and she walked down a small hallway with a boardroom and a door marked Dance Studio off of it. Claire blinked her tears away and swallowed the lump in her throat.

I’ve got to pull it together. She moved toward the boardroom, where the coaches were gathering. Some of the coaches were here to observe, like Shelly, while the rest coached the attending athletes. Since almost everyone knew each other, they took turns shaking hands and giving hugs. Everyone greeted her with hearty hellos, and she turned to greet another coach only to find herself face to face with Justin.

Her heart skipped a beat, and she froze on the spot. With a roomful of eyes on her, she did the only sensible thing she could think of—she hugged him.

His surprise registered in the way his body tensed, but to save face, he brought his arms around her and gave her a manly slap on the back that made her cough. “Good to see you,” he said.

“Likewise,” she murmured. “Shall we begin?”

EXCERPT #2:

Justin leaned up against a wall, arms crossed over his chest, and watched as Claire led the girls in a warm up. Compassion filled his heart for her. She gave a hundred percent effort into everything she did. Anger flickered in his gut. Why hadn’t she given their relationship just as much effort?

He continued to watch as Claire instructed the girls on a series of still exercises designed to work on their posture, poking and prodding them into position. Then she made them perform successions of leaps across the floor.

He gave an imperceptible shake of his head. None of the gymnasts leaping across the length of the floor had half the grace Claire possessed, nor did they have her presence. A mere five feet one inches tall, when she stood with that impeccable posture and spoke in her clear voice, she could be mistaken for a giant. Too bad she hadn’t been given her chance to shine.

Heat flared in his loins as he watched her perform a leap to demonstrate. Jesus. Fuckin’ perfect. Disgusted with his body’s traitorous response to her, he distanced himself by heading upstairs again.

He snagged a bottle of water from the refrigerator in the canteen and, unable to resist, looked down from the upper level window as Claire led the gymnasts through a short choreographed routine to a pop song. He knew they’d add to it each day, and at the end of the week, the girls would perform it for the coaches. Since the girls had come from all over the country, it provided a good way for them to get to know one another while they did something fun.

He chuckled as they tried to copy Claire’s movements. With the patience of a saint, she went over the steps again and again, watching them intently, giving instruction on arm placement and hip movements. Watching her dance had always captivated him, and it did so now. She had the amazing ability to observe a routine and then perform it near-perfectly.

The grace she possessed spilled into other areas of her life, too. He recalled how she’d accepted defeat that day at the Canada Olympic Trials, never shedding a tear, or swearing, or calling the other girls down as some gymnasts did when they lost. She had made a mistake and accepted it stoically.

The dancing stopped, and the lack of movement on the floor brought Justin back to the moment. Claire stared up at him. He nodded and smiled at her. She tucked a non-existent stray lock of hair back behind her ear and grinned shyly in return. Her cheeks flushed, and she bit her lips together.

His heart thudded in his chest. Ah, shit.

He knew right then he hadn’t succeeded one whit in putting behind him what they had shared. In the past, ignoring her had worked, at least somewhat, because he’d known that once the meet was over, they’d both return to their home provinces. Now that they were working alongside each other they’d be expected to field questions and converse with each other, not to mention everyone else. Time to let bygones be bygones.

How the hell do I do that? So much remained unsaid between them, and he didn’t know where to start—anger at her for walking out on him, anger she hadn’t shared his dream. And if he were honest—pissed at himself for letting things get so far off course.

Staring at her now, his heart pounded hard, like a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway. He heaved a sigh. Could he be man enough to call a truce? Would she believe his intentions were sincere? She had no reason to, and he didn’t blame her, but he’d never be able to move on if he didn’t try.

She gave him another half-smile, her blue eyes shining up at him.

He scrubbed a hand over his face and turned away, expelling the air from his lungs.

She’d be here in his personal space for a week. He wouldn’t be able to ignore her this time, and he knew it. So much for not examining my emotions.

Pondering goodwill gestures, he turned and jogged down the stairs to the gym.

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Menagerie a Trois!

 

When Kat gets a new kitty, she asks the vet to play.

Dubbed the Kat Lady by her roommate, Kat Munroe admits to an ulterior motive for rescuing strays—a chance to visit the cute Dr. Evan Cole at the vet clinic. He makes her heart purr as much as her kittens do. Determined to ask him out before he thinks she’s some crazy cat woman, Kat works up her courage for the next visit.

Evan Cole doesn’t see many females other than the animal variety at his veterinary clinic. Always a believer that the right woman will walk into his life someday, he made everything else—vet school, his career—a priority over searching for love. But from the day Kat Munroe walks through the door with a stray feline rescue, his heart beats to see her again. His dilemma—how to create the perfect romantic date when you’re clueless about dating?

When they finally go on a date, disaster strikes at every turn. Will they be able to handle the menagerie? Or will they decide that more isn’t merrier?

EXCERPT:

The heat from his gaze erupted a solar flare in her gut. Every part of her body tingled. Unsure how she should be feeling, skepticism laced her words when she spoke. “You’ve seriously thought about me?”

“All the damn time.” He sighed. “Kat—I’m not good with women. I make work my life and hope someone will come into it. When you kept bringing animals in to see me, I hoped maybe you were making an excuse to see me.”

She sniffed. “I was. Pathetic, I know.”

He shrugged. “No more pathetic than I was, checking my schedule daily to see if you’d be showing up.”

The corner of her mouth curled up in a half grin. “What a pair we are.”

He nodded. “Indeed. I still want to take you for dinner if you’ll go with me. I know it wasn’t nice to ask such blunt questions, but I wanted a chance to get to know you. If you were already in a relationship of some sort, then I needed to know.”

A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “Well, that makes sense and you deserve to know what you’re getting into.” She played with the lapels on his sport coat. “This entire thing is not off to a conventional start. I suppose now that we have a ton of awkwardness out of the way, and you just heard most of my sexual history, and I know how wonderful you are with women—which actually isn’t much now that I think about it considering the way you started the conversation—we could get a bite to eat and see how much more awkward things become. If neither of us die from mortification, we might be able to make a go of this.”

“Sounds delightful.” He tucked her hand into the crook of his arm. “I cordially invite you to the most awkward date in the history of dates. And may I say—I like how flustered you get and when it happens you let every thought flow out. In the spirit of awkwardness, it’s refreshing to talk to a woman who doesn’t hold back or want me to guess. One of the reasons I don’t bother a lot with women is the stress of a woman who refuses to communicate honestly.”

“Well, then,” she said and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. “I shall endeavor not to disappoint. Ask highly inappropriate questions, and I’ll do my best to answer with as much bluntness as you deserve.”

Live narrated excerpt from release day:

Available now at:

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Vegas Gambler by Adriana Kraft!

 

Vegas Gambler by Adriana Kraft

Meghan’s Playhouse Book 5

Extasy Books

Genre: Erotic Romance, ménage, LGBT

Heat Level: Five flames

ABOUT VEGAS GAMBLER

Too old?

Baby boomers. Is that you? This year, the youngest baby boomers turn 54. Um, and hubs and I aren’t among the youngest. So when we write an erotic romance hero in his 50s, it’s just our way of saying Rock On!

In our Meghan’s Playhouse series, we’ve written two heroes over fifty. The series follows our sprite of a heroine, Meg Keenan, for a decade, starting in her early twenties. Her main squeeze in A Woman for Zachary (book 2) is something of a sugar daddy who helps her get her start on Broadway. In turn, she helps him finally recognize the love of his life, her drama coach.

By book 5 (Vegas Gambler) she’s a successful actress, and she’s enjoying the company of another older man. Of course, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but we think none of the four characters who get together in Vegas Gambler are aware of all the games being played…

BLURB

Time off in Vegas with her latest squeeze? Nothing could be better—unless maybe Meg adds another woman, or perhaps another man as well. What happens in Vegas…

Fresh with success from a recent stint in a musical on the Las Vegas Strip, Meghan Keenan takes some time off to play with her current flame, Jack Hawthorne, professional poker player. She’s delighted to add her petite masseuse Tia Minh to the mix and even more thrilled when she learns Tia’s relationship with her boyfriend Tony Sanders is on the skids. It’s the perfect challenge!

Tia has different ideas—she thinks Tony would be perfect for Meg, and she conspires to throw them together any way she can.

Ever the gambler, Jack catches on to Tia’s game quickly and keeps the ruse going behind Meg’s back. Who knew his heart was up for grabs?

EXCERPT

Meg kept her gaze fixed on Jack Hawthorne, who sat across from her at the small round wicker table. He was paying half attention to her and half to the solitaire cards spread out before him. She tried her best to decipher Jack’s response to her announcement that she’d be entertaining Tia on Sunday.

Not for the first time, she wished she hadn’t given up her own condo when she’d agree to extend her Vegas stay eight weeks or so after the show closed to help with the local community theater and to frolic with Jack, whom she’d grown to like and admire a lot. Still, he was a professional poker player and an expert at concealing his emotions. “So it doesn’t bother you,” she pressed on, “that I’ve made plans with my former masseuse?”

Jack looked up from the cards to stare at her. His dark eyes softened. With one hand he swiped at a lock of black hair that often threatened his brow. “Why should it? You’re your own woman. I don’t have a brand on you. I know you’ve been with other women during your time in Vegas. Why should this one matter to me any more than any other?”

“Because I’ve never invited a girl to your place,” Meg huffed. “I do wish I’d kept my apartment.”

“Nonsense. That would’ve been a waste. Besides, I like waking up with you at my side.”

BUY LINKS

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http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1333-0-vegas-gambler/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for erotic fiction, author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. Whether readers open our romantic suspense or our erotic romance, they can expect characters they care about, hot sex scenes, and a compelling story. Our suspense stories deliver one man, one woman, danger and intrigue.

Our erotic romance is edgier and nearly always includes ménage or polyamory, sometimes with two women and a man, sometimes with two (or more) couples. We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination. Here you’ll find multiple partners, three-way, four-way and more, swing lifestyle, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings: “scorching hot…refreshing…something to read when you want straight up hotness” (Long and Short Reviews)

Together we have published more than forty romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. We love hearing from readers at adrianakraft99@yahoo.com, and here is our website: When It’s Time to Heat Things Up https://adrianakraft.com

Social Media Links

Blog: https://www.adrianakraft.com/blog

FaceBook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adriana-Kraft/182846025133440

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Google+ https://plus.google.com/102791537641895264573/posts

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/adriana-kraft

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/adrianakraft

 

Vows, Sex, and Other Ways to Celebrate Love

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER at eXtasy Books!

Love, laughter, and sex—the best ways to celebrate life.

The Harder’s don’t need monkeys, vegetables, chocolate, or sex toys to bend a few kinks into their well-laid party plans.  When the couple of the hour is a no-show, the siblings worry that their good intentions will have been for naught. Count on good old mom and dad to add a few surprises of their own, mixing a cocktail of love and laughter that no one will soon forget. Get ready to celebrate love, Harder style.

The fifth and final book in the series is here! Each chapter features the couples from each of the previous books in the series so we can see what they’ve been up to. Then we get a glimpse of dear old mom and dad who have been in the background until now. The entire family takes centre stage in the final curtain call for The Harders!

Preorder link coming soon! Will be available at eXtasy Books November 10th! Right now, you can order the first book free in the series to start off the comedy journey! Click on the link above.

~Kellie

The Master of Surprise

AVAILABLE JULY 16TH!

 

When it comes to being a Dom, he is the Master of surprises.

After the Christmas retreat in their custom-made dungeon at their home, Dom Davis Cathal and his sub, Samantha Merry, decide to take a summer vacation away for a change of scenery. Finding a place that suits their needs and packing the necessary play items for two weeks is a challenge–one they relish in. When a work emergency causes Davis to stay behind an extra day, he instructs Samantha to go alone to set up the place for their play time.

Samantha arrives to find the cottage destination less than ideal. Determined to make the best of it, she goes about the task of preparing for playtime with her Dom. When one too many things go wrong, she is unable to hide her disappointment. Count on Davis to take control and show his sub that with a little discipline, any place is perfect for play and that sometimes disappointments bring about the best surprises.

EXCERPT:

He frowned. When she didn’t answer using the word ‘Sir’, he knew she wasn’t in the mood for playtime. As part of their agreement, they didn’t play the part of Dom/sub twenty-four seven, although as the years went on, she referred to him as ‘Sir’ on a regular basis.

“You don’t seem okay,” he remarked. “Didn’t you enjoy the session out by the lake?”

A frustrated sigh escaped her this time. She rolled over to face him and then sat up. “Yes, I did. Very much.” Anger sparked in her eyes, and he remained quiet to let her get it out. “What I haven’t enjoyed is coming here to see the place in ruins and nothing like it showed when we booked it. I didn’t enjoy having the hot water tap falling off, threatening to flood the house when all I wanted to do was sit in the bath and process. I wanted this vacation to be special. I wanted everything to be the way I thought it would be.”

Davis opened his mouth to speak, but she held up a hand to stop him. “No,” she continued. “I want to be mad. I have a right to be mad. I have a right to my feelings. This place isn’t what I thought it would be. And I want to go home.”

He shrugged, swallowing hard to hide the giddy feeling welling up inside. He couldn’t keep the surprise from her any longer.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “What? This isn’t funny.”

“I didn’t say it was funny.” He shook his head. “I’m supporting you being mad.”

“By laughing at me?”

“Samantha.” His voice took on a stern tone. “I’m not laughing at you either.”

She rolled her eyes and heaved a sigh. “I don’t mean to pout. It’s just this,” she gestured around, “isn’t what I signed up for.”

“You mean having the man you love most at your side, helping you through the mishaps of life?”

She glared at him and spoke through clenched teeth. “You know what I mean.”

“I do. I also know how attached we can become to an idea, and it bites when reality is different.” He tapped her nose with a fingertip. “Sometimes life is just that way.”

“I know,” she grumbled. “I just want to be grumpy about it for a bit, okay?”

Davis leaned over to check the time on his watch that sat on the bedside table. “How long do you think that will take?”

She cracked a smile for the first time since the bathroom incident. “I don’t know. Stop trying to make me laugh.”

He placed his hand over his heart. “I’m not trying to do anything.” He pushed her onto her back and loomed over top of her. “I just want to know how long I should wait before I eat your pussy.”

Surprise registered on her face. “Oh. Well.” She pretended to consider. “I suppose I’m done.”

“Are you sure?” He scrunched his eyebrows in concern. “I don’t want to interrupt your grump-fest.

http://www.extasybooks.com/kellie-kamryn/

The Art of Imperfection

k-3 001

Once upon a time, I was a competitive gymnast…

These days my inner gymnast is disguised as a mom of four, author, narrator, and all round good person. I can still perform cartwheels, handstands, round offs, flips on trampoline, and the splits, which make the guys at the training gym groan. (Mostly because I think they have to learn something they find difficult that I learned a long time ago. Or perhaps they’re thinking that whoever the man sleeping in my bed is—he’s a lucky bastard. And really, most nights it’s my youngest son whom has woken from a nightmare, so no hanky panky there. But I digress…)

During a conversation with a friend, I told him that I wasn’t interested in achieving physical perfection. He said I balked at the very idea because of the experiences I had as a gymnast. And you know what? He was right.

While I never developed an eating disorder as some of my comrades did, I had experiences that shaped the way I negatively saw my body, and exercise in general. When I was thirteen, a coach told me and my parents that I needed to grow my hair long and get contact lenses so I would look “pretty” and this would help boost my career as a gymnast. Notice how none of this had anything to do with my physical abilities or gymnastic talent. I received the message that in order to be successful, I had to be beautiful, and clearly, according to others, I did not measure up. I judged myself by the standards of others, and found myself lacking.

At the age of thirteen – well see picture above.  In the span of a year, I transformed myself by growing my hair long, and getting rid of the glasses. And it worked. Suddenly, I had all sorts of validation from friends, to fellow gymnasts, coaches, and boys at school. I was beautiful, therefore, I would be successful. Right?

Fast forward a few years to when my career ended. I didn’t make the Olympic team as most thought I might, even though I worked hard. Plagued with injuries, I wondered if I’d even aspired to that.  So many wanted me to “make it”, I lost sight of what I wanted. At that point, I felt I’d let down everyone in my life who had tried to make that dream a reality. Talk about carrying guilt.

In university, most of my gymnast friends became fitness competitors, and some girls joined our ranks because they wanted to be like the “beautiful gymnastics girls.” I kind of feel sorry for the image we portrayed, as if by being “one of us” you were automatically cool. An image is just that—a fantasy we portray to the world because our inner world doesn’t measure up. And that’s how I felt for many years.

Upon graduation, you’d think that with my physical education and kinesiology background, and my overachieving ways, I would once again strive to be the epitome of physical perfection. The fact now I have cover models and fitness industry professionals for friends, perhaps I should strive to achieve the outward appearance of physical fitness I feel modern society is obsessed with. To be honest, I used to. After the birth of my first and second children, I did manage to get back to a good weight for me. I worked out hard and ate right. When I found out I was pregnant with our third, while elated at the news, a part of me was upset that I would have to go through this all again, only to achieve my goal weight afterward. Talk about pressure, guilt, and anxiety all rolled into what should have been a beautiful experience. (This is covered in another article.)

After being diagnosed with post-partum depression at the same time as being told I was pregnant with my fourth child, I decided to give up the quest for physical perfection. After a life time of seeking validation outside of myself, I chose to go inward and love myself exactly the way I was.

After the birth of my son, I stopped exercising as if I was exorcising the Devil himself from my body. I chose to start loving every inch of me just the way it was, even though according to my doctor, I was thirty pounds overweight. I carried that weight for a reason. I was insecure, I wanted people to love me, I was anxious, and most importantly—I didn’t love myself.

Over time and with emotional healing, I learned to love me—every stretch-marked inch, both lopsided small breasts, my great calves and muscular shoulders, my soft belly my youngest calls my “squishy”, the roll of skin left over from the C-section, the near-sightedness of my green-hazel eyes, my smile, cute feet, jiggly thighs, curvy hips, and flat butt.

This isn’t to say I didn’t exercise at all. Over the past few years, instead of being obsessed with physical perfection, I learned to listen to myself. I found exercises that were gentle yet effective, I took up martial arts, I stretch every day, and I cut out all sugar from my diet for a few months. I learned that I didn’t have to kill myself through exercise to be healthy, and that physical perfection doesn’t mean you’re healthy in mind, body or spirit. And if loving myself means that I eat better, exercise more, and I happen to achieve what the outside world deems as a “nice body”, then so be it. A “perfect body” isn’t something I’m striving for. Being healthy is.

Once I stopped seeking validation for myself from other people, I learned to love ME. In fact, I like that my body is not “perfect”. From time to time, I put on a bit of weight, but this is usually at a time in my life when I’m feeling insecure or anxious about something. I know that with time, and when I go inside to discover the source of my insecurity, the weight will drop when I no longer need my “squishy armor” of protection.

Earlier this year, I was asked to “play up the pretty” in order to sell my books. I had mixed feelings on this because I want readers to read my material because they like it, not because of the way I look. I realize that a “package” sells a product, which is obvious from companies who mass market products from supplements, exercise equipment, teeth whitening agents, to romance books. Sexy to me is a state of mind, not necessarily what I−or anyone else−look like on the outside. Sexy is an attitude. While I choose to post nice pictures of myself for covers and social media, I also portray the real “me” as much as possible in my articles, and through what I post in public forums.

I told this story to my oldest daughter who is now sixteen. I want her to love herself for who she is, not for what others think she does or doesn’t look like. I want the world to love her as she is, and that will only happen if she loves herself first. Society in general likes to tell us that if only we did this, or used that, we too could be successful and loved and beautiful! And I’m here to tell you that you already are. Every inch of you. But don’t take my word for it—discover it for yourself, and reach what I call a healthy state of imperfection.

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Giveaway with Eden Glenn!

Read about two of her newest releases and comment for a chance to win one of three of her titles: Emma’s New Year, Shifter’s Legacy, OR Dragon Guardian!

Emma's New Year-200 x 300

Emma’s New Year by Eden Glenn

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press www.rebelinkpress.com

Contemporary F/F Short Novellette

Emma Reed needs a change from her stale boring straight life. Her lesbian friend drags her to a gay New Year’s Eve dance. There she meets butchy El Westin, out of her league and out of her comfort zone. The unexpected kiss at midnight makes Emma’s outlook start to sparkle and get interesting again. Emma has a choice to make. Is this a night of possibilities influenced by the magic of a borrowed amethyst necklace or is it a resolution in the making?

Emma’s New Year available July 10 from all fine Ebook sites.  Go to author’s webpage for links to your favorite ebook vendors.

Other F/F Erotic Romance written by Eden Glenn

Contemporary: “Beverly’s Secret”; Paranormal: “Dar’kind Promises”, “Phoenix Reborn”

Shifter's Legacy-200 x 300

“The Amethyst Desire Collection Vol 4″

Novella M/F/M Menage’ Erotic Paranormal Romance The complications of the birth of their first child, demands of mothering and keeping her wolf rescue running leaves Addison feeling less like a sexy mate and more like a saggy mom. Duncan’s stranded in the quaint (er…hole in the wall) north Florida town waiting on a part to repair his motorcycle. Addison and her curvy little ass are a significant interruption to his fence building chores. Nathan, her husband, purchases an amethyst pendant from Salynne’s Crystals and Thyme and whether magic or chemistry, Sparks ignite between the three of them.

Available from: AMAZON       BARNES AND NOBLE ALL ROMANCE E BOOKS

BIO

Eden is a multi published author of  erotic romance stories: GLTB, M/M (Male/Male); F/F (Female/Female); Menage’ (M/F/M & M/M/F and M/F/F; M/F/M/M; and Hot Hot Hot M/F) in a variety of subgenres: historic, contemporary, and paranormal.

She and her partner “the Lady Librarian” live in the eastern lee of the smoky mountains outside of Asheville, NC in a quaint southern home they’ve named Misselthwaite. Their household is owned by a cat and a lovable nuisance of a dog that should be in Japan. Eden has blue eyes, but her hair color is subject to change without notice. When she’s not writing she enjoys being Garden Goddess and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains on her motorcycle.

Other Menage titles by Eden Glenn:  “Raynia’s Magic” (contemporary); “Dragon Guardian” (paranormal). Links to your favorite E-book/print vendor may be found at Eden’s website.

www.edenglenn.com

Romance So Hot It Burns Off The Page

Dragon Guardian by Author Eden Glenn

EdenGlenn_DragonGuardian200

Vol 1 of Drakins of Wyrmarach Novel M/F/M Menage’ Erotic Paranormal Romance. Wren, Cathwren Aldridge, is catapulted into a steamy relationship with twin brothers Ethan and Caleb Monroe quite by accident when she falls through her stairs. She discovers nothing is what is seems and she may be foreordained by their Goddess for more. She’s not chosen to be Queen of some small European country but a world in another dimension, a world of dragon shape shifters. Evil stalks Wren, and it’s up to Caleb and Ethan to protect her while they figure out just what she is. Is she the one they’ve hoped for to unite them in their journey to the throne? Or will the strangeness of the truths they tell her drive her onto a path of self-discovery leaving them bound to a woman they can never have, The Dragon Guardian. AMAZON IN PAPERBACK OR KINDLE Print Copies are Also Available for immediate purchase at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, NC and City Lights Book Store in Sylva, NC or locate other fine Indy Booksellers near you via this Shop Indy Bookstores logo – link! Barnes and Noble Books A Million
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BIO
Eden is a multi published author of erotic romance stories: LGBT, M/M (Male/Male); F/F (Female/Female); Menage’ (M/F/M & M/M/F and M/F/F; M/F/M/M; and Hot Hot Hot M/F) in a variety of subgenres: historic, contemporary, and paranormal.
She and her partner “the Lady Librarian” live in the eastern lee of the smoky mountains outside of Asheville, NC in a quaint southern home they’ve named Misselthwaite. Their household is owned by a cat and a lovable nuisance of a dog that should be in Japan. Eden has blue eyes, but her hair color is subject to change without notice. When she’s not writing she enjoys being Garden Goddess and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains on her motorcycle.

Romance So Hot It Burns Off The Page
www.EdenGlenn.com
Other Menage’ titles by Eden Glenn
Novellas: Raynia’s Magic; Shifter’s Legacy
Coming soon from the worlds of Wyrmarach:
Dragon Betrayal (free read Novella) Erotic M/F Paranormal
Dragon Emergence Novella Erotic M/M Paranormal
Dragon Mark Vol 2 of Drakins of Wyrmarach The Story of Wren, Caleb and Ethan continues