Guest Author Christina Phillips with Betrayed

What a week it’s been. I’ve launched one of my mainstream novels and I’ve seen the cover of Dark Blue, my September Samhain romance. Whew, I can’t wait to share it but first, I’m delighted to feature my first guest on the blog.

It’s Christina Phillips with a very hot extract from her  new Ellora’s Cave release, Betrayed. I must issue an Over 18 warning with this, so enjoy…

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BETRAYED

Excerpt:

Still holding her in his arms Tacitus lowered his head toward her, no longer caring of the open tent flap, the proximity of the legionary or the fact he was still on duty. All he could see, all he could feel was the woman nestled so seductively against his chest, her breasts pressed against him while her palm caressed his jaw.

Her lips parted and her breath was sweet, like incense. Blood pounded, pulses hammered yet with rigid restraint, he brushed the most chaste of kisses across those tempting lips.

So soft. So full of promise. So deliciously responsive. She lifted her head and instead of breaking contact, he captured her lips once again. Nothing chaste about this kiss. Their mouths clung together as if nothing else in the world existed.

She wound her hand around the nape of his neck. Her fingers speared through his hair, scraping across the base of his skull. Desire spiked through his groin, her touch as potent as if she had grasped his cock, and restraint splintered.

He slid his tongue inside her open mouth and she sucked on him, sudden and hard and unbelievably shocking. He withdrew, a slow slide against her wet flesh then thrust into her again, teasing the roof of her mouth, and claimed the strangled moans that vibrated from her throat.

Fingernails dug into his scalp, primitive and wild. His hand closed over the mound of her breast, filling his palm. Her nipple was hard through the material of her gown, and with a primal growl, he rubbed the tips of his fingers over the erect nub. Backward and forward. Increasing the pressure. She squirmed in his arms, her muffled moans of pleasure stoking his need.

He needed to lay her down. Rip off her gown. Explore her writhing body.

The exhilarating vision of her laying naked on his bed hammered in his mind. She was willing. She did not know she was a slave. He could fuck her, make her come, give her such pleasure that when she discovered the truth she wouldn’t feel as if she had been used at all.

Her sweet taste slid insidiously into his senses, heady and somehow illicit. The tips of their tongues touched; clung, and it was mindlessly erotic.

Somehow, he stumbled to the bed. Curse this primitive camp. He wanted his own bed, but this makeshift one would have to do. Carefully he lowered her, his mouth still claiming hers—or was she claiming his?—and as he laid her down the light diminished.

He scarcely noticed. Tearing his mouth from her, he panted down into her face, relishing the jagged gasps of her breath, the way her fingers dug into the back of his neck, the way her breasts heaved beneath her soft gown.

The way her left arm was immobilized in a sling.

For a moment he stared, uncomprehending. She was injured and he had been about to fuck her?

“Roman.” The word was scarcely above a whisper, and wrapped around his reeling senses like a seductive embrace of purest silk. Her right hand slid from his neck, over his shoulder and along his arm. It was a light caress and yet as arousing as if she slid her naked body along him instead.

Gods. What was he thinking? Marcellus had warned him not to have her tonight. She was injured. She was under the influence of opium.

She was his slave.

Still, he couldn’t move. He remained kneeling on the floor beside her as her hand curled around his wrist. The light was oddly dimmed and yet he could see her delicate features and the fragile outline of her enticing body. And still he could not find the strength of will to stand up and leave.

“Are you man enough for me, Roman?” Her words were heated, provocative. A blatant challenge. “I’ve never had a barbarian before.” She smiled, as if that thought gave her great amusement and he battled against the renewed lust that thundered through his blood at her taunts.

“You will lie here and rest.” It was an order. Any other woman—any other man—would have instantly quailed. But this Celt, this slave—who did not even know she was a slave—merely offered him another sultry smile and pulled on his hand.

He didn’t resist.

She dragged his hand between her thighs and pressed him against her slick core. Air hissed between his clenched teeth as her feminine dampness caressed his fingers, as she rolled her hips and a breathy sigh escaped her lips.

“Don’t you want me, Roman?” She increased pressure on his hand and of their own volition his fingers pushed against her soft gown, seeking and finding the wet opening of her welcoming pussy.

Primal need thudded through his veins, tightened his rock-hard balls. This was madness. Feverishly his fingers bunched up her gown, exposing her thighs, until he gripped the material and wrenched it up to her waist.

Honey-blonde curls crowned her glistening lips, her flesh plump and pink and deliriously tantalizing. Mesmerized by the sheer eroticism of how she angled her hips toward him and by her evocative musky scent that caused his cock to thicken, he couldn’t remember why taking her was such a bad idea.

He trailed the tips of his fingers over her belly and then lower, teasing her soft curls. She sighed in evident pleasure and collapsed back onto the pallet as if she no longer possessed the strength to entice him. But he needed no additional enticement.

Everything he needed was here, between her spread thighs.

She was wet and hot. His finger slid along her cleft, her soft folds promising a wild, unforgettable ride. Breath rasped along his throat, need pounded through his groin, sanity sank beyond the fiery horizon.

She was willing. She was ready. And she was his.

You can find Betrayed HERE and visit Christina’s website HERE.

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My ‘call’ story with Samhain – how to sell a book to an ed in 30 minutes

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As it’s Monday and I have the whole week ahead of me to get back to work on FRENCH BLUE – the sequel to my September release, DARK BLUE, I thought I’d blog a little about my ‘call story’ on this book.

Although DARK BLUE and FRENCH BLUE are both red hot romances with BDSM/kink elements, I have had a slightly less hot contemporary published by them. I loved working with my editor there, she is clear in her editorial directions, friendly and very approachable. I had more input into the cover design process than with any of my UK edited books (that’s not a criticism, it’s just how Samhain work) and was thrilled with the cover.

On the subject of payment – yes, I need to earn a crust – they pay great royalties of 30-40% and most novels of over 50k words are published in high quality trade paperback versions around 10 months after the e book.

I wrote DARK BLUE first and foremost because it was a story I had wanted to tell for quite a while but hadn’t had time to write.

Finally, having finished two long mainstream romantic novels which I’d sold to a Big Six UK publisher, I sent off a partial of the ms to my Samhain ed. I hoped it might be her thing but beyond that, I had to cross my fingers. Admittedly, I didn’t have to go into the slushpile as I’d had a book accepted before but you just never know. I still had a nailbiting wait after I pressed send on the partial and query.

After all this was a new departure for me; a book that was a step up in the explicitness of the sex scenes and a story with BDSM elements at that.

Fortunately for me I hadn’t long to wait. About 30 minutes in fact my ed was back by email. Yes, she loved the idea of the story, yes keep writing – and yes, send her the full as soon as I had finished it as she had a publication slot free in the Autumn. She also had a few suggestions as to tense and POV which were a huge help – and frankly, they were ideas that had been bugging me too.

No matter that I have had six books published before – I’ve had many rejections, all of which have hurt to various degrees from inducing a sigh of relief to full-blown sobbing and chocolate-bingeing.

So when I got such speedy encouragement, I was beyond thrilled and beyond motivated. Having started the story months before, I’d had plenty of time to mull over what was working and not, and make notes and simply think. So by the time I had the encouragement from my ed, I was straining at the leash to finish the book.

Knowing that I had a goal: a contract offer, a publication date was the best motivator ever. More important than that: the editor had given me validation that I wasn’t alone; she loved the story and characters too and it was Ok to step out of my comfort zone and let my imagination have free rein.

So I started writing and just didn’t stop. I loved writing this book and yes, there were times when I had to step aside and rewrite and edit and rethink but in no time it was finished.

Now I have edits coming up in a few weeks.

In the meantime, I need to stop basking in the glow of finishing DARK BLUE and get into the linked book which features the hero’s brother.

That’s the hard part. So I’ll crack the whip over myself and get back to the keyboard.

Samhain’s Submission Guidelines are here.