When I realized I was at my big 1yr mark this week, I thought and I pondered, and I pondered and I thought. What to do, what to do. All I could come up with was... I have no friggin' clue.
Then it hit me. The beginning. Go back to the beginning. Seems to me, that without that, there would be no birthday at all. As I went through all my past things, of which it seems I really do keep absolutely everything, I remember 1 day in particular. I had joined Goodreads, and I had left a review. Well, 2 reviews actually. Both totally sucked. But, those 2 authors came and found them and... pick this little baby blogger up off the floor... full of shock and totally freaked out... they friended me there. I didn't even know what that meant I was so new to all of this.
I think I may have mentioned that already, I can't remember. Thinking back through this last year makes me all mushy gushy and still freaks me out a bit. Please pardon my freak.
One of those authors, was Denise Rossetti. The book, Gift of the Goddess. Denise was also the first person to let me post an excerpt, and blew my mind totally apart and put me in her news letter when I did it, AND, linked me to her blog. To say I was snoopy dancing is a bit of an understatement.
So, I've decided to do a giveaway with that very book. And, Denise was kind enough to send me another special excerpt for the occasion. This one, OMG... Anje with Trey. Denise, you made me snoopy dance again. Just sayin'
So, for your enjoyment this celebratory week of mine, I give you, courtesy of the fabulous Denise Rossetti... Gift of the Goddess...
All you have to do is leave me a comment. Make sure you read the fine print at the bottom of the page, contest will close next Thursday, March 4th at 11:30pm PST.
Happy Birthday to me. Ready, set... go!
Gift of the Goddess by Denise Rossetti
The Blurb: Book 1 in the Phoenix Rising series The Law of the love goddess Lufra states that no man may take his pleasure inside any part of a woman's body, unless she has climaxed first. Each time, every time. But when warrior-scout Anje is taken captive by Brin, Lufra's shaman, she discovers that not even divine law can protect her from the erotic wiles of two determined men. Huge, dark and enigmatic, Brin wears a tattoo of the holy dragon on his magnificent body. Years of erotic training have given him skills and stamina Anje cannot match. But it's the strength of his will that threatens to conquer her very soul, while his beautiful young friend Trey has a bravado and a vulnerability that make her mouth water. Anje fears Brin's arrogant prediction may be true "You'll surrender, scout, and you'll glory in it. You'll abandon yourself and adore it. Because you trust trust absolutely." Screaming and cursing her ecstasy, she learns that dark raptures are addictive. But neither man is what he seems and all three are pawns in a suicidal scheme to placate an angry goddess. Saving her lovers will take everything Anje's got as a woman and a warrior.
"The greater the trust, the greater the distance."
At that, she glanced over her shoulder. Trey smiled, cocky and sweet. "You could try it, you know."
"Trusting Brin?" She meant it to sound derisive, but it came out as a wistful croak.
"There's no one like him." Trey's smile faded.
Anje let herself slide to the base of the tree. She stretched her legs out in front of her with a sigh. "Thank the Mother for that." She slanted a glance at Trey. "Who is he? What is he?"
"He's the most powerful shaman among our people, dragon-anointed." Trey settled neatly beside her.
"By a real dragon?" she queried scornfully.
"No." Trey's lush mouth curved and for a moment, she let herself be distracted. "You'll see." He leaned his head back against the tree, gazing up into the canopy.
In repose, his features were not boyish after all. There was dignity in the broad, clear forehead, strength in that stubborn jaw. Commitment. She had a sudden insight. "You'd die for him, wouldn't you?"
He shot her a glance. "Yes."
The sound of the vranee tearing at the tough grass was loud in the silence. A harness jingled.
"Would he do the same for you?"
"He almost has." Trey's smile was wry. "More than once."
"Ah." The smile broadened to a grin. "There's a price to be paid for stories."
She knew that expression. Heat roiled in her belly. "Fine. So don't tell me."
Trey drew his knuckle down her cheek in a feathery caress. She shivered and slapped him away. "But it's such a small price. A trifle."
When she pointedly refused to ask, he chuckled. "A kiss, sweetheart. Just a kiss."
"Don't be adolescent."
After a few moments of breathing silence, she said, "One?"
"One. After the story."
Know your enemy, she thought. "Tell me then."
Trey sat up and faced her. His eyes sparkled, more gold than green, even under the trees. He laced his fingers over his knees.
"I met Brin when I was sixteen. I'd heard of him, of course, who in Feolin hadn't? The greatest warrior, the greatest shaman and still only twenty-six. And Lufra, the offerings he made! Unsurpassed!"
"We told you." He shifted his hips. "Yesterday." He cupped himself, almost absently. "Orgasms sustain Lufra and in return She stands between the Feolin and the might of the Sky Father and the other gods. She feeds on love, the more powerful the sensation the better—and what is stronger than a climax delayed beyond bearing?"
Anje's mouth opened and closed, but no sound emerged.
Trey went on, "Any Feolin man may offer his cock to be milked by the body of a priestess, but the shamans of Lufra are trained to resist. Endlessly."
Mother of Mercy! She had a vision of Brin, wrists bound with silken ropes, his huge, muscular body oiled and gleaming, that meaty cock shuttling in and out of succulent, gripping flesh. It was all she could see, not the rest of the woman, just that junction. His thighs were corded with tension, his buttocks hollowed as he pumped.
"How long?" Her throat was so dry she could barely speak, but her sex was drenched.
"It's more a case of how many. He exhausted twelve once. Made them offer before he did."
Anje gulped. Twelve. It didn't seem humanly possible. "Is that a record?"
Trey laughed outright. "Even Brin's human. He says he couldn't walk for a week afterwards. Others have done better, but only with drugs to numb the sensations. Brin wouldn't pollute his offering."
"Do women—?" she husked.
"Oh yes. Some of the priestesses are famous for their endurance. They argue that a woman's offering is more pleasing to Lufra than a man's. Bless 'em." Trey spread his hands. "Who knows? I think all She cares for is the emotion of it, the pure passion.
"Speaking of which, I'm hard as a spear. Come here." He reached for her, but Anje planted a hand under his breastbone and shoved.
"I haven't heard how he saved your life."
Trey grimaced as he leaned back. "That's easily told. I was only a lad, more balls than sense. And I was insufferably proud."
His expression shuttered and she wondered what he wasn't telling her. "I guess I was spoiled. Brin was given charge of three of us, to be our mentor. It's a common custom among the Feolin."
He ran a hand through his hair. "I burned to impress him. So I took a half-broken vran from the Palace stable. I didn't know it was in rut. Gods, what a fool!" His lips thinned. "It got away from me, of course. We were nearly at the cliff above the river before he caught up."
He shook his head and fell silent. Anje gripped his forearm. "What happened?"
He roused. "Brin drove his own mount into mine. We went down in a great tangle a dozen paces before the edge of the cliff."
"Mother!" She looked at the vranee below. The turquoise-feathered stallion was taller at the shoulder than her head, with a deep chest and withers. The sunlight glinted on three wicked horns as it grazed contentedly. In the wild, rutting males disemboweled each other with those razor-sharp weapons. What a killing risk he'd taken—and all for a green boy.
"Were you punished?"
He nodded. "Brin refused to tell my parents. Said it was his responsibility because I was in his care. But for six months, I mucked out his stable every day and sparred with him besides. He didn't hold back either. I got a brilliant collection of bruises."
Unshed tears shone in his eyes. "But that wasn't the worst. My vran stood so hard on his thigh, it was a miracle the bone wasn't broken. He limped for a year and I had to watch, knowing it was my fault. He still has the scar."
Anje stroked the firm flesh of his arm, the light, golden hair silky-rough under her fingertips. "I'm sure he's forgiven you."
"Yes." The word came out as a sigh. He squeezed his eyes shut and when they opened again, that purely male expression of speculation was back, spiced with mischief. "You have a price to pay, love." A red-gold brow arched. "Lean back."
Warily, Anje did as she was bid. "One kiss. We agreed."
"I remember. Put your palms flat on the ground." He waited patiently 'til she complied.
"Now…" He unlaced her shirt, spreading it so her breasts were exposed. "One kiss. But where?" His gaze was considering.
Anje's clitoris gave a convulsive ripple that spread sensation from her belly to her breasts in a single, swift wave. "Trey. That's not what—" She swallowed as he drifted a fingertip over her areola.
"I love women's tits, their nipples," he said dreamily. "They're so soft, so tender. I could play all day. Look how beautifully they stand up." He pinched her pouting flesh between two knuckles and tugged.
Anje took her bottom lip between her teeth. "Get on with it." Her clit burned.
"Mind you…" His gaze drifted down and he bunched the hem of the shirt with one hand and pushed it up her leg. "This would be a good place." He nudged her thigh aside and ran a finger over the satin smoothness of her sex, gathering moisture, leaving fire in his wake. "Mmm." He put the digit in his mouth and his tongue crept out, cleaning it as neatly as a cat.
"What do you think, Anje? Shall I kiss you here?" His fingers returned, petting without penetrating.
Her heart had migrated to a new home between her thighs. It beat and beat. He was so young, so sweet. Mother, what had the shaman taught him? She shook herself out of her daze. "I thought…"
Trey moved to kneel between her legs. His lips hovered a breath away from hers. "I never got to kiss you hullo properly." He cradled her cheeks in the palms of his hands and his tongue traced her lower lip. "Hullo, Anje," he whispered. "I'm so glad we found you." He slanted that carnal mouth lightly over hers. "Don't go away."
The softness of his lips settled, molded to hers. The tip of his tongue dabbed at the corner of her mouth, licked over her lower lip, ventured within. It flicked and teased, sending tingles chasing up and down her spine. Anje growled in her throat and her fingers sank into his shoulders.
He drew back. "Easy, darling, easy." Then he returned, the blessed heat of him filling her mouth, sinking into her by slow degrees. He didn't rush, didn't hurry or push, he kept it remorselessly tender. Her hands slid up over his neck and into his curls. His tongue was so firm, his lips so soft. He kissed like a master, exploring the interior of her mouth, tangling his tongue with hers in a spiral dance.
His body pressed into hers from chest to groin, and he set up a languid rocking motion with the ridge of his erection, rasping her clit with every stroke.
Sweet, it was so sweet. Anje hooked one leg around his hips, pressing him closer. With a moan, she arched her pelvis and Trey echoed her pleasure deep in his throat.
The sounds shook her out of her sensual trance. She tightened her grip in his hair and wrenched. They stared at each other, gasping.
"No more." She put her fingers over his lips. When he licked them, she swallowed. Gods, she'd nearly—!
Trey watched her intently, eyes shining with unslaked desire. "Anje." His voice was quiet, steady. "I only meant it as a welcome kiss. Truly."
"All right." She pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes. What was it about these two? "How did you know?"
"How close you were?" She nodded.
Trey smiled, his mouth deliciously swollen. "The flames of Lufra burn in your eyes, just as they do in Brin's."
There was something odd in his voice, something off-kilter, but she set aside it to puzzle over later. "The flames of Lufra?"
He grinned and stood. "There's a mirror in my saddlebag. Want me to get you hot so you can check?"
When he reached down to pull her up, Anje hooked his feet out from under him. As he sprawled, she grabbed her pack and marched back to the camp, head high.
Trey's laughter rang out behind her.
The fine details...
- To enter, just leave a comment on this post.
- Please include a valid email address.
- Contest closes 11:30PM PST, March 4th, 2011
- (1) Winner will be selected at random to receive a gifted eBook copy by way of Allromance eBooks.
- If the chosen winner does not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
- Contest is open worldwide.
- Must be 18 yrs. old or older.
And there you have it. Birthweek, Day #2.
Thank you Denise!
(c) Denise Rossetti. All rights reserved.