Monday, December 17, 2007

Works in Progress

collated by Deanna Ashford

Well good morning everyone, Christmas isn’t far away now and we lusties are busy getting organised just as everyone else is. I for one am useless at motivating myself to write cards and buy gifts, I am far too interest in working on what I’m writing at present.

This month we are featuring works in progress for Madelynne Ellis and Deanna Ashford. (Yes, that’s me I’m slipping some of my own work in progress onto the blog this month!) We both write Historical novels and so be prepared to step back to a time when dashing highwaymen preyed upon unwary travellers on land, and cruel pirates preyed upon them on the high seas.

Some background to the book from Madelynne.

Desperate Measures has been a work in progress for some time now, actually I've written two other books (Broken Angel & Phantasmagoria) since I started it. It's been on hold because Black Lace passed on it, because apparently highwaymen are cliched and no one really wants to read about them!

The story is set in the early 1700's in the north-east of England. When Thea Roche's husband is thrown into debtor's prison, she's left friendless and destitute. In order to support herself, and take revenge on her enemies, she dresses as a man and takes to highway robbery. This leads her into path of sexy fellow highwayman, Gregory Fox, and egotistical social climber, Thieftaker Edmund Stark. In order to avoid the gallows, Thea has to keep one step ahead of them both, while she learns that notority is far more alluring than respectability.

There was a black cloud on the hilltops. It rushed across the moors like the harbinger of death, a soundless figure, merciless and strong. On silent feet, it climbed the stairs to the inky boudoir where Thea lay. Alert to the dark shape that lingered at the edge of her consciousness, Thea stirred uneasily beneath the sheets. A shadow imprinted itself upon her body. A gloved hand covered her mouth, silencing her scream before it had even risen. The fingertips brushed over her cheek and traced the feathery edge of her eyelashes.

`My gold, Mrs Roche.´

The whispered caress blew fire across her lips, its threat implicit despite the soft tone. Streaks of molten metal knitted across her throat and breast. Tight ripples shivered through her limbs. Before her thick tongue could work, his hands clasped her wrists and shackled them either side of her head.

`My gold, or I take payment in kind.´

Soft heat closed over her upper lip. He smelled familiar, of honeydew and rosemary, of cut grass and cruelty.

`I can not give it to you.´

`Then I shall take something from you.´

His hand slid up her thigh, dragging the sheet up to expose her toes. The cold air nipped at them. Cobwebs of frost matted with the fiery shivers. His weight shifted above her. Wet warmth enveloped her big toe. His tongue glided over the pad, teased along the inner edge down to the v, where it flicked slowly against the seam. It felt intimate, like the massage of Richard´s fingers against her nub the night before. Dangerous sparks were wakening there now..

She wanted to pull away, flee like she´d done from the gauntlet of whores.

She saw herself again, peeking from the blood splattered bushes as Stark ground the thief into the dirt, all his men lined up around him, only now they were staring down at her. She lay sprawled upon the grass, with booted feet pressed against her limbs and Stark´s shoe upon her stomach. `I will have your confession,´ he said in a low sibilant voice.

There was a tightening in her abdomen, a pulse, a black fire that was spreading, and making her shake. The tongue between her toes, insistently coaxed the rarely touched skin, rousing shivers of delight from her tensed body. The tease was right on the edge of ticklish, almost painful. She wanted to pull away, to kick at the shadowy presence and drive it off, but the touch was cruelly sweet too. It pressed like tender kisses to her clit and it opened her like a flower unfurling its petals to bask in the sun.

Subtle fingers played across her flesh. Richard´s fingers: delicate and quick.

His satin skin moved against hers. It flowed into position, and his steely shaft branded her thigh. He´d had her once, but she wouldn´t allow it again. Not now, not ever. Not even in her dreams.

My excerpt is from Corsair’s Gold a book that is with my editor as we speak. Whether he will like it or not I have no idea, all I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope.

Sophia lives on the island of Tortuga, which is a safe haven for pirates and vagabonds. Her father is the right hand man of the notorious pirate lord Blackheart and so she has known no other life but this.

Sophia tried to relax and forget about everything as the overpowering, sultry heat had sapped the energy from her body. She felt herself drifting away and might have fallen asleep if she hadn’t heard the faintest of sounds. The bed depressed beside her and a warm arm snaked around her waist.

“Sleeping, my sweet,” an accented voice whispered in her ear.

“Raoul,” she said sleepily. She had been half expecting him and she didn’t resist as he pulled the sheet off her and rolled her onto her back.

Raoul’s lips covered hers and he kissed her hungrily, his tongue worming its way into her mouth. She felt his hot, rather sticky flesh pressed against her side as his large hand covered her left breast. He kneaded it gently, still kissing her passionately. There was no delicate sampling of lips, teeth and tongue, but a raw intensity that only Raoul could display.

By the time he pulled his mouth away from hers Sophia was a little breathless and becoming aroused. She felt the first tendrils of desire slide insidiously through her body as Raoul caressed her breast, rolling the sensitive teat between his fingers as he smiled down at her. The smile turned into a soft chuckle as wrinkled her nose and scowled at him.

“It’s too hot for sex,” she complained.

“Ye Gods, Sophia, I’ve been on board ship for near two weeks, with none but my crew for company. My cock is fit to burst.” Taking hold of her hand, he pressed it against his sex. Her fingers automatically close around the rigid rod, feeling the heat and the power of his desire in her cupped palm.

“Could you not get the cabin boy to service you?” she teased, wanting him and yet also feeling incredibly lethargic. “He’s a pretty lad. No doubt he’d be accommodating.”

“Cabin boy!” he exclaimed. “Well favoured he may be but he’s no replacement for you, my sweet. I’m not into those kinds of pleasures, even on the longest of voyages.”

“I heard tell that Frenchmen would take their pleasures where they can.” Smiling wickedly she couldn’t resist caressing his shaft, feeling it gradually grow even harder. Men were so easy to handle at times she thought as her steadily rising desire drained the lethargy from her body.

“A despicable rumour put about by the English.” Raoul gave a hungry groan. His hand moved down from her breast to her belly then slid between her thighs. He parted the soft folds of her sex. “You say that you don’t want sex, yet you are moist already,” he said huskily.

His sweat soaked flesh press slickly against hers but she had forgotten such discomforts now as her lust for him skittered out of control. Yet she didn’t want Raoul to think that he could just slip into her bed like this whenever the mood took him.

“Moist I may be,” she said as curtly as she could. “But not near ready yet…” Her words petered off and she gave a soft gasp as his fingers slid into her silky sheath. Raoul moved them gently, twisting and thrusting. She began to crave the feel of his pulsing cock between her thighs as the pleasure grew and expanded inside her.

“Not ready?” he teased. To her dismay he removed his fingers, but she shouldn’t have been concerned because now he concentrated on her clit. Caressing it gently and squeezing it with just enough pressure to turn her on even more.

“You are a bastard,” she hissed.

“I’m a pirate what else do you expect,” he responded, pushing his fingers inside her again, and pressing his thumb against her clit at the same time. His lips reached for her breast, tantalisingly caressing her erect nipples.

Sophia arched her back and gave a mewling cry as her pleasure rose like the soaring swell of the ocean. “Please, Raoul,” she gasped. “Stop for a moment. I want to pleasure you as well.”

With a husky chuckle, he rolled onto his back, pulling her atop him but somehow managing to keep his fingers buried inside her. Sophia wanted to climax now, hard and fast, then straddle him and have his thick cock thrusting inside her to bring her to orgasm again. But Raoul had to be taught a lesson first. Reaching down, she grabbed hold of his wrist. Raoul was far stronger than her and could have resisted but he chose not to as she forced his hand away from her body.

“Have it your way. You always do.” When he’d moved his long blond hair had come free from the leather tie that bound it back. Irritably he pushed the strands of hair away from his face as Sophia crouched atop his lean hips.

“Don’t you find it refreshing after ordering your crew about all the time?”

Leaning forward, she let the tips of her rosy nipples just brush the hard flesh of his chest. Raoul looked up at her with eyes that were bluer than the Caribbean skies. He couldn’t be classed as handsome, his face was a little too long, his nose a shade crooked but he was a remarkably attractive man. His expression was innocence itself, no one would have guessed that, apart from Blackheart, he was one of the most dangerous pirates sailing these seas.

Slowly she moved, letting the tips of her nipples caress his slick flesh, gradually moving further forward until she was near lying atop his upper body, trapping his engorged cock between her stomach and his. “Sophia,” he pleaded. “For God’s sake fuck me!”

“Soon,” she promised, slipping her hand beneath the pillow.

She moved swiftly and barely a heartbeat later the blade of her knife was pressed menacingly against his throat.

“What the hell?” he grated.

“Raoul, my sweet, you must learn that you do not enter my room, let alone my bed without my permission. She pressed the flat of the blade across the beating pulse in his neck, witnessing the expression of angry confusion that crossed his features for a fleeting moment.

“You’ve never complained about me being in your bed before.”

“Women are fickle, you’ve said that on occasions. So I’m being fickle now.” She slid the blade upwards until the sharp edge was resting against the juncture of neck and chin. “No man takes me for granted, Raoul.”

He swallowed uneasily. “If you were a man I’d kill you for doing this.”

“Try it,” she challenged, keeping the blade firmly in place. “And I’ll give you the closest shave you’ve ever known.”


Portia Da Costa said...

Wow, *both* those excerpts are awesome, ladies!

I want both books. Now!

Deanna Ashford said...

Thanks Portia,

I just wish I could find all the rest of the pictures I had for the post, but my computer appears to have eaten them. Perhaps it will regurgitate them later!!!

Madelynne Ellis said...

Thanks, Portia. I'll have to find an editor who likes highwaymen first.

Janine Ashbless said...

I've never read a highwayman book, but I'd certainly read yours Madelynne!

And after watching "Dead Man's Chest" again last night .... ooh, shiver me timbers!!

Deanna Ashford said...

I think your book sounds great Madelynne. I'd love to read it.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Thanks, Deanna. Pirates sound good too, hope you have some good news on your sub soon.

Madeline Moore said...

Steamy stuff, Deanna and Madelynne.
Good luck with both.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Highwaymen and pirates are practically archetypes of historic romance! What would we do without them?!

Of course, I'm all about the bad boys... :-)

Kate Pearce said...

oooh! pirates and highway men! I'm in heaven!
Great excerpts-thank you ladies!

Madeline Moore said...

I love historical stuff, and like others who have posted here, can't really get enough of bandits and pirates. I love the language, and the period costumes, scenarios, etc.
What scares me is the research.
Tell me, please, how labour intensive is such research, and if you were writing these types of novels before the internet, how much have your research techniques changed because of online info? Also, do you trust the online sources as much as you'd trust a published book, for accuracy, etc?

Anne Tourney said...

I think it was that old Adam Ant video for "Stand and Deliver" that first turned me on to highwaymen . . . I still think they're incredibly sexy and dashing, and I love those kinky masks.

This time of year always puts me in the mood to read historicals, especially robber and pirate tales. Maybe it's because the snowy weather brings back memories of reading those classic kinky pirate novels when I was a little girl. (Oops, did I admit to that?)

Madelynne Ellis said...

The contemporaries I've written have required just as much research as my historicals, so I don't really think of historicals being any more work.

As for research. I do check random facts online, but I also have quite a collection of reference books. As for trusting online sources, well, it depends on the source. When I was writing Passion of Isis, I spent a lot of time browsing the websites of various Egyptology professors.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Anne, I hold Adam Ant personally responsible for my obsessions with pirates, highwaymen, men in tight trousers and baggy shirts, and men in eyeliner.

Madeline Moore said...

Interesting, Madelynne. Every time you post an excerpt I think, 'Damn I gotta try that!' I said today to Felix, 'I need to branch out from contemporary erotica.' Maybe historical? I FINALLY came up with a paranormal idea and I think the movement is waning...

But I like to have a contract before writing the whole book. Am I holding myself back?

Anyway, food for thought as always.
As for Adam Ant...gotta love him.
Thank you for this post.

Janine Ashbless said...

Adam Ant! Yay!!