Another Snippet

A pretty productive day so far.  I made it until 1:30 AM last night, but wasn’t as productive as I hoped because Littlest Monster turned on Sharknado.  Luckily it was so bad I was still able to finish the scene.  It just took me longer than I hoped.  I got another 1300 words this morning before my dentist appointment, and another 3K+ tonight.  If I can get another 2-3K tonight before bed I’ll be really happy.

However, these last few scenes have been hard emotionally.  I’m getting ready to write the first LOVE scene (far from the first sex scene), although Lilly is so not ready for it.  That’s what makes it hard.  I have to show Donovan’s feelings even if he doesn’t say the words, and the same for her, while she’s thinking something completely different.  Lots of emotion under the calm surface.

And what’s sad is all of this is NEW stuff that I didn’t originally outline.  Sigh.  Using Scrivener, I’d numbered scenes 020-025 for the middle scenes I needed to add.  Since last night, I’m now on 020E because one thing leads to another!  And I still have to write 021-025, which will probably also grow too.  Then I have 017B to go back and fill in.

Then there’s all the threads and layers and special little touches I know I’ll want to add.  But I am getting there.  The book is up to just under 55K and there are definitely some hefty scenes ahead.

Skipping ahead for this snippet and it’s shorter than the others.  I’ll start highlighting a few of my favorite scenes and lines as I post updates.

He glanced around the garage once again, impressed with what she’d been able to do alone, but also realistic.  “You’re going to need a lot more space.”

“Assuming I agree to take on the job.”

“You will.”  He gave her a very rare thing indeed—a genuine smile.  “You can’t resist a challenge.”

“Are you so sure of that?”

“For my sake, I hope so.”

She sighed ruefully.  “That’s one hell of a good private investigator you hired, Mr. Morgan.  How’d you figure out all of this about me from a few sneaky photographs?”

It was his turn to look away and run his hand through his hair.  He wanted to take off his tie and loosen the neck of his shirt, but that might be too informal too quickly for her.  “I have an instinct for people.  That’s why I’ve been able to take a modest family business and turn it into an international billion-dollar company.  The numbers are just columns on paper.  In the end, it’s the people that make or break a deal.”

He spared a glance at her, not surprised to see her studying him as avidly as he’d done earlier.  “You’re a surprising man.  Donovan.”

To hell with it.  He loosened his tie to relieve some of the pressure on his throat, hoping that she wouldn’t sense what was really troubling him.  He didn’t want to think about it himself.

If I’m going to have something tight on my neck, I want it to be hers.  Because she has me collared and bound.

“Very well,” she said.  “How soon do you want to meet and go over contracts?”

He locked his knees to keep from sagging with relief.  Contracts.  Plural.  So she’s at least willing to consider taking me on as a submissive in addition to the windows.  He waited until he could reply without his voice breaking or cracking like a fool.  “Tomorrow morning, 9:00 AM.”

Her eyebrows raised.  “So quickly?”

“I never approach a deal unless I’ve already run my numbers and decided what I want and what I’m willing to give.”

“11:00 AM.  I’m not a morning person.”

No way in hell was he waiting until lunch time to settle this.  “10:00 AM,” he countered.  “And I took the liberty of writing up both contracts to make this deal as expedient as possible.  They’re in my car.”

“Contracts?”  A sliver of displeasure sharpened her voice.  “You’re forgetting my contract.  When it comes to Mistress L, my contract is the only one that counts.”

He had to laugh at that.  He could read legal contracts in his sleep.  A homemade sexual contract would be nothing to worry about.  “I doubt there’s much in your contract that will surprise me.”

She pressed the button to raise one of the garage doors.  “I suspect you might be surprised in that regard, Mr. Morgan.”

His eyes narrowed.  “Back to formality yet again, Miss Harrison?”

She followed him to his car, waiting patiently while he unlocked the door and retrieved his briefcase.  “When you slip into Mr. Douche Bag territory, I’m afraid so.  If we agree on terms—and that’s a huge if—then I’m afraid I’ll have to resort to corporal punishment to break this insufferable arrogance.”

The thought of punishment made his hands tremble so badly it took him a second try to dial in the combination to the lock that he’d done at least a million times.  He managed to hand her the stack of papers without dropping them all over her driveway or accidentally touching her.  “Insufferable arrogance?  That’s rather harsh.”

“You assume that you know everything about me just because you were able to discern that I like a challenge before we formally met.”  She started scanning the top page.  In his opinion, it contained the make-or-break stipulation of the most important contract of all.  “That doesn’t mean you know anything else about me.  In fact, I’d wager here and now you’ve made several critical errors in judgment when it comes to me.”

“Indeed?”  He leaned back against the side of his Jag and crossed his arms.  “I doubt that.”

Slowly, she raised her gaze from the paper and locked her eyes on him with such intensity he immediately stiffened.  “You want me to break the contracts with my other submissives.  That’s a pretty drastic error on your part.”

Stay calm and cool.  Don’t let her know how much this means to you.  “I’m sure you have escape clauses in their contracts.  If not, I’ll simply buy them out.”

“It’s not that simple, Mr. Morgan.  I care about these men.  I’m not going to drop them like last week’s news just for you.”

She cares about them?  He clenched his jaws, fighting to keep from retorting that was rich.  The Mistress cares for the men paying her to take them in hand.  Nice.  “I’m not going to share your time.  I’m not that kind of man.”

“Maybe it’s about time you learned how to share.  You’re not a three-year-old toddler, Mr. Morgan, and I don’t have time—”

With a low growl, he pushed away from the car.  “I won’t share you and that’s final.”

Still Going Strong

I keep shooting myself in the foot with these estimates!  60K probably isn’t going to cut it either.  I still have so many scenes left and only keep thinking of new ones to add.  Sigh.  The scenes I wrote tonight are so…

*fans self*

Yowsa.

I can’t tell you yet.  *wicked laugh*

It’s something I couldn’t have written even a year ago.  Lady Blackmyre has taught me a lot.  I understand, now, why I have to write this story before I can write Mal’s book (Mine to Break) and even Mama C’s.  Lilly is breaking down the barriers in me as surely as she’s breaking them in Donovan.  Barriers I need to shed if I’m going to do these other books justice.

Another 3K tonight and I’m just under 50K in The Billionaire Submissive.  I plan to grind as late as I can tonight, but I was up until 1 AM last night and worked today, so I have no idea how long I’ll make it.

Another snippet.

God, she’s good.  So good I’d pay a hundred grand a month to have her at my beck and call.

Donovan was sweating enough that his crisp white shirt was sticking to him beneath his coat despite the air conditioning blasting into his office.  In just a few minutes of casual interaction, she’d managed to thaw him.  He wasn’t frozen any longer, but burning up.  Raging out of control.  It was all he could do not to lock his office door and demand they reach an agreement now before she had the chance to walk out.

Gathering up her portfolio, Lilly continued the innocent yet saucy facade.  She’d lied to his face without batting an eye.  That skill would serve them both well if she were ever questioned by the media.  The last thing he wanted was for any hint of his secret desire to get out.  If it cost him a million dollars to ensure her secrecy, he’d do it.  Hell, he was throbbing so hard he’d give her a blank check.

She gave him a look that said there was a time and a place, and this was neither.  And yeah, her gaze lingered on his crotch, so she had to know how aroused he was.  Just from having her press against his back for a few tantalizing seconds.  He’d wanted to curse out loud when she pulled away, but he had to admire her effort to remain professional.  At least for now.

It hadn’t been the physical contact that had made him hard.  It was her quiet yet impressive show of force.  He’d tried to intimidate her, and she’d welcomed the challenge effortlessly.  He would have been face down on that desk in another few moments if she hadn’t pulled away.

He took her arm and drew her firmly to his side as he led the way out of his office.  The corner of her mouth quirked and she gave him a knowing sideways wink that made his cock twitch in his pants.  Yeah, he was leading the way.  But only because she’s letting me.

That was the crux of his issue.  He wasn’t the kind of submissive that was going to whine and beg and crawl to his Mistress’s feet and kiss her toes.  No.  Donovan Morgan wasn’t going down without a fight.  The difficulty was finding a Mistress who’d relish the fight as much as him.  Someone who was strong enough mentally to bend him to her will, even when he hated every minute of it.  Even if he swore he was never coming back.  Never giving her what she wanted.  She had to be strong enough to make him want to bend his pride to her will.  He had to want to surrender.

Lilly Harrison might just be strong enough to make me beg.

The thought should have alarmed him.  It certainly made him tighten his grip on her arm.  He was probably hurting her, but he couldn’t let go.  He was afraid she’d slip out of his office and out of his control before he could pin her into an agreement.  He hustled her past Miss Wruthers’s desk without pausing, even when his secretary called after him waving the phone.  As soon as the elevator doors whisked shut, he flattened his back against the wall and hauled Lilly against his chest.

The little minx laughed at him.  “Mr. Morgan, I fear you’ve lost your balance too.”

“You have no idea.”  His throat rasped painfully.  “You must accept this commission.”

She tipped her head sideways and gazed up at him with a solemn weight in her eyes that chilled the fire in his blood.  “I don’t believe that’s a very good idea, Mr. Morgan.”

“You must.”

She arched a brow at him.  “I don’t believe I must at all.”

“I’ll make it worth your while.”

She laughed, a deep husky chuckle that made him think of velvet and leather and silken sheets tangled around him.  “No doubt you’re used to throwing money at everyone to get what you want, but I’m not that easy, Mr. Morgan.”

He shuddered and pulled her closer, deliberately arching his hips into her so she’d have no doubt of his reaction to her.  It went against every stubborn arrogant bone in his body, but he forced the word out anyway.  “Please.”

Her eyes narrowed.  “Release me this instant, Mr. Morgan.”

Her voice was pleasant enough.  She didn’t use her words like a whip to lash him into compliance.  She didn’t even give him a stern look from those stunning eyes.  He’d thought them more blue than gray, but this close, her eyes gleamed like polished silver.

“Now.”

Again, her voice remained level and almost sweet.  Certainly feminine and far from mean and nasty.  He didn’t want to obey.  He wanted her to get angry and harsh with him, to wrestle him into sweaty submission, but again, this wasn’t the time and certainly not the place.  Frustrated, he let go of her and made no objection when she straightened and put a polite distance between them.  The elevator dinged and the doors slid open, allowing the noise of the plaza level to separate them even more.  Running his hand through his hair, he fought to keep his mouth shut.  His ridiculous obstinate behavior certainly wouldn’t help convince her to accept his commission, let alone open her mind to pursing a more private relationship with him.  Good submissives obeyed the Mistress without question.  They certainly didn’t manhandle the Mistress against her direct order.

Which is why I’m not a good submissive and I have no Mistress.

She turned her head slightly, whispered, “Good boy,” and then stepped out of the elevator, leaving him to follow in her wake.

Stunned, he had to throw up a hand to keep the elevator doors from shutting and taking him back upstairs.  People were waiting to get on, and here he stood with his mouth hanging open and his pants tented like a randy teenager.  Lilly paused, looking back over her shoulder with that wicked little smile dimpling her cheek, all innocence and saucy attitude that made him crazy.  He wanted to make her lose that calm amusement.  He wanted to hear her voice crack with fury, her eyes sharp and cold as she punished him.  Not winking, silently laughing at him for still standing on the elevator like a dumbfounded idiot.

Grinding his teeth, he pushed his way out of the elevator and stomped after her.  His face was on fire, blazing with humiliation and yes, relief.  He’d managed to please the Mistress, at least a little, despite his stubborn pride.  Even though obeying a simple common-sense command made his spine bristle and his stomach churn.  That whispered praise gave him hope that she might consider his offer despite his numerous failings.  And he had no doubt that his failings as a submissive would give her significant pause.

If I must trick her into accepting me at least for awhile, I’ll do it.  I’ll do whatever it takes.  Even if I have to blackmail her into accepting my contract.

Pulled a Fast Draft

I didn’t intend it, but I just realized that I accomplished the second fast draft of my writing career.  I broke 50K tonight for July so far.

However, I think I jinxed myself a little by saying I hoped to finish it this weekend. I’ve still got 7-10 scenes to grind out and they’re not little baby ones. In fact, they’re quite…meaty.  In more ways than one.  *winks*

3K today and 2.4K yesterday.  Not bad with all we had going on.  With so much ahead of me, this book might end up closer to 60K+ than 50K total (I’ve got several thousand words on a different project this month so not all of this impromptu fast draft is for The Billionaire Submissive).  I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday, so I took the day off.  I’m hoping to get some major wordage in but we’ll just have to see how it goes.

This is the next scene of The Billionaire Submissive introducing Lilly, the Mistress.  It’s a little heavy on the narrative to start, so that will probably get trimmed in revision.

Standing outside of the seventeen-story building on busy Kellogg Blvd, Lilly almost changed her mind and went home.  Sure, this was an old building and not one of those modernized shiny steel and concrete skyscrapers, but she still didn’t quite believe someone in downtown St. Paul would honestly be interested in a stained-glass commission from a relative nobody like her.  The building had once been the St. Paul Post Office and had sat vacant for years while sale after sale fell through.  Then billionaire investor Donovan Morgan had swept in and bought the building at a bargain-bin price.  Of course that was still millions of dollars, but he’d gotten a whole city block right next to the new light-rail station for a few bucks per square foot.

A brass plate next to the old-fashioned art-deco doors proclaimed Morgan Industries.  She’d done a little research before accepting the appointment, but for the life of her, she still didn’t know exactly what that meant.  He wasn’t into a single business, but owned hundreds of different companies and franchises all across the globe.  His interests and investments were as varied as his many charitable contributions.  From what she could tell, he basically just bought and sold companies, usually at a fraction of their value, which suddenly skyrocketed after his purchase.  It was like he had the Midas touch.

So what does a man like him want with a stained glass window?

Especially when he had the funds to hire a world-famous artist?

Sure, she’d finally built up enough business that she could almost pay her mortgage on just commissions and classes, but she’d been busting her ass for years.  Most of her income came from teaching instead of new projects anyway, though she’d clear her calendar if she had to in order to complete whatever Mr. Morgan wanted.  A wealthy important client like him could be the stepping stone to larger commercial contracts she hadn’t been able to tap yet.  With his recommendation, she could maybe even open her own gallery.  This one project could make her career.

Yet the same nagging doubt dogged her heels into the refurbished lobby.  Something wasn’t right with Morgan’s offer.

For one thing, he hadn’t even called her, but pawned the job off on his secretary.  Maybe ultra rich dudes like him couldn’t be bothered to hire underlings, but for a creative project like stained glass, she really needed to be able to meet with him several times.  If she didn’t have access to him, then she couldn’t guarantee he’d like the finished project, and that would devastate her.  It wouldn’t matter how much he offered to pay her if he hated the final product.  Or worse, if he didn’t even care about it.  He was commissioning the wrong artist if that was the case.

The ground-level floor had been rented out to various fast-food joints, coffee shops, and even a one-hour dry cleaner.  Business must be good, because people were scurrying back and forth like ants, jostling her every which way.  Of course it didn’t help that the appointment had been scheduled right before lunch.  A woman with blond hair pulled back in a sleek bun and dressed in a nice navy suit ruined by the hot-pink tennis shoes practically knocked her into the wall on her way to the front door.

She’d remembered that claustrophobic feeling she’d gotten inside her day job’s cubicle.  How even one less minute of fresh air and sunshine outside during her lunch break would have made her as vicious as a rabid dog the rest of the afternoon.  She’d had to quit or else go postal on her innocent coworkers.  Or start taking anxiety meds.  Quitting her job and finding something she truly loved was better than numbing herself with medication the rest of her life, even if she’d had to struggle to make ends meet.

She had to wait while the elevator emptied like an endless clown car at the circus, but she had it alone for the ride up to the top floor.  The higher she went, the more under dressed she felt.  She’d worn the only suit she’d kept from the days of corporate slavery, but it was out of fashion and frankly, a little too tight.  She’d quit caring so much about always doing what was “right” and being perfect in all ways and simply living and loving her life.  She’d never been happier and if some man didn’t like a little extra padding he could keep on walking because she felt sexy and she took damned good care of herself.  Including a little dessert here and there.

Although a big greasy cheese burger sounded really good right now.

Which was definitely a sign of nerves.  If she had to face a day without pie, she’d just give up and stay in bed.  She only craved grease and salt when she was out of her league.

She stepped out of the elevator and put on her polite smile for the waiting receptionist.  Maybe it was her imagination, but the secretary’s smile seemed more sneer than a professional greeting.  Lilly glanced down at herself to make sure all buttons and zippers were appropriately closed.  Check.  Her silk blouse was a little low cut but she wore a lace cami underneath.  She’d worn serviceable plain black heels and not her favorite fuck-me stilettos.  With a mental shrug, Lilly followed the other woman into Mr. Morgan’s office.  Screw it.  If I have to come back to see Mr. Morgan, I’m wearing the leather mini skirt and those shoes.

Since his picture was readily available in all the media stories covering his acquisitions and success, she’d known he was a gorgeous man of the tall, dark and handsome variety.  She hadn’t expected to be affected by him.  Pretty, svelte arrogant men weren’t her type.

He was pretty, and yeah, he was damned svelte in that impeccable suit.  He stood behind his desk, arms crossed, shoulders wide and feet planted, aggressively defiant and proud.  It almost made her laugh.  She couldn’t resist a wide smile, even if he didn’t know the cause.  She hadn’t even opened her mouth yet and he was chomping for a fight.  This’ll be fun.

“Miss Harrison.”  He spoke in a clipped, hard voice echoing with disapproval.  No wonder his secretary had looked at her with such disdain.  She’d already picked up on the alpha’s opinion.  “Do you have a portfolio?”

Not at all.  The large leather thing she held in her hand was merely a strange saddle she’d used on the jackass she’d ridden into town.  Of course she had a portfolio.  What artist would ever go to a prospective client meeting without a single example of her work?

She didn’t bother answering, but simply stepped closer and opened the leather portfolio on his desk.  Of course the pictures were upside down, but she didn’t change it.  She wanted to see how he’d respond.

He could have turned it around to face him.  That would have been the obvious solution.  Instead, he came around the massive desk to stand beside her.  Too close, actually.  He intruded on her personal space.

What an interesting situation.  If she were at a BDSM club and a submissive dared to approach her so boldly, she’d be more than happy to accommodate him with a little punishment and discipline to teach him his place.   In fact, a submissive would only behave such a way if he deliberately wanted to antagonize the Mistress.  Could he have any idea…?

She didn’t see how he would know.  More than likely he was just an arrogant filthy-rich asshole who was used to using his physical strength and immense wealth to intimidate people.

Still, she had to teach him a lesson in some way.  In a professional setting, though, her options were limited.  She certainly couldn’t give him a quick, hard pop with a crop, more’s the pity.  And if she wanted the commission…she couldn’t smart off in front of his subordinate.

There was more than one way to battle.  It didn’t take words.  It didn’t even take action.  She closed her eyes a moment and centered herself.  This kind of dominance involved her personal energy and will, where every ounce of her concentration, every muscle in her body, was focused on one thing.  Releasing a deep breath, she opened her eyes.  Like he’d done earlier, she widened her stance just by standing taller, easing her shoulders back, lifting from her core.  She projected calm assertive power.  The will that he would step aside and out of her personal space.  He would respect her will and her presence.  There was no doubt in her mind.  No hesitation.  He will do as I ask.  Or I’ll walk out of here without even entertaining his proposal.  I don’t need this job that badly.

“This one’s nice.”  He traced a finger over the sketch she’d done of one of her favorites.  The glass was all clear, but with different etchings and bevels, she’d created a complex window that had cast snowflakes over the entire room.  “How big was it?”

Keeping her energy focused, she user her lower voice range that vibrated her body.  “Three by three feet.”

She swore his hand trembled slightly as he turned to the next page, but he didn’t move out of her space.  “That’s smaller than what I intend.  Could you accomplish the same kind of complexity in a larger scale?”

“Of course.  Clear glass in a variety of finishes can be very striking, especially in a large space where color may be too distracting.”  She leaned down, deliberately letting her shoulder bump his as a warning.  She turned to the next page.  Even with only clear glass, you could see three crosses and a rising sun, casting its rays out in all directions.  “This one’s in a church down in Iowa, the focal point behind their altar.  The final measurements were ten by twenty, though I had to frame the window into pieces to give it the appropriate stability.”

He didn’t back away from the shoulder bump.  In fact, he bumped her back, nudging his way deeper into her personal space.  He even slid his right foot in front of hers, like he was trying to block her out from her own portfolio.

Lilly cast a quick glance at the secretary.  Rooted into place, she watched the two’s interaction with wide eyes, rubbing her arms like she had goosebumps.  Some people were sensitive to this kind of energy play, and between her calm assertiveness and his aggressive pissing-match attitude, the energy was definitely high in the spacious office.  Maybe he didn’t even realize his secretary was still watching.  “What do you think, Miss…?”

“Wruthers,” the secretary spoke with a delicate breathy voice.  “Isn’t stained glass rather…antiquated?  If you were going to remodel the building…”

He let out a low growl, whether irritation that his underling dared disagree with him or mere frustration that Lilly wasn’t intimidated, she couldn’t be sure.  “I didn’t ask your opinion, Miss Wruthers.  That’ll be all.”

Evidently the young woman hadn’t been in his employ very long, because she winced and paled, hurt by his callous reply.  She scurried out and the door thumped behind her a little too loudly.

He stretched, arching his back even while he leaned down over her work, resting his elbow on the desk casually.  For such a lean man, he was exhibiting quite the nicely rounded ass.  It was all she could do not to give him a good, hard swat and see how high he’d jump.  “Where were we?”

Lilly let her mouth quirk since he wasn’t looking at her.  Silly boy.  He really needs a good thrashing. 

It’d be all too easy to press against him, letting her body weight urge him down against the desk.  It’d be fun to have a big, powerful man like him beneath her, bristling with the urge to fight, but also strangely obedient.  Knowing he was too strong, too big, that he could overpower her at any moment, but he chose not to…  Instead, he chose to put himself into her hands, to let her do as she would.  The ultimate power rush.  That he was arrogant, gorgeous and used to being the alpha CEO in all aspects of his life only made it hotter.

Lost in such a tantalizing fantasy, it took her a moment to realize she was pressed against the back of his leg, hugging his thigh with both of hers.  Practically riding him.  Either he’d backed further into her space or she’d leaned into him.  She couldn’t remember.  Neither option was appropriate behavior in an office setting, certainly not when she didn’t even know what his inclinations were.

Embarrassed, she jerked backward.  “Pardon me, Mr. Morgan.  I must have lost my balance.”

He straightened and turned toward her, his dark eyes narrowed on her face.  “Lost your balance?”

She gave him a bright smile and without blinking or looking away, said, “I’m not used to wearing heels.”

She had a feeling he knew she was lying but he decided not to call her on it.  It wasn’t like he’d peeked into her closet and seen her glorious shoe collection.  He settled on the edge of his desk, the epitome of casual male elegance.  A wicked glint flickered in his eyes, a knowing smile on his lush lips that warned her he saw through her thinly veiled disguise that said nothing to see, just an ordinary woman with boring, normal sexual desires.  Nothing dirty or naughty here.  “I suppose you don’t get out all that often.”

“Rarely.  I’m such a homebody.”  She gave him a tiny smile back that said I know you know I’m lying and I don’t give a fuck.  “Why don’t you show me the space you’re thinking about filling with stained glass?  I can take some measurements and give you some ideas of what might work best.”

“Of course.”  He stood, managing to make the movement a delicious sinuous slide that drew her gaze down all six-foot-plus length of him.  He might have never really worked a day in his life, certainly not outside of an office setting, but his body coiled with sinew and lean muscle.  There wouldn’t be much padding anywhere on him except that delectable backside.  Nothing to stop the hard thud of a paddle.  Or the cut of the crop.

She gave herself a little shake, forcing those thoughts to the back corner of her mind.  Later, she’d pull them out and let the fantasy unwind.  She’d wonder what kind of fancy underwear he wore.  Whether he really had a model’s body beneath that expensive suit or office flab.  Whether the rest of him was as darkly tanned as his face and hands.  How he’d sound when she brought the crop down on his ass.

But only after I finish this commission.  Until then, all business.  Mistress L isn’t allowed to come out and play.

This Story’s On Fire

I think I’m going to finish it soon, like maybe even this weekend assuming I don’t have to cook a lot for an impromptu family gathering on Saturday.  Yep, that fast.  I think I started it the first or second day in July and it’s going to be about 50K or so.  I’ve already written the end.  I just have to tie a few things together in the middle and then layer in a few more elements that have become meaningful.

On one hand this has been a very difficult project that has pushed me beyond another boundary.  It probably won’t even be that obvious to any of you reading it but it was significant for me.

I’ve also got a very dirty mouthed heroine.  Again, for me, not easy to write.  But she’s been hilarious.  Lilly’s brash and quite the lusty wench (her own words).  She’s done things to poor Donovan that I canNOT believe I actually wrote.  I mean whew.  Crazy.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to look at cherry pie the same way again.  *blushes*

Still going strong at 38K for this story and almost 44K for the month.

Since I haven’t shared anything yet, I thought I’d give you the working blurb and opening scene to this new project, THE BILLIONAIRE SUBMISSIVE.  Yep, a twist on the whole billionaire craze — except the rich ultra alpha CEO is also a submissive in the bedroom.

The Billionaire.

Donovan Morgan rules his billion-dollar international company with an iron fist.  But in the privacy of his bedroom, he needs to be ruled…

The Mistress.

Lilly Harrison helps her clients tame their personal demons by taming them.  Lots of men—whether rich or blue-collar—like to be dominated by a woman.  But the ultra rich and powerful CEO is alpha to the core.  In public, that is.

Can she tame the alpha boss in private?

The Contract.

Donovan selects his potential Mistress as carefully as he investigates his latest investment opportunities with a contract as tight and binding as any corporate takeover.  He must ensure his privacy at all cost— even if he has to resort to a little blackmail to ensure her full cooperation.

However, the indomitable Miss Harrison laughs in his face, tears his contract up, and walks out of his posh office suite without a single glance back.

Which seals the deal for this CEO.

He must have her.  Even if she makes him crawl to her side.

~ * ~

Donovan Morgan stared out at the panoramic view without really seeing the skyline of downtown St. Paul.  His corner office was mostly glass, giving him an unimpeded view of the world he’d supposedly conquered.  He’d just closed another million-dollar deal, yet he felt nothing.  No joy, exhilaration, the rush of competition that he’d thrived on his entire life.  It was like he’d been left outside in the frigid winter to freeze solid, just another ice sculpture in the wintry park.

Never mind that it was full-blown summer in Minnesota and the winding river below was crammed with boaters enjoying the warmer temps.

His personal assistant buzzed him.  “Mr. Morgan?  Your 10:00 AM appointment is here?”

Miss Wruthers never managed to sound very sure of herself, even when she knew damned well he was expecting this meeting.  She’s new.  He smothered a sigh.  Hopefully she’ll gain more confidence.  Assuming I don’t bark at her and terrify her to death.  Without looking, he reached down and pressed the intercom.  “Send him in.”

He heard the door open and shut, but he delayed turning around to greet his guest.  He didn’t want to appear too eager.  Or God forbid, desperate.

“I have the file that you asked for, Mr. Morgan.”

He’d used Andy Wells many times in the past when he needed dirt on the competition in order to gain some leverage.  The man was a pitbull when it came to tenacity and fight, with the nose of a bloodhound and the speed of a greyhound.  If there was any secret to be uncovered, Andy would find it, carefully peeling back layer after layer until the ugly truth was bared, and if he couldn’t find it, no one else would either.  Donovan kept him on his personal staff and paid the man extremely well.  To ensure Andy never had cause to go digging into his own secrets.

Without replying, he turned and accepted the manila file.  It was disturbingly thin and light.  If this was all the dirt Andy’d been able to dig up on this prospective…

What could he call her?

Client?

Date?

Trick?  No.  That would be me.

Sitting down, he laid the file open on his desk and let his gaze linger just a moment on the picture paper clipped to the inside of the file.  Lilly Harrison wasn’t exactly a gorgeous woman but she was quite attractive.  Long coppery brown hair a curly tumble about her shoulders, pretty face, light blue-gray eyes, lush curvy body.  Perhaps a little too short for his personal tastes and certainly not the model-thin slip of a woman so popular in the media, but her curves suited him just fine.

She had an easy, open smile and a light in her eyes that he instinctively mistrusted, even while his instincts told him that spark was the key to hooking her interest.  Light implied warmth and sweetness, even innocence, and if there was anything he’d learned about Lilly Harrison before he’d hired Andy to dig deeper, innocence was the last thing in her mind.  But he could certainly use that spark of curiosity to his advantage.

The next page listed the basic overview of her background.  Age twenty nine, single, self employed as a stained-glass artist in Oakdale after bailing on her white-collar job five years ago.  Doing well enough to purchase her own townhome, though she owed a considerable amount on the mortgage yet.  She had a sick younger brother with a ton of medical bills.  He could use that to his advantage.  Her parents were still alive, living with the brother on the other side of Minneapolis.  Comfortable but not well off, and from the suburb they lived in, conservative and possibly even Catholic.  Even better leverage.

He turned the page and scanned the list of her male “acquaintances.”  Aka the men she hired herself out to. The johns.

Is that what I’ve come to?  Just another john trying to hire a prostitute to get what I need?  Like a junkie on the street?

He forced himself to read every single name, even though he didn’t recognize any of them.  At least she wasn’t involved with high-up politicians.  Andy had even taken a few pictures, although none of them were compromising.  Lilly and her gentleman getting into a car, getting out of a car, going into a restaurant.  They were both dressed to the nines as if they’d been to the opera.  She wore a gorgeous slim-fitting black gown that hugged every wicked sweet curve and strappy bright red platforms that must have added four inches to her height.  The stilettos made him drool.  The red made him insane, tantalizing him like a bull in a ring.

Ridiculous.  Some poor sap actually paid for her services and took her out to eat?  Andy had also included the names of each hotel she’d gone to with her client.  All upper-class hotels, certainly not the scary cheap one-night-stand sort of places he’d expect a woman like her to use.

A woman like her.

He ran a hand over his face, rubbed his eyes, and then gripped his head like he had a headache.  What the hell am I doing?  Am I actually this desperate?

“She’s real careful, Mr. Morgan.  She always uses her name to check into the hotel and it’s always booked and paid for in advance.  By her.  She’s seen these men in public before, and there’s not a single trace of anything suspicious or scandalous.  Two of them are married, all of them are pretty well off.  I mean, they’re nothing like you, boss, but they’re wealthy enough to pay her a grand a night.”

“That’s all she charges them?”

“As far as I can tell.  She doesn’t do random guys, either.  That’s why she takes them out to dinner first, at least twice.  Only then do they get to go to the hotel with her.  They never go to her house and she uses a different hotel for each man.  I don’t have any idea how they hooked up with her.  I couldn’t connect any kind of web presence to her name or credit cards at all.  All of the men are regulars.  I clocked Mr. Smith seeing her once a week.  Mr. Hamilton even hit her twice last week.”  Andy chuckled.  “She must be damned good at what she does.”

Donovan pinned the man with a glare that made Andy gulp like a teenager caught smoking weed in the stairwell.  He didn’t say a word, just kept that steady, critical eye contact until Andy dropped his gaze and rushed to fill the heavy silence.

“No criminal record.  She got a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud though she doesn’t use it.  Accounting.  She has a savings account but it’s not huge.  Just twenty grand.  Her brother’s bills are five times that.  She’s been making regular payments to her parents to help them out.  She has a small retirement account left over from her corporate job but no other investments.”

Donovan turned his attention back to the file.  She’d never been married.  No children.  A single woman on the verge of suffering the strident call of her biological clock.  Ordinarily that thought would send him running like hell in the opposite direction, but Lilly wasn’t the typical woman.  He wasn’t interested in dating or marrying her.

I’m interested in hiring her.  That’s all.

He smothered a wry laugh and shut the file, though he couldn’t drag his gaze away from it.  That sounded so simple.  So clean.  So basic.  Nothing as dirty as what he really wanted from her.

“That’ll be all, Andy.  Thanks.”

Andy stood, but didn’t rush toward the door.  “Sir?”

Surprised, Donovan raised his gaze to the man’s face.  “Yes?”

“She seems like a real nice lady.  I mean, despite…  She’s nice.”  At the skeptical look that must be on his face, Andy hurried to explain.  “I always like to run into the person I’m investigating in some part of their everyday routine, just to see how they respond.  She’s polite and well mannered.  She spoke to me, she didn’t give me the brush off.  She wasn’t rude.  She has some kind of mutt that she must love a great deal because she takes him for a long walk every single day.  All of her neighbors speak well of her.”

“What’s your point?”

Andy’s cheeks flushed and he stuttered but he didn’t drop his gaze.  “I don’t know what your intentions are and frankly it’s none of my business.  I just wanted you to know that she’s not some skank out looking to make a quick buck or a gold-digging bitch out to screw every lying bastard out of his money.  She’s nice.  I’d like to be her friend and I don’t say that about many people.”

Donovan wanted to ask if he qualified as someone Andy would want to have as a friend, but he already knew the answer.  He was the boss man, the hard ass who made the money and paid the lawyers to screw everyone until they got the best deal.  Even I wouldn’t want to be my friend.

He wheeled his chair around to look out the window.  Cold, so cold and numb and hard.  He was tempted to strip out of his Armani suit and stretch out in the sunlight shining in through his window.  Maybe that would thaw him out.

Nope, he’d tried that already.  All it did was first give him a miserable sunburn in some unspeakable places, and then eventually tan him as dark as island native.  He was still so numb he couldn’t feel a thing.  “I don’t need a friend, but I’ll keep that in mind.”

Andy didn’t say anything else but took the opportunity to escape.

No, what I need…

Donovan used his reflection in the glass to straighten his already perfect tie.  His next business meeting might actually be one of the most important of his life.

The reason Andy hadn’t been able to find anything on Lilly that would connect her initially to the men is that he’d failed to make the connection to the local BDSM community, probably because she’d been out of “circulation” for a few years.  That was actually good.  Donovan didn’t want anyone to be able to connect her to the underworld of sexual deviants like him.

What I need is absolute secrecy.  And Mistress L.

Happy Birthday, Her Grace’s Stable

HerGracesStable72webLady Blackmyre arrives today along with her bronies Cole and Arthur!

I usually take release day off from the Evil Day Job so I can be neurotic all day.  However, thanks to a big project moving to production at the end of this month and Littlest’s birthday, I decided to take the one day off I could swing tomorrow for her.  That means I have to still work and think even if I’m neurotic!  And that’s probably a good thing that I’m not haunting social media and posting like crazy because yeah, that’s annoying too.

So a huge thank you to everyone who takes Her Grace’s Stable out for a ride!  I’m giving away a free copy over on Facebook.  There’s still time to enter since I won’t be able to do much until tonight after work.  I’m also going to be giving away a custom Haut Totes cosmetic bag later this month once I receive it.

stallion_smallerI’ll leave you with this glorious picture.  This is always how I’ll see Arthur, wild and free and powerful.  No wonder Violet…and Cole…are so attracted to the big brute!

Reviews: Her Grace’s Stable

Two reviews for Her Grace’s Stable are in!

From Vivian Archer via GoodReads:  4.5 stars

If you’ve read many of my reviews then you know I’ve fallen out of favor with a lot of MF literature, and technically this is MMF, but usually the women in those configurations are a waste of space, too. Burkhart has always been an exception–Love her writing. Her women are intelligent and emotionally balanced–not a twit or basket case in the lot!

I was a little leery of a book that leaned as much to femdom as this one promised just because in so many of them the dommes come off as psychotic bitches–I don’t enjoy abuse masquerading as power exchange. The relationships between the main characters are definitely symbiotic and NOT parasitic.

Recently, I’ve been finding stories that feature puppy or pony play that is not humiliation driven, but rather a celebration and joyful experience. I was thrilled to find that here in HER GRACE’S STABLES. The interactions between the Duchess of Blackmyre (Violet), Cole and Arthur are beautiful. The dynamics are sexy with one gentle pony and one stallion in the mix under the direction of a firm but loving hand. This is the most sensually erotic pony play I’ve read.

The other review is 4 stars from RT Book Reviews and will be in the July issue!  “Character development is excellent, especially that of Arthur, who must re-discover his humanity.”

If you’re interested in reviewing HGS please contact me.  Thank you!

Review: Her Grace’s Stable

The first review for Her Grace’s Stable is in!

I read the book in one day because I could not put it down. The characters and backstory were fabulous. The sex wasn’t all pony play, either, and the other erotic scenes were more to my liking. I really enjoyed the book, and would happily read more from these characters, should Joely write another story featuring them. The world is fabulous, and there are even a few nods to LADY DOCTOR WYRE (book 1 in the series) near the end of this book.

Thank you, Nicole!

Vicki Around the Blogosphere

More chances to win a free copy plus read some guest posts if you’re so inclined:

Romance Reviews Today  “A Few Easy Dieting Tips”

Delighted Reader “Mothers and Daughters”

The Good, The Bad, and the Unread “How Publishing is Like BDSM”

New Review:

The Good, The Bad, and the Unread:

“I don’t know about all of you, but when it comes to erotic romance, I read a lot of so-so books before I find a few gems that are truly worth the reading time. Sort of like kissing a lot of frogs before you find that prince. What I’ve found is the majority of erotic reads aren’t balanced between the hot and steamy sex and an intriguing and emotional story. So when I come across that author who hits all of those – and more – elements out of the park, she’s going to be one I’m on the lookout for in the future. Joely Sue Burkhart is the first in quite a long time to be in that very sparsely populated category for me.”

Vicki Around the Blogosphere

There are several places you can win a free copy of Yours to Take.  Don’t forget to enter the $100 gift certificate giveaway!

Books-n-Kisses

Delighted Reader

Reviews:

Cocktails and Books, 4 Cocktails

Pearl’s World of Romance, a perfect 10 out of 10!

“YOURS TO TAKE is the kind of book that took my heart, broke it and then put it back together, leaving it whole and satisfied. If you love erotic romance that’s both scorching and emotionally brilliant and you haven’t read Joely Sue Burkhart’s Connaghers series yet, you are seriously missing out!”