Thank you, Entangled! All three Billionaires in Bondage books are back with brand new sexy covers. Better yet – they’re only $.99 each for a limited time. In fact, Entangled is having a HUGE contemporary romance sale and have a TON of books at that price.
I’ve blogged before about where the original idea for A Killer Need came from. Basically, I wanted a “horror romance” with a possible serial killer hero who I could make believable, likeable, and redeem in some way.
It might surprise you, but Vincent came first, even though his book is only just now coming out. The original idea I played with–and ultimately set aside–was a bad guy undercover as an even worse guy on some kind of private cruise ship. The heroine was in bondage there and sent to him for the night.
You can see why I tabled that idea, right? I couldn’t come up with a way to make THAT likeable/romantic in any way.
When I started writing Charlie’s story, I honestly had no idea that he fit into the killer storyline at all. He lied to me the whole time. Only after about 30K did I finally realize I had found a way into that killer horror/romance story.
Vincent was Trouble from the beginning. Readers liked Charlie, which was great! But I hadn’t planned on him returning that much. Once I got the idea into my head, though, I couldn’t get it out. Then I lost balance of the story and had way too much Charlie/Ranay on page for it being Vincent/Mads’s book. Luckily I had a great editor! Alissa was able to help me bring that balance back in.
You see that “Dare to look beneath the mask…” up at the top of the page? That’s a reminder for me too. Sometimes I flinch. I don’t actually look as deeply as I need to. I don’t want to explore that darkness.
Aside: growing up, we lived out in the boondocks on a 100 acre farm just off tornado alley. I HATED going to our basement – even though it was supposed to be safer than the house. It was a nasty root cellar beneath the house. We actually had to go OUTSIDE into the STORM to reach it. (If you’ve seen the beginning of Twister, our root cellar was a little like that, except theirs was waaaay nicer.) Small snakes, tons of spiders and cobwebs – you name something creepy that lives under an old farm house, and that’s what we had to sit with during a tornado.
Sometimes writing a really dark, emotional story is like standing at the top of those stairs, barefoot in the middle of the night, scared out of your mind. There’s a tornado coming behind you. Wind is whipping your hair and you can’t see. But you really REALLY don’t want to go down into that black scary hole.
Even if it might save your life.
That’s where a good editor can say stuff like “Explore this more.” “What’s he feeling here?” “Can we get more emotional responses here?”
A.K.A. go down into that dark basement and poke around. You might find something really creepy good in the dark.
A bunch of us at Here Be Magic got together and wrote brand-new stories centered around magic. Our boxed set is available now and only $.99!
TERROR MANSION by Rebecca York
His psychic dream can save her life–if she’ll only trust him.
NIGHTGAZER by Joely Sue Burkhart:
A princess on the run. A grumpy wizard stripped of his power. Can she heal him in time to save her throne?
GORGOUS NIGHTMARE by Angela Campbell:
Can a reluctant psychic stop a deadly killer before the woman he loves is murdered?
SAVED BY THE TRICKSTER by Shona Husk:
Zander has one month to prove he deserves to be let back into heaven. Lysanna is a Trickster, a demi-god charged with making people believe in Light and hope. Now, Zander will have to choose between his duty to heaven and Lysanna.
TALL, TALL TREES by Linda Mooney:
If fighting the animosity between their two tribes isn’t enough, Oron and Pellera must battle monstrous creatures and the deadly growler to save their lives and their love.
DEVIL OF BOURBON STREET by Cindy Spencer Pape:
For a widowed cop and a street musician, magic, murder, and New Orleans might add up to love—if they survive.
RAVEN’S SONG by Shawna Reppert:
Set between the first and second books of Reppert’s award-winning Ravensblood series, can a reformed dark mage save an opera star from a deadly stalker?
HEALER OF THE NILE By Veronica Scott:
Can a village healer persuade the god of Fate to help her save a soldier trapped between Life and Death?
Buy links (more coming as they go live!):
I made my deadline! Actually had enough room to spare to do several good edits passes, added a new scene to tie up a loose end, and then wrote the synopsis and blurb. I think I read it through 5 times, and there are parts that still get me a little teary.
This is a holiday novel, and so I wanted to include lots of sentimental, special elements. Kelsey had a HARD life, poor thing, and Harvey is so damaged that she despairs of ever pulling him out of the darkness. But she drags him kicking and screaming into the (Christmas) lights. There are a few bombshells and a sweet moment for Donovan and Lilly at the end. All in all, I’m very pleased with this book.
The only thing that’s bugging me is the title. We can’t use The Billionaire Grinch as I pitched it (trademarked) so we’re brainstorming other alternatives. Right now, it’s tentatively titled The Billionaire Who Hated Christmas, but that’s likely to change. If anyone has an awesome Billionaire + Christmas Grinch/Scrooge title to recommend, I’d love to hear it!
Unofficial (working) blurb:
The Recluse: Billionaire Harvey Caine has despised all things Christmas since his parents died in a car accident during the holidays three years ago. He’s become a shut-in, trapped in his family mansion and tormented with guilt. The only person allowed inside is Gordon Maxwell, his parents’ long-time friend and employee who practically raised him, and the only thing keeping him alive is his determination to win back control of Caine Enterprises from his aunt.
Maxwell knows a lot of Caine secrets, including the fact that Harvey’s parents were involved in a BDSM relationship. Desperate to get Harvey some help, Maxwell decides to hire a Mistress for the holidays with the hope of giving Harvey something else to live for than his obsessions and guilt.
The Maid: Since Harvey’s a full-blown Christmas-hater who refuses to allow anyone inside his house, the only way Maxwell can get professional Mistress Kelsey Marley inside is by pretending she’s his niece who needs a job and a roof over her head for the holidays. Kelsey has the perfect French maid costume meant to drive the billionaire mad and immediately disrupts his entire life with a sultry tease.
The Christmas Bargain: Kelsey knows exactly how to push the billionaire’s buttons, but they’re getting too close, too fast and Christmas is just around the corner. If Harvey finds out she’s been bought and paid for, this holiday might go down in his ledger as the absolute worst Christmas ever.
Reviews are coming in!
- “One Cut Deeper kept me guessing from start to finish. The kink aspects are not for the faint of heart, but fit the relationship between these two characters – and they are integral to suspense plot as well. This is an erotic thriller that should not be missed. It is a fantastic story with just the right blend of kink and suspense.” Romance Novel News
- “Do not be afraid of this book. This story is so expertly put together, given to us in a way that holds us captive and engages our imagination. It’s about learning to love and accept ourselves and allowing others to love us. I can’t express to you how much I was pulled into these characters’ world. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.” SM Book Obsessions
- “If you like Dark erotica/romance and suspense/thrillers with sexy sadist Doms that will leave you with warm fuzzy feelings while scaring you just enough to leave you hot and bothered then this is the book for you. This is Joely Sue Burkhart writing what she writes best.” Stephanie Christine
- “One Cut Deeper is a deeper, darker journey into BDSM and Joely Sue Burkhart was just the perfect author to write something like this. Again, amazing!” Sultry Steamy Reading
Guests posts, background about the story, and some opportunities to win prizes!
It’s not necessary to read The Billionaire Submissive first, but if you’ve been wondering about that stained glass project, you’ll get a nice update in The Billionaire’s Ink Mistress. Donovan and Lilly make several appearances to help introduce his attorney and best friend, Jackson Montgomery Warring, and his future Mistress, Diana Temple, aka The Priestess.
To celebrate, I’m offering two prize packages, one to be given away here, and the other given to a newsletter subscriber.
Each package includes a $50 e-gift certificate to any online book retailer (I’ll split it at multiple venues if you wish) and both Billionaires in Bondage books, signed print or electronic, winner’s choice. Open to anyone on the planet. Yes, if you choose print, I’m willing to send the books internationally.
To enter this giveaway, comment on this post as many times as you wish. I’ll use Pick Giveaway Winner to generate a winner from comments on April 17th. If you review either Billionaire book, please do send me the link in comments so I can add you to my collection and get an extra entry at the same time!
To start the discussion, what element of BDSM or kink would you LOVE to read more of that no one’s really doing right now? Daddy Doms, breath play, knife play, bondage without D/s elements…? Anything goes!
Over the years, I’ve had a few people email me to ask about the Keldari Fire novella, The Fire Within.
It was originally published by Drollerie Press, along with the Shanhasson trilogy and Survive My Fire, but that publisher folded years ago. I was on a roll in 2012 and got most of these lost titles re-released with new covers, but I ran out of steam. Sadly, I had this cover made… I just kept putting off the actual formatting. Then I decided I ought to make an edit pass, because that was several years ago and my writing style has changed quite a bit.
Finally this month, I sat down and made a quick pass. I hired out the formatting so I didn’t have that hanging over me. So it only took a few minutes of setup this morning and I was able to push the “publish” button.
I’ve never had a work exclusively in KDP, so this is a trial for me. I know that this makes it more difficult for non-Amazon fans, so if you can’t bring yourself to pick up a copy via Amazon, just email me and I can hook you up.
So I’m very happy to offer a new fantasy romance (yes, this one is solidly romance and has a HEA) complete with dragons! There’s no need to read any of the other Blood & Shadow books to enjoy this one, though it does fill in a few holes about the king prior to Shannari’s line taking over the throne.
To celebrate Virginia’s book, I’m offering winner’s choice:
- Signed print copies of all four Connagher books to date, mailed anywhere on the planet.
- OR digital copies of all four books, any format, and a $35 gift certificate to any online book retailer.
You have two opportunities to win! Enter via Rafflecopter below, or join my newsletter for a second prize package (same details) to be drawn from the list of subscribers on Jan 16th.
Mama, aka Virginia Connagher, coming January 6 from Samhain Publishing!
The Connaghers, Book 4
Virginia, Matriarch of the Texas Connaghers, has been alone twelve years since the great love of her life passed away. Tyrell loved her sadist’s heavy hand and the hard inner core she’s dared not show anyone since.
She lives in the past, clinging to all those memories except one. The one she’s determinedly blocked out of her heart and mind for nearly forty years. The one time she was almost unfaithful to her then-fiancé with her best friend, Jebadiah Garrett.
That was a long time ago. They both married and moved on. She has three adult children settling down with their own families. Besides, it was just a kiss. One kiss.
One unforgettable kiss that brought Jebadiah to his knees at her feet.
Now he’s back in town and determined to finally, once and for all, tell her how much he’s loved her all these years. Or, even better, show her by going to his knees once more. If she’ll only give him the chance.
Friends to lovers, older characters with a second chance at love, and a hard-as-nails matriarch who finally succumbs to a forty-year-old unrequited love.
Some books are a fast, headlong rush on a straight, level highway through the night with no distractions, fog, or turns to worry about. Other books are a slow progress up a towering mountain. The air is fine and thin. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe. But you keep pushing forward, even if you can’t tell that you moved at all.
Billionaire #2 was the latter. I’ve been slowly whittling away at it for months. But I never had the huge glorious word counts until the last two weeks. For whatever reason, the book was a slow one. It made for a few crazy big days, but I finally finished the book over lunch today, and completed my first read thru tonight while the Chiefs played. I’d already edited the first 100+ pages or so. I just had to finish, first, and then go back and smooth all the edges together.
So tomorrow I’ll try and read thru again, make sure all my eyes are dotted and my tees crossed, and then Diana and Jackson will be off to my editor. I’ve got edits due back on Mama C, so I’ll grind through them and ship them back quickly too.
Now, for a snippet, since I don’t think I’ve shared much, if any, of this book.
~ * ~
Jackson Montgomery Warring hesitated before passing the stack of documents over to his client. “As both your personal and corporate attorney for more than a decade, I strongly advise you against this.”
Donovan Morgan, CEO of Morgan Industries, leaned back in his chair and smiled at his old friend. They’d known each other since Harvard, and though Jackson had gone on to work for one of the country’s largest law firms, he still handled Donovan’s business personally. “I know what I’m doing.”
Shaking his head, Jackson handed him the stack of documents. “As you wish. At least you’re keeping me as your executor. If anything happens to you, one Lilly Harrison—”
“Soon to be Mrs. Morgan,” Donovan clarified.
“Will be the sole inheritor of your entire estate, regardless of your married status at your death. There aren’t any provisions to keep her from taking you to the proverbial cleaners if you divorce before that time, either, regardless of the cause for separation.”
Donovan signed and initialed each page quickly without reading any of it.
“Does she know you’re doing this for her?”
“No. But I’d greatly appreciate it if you could drop a hint or two about it at dinner.” Just thinking about her fury—and the resulting punishment she’d dole out for giving her literally every single dime he had—made him shiver. “The results will be spectacular”
Jackson checked his watch and took the papers back. “Sorry, Donovan, but I’m due back in Chicago.”
“Dinner,” Donovan insisted. “I haven’t seen you other than a quick sign here and here in months. Aren’t you even going to meet Lilly and offer your congratulations in person?”
His friend sighed without answering, shuffling through his briefcase. Jackson always looked tired. Who wouldn’t after working at least eighty hours a week for most of his life? But there was an edge to him that had Donovan worried. Although not a single hair or thread was out of place, grim lines bracketed Jackson’s bloodshot eyes and he’d hardly met his gaze all afternoon. It was just a gut feeling, something he’d suspected for a long time. Ever since I realized what kept me on the edge, so hard and miserable and alone.
“It’s not a good time for me to be out of the office.”
“Want to talk about it?”
Jackson smiled but it didn’t reach his eyes. “I’m sure you’re dying to hear about all the office back stabbing and shark-infested waters at Larsen & Montgomery.”
“Sure. Even better if you tell both Lilly and me. She’s much more devious than I am.”
A tiny spark fired in Jackson’s eyes. “More devious than you? I find that hard to imagine.”
Standing, Donovan gathered his own briefcase. “Absolutely. Though I ought to warn you that she does tend to curse quite a lot. Come on, man, we haven’t just sat and drank a few beers and talked in years. You owe me.”
He lead the way to the elevator, pausing at his secretary’s desk to get Monday’s meeting schedule she’d already prepared. Rachel Addison was proving herself to be imminently more qualified to be his personal assistant than the last woman he’d hired. She’d tried to blackmail him with a few lewd pictures. Luckily Lilly had found Miss Addison herself and he couldn’t be more pleased. And no, his fiancee hadn’t gone out in search of the homeliest woman she could find. Miss Addison was quite easy on the male persuasion’s eyes and she didn’t quake if Donovan raised his voice. In fact, he was pretty sure she’d promised to call Lilly each time he lost his temper and he’d sorely pay for that loss of control later. He made a mental note to see if he could earn some punishment next week. If Jack would come to dinner and admit why he was in town, Donovan would be covered for a week. At least. In bruises.
It was all he could do not to race for the elevator doors and leave his friend to flirt with his assistant. She was a beautiful, intelligent woman but she didn’t do a thing for Donovan. She wouldn’t have made him blink an eye even before Lilly. She didn’t have the kind of power he craved.
“Look how easy I’m making your job in handling my estate,” he said. “I’m not even asking you to write up a lengthy pre-nup.”
“Haven’t I taught you anything about being attorney yet? It’s all about the billing, and you’re doing me no favors by making my job easy.”
“At this point in your very lucrative career I don’t think missing out on a few hours of billing is going to hurt your bottom dollar.” Donovan turned his attention to his secretary. “Is Mr. Warring’s hotel room taken care of?”
“Of course, Mr. Morgan.” She didn’t even glance at her boss—she was too busy making starry eyes at Jackson. She rose up out of her chair and slid an envelope containing the room card toward him, flirtatiously keeping her finger on it. Her clothes were more office appropriate than the killer heels and short leather skirt that Lilly had once worn in to make him drool, but the silk blouse was low cut enough to give Jackson a good look at her cleavage. If he was paying attention. “I’ve booked the best suite for him the entire weekend at the Saint Paul Hotel as you asked.”
Jackson didn’t even notice. He must be sick or nearly dead. After the years he’d seen Jackson with the ladies back in college, he knew damned well his friend was straight. So maybe he’s no longer into vanilla women, either. There was only one way to find out. He’d have to see if he could get Lilly to give a small—extremely modest—demonstration and then watch Jack to see how he reacted.
“I can’t do the whole weekend. Maybe dinner, assuming there’s a later flight out, but you’ll owe me a ride to the airport.”
Donovan picked up the envelope for him and slipped it inside his coat. “Gladly, as long as its Sunday afternoon at the earliest.”
Ignoring his protests, Donovan took the skyway toward his parking ramp. “I’m seriously worried about you, Jack.”
“My secretary would give her right arm to have you smile at her and you didn’t even know she was alive, let alone notice the double Ds she tried to show you. Since when does Hollywood Warring miss out on a pretty girl?”
Jackson let out a startled laugh that was more genuine than anything Donovan had heard from him all afternoon. “Hollywood?”
“Isn’t that what they used to call you in your frat house? All that golden boy charm and slick tongue. You had all the ladies standing in line.”
“I haven’t heard that in a long, long time.” Jackson smiled but it was tinged with sadness. “Those were the good old days, Donnie and Jack running amok on campus.” When Donovan took him to his car, Jackson paused, eyes narrowed. “I thought you lived in downtown St. Paul.”
“Not any longer. Get in. It’s just a short drive.” While he waited for his friend to get settled, Donovan called home. “Is Lilly there yet?”
“No, sir,” Chris replied over the car speakers. “Jacob is already waiting for her at the warehouse, though. Should I send him in to bring her home?”
“Yes. I’m on my way with guest in tow.” Donovan hung up and caught his friend studying him. “What?”
“Your fiancee is at a warehouse and you have to send someone in to get her? Sounds weird, my friend.”
“Jacob’s her driver.”
“She needs a babysitter? What kind of woman are you marrying?”
Backing the car out and heading for the ramp exit, Donovan snorted. “Don’t you dare tell her that on top of the other reason you’re in town or I’ll be in big trouble.” I probably wouldn’t be able to sit for a month. “She’s working on a stained glass project I commissioned back in July and she gets very involved in her work.”
“So involved she needs a driver. And you have a…what, butler? At home?”
“She doesn’t drive and she doesn’t cook.”
“What does she do?”
Donovan had to swallow, his hands gripping the wheel firmly. You have no idea, my friend. You couldn’t possibly imagine what she does for me. “She loves me. That’s all I need.”