Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Sample: The Shrew That Tames by Michele Stegman. Shakespeare with a Twist

Forsooth! What wickedness breaks through the Grove today?

Today it seemeth, Michele Stegman arrives with a taste of the Shrew That Tames:


What's an impoverished aristocrat to do when a beautiful heiress asks him to marry her?
Katherine is an heiress who uses her shrewish tongue to keep fortune hunters away. But what is it about Lord Ashfair that leaves her speechless?
Although in need of money, Peter Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, has resolved to restore his ravaged estates on his own. How can he convince Katherine that he wants her, not her money?

Ms.Stegman wrote The Shrew That Tames as a challenge from her publisher to write a story based on a Shakespearean play. She chose The Taming of the Shrew, and, as you can tell from her title, she really twisted that old tale into something totally new. The Shrew That Tames is set during the Regency period in England.


The evening of the Harrington's ball, Ashfair and Sir Anthony escorted the Driscol sisters and their mother to the event. Bianca was besieged at once, and her dance card filled quickly.
Katherine stood to the side, watching her sister's card fill.
Ashfair bowed over her hand. "Will you do me the honor of adding my name to your card, Miss Driscol?"
She clutched her card tighter, her head up. "Really, my lord, you do not have to dance with me simply because you are my escort."
His brow went up. The men in this town were all fools if they would dance with such a lovely woman only to edge closer to her money or her sister and not herself. How many times had she been hurt because of it? "You are right, of course. I have to dance with you because I want to see what it is like to hold you in my arms. There are two waltzes this evening. Please put my name beside one of them. And if you will honor me with a second dance, the quadrille would be nice."

As she added his name to her card, he bent to whisper, "I wish I could dance more than twice with you."
"You are entirely too forward, my lord." He heard her set down. However, he also saw the blush that tinged her cheeks. He tried not to smile, but he was beginning to enjoy teasing a blush into her cheeks.
Katherine had a smattering of attention, mostly, Ashfair thought, from those hoping to win Bianca's approval. He was amazed Katherine could be so easily disregarded. True, she could wield a waspish tongue, but every set down she rendered was, in his opinion, well deserved.
At last they began the quadrille, and Ashfair led Katherine onto the dance floor. As they went through the forms of the dance, he noticed that she became transformed. Her features softened, she gracefully floated, and pleasure sparkled in her eyes.
"You love to dance!" he exclaimed.
Laughing, she agreed. "I always have."
The movements took them apart for a moment. When they came together again he said, "A smile or two from you and your dance card would be full."
Her mouth pursed. "And be forced to endure every crack-wit fortune hunter in the place with sweaty hands and a penchant for writing bad verses to my eyes?" She shook her head. "I'd rather be a wallflower."
Surely by now she knew he was one of those fortune hunters. He pulled her close. "You are dancing with me."
She tossed her head. "You do not have sweaty hands, my lord."
"And so far, I have failed to write a single ode to your eyes. What a dastardly escort I am."
"Yes, terrible." She laughed.

Michele Stegman is a multi-published author of historical romances. Her seventh book, The Shrew That Tames, has just been released from Breathless Press. 
Another of Michele's books, Conquest of the Heart, is a Medieval historical, set during the Norman conquest of England. It was released in June from Breathless Press.
Her next offering from Breathless Press will be a short story, The Admirer.

You can find information about all Michele's books at her 

website oFacebook 


 You can purchase The Shrew That Tames and other works by Michele Stegman at these links:


AWESOME NEWS:: Michele will giveaway a copy of one of her other books to 1 lucky commenter!!! SO..... COMMENT Away

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Sample: Jaded, an erotic contemporary romance by Ember Leigh

Today's dip into a novel is from Ember Leigh's Jaded!

After one too many broken hearts, Isabella has sworn off love...and men altogether. When hunky Luke shows up to remodel her house and starts coming on to her hard, she's sure he's just a player using the wrong head. With Luke, however, Isabella quickly learns there's more than meets the eye. Will she let her guard down and let him in, or will she be forever Jaded?


Luke leaped up and ran upstairs toward her bedroom. The door was ajar and he pushed it open. Isabella turned to him with a gasp, towel clutched around her.
"What's wrong? I heard you scream."
She gritted her teeth and expelled an angry groan. "Tell your stupid workers not to spy on me when I'm changing!" She pointed to the window across from her closet. "Perverts!"
"Hey, I'm sorry. I had no way of knowing. I would have stopped it if I'd seen it."
She glared at him. But Luke could hardly sympathize—if he'd been outside, he would have peeked in on her too.
"I'll punch them the minute I see them," she said through gritted teeth, knotting the towel more tightly around her chest.
"You won't have to—I'll do it for you."
She didn't say anything and turned away from him. Her long, dark hair hung limply down her back, and her breasts rounded nicely under the towel. In all her angry glory, she was irresistible. A few silent moments passed before she huffed and said, "Luke, this isn't a peep show, you know!"
The soft curve of her calf caught his eye and Luke had to blink hard. A dense fog was rapidly descending over his brain, and he could hardly think with her in front of him. He opened his mouth to respond but couldn't find any words. She turned and walked toward him, eyes blazing.
"You men are so predictable," she spat out. "Where is the respect? Like I want to be spied on in my own house."
Luke tried to respond again but all he could do was lamely open and close his mouth. She was inching closer to him now and he feared momentarily that she might hit him or otherwise lash out. He caught a whiff of her shampoo and he gulped. It was all he could do to keep his hands off her now that she was so close to him.
"Don't you have anything to say, Luke?"
His eyes slid up and down her body, despite how hard he was trying to avoid looking. In her state, that slip of willpower might cost him a limb or two. She seemed ready to pounce. He squeezed his eyes shut and took a slow breath, trying to get words—any words—to come out.
"Sorry," was all he could muster. "I feel like you, uh..."
"I what?" She narrowed her eyes at him.
"You're totally right," he said, looking anywhere but at the line formed by her breasts pushed together by the towel. "Like I said, I'll take care of it for you."
She paused, watching him with hands on hips. He could have sworn she was getting even closer to him, but he didn't know if his sexual excitement was just causing the air between them to shrink. He had a semi hard-on already and the woman hadn't even touched him. His mind was spinning and he had to get out of the bathroom before he did something he regretted.
"You sure as hell better," she said. "Luke, fucking kiss me."
It took a moment for the words to sink in. He looked at her with wide eyes, brain struggling to match the words with the woman in front of him. He was dreaming this...he had to be.
"Do it now before I change my mind."

It wasn't the line he normally got but, he'd take it. He grabbed her face in his hands and pressed his lips to hers in a greedy, passionate kiss. She received him eagerly. He suspected she'd wanted this since the beginning, but was too much of a hard-ass to admit it to herself. Pinpricks of pleasure erupted all throughout his body as they kissed deeply and urgently, and he actually felt his knees get a little weak. This woman completely intoxicated him.
They broke for air and stood panting, looking at each other.
"Just one more," she said, looking thoroughly frazzled. "But then you never bring this up or come near me again."
"Oh, so this is just a taste test?" He ran his hand down from her cheek to the dip in her neck; her eyes fluttered shut.
"Call it what you want," she said. "But this is it. Then I'm done."
He leaned in to kiss her again but she dodged it, looking him in the eye. "Deal?
"Anything you want, babe." If that was the case, he'd do it right. He guided her back toward the countertop and pinned her against it. She was watching him with eager eyes, lapping up all of it. She inhaled sharply as he took her into his arms. His heart tightened, catching him off-guard. He wanted this more than he'd thought.
Her lips were soft and just as eager to receive him; they kissed again, their kiss melting into more kisses and even more kisses. When they broke, Luke knew without a doubt that there was no way in hell he'd be satisfied with this one encounter.
"I said one kiss, not eighty," she said breathlessly.
"Sorry, babe. It must be this towel, it's driving me crazy."
She paused and then cracked a smile. "And why's that?
"Because it is hiding something I would give anything to see." His lips drifted over her collarbone. She took his chin in her hand and directed his face toward hers. She put her lips over his, kissing him hard.
Luke let down his guard and kissed her the way he'd wanted to kiss her, not the way he did when he was betting or just trying to get to sex. His kisses were slow, thorough.
He gripped her hips and set her on the countertop, pressing himself between her legs. Luke knew in that instant he wanted to have her right there. He tilted her head back and tasted her neck, her collarbone, kisses growing more urgent the lower he went. This woman was making his mind spin.


Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young.  A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides in South America with her Argentinean partner, a detail she uses to justify her Bachelor's degree in Latin American Literature. In addition to romance novels, she also writes travel articles, maintains three blogs, and continually attempts to complete a mildly-gripping short story. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, travels the world, and eats lots of vegetables.

 You can purchase Jaded at any of the links below:

Follow Ember Leigh at the sites!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Interview with Torie James: Timeless Desire in New Camelot

     Today we are visited by Torie James as she travels far and wide proclaiming her new book, Timeless Desire, the second book of her New Camelot series.
     If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose honor...

     Awakening to a new world, Gawain has high hopes that the last 500 years have cooled the fires of hatred burning in the heart of his wife, Nimue. Cruelly betrayed by the one person she put all her faith and trust in, Nimue hasn't forgotten the lone cowardly act of one of King Arthur's greatest knights. Together again and yet forever apart, can they heal the past when a new enemy rises to threaten the foundation of all they hold dear?

Storyteller’s Grove:  So Torie tell our readers a bit about yourself and your writing journey.
Torie James: Most people go their whole lives not knowing what they were born to do. I discovered mine a little past the age of 8 but lacked the ambition and motivation until the last few years. Then the most extraordinary thing happened. I met a wizard in a forest.
     What? Did I mention it was a dream? Still counts!
     I met Merlyn Emrys. Yes, THE Merlyn Emrys of ancient Arthurian Lore. Note: we are NOT talking a spindly legged, heavily bearded old man with bad teeth and surly attitude. He hates that image, by the way and says he can own Gandalf the White any day. *winks* So, I had this dream one night after watching Highlander II followed by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was also reading a bit Charlaine Harris in between movies. Long story short, Merlyn said two words to me, “What if”. What if we got the players right but the stories wrong? The tales of Arthur, Excalibur and Camelot. Then he told me what REALLY happened...
     And I created New Camelot.
     My newest book, Timeless Desire, Book 2 of New Camelot, picks up were Timeless Night, Book One, left off. In the first book, we meet Alex and Sabrina, the main protagonists, and learn that all the myths of the Fae, of Merlyn and Arthur, are true. Sabrina is the catalyst that brings into play a prophecy foretold a thousand years ago and reunites the bravest knights of Arthur’s fabled roundtable.
Book 2 tells the story of Gawain and his fiery wife, Nimue. One secret separates them, one curse divides them. He loves her and she yearns for his her killing grasp. 

SG: What’s your sign? How do you think it affects your writing?
TJ: I am an Aquarian, proudly so! I know, without any doubt that it does affect my writing since the Water Bearer is all about thinking outside of the box! There is no “norm” to me, I color waaaay outside the lines and often love to bring fantastical, futuristic musings to the past.

SG: What do you love to drink?
TJ: Coffee and Dr. Pepper. When I’m lucky, I can run down a Mr. Pibb and then it is ON! 

SG: Do you believe in Bigfoot?
TJ: Absolutely.

SG: If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?
TJ: Chocolate, my cell phone (I’d conserve the battery...mostly!) and a sock. Just one sock. For my hand. So I could make a hand puppet named Ermie to keep me company when I lost my mind.

SG: If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?
TJ: Designer Depends only and go heavy on the baby powder. My cheeks love being pampered.

SG: Can you instruct someone how to make an origami "cootie catcher" with just words?
TJ: Yep. Find Justin Bieber. Attach to self. There you go.

Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped her keep her feet on the ground while her head stayed firmly in the clouds. Lover of Dr. Pepper, all things chocolate, and Duran Duran, her dreams finally became a reality with her debut novel, Timeless Night, in 2013 by Breathless Press. Creator of the "New Camelot" series, as well as "The Cloie Chronicles", Ms. James has plans to continue spinning many new worlds.
Torie lives in Southern California with her family and a houseful of pets that rule the roost.

You can find Ms. James and her books at the following sites: