And now, it is my pleasure to introduce you all to a wonderful author whose books I have been reading for several years now as well, and who I have now finally gotten around to having here on the blog. And now, here she is, Ms. Natasha Blackthorne!
I am so excited to be here. Thank you to Emily for inviting me to her Christmas event. For those who don't know me, I write erotic historical romance. My stories most often feature flawed characters and lots of angst, emotion and drama. I love to write stories about wallflowers and wildflowers, heroines who do not always fit in with the times they were born into. For me, the character tells the story and their internal conflicts drive the story. Some of my stories feature elements of light BDSM and some are scorching hot vanilla. Again, it depends on the characters.
Emily asked me to talk about what Christmas means to me. My first thought is that Christmas is all about the music for me, the festive colors and lights at night and lots of sweet treats. I love the old fashioned Christmas music that my parents would listen to. And I love the classical Christmas music and also Mannheim Steamroller. You are welcome to listen along with me on Pandora: Christmas Classics, Christmas Oldies, and Mannheim Steamroller.
But I also like to decorate the house. I love to use lots of tinsel and lights and jewel tones and gold and silver, glittery, shiny things. I have a thing for anything themed around musical instruments and birds too. Of course anything historical related to Christmas I love too. Decorating the house and making it festive and special means so much more because my husband loves for me to decorate the house and he likes to see what I will do differently each year. I love to use lots of spices and vanilla in cooking or burn some candles and have the house smell like Christmas.
I love all sorts of holiday themed sweets and especially pumpkin pie. Peppermint or eggnog ice cream. I like to invite my best friend over and play Christmas music and share some decadent Christmas treats. I like to find all sorts of new Christmas types of candies, cookies, cakes and coffee creamers and things like this to surprise my husband with. Well, Christmas to me all about creating and sharing lovely experiences with the people closest to me. It is all about sharing the joy of the season and creating happy times.
I'd also like to share an excerpt from my erotic historical romance novel, A MEASURED RISK (Regency Risks 1)
©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2012, 2013
She backed all the way into the bookcase.
“Why did you run away?” His deep voice settled in her belly, rich and warm, like crème brûlée on a cold winter’s night.
“Because I wanted you to follow.” She tried to sound sophisticated and seductive, but her voice choked off on the last word.
Ruel placed his hand on the shelf above her head and blocked her path to the door. His tall, solidly muscled body leaned over her, surrounding her with the sumptuous, sinful scents of tobacco, Scotch whisky and something masculine and undeniably dangerous. A slow, sensual smile stretched his hard mouth.
He appeared different. Softer. More approachable.
At the change, her insides seemed to flip over.
“Well, sweeting, getting us off alone was a very inspired idea.” He touched one of her fallen ringlets. “I am bored to distraction with endless talk of hunting and fencing.”
As he slowly wrapped the curl around two fingers, he brushed her collarbone. Fiery sparks tingled down her spine, so intense that she shivered. By some instinct she hadn’t even known she possessed, she arched her back, presenting herself for his assessment.
His eyes shone so vividly blue against his bronzed face that they resembled cornflowers. She swallowed tightly and wished for a long drink of claret. This more personal side of him suddenly seemed far more hazardous than his usually fierce exterior.
Well, no matter. There was nothing to fear. She would allow only as much contact as need be to get to know him a little. Since being torn from her lonely yet secure life in Ireland and thrust into Society at age sixteen, she’d spent her time allowing people only as near as was comfortable. She was an expert at emotional evasion.
It should be easy to regain her control.
But now, as rays of the late-afternoon sun played over his pale hair, turning it the colour of winter wheat, all her carefully rehearsed words flew from her mind.
Say something—anything—else he will think you’re a bird-wit.
An intimate smile, one that invited her to play, tugged at his mouth.
“In a situation like this, alone with a gentleman, it’s perfectly normal for a lady to feel some apprehension.” His hushed voice, barely audible above the piano and boisterous singing from down the corridor, accentuated their isolation. His gaze became so piercing that she had to lower her eyes.
He brushed his fingertips over her cheek. “She will invariably ask herself if he will try to kiss her.”
She jerked her eyes back to his face. God, he couldn’t mean to—not yet, surely… Peculiar, heated chills swept over her. She tried to take a step back, but found her arse flush against the bookshelf.
He leaned closer; so close that his Scotch-scented breath tickled her face. “And just in case you are wondering, Lady Cranfield—the answer is most assuredly yes.”
She should demand that he put his arm down so she could pass by and leave. She really should. But she couldn’t stop looking at his hard mouth and wondering what it would feel like upon hers. He was so close to her that his breath blew on her lips. If she moved but a fraction, she’d be kissing him.
Dear God. Her breaths began to come very fast and short. Her throat went tight with a suppressed moan.
His eyes burnt as brightly as aquamarines. He looked so fierce. If he kissed her, if he dared… Oh God, it would be so harsh. That cruel-looking mouth could express itself no other way.
Excitement rushed through her, sending tingles to every point of her body, even her toes.
But no, he wouldn’t. Not yet.
He kept leaning closer. He didn’t close his eyes. Instead, he seemed to focus all the harder upon her.
Her heart pounding, unable to move away, she braced herself for his assault.
His lips brushed hers, barely. A gossamer caress.
He lifted his head.
It was done.
And it hadn’t even begun.
He held her chin, appearing so cool, so unaffected. His kiss had seemed to sear her. An urge to put her fingers to her lips arose in her. She resisted it, for it would give away too much of how she was affected.
Never show your feelings.
He traced his thumb along her lower lip, slowly, deliberately, as he studied her with eyes that now glittered with something powerful and predatory. Heat pooled in her belly..
She went weak all over, as if she’d lain in a sunny window seat for too long. Her knees almost buckled. She forced them to lock. To be strong.
It should not have affected her so profoundly. It had been just a peck—not a true kiss at all. William had poured out all of his skill upon her and hadn’t garnered even a tenth of the reaction in her that this man’s peck had.
Ruel traced her jaw line with his fingertips. Unthinkingly, she leaned in to his touch.
“Of course, once he has kissed her, then it’s his turn to wonder…” His voice sounded unnaturally loud in her ears. “How will she respond? Will she withdraw, or can he ignite some hidden fire?”
She sensed that he was toying with her. She didn’t understand flirtation—why had she imagined she could carry off this ruse? Was he making advances in order to have a laugh with Francesca and her simpering friends later? Hurt blossomed in her chest. She resented him for that. She ought to feel indignant, superior, uncaring—anything but hurt.
“Please don’t make sport of me.”
She cringed. Was that quavering, pleading voice really hers?
An infinitesimal pause. “Now, why on earth would I do such a thing?” His voice was as smooth as velvet.
“To please your vanity,” she replied, trying to regain her wits.
“Here.” He placed her hand to his chest. The contours of his muscles were hard, powerfully developed. Even more so than she’d expected. His body heat radiated through the satin and, beneath her hand, his heart’s beat was rapid and strong.
“Is that vanity?” He put a finger under her chin, giving her no choice but to face him. “Is it?” He gentled his grip.
The warmth in his voice settled over her like luscious hot chocolate. Melting her insides to quivering burgoo, rendering her speechless, unable to move.
“My dear, lovely Lady Cranfield, I am going kiss you again.”
Erotic Romance, Regency Historical, Light BDSM elements, Drama, Angst.
Vividly real... Hot & sensual love stories where deeply flawed characters find love & trust.
He is her most dangerous temptation and now he is demanding her submission. Dare she take the risk?
Emotionally scarred in the horrific accident that took her husband's life, Lady Cranfield is imprisoned by her lingering terror of horses and carriages. She longed to be closer to the fascinating Earl of Ruel. She sensed intuitively that he could teach her how to overcome the terrors that held her in bondage.
And now she's willing to risk almost anything-her reputation, even her virtue-to find out. But what he proposes startles her.
When the shy, studious and socially awkward young widow approached him, Ruel instantly sensed she would be the sweetest, most submissive experience of a lifetime-if only he can gain her total and complete trust. He makes her a non-negotiable offer. His help in return for her submission and obedience.
But Lady Cranfield grew up neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servants and then later ignored by her handsome, charming husband. She's learnt to protect her heart at all costs and she trusts no one but herself.
How can the jaded Earl of Ruel break through her self-protective defences and show her how to love when he has spent his lifetime avoiding that tender trap?
Anne and Jon’s love was born in isolation. Now necessity has thrust them back into Society. Will their fragile bond survive the strain of slander and scandal?
All of Mayfair is staring at her and wondering if she is insane.
Anne Lloyd, the new Countess of Ruel, thought she’d finally begun to heal from having witnessed the terrible death of her first husband. But, from her new husband’s grandmother to his ex-mistresses, it is all that is on everyone’s lips. What scares her more than the potential social ruin is that even she isn’t sure they aren’t right.
There are times when it seems that the bloody battlefields of Europe were easier to navigate than the so-called civilized graces of Society.
Jonathon Lloyd, the Earl of Ruel, has commanded men on the battlefield and women in the ballrooms and bedchambers with his dominant personality. It tears him apart that he can’t command his wife’s terrors to go away. To top it off, he has to battle his grandmother, for Anne’s acceptance as the new Countess.
There are those who will stop at nothing to tear apart the fragile bond between the newlyweds.
As external foes close ranks, Anne is pushed to the wall and forced to face the enemy within and learn to faith in herself before she can give herself fully. And Jon must come to grips with what it means to be truly vulnerable in love.
Can Lady and Lord Ruel learn to trust each enough to keep their love, and her sanity, intact?
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I'll be giving away an e-copy of any of my currently published works to one person selected by random draw from all who comment on my posts here today. This giveaway is open to all adults 18+ but void where prohibited by law.
Thank you for checking out my post and I hope you all have a happy holiday season.