Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Release: Aqua Follies!






Aqua Follies releases today, and I couldn't be happier. This has been a labor of love, and I'm so excited to get it into the hands of readers!

To celebrate, I thought I'd make a post that focuses on the real Aqua Follies, a variety show on water that was part of Seattle's Seafair celebration from 1950 until about 1962. The Aqua Follies had water ballet and dancers, a live band, clowns, divers, and guest performers who regularly sold out the 5000+ seats of the Green Lake aqua theater. 

From the 1962 Seattle Times

Seafair lasts a couple of weeks, from late July into early August, and culminates with hydroplane races out on Lake Washington. Over the years Seattle residents have done just about everything to celebrate. Recently I was nosing around Amazon and found a Seafair Cook Book put together by the women of St Andrews on the Lake Episcopal Church in 1951. According to my friend, historian Paula Becker (who pointed me at the Aqua Follies in the first place), the original St Andrews was sacrificed to the construction of Interstate 5, but the congregation lives on in a new church about 10 blocks north of the original.


Notice they've got Mount Rainier on the cover and not the Space Needle -
because the Space Needle wasn't built till 1962.
The recipes are pretty amazing. Many require the use of gelatin, and more than a few call for a handful of this or a little of that. Scanning the index, I saw a section of "cocktail" recipes and got all excited (because '50s + cocktails!), but they turned out to need shrimp and avocado, not bourbon. Oh well. There's a separate chapter for recipes contributed by men, one for holiday recipes, one for historic, and one for foreign recipes. Fun stuff!


You could bring Seafair Cream Puffs to your next party!


Or maybe you'd prefer Raisin Delight or Mystery Pudding? 


So next time you're planning a trip to Seattle, make it during Seafair. There's the hydros and the Blue Angels, a Milk Carton Derby and pirates. PIRATES! It's a lot of fun, and the weather almost always cooperates. And if you don't have time for an actual vacation, check out Aqua Follies. You can have a vacation-by-kindle! (Make sure you get to the end of this post to enter the giveaway Irene Preston and I are running to celebrate Aqua Follies' release!)





The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll.
 Homophobia.
 

Russell tells himself he’ll marry Susie because it’s the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team’s trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player’s solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.

From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because sometimes good things can come of it. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot.

The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?



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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Aqua Follies! It's here...and here....and here!





You might have heard me mention the fact that AQUA FOLLIES IS COMING 6/15/17! Er... and if you haven't before, consider yourself warned. I love the world that this story is set in, because the 1950s were such a complicated time. It was not for the faint of heart, the unconventional, or, you know, the gay.

The thing is, though, when you dig beneath any stereotype you find all kinds of different attitudes. I think there's evidence that not even the '50s forced conformity turned everyone into a cookie cutter. There have always been times and places where society was more tolerant, and while no one would ever accuse the '50s of being open-minded, from the 1920s until the '70s at least, the seedy red-light district south of Yesler Way in Seattle hosted a number of same-sex bars, coffee shops, and night clubs.

As long as the management paid the cops their stipend, they didn't get harassed...too much.

The world Skip and Russell live in is filled with friendship and music, with party lines and dungarees, and with secrets and fear. I hope you'll check out Aqua Follies soon. The $0.99 preorder price won't last for much longer!


























The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll.
 Homophobia.


Russell tells himself he’ll marry Susie because it’s the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team’s trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player’s solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.

From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because sometimes good things can come of it. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot.

The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?





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Aunt Maude patted the director’s shoulder and strode downstage, mistress of all she saw. “Hop out, girls.” She clapped her hands briskly. “Grab towels if you need them. We’ll go through the last few numbers and go home.”

Right away, Susie scuttled over to Russell. “After all this, I’ll need a shot of whiskey to take the chill off.”

“Me too.” Russell smirked to temper the truth in his words. “Go get your robe.”

“Nah, you’ll keep me warm enough.”

He took pity on her shivering and draped an arm over her shoulders. She tucked herself in close, ensuring he’d be left with soggy spots on his sports shirt and khaki slacks, but he didn’t push her away.

He and Susie made a good team, and for the seven thousandth time, he wished the press of her curves put more heat in his veins.

No such luck.

“Thanks, lamb chop.” Her rubber nose clip gave her voice a nasal hum, and she trembled in the cool summer air. “Can we sneak out later?”

“Sure, but if Aunt Maude catches us, we’ll both be on the train back home.”

She faked kicking him in the shin. “I didn’t come all this way to worry about going home. You and me are going to have fun.”

He pressed a kiss on the top of her head. “Yes, dear.”

Their last hurrah. They had two weeks in Seattle, then another run in Detroit. At some point, Russell would give Susie the diamond ring he had tucked in the bottom of his suitcase. He snugged her closer to his side. He’d start his new job, they’d get hitched, he’d buy the house, and she’d give him babies. More importantly, the wedding would give his parents something to be happy about.

The feeling of dread wedged under his sternum had more to do with nerves than anything else.
The director called for the Night at Club Aqua number and counted off a fast tempo. His baton flashed in the floodlights blazing from the edge of the stage. From the orchestra pit, the band hit the opening bars of “In the Mood.” Susie took off, diving into action with the other Aqua Dears. They spun through the water in a synchronized display, while the dancing half of their traveling troupe, the Aqua Darlings, took the stage dressed in sparkling blue skirts, white blouses, and low-heeled black shoes.

The big band, a dozen musicians playing brass and strings and percussion, romped through the verses twice, their heads silhouetted in the stage lights. Then a lone musician stood, rising into the glare like Gary Cooper on the screen at a drive-in movie. He was tall and lean and handsome, with a curled pompadour and a five-o’clock shadow. Curiosity pinned Russell in place. Then the young man put a trumpet to his lips, and Russell had to close his eyes.

The music rang out over the lake and bounced off the rooftops in the surrounding neighborhood. The tone was cool, but the solo was hot, hitting Russell with the force of a pickax. The horn’s voice turned his insides to jelly, but the man—from the swoop of his hair to the curve of his bicep—swapped that jelly for lava.


He tried to tell himself his damp clothes caused the shivers chasing over his skin, but didn’t come close to believing it. He dug his fingertips into the bands of muscle running up the back of his own neck and dragged his gaze back to the swimmers, breathing slow and deep to force the flush out of his face. He’d just been surprised by the man, and exhausted from travel. He’d be fine. Everything was okay.




















I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at work or at home. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.

I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website (www.livrancourt.com) & blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for my mailing list.

Come find me. We’ll have fun!



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New Releases from Lynn Burke!




So my friend Lynn had two books release in the last few days, so this blog post is double the fun! There's pretty pictures and excerpts and a rafflecopter giveaway down at the bottom...






Third Wheel
Elite Escorts #1
By Lynn Burke
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Art Work: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
Release Date: May 18, 2017
Keywords: Erotic, Romance, Contemporary, BDSM, single parent, stalking
*Warning: Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Spanking
Carpenter by day, man whore extraordinaire by night, Reid Sullivan lives every man’s dream. But, Elite Escort’s hottest third wheel longs for something more than casual sex with clients. 

Jessica Lindy's testimony helped put her ex-husband behind bars, but she can't escape his vows of revenge. A jaded single mom, she guards her heart and daughter’s life against any man. 

One fateful night with Reid, the temptation for Jessica to allow another man into their lives becomes too hard to resist. But when her past collides with the present, lives--and love--will be lost unless Jessica learns how to lower her defenses. Can the professional escort convince the wary young mom that he can be a different sort of third wheel--the one she can trust?  

Purchase Links:


~~~oOo~~~ 



Excerpt:
“Go into the bedroom and take your clothes off,” he said, stepping back, hands releasing their hold on me. “There are towels in the adjoining bathroom. Wrap one around yourself and get comfy on that big ass bed, belly down.”
Uh … oh yeah. Massage. Right.
Unable to find my voice, I nodded and tried to walk away. Damn heels near sent me sprawling on the floor.
“Here. Let me.” Reid dropped to his knees and lifted one of my feet to unbuckle the black heels Christine had insisted on.
I grabbed hold of his shoulder to keep from falling over, my gaze locked on the dark head inches away from my throbbing clit. Thoughts of him lifting my dress’s hem with his teeth brought a moan to my throat, but I bit down on the inside of my lip to keep from letting it out.
His large hand slid up my calf and back down before making short work of the clasp. My foot slid free, and he ran his hand up my other leg, catching my breath.
Get a grip, Jessica. The barest touch on my skin—hotter than any sex I could remember. My body craved more. One little lick, one little pinch on my clit, and I’d be screaming my release for the world to hear.
“Go on,” Reid said, standing and stepping back, my heels dangling from his hand.
With another thoughtless, dumb nod, I managed to make my feet move. I eyed the massive bed while making my way across the bedroom to the open bathroom door. Images of Reid’s ass clenching with each thrust into my writhing body beneath his flashed across my mind.
“G-good God,” I whispered.
Hands shaking, I all but ripped off my tight dress and restricting bra, but paused to consider my panties. A full body massage…
Another few seconds of indecision and I slid the soaked bit of silk down my legs. Just in case he wanted to knead my ass cheeks. And, nothing more than that, I told myself while wrapping a white fluffy towel around me. A peek into the bedroom revealed it empty, so I scooted to the bed, pulled back the comforter and top sheet, and lay face down a little ways from the edge, eyes clenched shut, pulse pounding through every cell of my body.
Closer than a hair to hyperventilation, I focused on slowing my breathing. Relaxed my muscles as soft instrumental music floated through the closed door.
“Jessica?” Reid’s low voice raised what little hair I had on my body. “Can I come in?”
I squeaked a reply but had to clear my throat and try again. “Yes.”
Yes. Please come … I mean, come in. Touch me. Make me come.


 ~~~oOo~~~



HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO
FINDING FULFILLMENT!


Finding Fulfillment
Found by Fate 3
Erotic Romance
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: May 22, 2017

Keywords: Erotic, Romance, BDSM, Novella, Series, Bondage

Jade Matthews may be young, but she knows what she wants in a man--someone mature and kinky, a man who shares her deepest desires to have her pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen and submissively compliant in the bedroom.
Archer Brennan aches to unleash his dark side on the too-young grocery bagger, with her pert pony tail and glossy lips that makes him yearn for a taste. With an ex-wife and a messy divorce threatening to destroy his pursuit of happiness, he binds himself to one rule -- hands-off Jade's tight body until his divorce settlement is final.
A submissive must obey her Dom, but some rules were meant to be broken, and when one misstep threatens the dominant lawyer's life, will Jade defy Archer's hands-off decree or lose the only man capable of fulfilling all of her dreams?


~~~oOo~~~

EXCERPT:

I jerked off after my late lunch, thinking I’d be more relaxed and in control once Jade arrived for my…little test. No such damn luck. Nancy rang to let me know Jade had arrived and I instantly went hard. I wanted to tell Nancy to just send her on in, but the gentleman in me wouldn’t allow such an action, hard-on or not.

Standing, I buttoned my suit coat to hide the bulge in my pants and headed for the office door. When I pulled it open, our gazes collided and my attention slid down her neck to where her pulse thrummed. Satisfaction coursed through me.

“Jade,” I smiled, knowing the lust simmering inside of me shone in my eyes. “Come on in.” I stepped back, gesturing her past me and breathing in the scent of snickerdoodles. My hand moved without thought to rest on her lower back as she walked into my office. Her breath caught, and a quick glance up into my face had me jerking my hand away.

Fuck. Can’t touch.

I cleared my throat and shut the door behind her. “You look amazing.”

Pink tinged her cheeks. “Thank you.”

“Why don’t you have a seat on the couch today?” I motioned toward the loveseat beneath my office’s lone window with its upward slanting blinds for privacy.

I sat in my office chair but swiveled to my right to face her.

Jade perched on the couch’s edge, knees together and hands folded on her lap.

I took my time drinking in the sight of her—barely there makeup, hair caressing her shoulders, naked lips, and that dress.

Goddamn, she’d never looked better. The color of her name, the dress wrapped snug around her, the cleavage of her pert breasts barely concealed by the deep V-neck. Stiff nipples, bare legs, and strappy tan heels…and if she followed my thoughts for our meeting, no panties.

My cock strained, hands shook.

Get a grip, man. You’re thirty-five years old, for Christ’s sake, not some teenage jerkoff who can’t control his shit.

“How am I supposed to keep my hands off you?” I murmured, tearing my attention from the darkness between her legs.

Her blush deepened as she shrugged.

I forced myself to settle in my chair. “Sit back, darling. Relax.”

She eased backward into the couch, but tension hitched her shoulders high.

I wanted the test I had in mind to reveal what I hoped it would, but being strung tight would hinder her response to me. “How was your week?”

“Long and boring, same as last week.” She sucked in her lower lip and released it, sending another jolt of lust straight to my cock. “I’ll admit, my nervousness over today probably made it worse.”

“What are you nervous about?”

“The meaning of your note. Your plan.” Her voice escaped as a whisper, and she swallowed. “Wondering if you’ll finally touch me beyond a mere brush of fingers.”

My hand flexed at the thought as my heart picked up pace. “More than anything, I want that exact thing.”

We stared at each other for a few long seconds, the sexual tension thick between us.

I needed to wait until Nancy left. “All in good time,” I finally said, needing to clear my throat. “For now, talk to me. Tell me about your hobbies. What you like to do for fun.”

Jade heaved a deep breath, her breasts rising and drawing my focus downward. Pebbled and begging for my teeth, her nipples pressed tight against the green material covering them.
“Talk to me, Jade,” I encouraged, returning my gaze to her face with a slight smirk which she returned.

A half hour flew by as we chatted, and the inner office ring of my phone startled me. I picked up. “Yes, Nancy?”

“If you don’t mind, I’m going to head out early for the day.”

“That’s fine. I’ll finish up with Miss Matthews here in a few minutes. Would you mind locking the front door on your way out?” I asked as always whenever she left before me.

She agreed and I hung up, turning back to Jade. Her brow furrowed, she played with the ties of her wrap dress.

“Jade.” She glanced up. “Close your eyes for me.”

She obeyed without hesitation, her brow smoothing, and my chest swelled with the trust she showed me.

“I’m going to tell you a story, and I want you to imagine it in your mind. Can you do that for me?”
Her plump lower lip disappeared inside her mouth again as she nodded.

The sound of the front door closing filtered through the blood rushing between my ears.

Time to play.



~~~oOo~~~



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.


LINKS:

~~~oOo~~~

GIVEAWAY!



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.