Guest Blogger: Annabeth Leong

runforyourlove

Are You Feeling It? by Annabeth Leong

Thanks so much for hosting me today!

When I learned about sex growing up, a lot of what I was taught focused on the male experience. I was told that men would say anything to get laid—their hormones would take control and they would claim that it physically hurt to be denied. On the other hand, I saw plenty of magazine covers promising to teach how to please my man.

What was missing from both of these narratives was that neither one suggested that sex might be an experience centered in myself. No one warned me that when I started making out with people I might have trouble holding myself back. I’d heard plenty about how to fight off a horny guy, but nothing about what to do if I was mindlessly horny myself. I also didn’t learn about pleasing myself when with someone else, or about asking someone else to please me. For many, many years, male orgasm marked the ending of sex for me—even if I wasn’t finished yet.

I give this bit of personal history because the heroine in my new erotic romance, Run for Your Love, is in the process of busting through these limiting perceptions. Viola is discovering that there’s another way to have sex—a way that pleases her and expresses and recognizes her own desires. She’s learning that when a guy asks, “Are you feeling it?” she doesn’t have to automatically say that she is.

I plot my stories pretty tightly, but many times the mood of the sex that the characters are having winds up surprising me. In Run for Your Love, Zach and Viola both come off a bit innocent. Together, they’re discovering how sex can be when a real connection is formed. Each of them learns how to seek their own pleasure and share that with each other.

Many times, I find my political or feminist beliefs working their way into my work (though I always hope that adds to the sexy fun rather than detracting from it). My life changed when I learned that my sexuality if my own, and that I choose to share it with my partners. It changed when I learned that when I have sex, I will get turned on myself rather than be a passive recipient, and that it’s okay for me to want to do what feels good to me. I am still in the process of releasing myself from the idea of sex as work—something I do to make the other person come, and that I’ve failed at if I haven’t achieved that goal.

I was thrilled by Zach and Viola’s discoveries with each other. It exhilarated me to write about a woman whose sexuality is flowering. For Viola, it takes the zombie apocalypse to make this happen. She needs extreme situations to break out of the prison she’s been living in. My subconscious may have used that to express how difficult I found it to claim my sex life, but my fervent wish is that this will become much easier for women. I would love for the common sexual narratives to include the perspective of female pleasure—the things that Viola is just uncovering.

Excerpt:

I’d never come with a guy inside me before. Mostly because every guy until Zach seemed to assume the magic of his dick alone would get me there. When the orgasmic spasms started up, I felt him there at the very center of me while my muscles squeezed around him, and it kind of blew my mind. I never thought it would feel so good to have that hard length resisting me, pushing back against the tingling sensations so that they spread out and bounced to new places inside me.

I didn’t even worry about how I looked to him. If he had a problem with that, he would have said something already. I held myself up as best as I could, ignoring the throb of my arm in favor of the throb of my clit. Every part of me that touched any part of him tingled.

When it passed, I realized I’d been staring into Zach’s eyes the whole time, and he lay under me smiling as if he was genuinely happy for me. I realized how long it had been since I’d really moved, and apologized, remembering how much other guys had hated when I forgot to keep thrusting.

“Don’t apologize,” Zach said. He didn’t seem impatient at all. Instead, his voice sounded thick, weighted with lust that, for once, I reciprocated. “I think that was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

His fingers still rested on my most sensitive places, but he’d stopped rubbing without needing to be told they’d be too tender at the moment. I blinked, amazed by how much he seemed to understand.

“What can I do for you?” I asked. I meant it too. The offer came out spontaneously, not because I needed to keep him happy but because I wanted to share his desires the way he’d shared mine. “How do you like it?”

Zach moaned. “I like it with you,” he said. “You make it feel so…sexy.”

“Well, it is sex.”

“You know how it can be awkward.”

I blinked. Maybe I didn’t know that, not quite. I did know how it could be fake. I wondered if everyone’s got something they usually hold back or worry about while they’re in bed with someone else. Not having to do that with Zach exhilarated me, especially now that I suspected the feeling was mutual. A flicker of fear rose up along with that joy, and I pushed it aside. Later, we could worry about what it all meant.

I took both his hands and eased them away from my body, coming to rest on his chest instead. “Show me what you want me to do.”

Blurb:

Shotguns seem to be everyone’s favorite accessory for the zombie apocalypse, but Zach Paul believes he can survive without hurting anyone—not even the zombies. An elite-level runner, he plans to speed away from every danger. Then Zach meets a woman he can’t bring himself to leave behind, and staying beside her tests all his principles.

Viola Ortiz fought free of her controlling boyfriend just before the zombies came, but now she believes her macho ex is the only one who can protect her. She sets out to reunite with him, only to encounter Zach instead. The tall, lean runner is everything her ex is not, and Viola is shocked to find he turns her on as no man has before. Viola’s ex, however, isn’t willing to let go of her, and soon it’s clear that other survivors are as dangerous as the zombies.

Zach and Viola can run, but they must find safety before they lose their humanity in the struggle to protect their lives and growing love.

Buy Links:

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-runforyourlove-1315996-340.html?referrer=6bdb1f9160564c0525b41f36e51861a0

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FS6MX6K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00FS6MX6K&linkCode=as2&tag=lucyfelthouse-21

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FS6MX6K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00FS6MX6K&linkCode=as2&tag=lucyfelt-20

Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=13&products_id=493&zenid=6f219fb8a467b51c18d4d8e998caa03a

Bio:

Annabeth Leong has written romance and erotica of many flavors — dark, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and menage. Her titles for Breathless Press include the contemporary werewolf erotic romances Not His Territory and Not the Leader of the Pack, and Run for Your Love, a romance set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, blogs at annabethleong.blogspot.com, and tweets @AnnabethLeong

Buy One, Get One Free Offer:

Did you miss Annabeth’s previous titles with Breathless Press? Not to worry. E-mail proof of purchase of Run for Your Love, such as an Amazon receipt, to annabeth dot leong at gmail dot com and let her know your e-book format of choice. Annabeth will buy a copy of her werewolf novella, Not His Territory, for anyone who sends this information before November 12, 2013.

Halloween special!

If you send your proof of purchase on Halloween, I’ll throw in a couple extra spooky surprises!WMS_blogtour

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NaNoWriMo: The Race is On!

I’m writing my first novel this month for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, and I’m out of the gate at 1900 3023 words. The goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month, and frankly, I think it will turn out longer than that. It is as of yet untitled, and I’ve had the idea in my head for quite a while now.

It’s at its heart a lesbian romance, but it is so much more than that. Central to the plot is time travel and a bit of ancient magic, set in Revolutionary France and post-Revolutionary Philadelphia as well as modern Philadelphia. Intrigue, betrayal, suspense, love, and loss. Artists, smugglers, thieves, bastard royalty, and even a pair of goddesses in a secret tryst. The heights of golden Versailles and the politics of the few female art students allowed into Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The crushing solitude of newly-built 18th-century Eastern State Penitentiary, and the austerity of its walls as a present-day living museum. The bustle of gritty, modern Philadelphia, the wind in the flowing hair of a cyclist deftly navigating its crowded streets. Dreams of ancient temples and lover’s tokens, the constant creaking of an oaken ship carrying aristocratic emigres fleeing France for the New World.

I might post some excerpts over at Smashwords in a week or two, which is featuring a showcase of works-in-progress throughout the month. I’ve added a word count widget so you can see at a glance where I am. If you’re of a statistical and/or nosy bent, you can click on it and check out detailed stats and more information about the novel.

Cheer me on, won’t you? I’m sure I’ll appreciate the positive words at some point or another this month! 😉

Excerpt: “A Love Transcending”

A Love Transcending

A Love Transcending

Blurb:

Diana’s had a crush on her best friend James, a trans man, ever since she met first him a year ago. Recently, he’s been appearing in her dreams, and she’s discovering that her heart is longing for his embrace and his love. Can she gather up the courage to tell him how she feels on a private picnic in the woods? Is he ready to accept the tender love that he’s been hiding from her for so long?

This 4,831-word sweet erotic romance contains sexually explicit scenes, but treats the trans experience with loving respect.

Excerpt:

I watched a pair of birds circling each other, and I wondered if it was a mating dance. I leaned back on my elbows, the April sunshine warm and sweet on my face through the glowing leaves above. Far below, a silver snake of river flowed, and if I listened hard, I could almost hear the water. The breeze rustled the leaves, and I felt myself drifting.

“Diana–” I jumped at his voice, and turned around quickly. He stood there, a strange little smile on his face, his eyes shy. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. I found these for you – I mean, I want to make you something before we eat.” James held a large bouquet of pink and lilac flowers, which looked like violets, though I wasn’t sure. He gracefully sank into a cross-legged seat on the blanket and began to plait the thin, flexible stems together. As he worked, I fixed our plates.

“What are you making?” The chain of plaited flowers grew, but he only looked at me with that strange little smile. The leaves above gave us a cool, dappled shade, but there was a heat in his eyes that was almost too much for me to hope for. Overwhelmed, I kept my eyes on my hands, toying with a plastic cup of sparkling water that I remembered to sip from occasionally. When I’d gathered the nerve to look again, the rope of violets had become a circlet.

“I’ve always thought that you should wear a crown,” James said softly as he laid it on my hair. The breeze picked up just then, blowing shimmering strands into my face. He brushed them gently aside, fingertips grazing my cheek, the corner of my lips. I opened my mouth to speak, to thank him, to say something, anything, but he looked away and I lost my nerve.  My cheeks felt hot, and all I could do was silently hand him a plate. I nibbled a piece of Brie before taking a strawberry and dipping it in whipped cream. I still couldn’t look at him, but I felt his eyes on me as I bit into it, the tartness of its red juice mingling with the sweet, thick cream over my tongue.

“Look at me,” his tenor voice broke the silence. I felt his warm fingers on my chin as he turned my face towards him. I felt a little dizzy as he wiped away a bit of whipped cream from my lower lip with the pad of his thumb, and he seemed to hesitate the tiniest bit before licking his thumb clean. I couldn’t help the little whimper that escaped me – I wanted his tongue on me, his lips on me, his strong arms around me. He studied me then, raising an eyebrow.

“Diana,” he started. My tongue darted out, finding the place where his thumb had been, imagining that I tasted the salt of his skin mixed with the sweet of the cream. His eyes followed the sweep of my tongue, and he closed his eyes briefly. He turned his face away. “I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to ruin what we have. I— I can’t lose you.”

My hand, almost of its own accord, drifted up and stroked his short, dark hair. The backs of my fingers brushed his cheeks, feeling where he’d just shaved, brushing the sideburns that accented the handsome lines of his face. He leaned into my touch like a cat, and I turned his face back to my own with two gentle fingers. Our eyes met, and I held his face in my hands, his sweet face that had appeared in my dreams night after night.

I opened my mouth to speak, but found that I couldn’t. The look on his face, eager, yet frightened, stabbed my heart, and without warning tears spilled down my cheeks. One dripped off my chin, and I could feel it running down the smooth curve of my right breast. James wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his lap, his lips kissing the wet trails away.  My hands snaked around his slim waist and I locked my fingers together behind his back, silently begging him not to let me go. He rained kisses on my cheeks, my eyelids, my jaw, but studiously avoided my mouth. The knowledge made me cry more, that he loved me enough to keep me at arm’s length, all for fear of losing me.

(c) Lula Lisbon 2012. All rights reserved.

A Love Transcending is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other online distributors.