Daily Archives: July 21, 2017

INTERVIEW: Author CC Hogan

For the record, please state your name. 
CC Hogan
What inspired you to become a writer?
I think I first tried to write at the same time that I tried to read. So I couldn’t really tell you what inspired me, other than the inbuilt need all children have to tell tall tales. It is something I wish we encouraged more and in a broader way. Some people take to a pen and written words and some do not, but we seem to only recognize a story teller these days if they also can write proficiently. I suspect we kill a lot of young imaginations by shoving them down just the one route.  If they prefer to stand up and make up a story or record it or anything else, it is just as valid.
So, what inspired me? The same thing that inspired every other human on the planet: Just being human.
What are your hobbies?
This is awkward. I am a sound producer and composer by trade, though only do the composing bit these days, and music was also my hobby. This has been the same with much that I do. Once I get better at it, I wonder if it might become a living; writing is one of those.
However, one creative pastime I love and has yet to become a living is cooking. I really am a stunning cook; much better than I am a writer or musician. Maybe I got all this backwards?
What are you passionate about?
Other than food? I just like people and what they say; however they say it. I like that language and stories change depending on the person and how they bend and break words and grammar. I am a lover of terrible grammar; it is so wonderfully honest and real!
What interests are you into?
I think this snuggles up to the hobbies question, so I will add another bad side of my character here: I am very political. I am not left of right, but highly selective about what I am political about. I don’t like the idea of nations or borders, and I abhor the artificial differences created by some cultures and all the major religions. I am fiercely egalitarian, especially when it comes to the sexes. Needless to say, this all gets me into trouble far more often than it gets me out of it.
What social media do you use to contact with your fans?
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Twitter is my main output. I use Facebook less effectively and have only recently got into Instagram. I need to do more on all of these, but I run out time.
What is your username on the different social media platforms?
If people want to connect with me, they can find me on Its_CCHogan for twitter and https://www.facebook.com/cchoganauthor for Facebook
What did you do before you became a published author?
As I said up a little way, I was a sound producer for many years working in film, TV, radio, advertising (lots of that) and news. I gave that up some years ago and concentrated on composing music and some script writing for radio ads.
Do you have another job other  than writing?
At the moment I have put a few years aside to get the writing sorted. However, since I am skint, I am setting myself up as an audiobook narrator, using my many years as a producer, and I hope that this will build up and compliment my writing.
How long have you been writing for?
I have been trying to squeeze a book out of my system for many years and there are scattered, sad little piles of failed attempts everywhere. Back in 2014 I decided I was crack this nut and dig out a book from my brain. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long. It was a bit like giving up smoking – felt impossible until I actually did it. The book was The Stink. I have now written seven more fantasies and there are more on the way, including resurrecting one of the sad little piles.
What’s your writing style like?
Well padded! I like detail and have always been attracted to books that paint complete pictures and delve into the very hearts of the characters. I like Gormenghast because of that. But I also like humour and like my characters to show that they will still giggle in embarrassment when they stub their toe even as their world crumbles around them. That is what being human (or dragon) is all about – so why pretend it doesn’t happen.
I have been criticised for both of those!
What’s your favorite genre to write/read in and why?
When it comes to reading, I don’t have one. When it comes to writing, I love world building, so high fantasy is a lot of fun. I have the sort of mind that can paint very large vistas, so any genre that gives me that opportunity will be of interest.
Having said that, The Stink is set in North London in the 1970s and I love that book. I want to write more like that.
Whatever the genre, it MUST have plenty of laughter and tears.
What’s your least favorite genre to write/read in and why?
I think I would struggle with pure romance where romance was the only plotline. For me, that is less believable than my dragons (which my readers keep telling me really exist), simply because I don’t think humans are that good at concentrating on romance 24/7. It flares up like a beacon momentarily, and then the kettle boils and coffee becomes the most important thing in the world. That is human.
Some writers have something playing in the background, do you and what?
Since I am musician/composer, I can’t do this. If I have music playing, I go into musician mode and simply stop writing.  What I do is make my environment right. I light candles, I have cushions aplenty and I write using three large monitors. The desktop wall paper is the map of my world of Dirt. I have Word open in the middle monitor, OneNote on the right monitor and a web browser or Photoshop on the left.
My voice booth is behind me for recording my poems and my books.
I am surrounded by my cameras, musical instruments, coffee machine, bottles of beer/wine and I burn incense. It is a lot of fun and very cosy. A real writer’s nest.
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What’s the inspiration behind your books?
People. I like people when they laugh and when they cry. I love their optimism and their heartbreak – including my own. So they are what inspire me. For instance, Silvi Farthing, the young woman who is the star of series two of Dirt, is based roughly on a friend from when I was in school in the 1970s. She was very independent of spirit, gay and determined that being a “girl” wasn’t going to be a disadvantage to her, though she knew she would have to fight for equality; despite the rise of feminism, Britain in the seventies was still racist, homophobic and misogynist. Being a “Silvi” back then was hard. And being Silvi on Dirt is harder still.
Despite that Dirt is a fantasy, everything, including the dragons, represents something from our own society.
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything about your books?
I think for series one of Dirt I would have even more dragons. Or rather give them a more important role. One or two did, but I really focused on the human story. In series two, despite Silvi being human, I readdressed the balance, and it is very much the dragon’s story.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging about writing?
Not having any money (long story) I have not been able to used pro editors and artists and the learning curve I have gone through has been very disheartening. I did try using friends and some beta readers on the first series, but unlike the editors I used to meet when dealing with major publishers back in my sound recording days, they didn’t understand me and what I was trying to achieve, so their suggestions were very mechanical and just didn’t fit in with the story – they were trying to make it their book and not mine.
So, I would love an agent, a publisher and an editor that works WITH me and not just takes money to beat up my book.
Who are your cover designers?
Me – I am broke, remember? Of course, I am in trouble now. Although I am not a good artist in any way whatsoever, people like my dragons and the personality I have given them; mostly accidental, probably. So, even if I could afford an artist, I probably have to struggle on anyway.
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What authors are your inspiration?
I love Peter Carey and had the fortune to meet him years ago as part of my old job. Umberto Eco is another writer I have a lot of time for and also met him. Mervyn Peak, however, I never met. But I loved Gormenghast.
I also love books by Spike Milligan.
What is your take on fanfiction?
It is not something I have any interest in, but I have no worries about it. Most of it isn’t very good, but if the fans have fun writing it, what the hell? I have more of a problem with the rare person who is very good. They should be closing their eyes, turning off their favourite series, and inventing their own world. They owe themselves that.
What advice would you give any newbie author or anyone that wants to pick up writing?
Just like giving up smoking, as I said earlier, just get on with it. Also, be careful of much of the advice out there. I know you should write perfectly with wonderful grammar, but if you can’t, well write anyway. Telling stories is such a wonderful thing and should not be limited to just those who were good at language at school. People should be more tolerant of others when it comes to language usage.
What are your fondest childhood memories?
A girl who I loved when I was a kid, but didn’t realise it. I got it all wrong and missed a golden opportunity. I wrote a short poem about it. Can I share it with you?

 

The girl I loved most

Was only ten years old

She was fun and silly

With thick yellow-blonde hair

And she meant so much to me

 

The girl I loved most

Used to run down our road

Laughing as the sun chased her

Her hair blowing and bouncing

Leaving me dizzy and confused

 

The girl I loved most

Never knew I loved her

I was ten years old too and so scared

That rather than tell her

I pretended all girls sucked.

 

The girl I loved most

Got fed up of waiting

She stopped running down our road

And fell in love with an older man

Who I think was eleven.

 

The girl I loved most

One day grew up

And as I watched from afar much older now

I remembered my love

And cried for my childish stupidity.

If you Don’t mind tell us a little about your personal life?
I am a very private person, maybe as a result of working in such a public industry for many years. However, to cover the basics, I am in my fifties, I am overweight (though I walk 30 miles a week), and keep a very small collection of close friends. I am an accomplished cook and though I cook rarely for other’s now, when I do I go completely over the top.
My songs have recently been well reviewed, so after many, many years, I am thinking about gigging again.
Do you have any causes, charities, foundations that you are passionate about and donate to? If so why? How did you get involved??
I don’t these days, but back in my studio days, I did work for people like Amnesty and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.  They all need time in studios and it was something easy to offer them, so we did.
Do you have any pets?
Pet free.

Some fun questions now

What age were you when you were first kissed?
Ummm – I haven’t the foggiest. I discovered alcohol very young thanks to an older brother, so it was probably then sometime and his fault.
Who was your high School sweetheart?
The best friend of the girl in the poem above. I really wasn’t very good at all this.
What did you want to be when you were little?
A musician.
What is your favourite colour?
Don’t have one of those. Didn’t when I was a kid either. Colour to me is always part of something else. So the right colour is the one that tells the story best.
What is your favourite food/s?
You haven’t got room for this answer. When it comes to cooking, I am very good at Indian food, but also love cooking all Mediteranean food, whether that is French, Italian, Greek or Arabic. I love baking breads of all cutures and we never buy bread.
Much to the annoyance of a cooking-mad lady friend I am actually a good pastry cook. Annoying because I haven’t a sweet tooth and don’t eat pastries much myself.
What are you afraid of?
Criticism. I hate being told I am rubbish.
How old were you when you first got drunk?
See the kissing question.
What was your first car?
Open topped rusty thingy.
Did you live in a house or apartment when you were a child?
A house.
What was your favourite tv show as a child?
I am not sure if I had a favourite. If you had asked me at the time my answer would have been anything my puritanical parents stopped me from watching.
What was your favorite book?
As a child, probably the Chrysalids by John Wyndham. I had a crush on  Sophie Wender.
Who did you have a crush on when you were in school and how old were you?
See the poem above.
Tell us about your Books?
The World of Dirt is my biggest project. It is my attempt at a saga but set in a fantasy world. It follows the Farthing family and their wish to bring fairness and equality to their poverty stricken world. As a fantasy it is very different. Although there are huge wars and lots of action, it concentrates on the people (both human and dragon) and their environment. It also is told exclusively from the point of view of the good guys. I wanted the readers to find out about the world at the same speed as the heroes. The dragons are the biggest difference. Although they are huge and live centuries, they don’t have scales, don’t blow fire and live in small communities. They have friends, dreams and needs. They are also my ideal. Dragons don’t lie, don’t understand nations and borders and have never had wars between themselves. I use them as a way to show failings in human society.
The Stink is set in North London in the long, hot summer of 1976. I was 16 then and so are my heroes. The Stink is a band set up by a group of young people who have just finished their exams. It tells about them falling in love, about the songs they write, about what they feel about racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia, and is set against a story of a double murder.
Oh, it’s a comedy by the way, but tissues might be needed. It is a Yound Adult work, but has lots of swearing and nose-picking.
I am close to starting on a new series of books for younger readers. It is the story of a 12-year-old called Dawn who goes to live on the moon. She has -to contend with school in 1/6th G and foil a mystery.  The first book will be called Dawn on the Rock and I have just enrolled my best friend’s 10-year-old daughter to be my editor.
Tell us a little about yourself.  Perhaps something not many people know about? Can you share with us the best way to contact you and where to find your work? This is where you have the floor.
I think you have all got to know me pretty well by now. My life might be pretty private, but my opinions are out there! I am a coffee lover, a wine lover, a beer lover, a food lover and I love nothing more than cuddling up with friends and talking bollocks. I still act as if I was 14 and tend to make friends who are likewise.
As for getting hold of me, my main website is the best way. It has all my links on there, my rare newsletter, my writing blog, my music and my poems. It even has some of my food, though I will be relaunching my old food blog one day soon.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with us!!!
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RELEASE TOUR & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance Series by Tracy Lawson

Counteract
Resistance Series Book 1
by Tracy Lawson
Genre: YA Dystopian Adventure
Who do you trust when your world unravels and everything you believed is a lie?

For the past fifteen years, The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has
guarded the public against the rampant threat of terrorism. Teenagers
Tommy and Careen have never known life without Civilian Restrictions.
For them, there’s no social media. No one is allowed to gather in
public places or attend concerts or sporting events. Only a small,
select group of adults have driving privileges, but it’s a small
price to pay for safety.
Now a new, more deadly, terrorist threat looms: airborne chemical weapons
that can be activated without warning. The OCSD is ready with an
antidote to counteract the effects of the toxins. Three drops a day
is all it takes. It’s a small price to pay for health.
The day the disaster sirens signal the dreaded attack, Tommy shares his
last dose with Careen, even though doing so might hasten his death.
It’s a small price to pay for a friend.Follow Tommy and Careen as
they uncover a web of lies and deceit reaching to the highest levels
of the United States government and join an underground resistance
group that’s determined to expose the truth.
“Counteract is a novel for our times, but with a decidedly different plot twist.
Most dystopian thrillers focus on the devastating consequences of the
unleashed virus or poison on society, community, and the individual.
They become character studies of the protagonists and
antagonists.
“Tracy Lawson’s novel asks an even more disturbing question–what if the
real culprit was someone or something we trusted? I thought The
Hunger Games might be the Millennial generation’s version of George
Orwell’s 1984. Now, I think Counteract and the Resistance Series are
more primed to take that spot.”–SR Staley, author of St. Nic,
Inc., and the Tortuga Bay series.
**FREE on Amazon July 17th – 21st, then .99 cents
for the remainder of the tour!!**
Resist
Resistance Series Book 2
“I loved the first book in this series so much that I jumped right into
the second one to continue the adventure. The Resistance Series is
another great YA dystopian adventure that combines elements of
thriller, romance, dystopian, and much more to create a well-rounded
story that is sure to appeal to many readers – it definitely has my
attention.”–TFL Reader, top 500 Amazon Reviewer


Knowledge comes with a price.
Tommy and Careen no longer believe the Office of Civilian Safety and
Defense’s miracle antidote can protect them from a terrorist’s
chemical weapons. After accidentally discovering the antidote’s real
purpose,they’ve join the fight to undermine the OCSD’s bid for total
control of the population.
Being part of the Resistance brings with it a whole new set of challenges.
Not everyone working for change proves trustworthy, and plans to
spark a revolution go awry with consequences far beyond anything they
bargained for.
Tommy and Careen’s differing viewpoints threaten to drive a wedge between
them, and their budding relationship is tested as their destinies
move toward an inevitable confrontation with the forces that
terrorize the nation.
Where does love fit in when you’re trying to start a
revolution?
“Dystopian YA literature needs more writers like Tracy Lawson! Lawson’s lean
writing style and idea-driven dialogue reminded me of the novels of
Ayn Rand, particularly Anthem, but Resist is much faster paced and
holds your attention from the beginning.
“Resist picks up right where the first book, Counteract, leaves off, and
readers are thrown immediately into the action. I also loved the way
Lawson doesn’t give her characters the easy way out–they are forced
to make decisions and suffer the consequences. These are real people
that anchor the story, even if the setting is not.” –SR Staley,
author of St. Nic, Inc. and the Tortuga Bay series
**.99 cents on Amazon!!**

Ignite
Resistance Series Book 3
The Greatest Risk Is To Take No Risk At All.
Nationwide food shortages have sparked civil unrest, and the Office of Civilian
Safety and Defense’s hold on the people is slipping. The
Resistance’s efforts to hasten the OCSD’s demise have resulted in
disaster, with Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher taking the blame for
the ill-fated mission in OP-439.
Both teens struggle to survive the circumstances that force them into the
national spotlight—and this time, they’re on opposite sides. On
the run and exiled from the Resistance members in BG-098, Tommy makes
his way to a Resistance safe house in the capital.
The OCSD is preparing to monitor all under-eighteens with the Cerberean
Link, a device that protects them against hunger and sickness and can
even locate them if they’re lost. Tommy’s now living in close
quarters with Atari, an operative who has been assigned to sabotage
the Link. But does Atari plan to use it for his own
purposes?
Through it all, Tommy refuses to believe Careen’s loyalties have shifted
away from the Resistance, and he’s willing to assume any risk to
reconnect with her. Will they be able to trust each other when it
matters most?
**.99 cents on Amazon!!**
Revolt
Resistance Series Book 4
**Released July 18th!**
The Explosive Conclusion to the Award-Winning Resistance Series

To Deny Freedom is to Deny the Human Spirit.
Fugitive Resistance fighter Tommy Bailey has come out of hiding to help rescue
Careen Catecher from the clutches of the Office of Civilian Safety
and Defense, where she’s been held and interrogated for information
about the rebel group. The OCSD is poised to launch the Cerberean
Link, a security device that will put all minors under constant
surveillance under the guise of protecting them.
Fearful that OCSD director Madalyn Davies’s bid for control won’t stop
there, the Resistance puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the
Link and oust Madalyn from the directorship. Just when everything
seems leveraged in the Resistance’s favor, treachery, lies, and
long-held secrets threaten to derail it all.
Will even a life together on the run be impossible for Tommy and Careen?
Or will the Resistance’s efforts convince the public to put their
fears aside and demand freedom?
Spark
Careen’s Prequel to the Resistance Series
“What was our heroine Careen Catecher like BEFORE she became a firebrand
for the Resistance? Well, she was just a normal teenage girl trying
to survive college in the totalitarian state of Tracy Lawson’s
creation.” –review by Patrick Hodges

“Careen is a believable, strong female protagonist who, having survived a
harrowing terrorist attack, is now trying to survive [college] in a
new ‘Quadrant’ where she can’t seem to fit in.” –review by
Candace Williams
A strong heroine is made, not born.
Though Careen Catecher survived a terrorist attack when she was nine, her
childhood ended on that awful day. Now, nine years later, she’s
ready for her life to truly begin.
A full scholarship to a prestigious university far from her beleaguered
home quadrant seems like a dream come true, but when she arrives on
campus, she’s perceived as a charity case, despite grades and test
scores that prove she’s the academic equal of the best students there.
Careen knows she’s tough enough to survive just about anything, but
fitting in with her acquisitive peers—at least on the surface—is
necessary if she’s going to leave the past behind and claim the
stable future she craves.
But her past won’t stay buried. She’s only been at school for a few
weeks when a cryptic message from an unlikely friend raises questions
that may put her in danger all over again.
Check out this novella-length prequel to the award-winning Resistance
Series, “a promising new YA series about a totalitarian America.”
**Perma-Free on Amazon!!**
Tracy Lawson knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she could read.
In the first grade, she authored sixty-seven contact-paper bound
books through her school’s Young Authors program. Though that pace
proved impossible to maintain, she always intended to be a real
author one day.


While working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Communication at Ohio
University, she studied creative writing with the late Daniel Keyes,
author of Flowers for Algernon. After short stints as a media buyer
and an investigative analyst, she settled into a 20-year career in
the performing arts, teaching tap dancing in Columbus, Ohio, and
choreographing musicals. Though her creative energies were focused on
dance, she never lost her desire to write, and has a non-fiction book
to her credit: Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, (McDonald &
Woodward, 2012).
Tracy’s love for writing Young Adult fiction is sparked by all the wonderful
teens in her life, including her daughter Keri, a college student.
Counteract is Tracy’s first novel.
Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series
Book Launch Giveaway
I’ve been reading this series basically since it first came out, and
honestly I really still love the characters and all of their weird
interactions. As the conclusion to the series, Revolt is
not one of those books that gives you a neatly tied bow on a package
and tells you it’s over. It has twists, turns, and you’re going to be
in for yet another adventure with the Resistance crew.”
So, this series that I’ve been reading since the beginning is over.
What’s a girl to do? Restart from Book One, of course!”
Can’t Get Enough of the Resistance Series?
Wanna know what happened the night of the car accident that changed Tommy
Bailey’s life forever?
Take advantage of this limited-time offer:
Get a FREE PDF of Shatter: Tommy’s Prequel to the Resistance
Series
, which includes a gallery of the amazing artwork
created for the series! This prequel will NOT be available on Amazon.
Here’s how it works:
Purchase Revolt:
Book Four of the Resistance Series
on Amazon for $2.99:
Email
your receipt to
tracy@counteractbook.com,
and in return you’ll receive
Shatter:
Tommy’s Prequel to the Resistance Series
.
But wait…that’s not all!
Resist: Book Two of the Resistance Series and Ignite:
Book Three of the Resistance Series
will
be priced at 0.99 each until August 18.
Spark: Careen’s Prequel to the Resistance Series is
always FREE on Amazon and Kobo. If you live outside the US, email the
author at
tracy@counteractbook.com for your free copy.
ACT during Launch Month to get ALL FOUR full-length books, plus the two
prequels for just $5.96!
Spread the word!
#GetReadytoRevolt
#revoltgiveaway
Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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RELEASE PROMO: Elusive by L. A. Fiore

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Elusive LA Fiore Ecover FOR WEB

I didn’t set out to be a pirate.

Life for me was about surviving the ugliness that people knew existed but didn’t talk about.

I lived in hell.

Then I saw her.

I knew I couldn’t keep her, but for just a little while I had found heaven.

Eight years later, I can’t get her out of my head.

It is a mistake sailing to her island.

It is a mistake reaching out to her.

She doesn’t recognize me. Or maybe she does.

Closure, it is all I’m after.

Then my past comes back to haunt me.

She’s thrust into my ruthless world. An angel.

A romantic who has a journal that leads to a shipwreck and a lost treasure.

She wants to find the ending to a love story that is over two hundred years in the making.

I want to help her find it.I didn’t set out to be a pirate.
I didn’t set out to fall in love with an angel.
I did both anyway.

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logo L.A. Fiore is the author of several books including Beautifully Damaged, Collecting the Pieces and His Light in the Dark. Her favorite movie is Star Wars, a love her son shares. They hope to build their own Millennium Falcon one day. She would like to meet the Winchester Boys to thank them for enlightening her on the versatility of salt as not just a food enhancer, but as protection from supernatural threats. And she thinks it would be interesting to be a zombie, to get an idea of what life is like as a brain-addicted fiend so she can be their voice to tell their side of the story. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and kids, their two spoiled cats and their awesome dog.

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RELEASE TOUR: The Jade Emeror by Suzanne Jenkins

THE JADE EMPEROR

by Suzanne Jenkins

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BLOG TOUR: Deliverance by Kristy Centeno

 

 
Title: Deliverance
Author: Kristy Centeno
ISBN: (ebook) 978-1-939590-78-7
(Print) 978-1-939590-79-4
Page count: 327

Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

Purchase: Amazon | Kobo | Itunes | B&N | Inktera | Createspace

 
Book Description:He’s been locked away his entire life.

He dreams of freedom.

The only way he can accomplish his goals is by breaking free of the chains tying him to a dark past and gloomy existence. But there’s one catch. He’s not human.

And he’s never set foot outside his jail.

Devoted to saving his peers as well as his own life, he sets out to find the one person that can help him achieve his objectives. He knows where she will be and what she will look like, but what he doesn’t anticipate is the fact he finds himself caring for the girl whose life he’s put at risk, more and more each day.

He has no name.

He has only known hatred and violence before her.

However, she will teach him to have faith in humanity, even if she can’t trust him.

Together they will embark on a journey to bring down a corrupt system responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. But when he finds his feelings compromised, can he still move on knowing that doing so will put an end to the life she once knew? How far is he willing to go to be free?


Excerpt:

She coerces my lips open with
her tongue. I oblige, shutting my eyes to revel in the barrage of sentiments
borne of her actions. For once, I allow myself the luxury of being consumed by
an emotion I can hardly keep under wraps.
A craving unlike any I’ve ever
felt before rises and quickly becomes my biggest enemy. I’m overwhelmed with
the need to caress Kristina—to lure her in and keep her tightly clutched
against my chest. I want so much more than to sit still as her tongue invades
my mouth, gently stroking my own.
My body betrays me in a very
physical way. In my confusion, I’m apprehensive as to how to proceed. Where do
I go from here? I wrestle with my desire to explore her body, and her specific
requirements to keep my appendages where they won’t come in contact with any part
of her anatomy.

 

Not easy to do with our mouths
joined, and Kristina so painfully close to me.

About the Author:

Kristy Centeno is the author of
the Secrets of the Moon saga and Keeper Witches series.
She has always had a passion
for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her
desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. When she’s
not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds
time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.

 

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