Giving Thanks for Free Books and Giveaways at The Romance Studio’s Thanksgiving Party

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is just around the corner and that means we’re headed into the holiday season. The Romance Studio is kicking off this festive time of year with their annual Thanksgiving Party, happening now until Wednesday!

Readers have a chance to win free books and other giveaways, including a chance to win a copy of my short story Marital Bonds. I’m also sharing snippets from my books, so if you’d like to read an excerpt or two, stop by each day to see what stories (and scenes) I share.

During this holiday season and all year long, I want my readers to know how grateful I am for you! Thank you so much to everyone who has bought one of my books, left a review, a comment on social media and my blog, and subscribed to my newsletter. Writing is a solitary profession and it brings me joy to know that someone, somewhere has liked a story that I’ve written.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

New Release Today!

Runaway Heiress is out today and I’m super pumped!

It’s the first full-length novel I have released in what feels like forever. This book is also set in Seattle and being that I live in the PNW, it makes the story line extra special to me.

Also, I’m a nosy person by nature and I’ve always wanted to be a fly on the wall in some of my fave celeb’s lives. I explore that a bit in Runaway Heiress because my main character is a reality TV star and apparel mogul. Yet, it’s not really who she is, it’s just what she does.

The novel opens on her wedding day, as she’s coming to terms with the fact that she’s living a lie. Katherine becomes a runaway heiress after she leaves her intended at the alter and flees scandal in NYC for Seattle. She finds peace in the beauty of the PNW, as well as comfort in the arms of a sexy writer she meets in Seattle.

I hope you will read on to learn more about my latest release!

The life of an heiress isn’t as perfect as it seems…

Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.

When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.

Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and  experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.

 

“Daddy?”

Katherine Dawson’s voice echoed off the stone walls of St. Patrick’s cathedral. As one of New York City’s oldest churches, the structure had enough prestige and beauty to hold Sunday service, and memorials. It also provided the perfect setting for storybook weddings, like hers.

When her father didn’t answer right away, Katherine gathered the heavy material of her wedding gown in her hand and walked the few steps to reach her dad. She looked down at the enormous bouquet of flowers in her hand and almost lost her nerve. Yet, the longer she stared at the arrangement of white roses, calla lilies and orchids, the more it reinforced her gut reaction to this day. Like the stunning flowers arranged so perfectly in the bundle, she was also trussed up and made to look pristine. She too was arranged at her peak, the moment in her life when she was likely most attractive. She knew if she went through with this decision that just like the flowers, soon she would wither and lose her beautiful essence. Through the heavy wooden doors, she heard the faint strains coming from the fifteen-piece orchestra. They were preparing to play the wedding march. It was now or never. If she had any chance at escaping the glamorous affair, it was in this moment.

“Daddy.” She stood in front of her father and knew she must look as panicked and frightened as a wounded animal. “I have to get out of here. I can’t go through with this.”

Tears welled in her eyes, but she blinked fast to push them away. Once the waterworks started, she didn’t know when they might stop. She dropped her hold on the dress and reached for her father’s hand.

“I’m leaving. If you want to stay and deal with mother’s temper tantrums when she finds out I left Nathan at the altar, so be it. Daddy, I just can’t do this.” He stood silently, his gaze fixed on the flowers in her fist. Shame welled. She’d disappointed him. It felt like nothing she did could please her mom, but the idea of her father being upset with her was almost too much to bear. “Well, won’t you say something?”

Her father cleared his throat and brought his gaze to hers. It was then she noticed the tears that had formed in his eyes. She hated that she’d let him down, but she couldn’t go through life with such a momentous lie hanging over her head. She stood on tiptoe, wrapping her arms around him for a quick hug. “I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. I don’t want to be a disappointment to you, but I have to stay true to myself. You won’t see me for a while.” As she said the words, she knew it was true. Although she had no real plan and no idea how she’d pull off escaping her insane lifestyle.

“I’m going away, but I don’t know where yet. I’ve got to go find out who I really am without all the pressures of being Katherine Dawson hanging over my head.”

“Kitty Kat,” he whispered, using her childhood nickname, “I could never be disappointed in you. I’m crying because you’ve made me happy. Go find yourself. Follow your dreams. That’s what I’ve always wanted for you. I love you.”

“Daddy, I love you, too.”

She turned her head toward the heavy wooden doors again. The wedding march was playing. She had to go now. Preparing for the sprint she knew she’d have to do to make it to the limousine that waited outside, she kicked off her silver-sequined Louboutin heels. Dropping her bouquet on the ground and gathering her skirt in her hands, she hurried out of the front door and down the church steps.

In her haste to escape the wedding, she’d forgotten about the crowd of reporters and spectators gathered along the sidewalk and in the street. At least fifty black cameras took aim at her and several eager members of the paparazzi stood right in her path, their camera flashes going off. She refused to look into their lenses, even as they called out to her by name. Her gaze was locked in on the back door of the limousine. Once she got there, she’d be home free.

“Katherine! Katherine! Why are you running?”

“Have cold feet, Katherine?”

“Where’s the groom?”

Ignoring the inane questions from the media, she opened the door to the back seat of the car. Franklin, her family’s driver, jumped from the front seat, prepared to help her into the vehicle. Katherine met his gaze and she shook her head. He took her unspoken command and hopped back behind the wheel. She could handle the paparazzi. After all, she’d been dodging the vultures since she’d been a teen. Pulling the door closed behind her provided a moment of peace. However, her relief was cut short as half of the camera-wielding assholes formed a semi-circle around the limousine while the rest scattered to nearby cabs. The car had to move before they got trapped—or worse—were followed by the bloodthirsty press.

“Where to?”

Get Runaway Heiress in ebook at Apple Books, B&NKoboScribd, and AmazonAmazon CAAmazon UK.

Look for paperback and audiobook later in 2019!

Where My Burning Women At?

“The Dalai Lama says that the world will be saved by women. Not any women, perhaps not all women, but Burning Women. Women who have stepped out of silence and into the fullness of their power. Angry women who love the world and her creatures too much to let it be destroyed so thoughtlessly for a moment longer. Burning Woman is the heart and soul of revolution inner and outer. She burns for change, she dances in the fire of the old, all the while visioning and weaving the new.” -Burning Woman

This quote appeared in my Facebook some time ago and I was immediately struck by it. Not just because we’ve seen an uprising of strong women recently with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.  It connected with me on another level because as a romance writer I feel its imperative that I create strong and unique voices, especially female voices.

Since November I’ve been working diligently on a new series. I’m not ready to reveal much about it yet, other than to say it’s going to be focused on feminist heroines and feminist heroes. This series will be full of swoon-worthy Beta males, and yes, some might call my leading ladies Alpha females.

I’m okay with that.

Time and again we see art giving the world what it needs, in what seems to be just the moment the hunger for it begins. I think that’s what the rise in feminism and women leadership is all about right now.

The romance community is fertile ground for pushing this movement forward. We’ve always been at the forefront of subverting the culture that tells us that women’s books are frivolous, or that romance creates unrealistic expectations (um, how is it unrealistic for me to know I deserve a partner that treats me well and cares about my pleasure????). Romance has been written off and dismissed for, well, as long as the genre has existed, basically.

What has changed in recent years is women feeling as though they no longer need to hide who they are, what they feel and believe, and yes, even what they read. I know I’ve found my voice in the last eighteen months or so and I’ve struggled with whether or not I should let those beliefs spill over into my writing.

I’ve come to realize they’ll spill over whether or not I talk about them, so why not vocalize about them on my blog and social media? I feel like I can use my voice and platform (no matter how small it may be at the moment) to give truth to power. And, really, isn’t that what a Burning Woman should do?

What’s Happening in Romance?

One of my goals for my blog is to share more about writing and the publishing industry. I’ve read dozens of great articles over the past few weeks, articles on writing, publishing and specifically, the romance genre.

I decided to post a round up of some of my favorite articles about the romance genre.

  1. Romance as Resistance, EW.com
  2. Why We Still Call Them Bodice Rippers, Racked.com
  3. America’s Love Affair with Romance Novels, Fox TV affiliate
  4. Romance Novels to Get You Through Tough Times, Shondaland.com
  5. Let’s Talk About Sex: Romance Publishing, Publishers Weekly.com
  6. It’s Still Complicated: Romance Publishing, Publishers Weekly.com

Midweek Tease from Marital Bonds by Ariel Storm

Today I’m taking part in the Midweek Tease! Here’s a snippet from my new release Marital Bonds.

After three years of struggling, I’m tired. I miss my husband. I miss our intimacy.

Three years ago tragedy struck and destroyed our sex life. It nearly ruined our marriage.

Thanks to help from a sensuality coach, I’ve got three assignments to act out with my husband, each designed to help us find our way back to each other and reignite the flame on our once searing sex life.

Excerpt

Eric cupped my head between his hands and brought our mouths together. The old spark was there, just as it had been every time we kissed, touched and the handfuls of times I’d been able to actually make love to my husband in the past three years.

It was there but it was only a glimmer. Nowhere near the kind of inferno it used to be. Maybe it could become that again. Eric edged his hands down my neck, down to my shoulders and he slowly let them slide further south. He stopped them just shy of my ass.

“Andi?” He asked, using my nick-name. His eyes were full of unspoken questions that I knew I couldn’t answer, despite how badly I wanted to.

I used my body to say the things I couldn’t. Leaning toward him, I unbuttoned his olive green button-down shirt. His warm skin beneath my palms made my pulse quicken. He groaned. He hadn’t had this much skin to skin contact with me in a while.

And it had been years since I had initiated any sort of contact like this. I pulled the ends of his shirt out of his pants and unbuckled his belt. He encircled my wrists and brought my gaze up to his.

“I want this so much, but don’t push yourself for me. Remember what happened the last time.”

My face fell at the mention of the last time I’d tried to have sex with my husband.

“I’m not trying to ruin things, I swear.” He brushed the hair off my face and dropped a kiss on my forehead. “There is nothing that I want more than to tear your panties off, bunch that skirt around your waist and take you right here against this wall.”

Get more of Marital Bonds here, for just .99 cents: Amazon, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

Get more blogs by visiting the others taking place in this week’s Midweek Tease here.

Emotional Married Couple Erotic Romance Marital Bonds Out Today!

Marriage. It gets a bad rap. And in romance novels, it’s hardly ever depicted anywhere besides the begging stages, and even then, it’s usually placed at the end of the novel, i.e. the Happily Ever After.

 

I wanted to buck that trend and in my upcoming release Marital Bonds, I write about a couple who’ve been married for a while. Eric and Andrea have reached a point in their relationship where they’ve lost their intimacy, their love is still in tact, but their sex life is non-existent and Andrea wants to change that.

She has carried around guilt and a shameful secret that has driven a wedge between her and her husband for nearly three years. Andrea’s tired of the walls between them and so she visits a sensuality coach to help her move past her issues and rekindle the romance with Eric.

Marital Bonds features a dirty-talking hero, light BDSM elements, and is loaded with sexual tension and of course scorching sex scenes!

After three years of struggling, I’m tired. I miss my husband. I miss our intimacy.

Three years ago tragedy struck and destroyed our sex life. It nearly ruined our marriage.

Thanks to help from a sensuality coach, I’ve got three assignments to act out with my husband, each designed to help us find our way back to each other and reignite the flame on our once searing sex life.

Excerpt

“Hey, look at me.”

I did as he asked.

“You have nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing.”

Without saying another word Eric scooped me in his arms and walked over to our couch. He sat down and I settled onto his lap. His erection pressed against my hip. I wanted it so badly, but at the same time had forgotten how to ask for that. How to take it myself.

“I love you,” I said as I rested my head on his shoulder. He smelled fantastic. He always did. Like woodsy soap and clean skin.

He stroked my back and somehow in the middle of all the fear and anxiety, the moment clicked in my mind. This was intimate. It wasn’t sex, but it was more physical contact than we’d shared in a long time.

Somehow, after moments of just being with one another, I felt a shift inside myself and I was pretty sure that Eric did too. His hand slid further down my back until he reached my ass. He glided over the curves of my bottom, reaching down to my thighs. He slid his hand around so it was on top of my knee.

He slid it to the inside of my leg and shifted slightly, spreading my legs. My breathing became ragged as his hand approached the V between my thighs. His fingers grazed over the fabric covering my pussy. He gazed at me, making sure it was okay before going further. I nodded. Eric slipped a finger beneath the elastic of my panties.

His rough skin was a pleasant juxtaposition against the softness of me there. He ran the tip of his index finger along the seam. I could feel my considerable wetness lubricating his skin. He circled my clit and my head lulled onto his shoulder.

As fast as lightning his face was buried in my neck. His mouth nibbled on the sensitive flesh while his hand slid from my clit down to my entrance. He slipped his finger in, just a little, and I moaned. It had been so long. Taking that as his invitation to go further, he eased his finger inside me as far as it would go. My muscles stretched around him and my entire body cried out for more. He stroked it against a tender part inside of me. For the first time in years, I felt truly alive.

“God, I have missed this. I’ve missed you. I have missed the way you feel, how wet I can make you. The way your breath hitches when I slide inside you and how you say my name on a shudder as you come.”

Moisture flooded my pussy at his words and all the erotic memories they evoked. I remembered this and so did my body. Our sex life hadn’t just been satisfactory, it had been unbelievable. And, holy shit, did it feel good to get just a small part of it back.

Want more of Eric and Andrea’s story? Get Marital Bonds for just .99 at these retailers: Amazon, Amazon CA, Amazon UKiBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

Insights and Inspiration for Writers/Readers from Tom Hanks

I don’t talk about the process of writing nearly enough on my blog, but with NaNoWriMo beginning tomorrow, I couldn’t help but create a post after I listened to a helpful podcast earlier today.

I’ve followed self-help/entreprenuer blogger/writer Danielle LaPorte for years now. As much as I love seeing her written messages, I think I enjoy her video and audio messages more. Danielle has a calming, soothing aura about her that I really dig.

This morning on Instagram she shared a photo and link to her podcast she co-hosts with Linda Siversten called The Beautiful Writers. In their latest podcast they interviewed Tom Hanks abut his new book Uncommon Type and I found the interview to be super insightful, fun and inspiring.

Tom speaks about his experiences as a writer, his preference for typewriters (he owns over 200 of them!) and his thoughts on chasing the Muse in the modern world (here’s a hint, put down your Smartphone).

I hope you’ll take a listen to the podcast and you’ll get as much enjoyment out of it as I did!