Sunday, March 18, 2018

Meet the "Queen of Shadow" by Suz deMello (@suzdemello #futuristic #romance)
One of the most common and disliked questions readers ask writers is "Where do you get your ideas?" Quite honestly, we don't always know. Sometimes it's obvious--the germ of a story I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette under a different pen name, His Baby, Her Heart, came from a magazine article about in vitro fertilization I read in a medical office waiting room.

But most of the time, the line from idea to story is not so clear.

I wrote Queen of Shadow when I was living in Thailand. I was attempting to recover from a particularly traumatic time in my life. My father had died in 2002 after a two-year-long bout with cancer. My best friend and her husband killed themselves in 2005 in an incomprehensible double suicide. My eldest brother had died in 2006 after a year-long fight with, again, cancer. I now understand that I had experienced a nervous breakdown without knowing it, desperately flailing about to keep my life together as everything fell apart. But under the stress, my marriage had failed, also.

Some believe that "wherever you go, there you are," meaning that running away doesn't solve problems. But for me, it does. Physical distance often results in emotional distance, and leaving helps me gain objectivity, perspective and detachment.

After spending a couple of months in Europe, I traveled to Thailand and made a nice life for myself in Chiang Mai. As I settled into the structured serenity I created, I found myself able to write again after a prolonged absence--all the trauma had created a writer's block about the size of Gibraltar.

I had seen a science fiction movie about ten years before that had posited a planet strictly divided into bands of light and darkness. It wasn't very good, but the concept had stuck with me, and I decided to write my own take on what such a planet would be like.

Thus was born Queen of Shadow, a full-length, 55K+ word novel. Here's the blurb:

Looking for the next GoT? Here you are.

My little studio apartment in Chiang Mai,
where I wrote Queen of Shadow
A brave queen struggles to control divided kingdoms on a terraformed planet thirty thousand years in the future.

Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing the violently hot Lightside of the planet from its Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Audryn, Queen of Shadow has reached that time in her life when she must choose a king to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos. Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.

Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride. Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?

And a sexy little snippet (NSFW) to brighten your day:

Although I believed I could trust Storne, I couldn’t stop the nervous flutters in my belly. I occasionally allowed myself to be dominated by Rall and Parron as a change from the norm, and because their loyalty was absolute. Each would give his life for me.

But Storne wanted the throne, wanted his blood and bone to rule even after our deaths, or so I surmised. He did not hesitate to kill in order to win; what stopped him from taking me against my will?
And my will was strong. After learning that someone that we had trusted had plotted to kill my family—and had succeeded—had seemingly strengthened my unwillingness to hastily make the choice that must be made.

My worries must have showed, for he asked, “What’s wrong, Audryn?” 

He slid his fingers out of my pussy and laid his hand on my belly. His gray eyes were steady, his gaze fixed on my face.

I breathed deeply. “I want you, but—" 

“I won’t take advantage of the situation.”

I sighed. “I hope you are not insulted.”

His brows raised. “Your decision is momentous and final. I can afford to wait.” His voice oozed confidence.

“You are sure you are the best candidate.”

“Yes.” He leaned closer and purred against my ear, “I’m bigger, stronger, tougher and I don’t look like your great-grandpa."

I giggled.

He chuckled, a deep, sexy growl of a sound and bit my lobe. His fingers again busied themselves inside my pussy.

Like what you read? Find all ebook formats here:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Writing my 100th book

I was asked about the most exciting thing that had happened in my writing career and answered that it was the sale of my first book. That first sale proves that everything I thought about my ability to write was correct. I wrote a book and a publisher bought it. The icing on the cake is when readers buy it too. The second book sale confirms that the writer can write. It wasn’t just a one-time thing, or an acquiring editor with too many gaps in their schedule so they bought any old thing. Someone actually liked my books.

In fact, I sold three books in very quick succession. I began writing because I had nothing to read. I wrote a book and sent it off to a publisher, but while I was waiting to hear back from them, I still had nothing to read, so I wrote a second book and sent it to a different publisher. And again with a third. I read anything. All genres, all kinds of books, the back of the shampoo bottle in the shower…. So that’s why I wrote different genres, and sent them to several different publishers, publishers that specialize in a particular genre.

Anyway, all three books were accepted with a few weeks of each other and suddenly I was an author, with contracts to sign, artwork to choose, edits to do.

Time passed. I kept reading, kept writing, and before I realized it, I had a passel of published books and needed spreadsheets to keep all the paperwork in order, to keep track of my characters, to make sure I didn’t repeat any important places, names, ideas.

Some of my books had been on two-year contracts, which were renewed, one of my books, had been made into an audio book, and several of my books were turned into print volumes. My spreadsheet was getting complicated so I sat down to work out exactly how many books I’d written, and which ones were in multiple formats. Which was when I discovered I had more than one hundred individual books, and I wasn’t exactly sure which was my one hundredth book.

An author’s one hundredth book is supposed to be a big thing. Lots of authors hold giveaways, prizes, and parties. Mine passed unnoticed. Of course, I tend to write short. I don’t have many books over 40,000 words. I have a bunch of books 30-35k in length but my preferred writing length is 20-25,000 words. So having 100 books is not nearly as big a deal as for writers who prefer writing 75,000 for each book. But still, it’s kind of embarrassing not to be certain which book is my lucky 100.

I think it’s Book 2 of the Possessive Passion series, “Possess Me”.

Shiloah, a New Thimphu native, is envious of her friend Chevaunne's newfound happiness with her men and wants that kind of love for herself. She has enjoyed working with the luscious Stan and Goa on The Grandparents' Garden. But now the project is finished, so how will she see them again?

All four books in the series can be read as stand-alone stories, but to get a feel for the world and the people it’s better to read them in order. Book 1 is “Shared Possession”.

Chevaunne is abducted by three brothers who take her to a new world where brothers share one wife, who is their treasured possession. Jim, Sam, and Paul have waited years to find the perfect woman, and when they see Chevaunne, they know immediately she is the one for them.

Buy link for the series:

It's also available in print:

Oh, and if you were wondering, I have recently finished writing book 149, and I will have party when I’ve written book 150.

Berengaria Brown’s links:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018



It's Belle's Birthday Bash and, boy, does she know how to party!




Reader's Choice of Belle's Books!

ALSO... ALL NEW ON KU! by The Naughty Literati's Belle Scarlett



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Naughty Spice Contest Winner!

Congratulations  to Denise from Burbank on winning the Kindle Fire loaded with  books by the Naughty Literati authors.

Our sincere thanks to all who  entered and helped us celebrate the release of Naughty Spice.
Happy reading!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Fortune To Win: A Romance Miiseries by Suz deMello (#romance #miniseries)

Drug addicts Harvey, Lord Darlingside, and his supermodel wife, Mara, died by drowning in the Trevi Fountain while on a heroin binge. In a previous rare moment of sobriety, Harvey created a trust for their three children with a peculiar stipulation designed to ensure none would go his way: each must demonstrate maturity by making a substantial non-monetary contribution to others.

A Fortune To Win is the story of the Darlingside heirs' journey to love and their legacies.

Will Alice break through her emotional shell to find love?

Can supermodel Sophie survive repeated attacks from someone who seems bent upon her death?

Alcoholic Peter is accused of murder...can he get his head out of the bottle long enough to beat the charge and maintain his freedom?


Here's a snippet to pique your interest...from Peter's Story:




[ROME] The jetsetting couple known as ‘Marvey,’ Harvey Fortune, Lord Darlingside and his supermodel wife Mara Tove, were found at three a.m. today (local time) drowned in the historic Trevi Fountain. An autopsy is planned, which many fear will confirm the initial assumption that the couple’s known heroin addiction caused their deaths. Reportedly, used syringes were found on the fountain’s marble balustrade… They leave three adult children: Peter, age 26, the new Earl Darlingside; daughter Alice, 23, a teacher; Sophia, 19, a model.

one week later


LONDON] …Though the Fortune family solicitor, Rabbie White of White, Cheshire and Queen (Lincolns Inn Fields) remains closemouthed, an unidentified source close to the family states that the Fortune fortune, encompassing a manor house in Kent, a mansion in Hampstead, and invested monies totaling some 50 million pounds, will be divided between ‘Marvey’s’ children. However, the ‘Marvey’ trust requires the heirs make a substantial non-monetary contribution to society. Whether each child’s acts are sufficient to inherit is a decision left solely to White’s discretion. Apparently Lord and Lady Darlingside wanted to ensure that their progeny did not follow the same dangerous path they trod…

...eighteen months later...

Chapter One

One cool, bright summer morning, Peter Fortune, Earl Darlingside, awakened in a big, four-poster bed covered with a fluffy white duvet with a woman beside him. She was dead.

Until that moment, he’d been doing quite well, thank you very much, considering that he’d spent the night before drinking Remy Martin Black Pearl with a number of equally dissolute young noblemen and getting drunk as, well, drunk as lords. He should have had a throbbing head, unclear eyesight and a belly that pitched like bloody hell, but he felt great. And, given that he’d won rather than lost betting on billiards was another point in favor of the day.

Which was, he remembered blearily, Monday, perhaps? Or maybe Tuesday. Did it matter?

The window was open to the Hampstead sunshine and also admitted birdsong. Every once in a while he heard the sound of a distant siren, reminding him of...of…?

Oh yes, the dead girl.


He supposed he ought to call 9-9-9 and get an ambulance, though judging by her total lack of movement and warmth, the authorities would get to her too late. Far too late.

He rolled to the side, reaching for the bedside table where his mobile reposed. Something jabbed his arse, and he threw back the sheet to find a used syringe. A needlestick from an addict’s rig. Oh, shite, I’m fucked. He grabbed the thing and flung it across the room, then called for help.


She’d been called Foxy Roxy for as long as she could remember, but she hadn’t embraced the nickname until her fifteenth birthday. That day she’d visited a charity shop with friends. One had spotted an old fox stole on a mannequin and bought it for Roxanne Fox as a gift. She’d worn that fox pelt around her neck on cool days until it had fallen apart, then bought another and then another. Only from the charity shops, though—she wouldn’t be directly responsible for the death of an innocent animal. Later she’d found a source for high-quality fakes, which fit her vegan habits far better.

This morning, she was nibbling a gluten-free currant scone slathered with soya cream cheese whilst enjoying her second flat white of the day (made with soya of course), reading a fairly interesting case file about a fellow who had been recorded by the many CCTVs roundabout London. Unfortunately for the client, he’d been taped with his zip open whilst fondling an impressive erection. Even less fortunately, the Crown was not amenable to letting the incident go by even though he claimed he’d been “pissed legless.”

Roxanne’s secretary stuck her head into the open doorway, her eyes round. “That prat Darlingside has gotten himself arrested again.”

“Oh, happy day.” Roxy wiped her mouth with a hanky. “What is it this time? Dead drunk? Car crash?”

“No, it’s more serious. Unless someone’s having a go at us.”

“Not chundering onto some poor copper’s shoes?” That had been a memorable case.

“No, murder.”

Roxy sat up straighter. She’d been White, Cheshire and Queen’s criminal defense specialist for four years, having left the Crown Prosecution Service to pursue more lucrative options. At WCQ, she’d had the opportunity to sample a more varied menu of cases than she’d expected. Along with the anticipated tax avoidance schemes and family squabbles regarding bequests—which occasionally devolved into wine-throwing and fistfights—a prominent client occasionally committed the odd sexual peccadillo, like the fellow diddling his dong in Notting Hill.

And then there was Peter Fortune, the Earl of Darlingside, who seemed intent upon imitating his parents’ strikingly self-destructive ways.

Bless him—he’d brought her a case she could really sink her teeth into. “Where’s he being held?”

Like what you read? GET IT HERE:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

An excerpt from “Sappho’s Sisters” by Berengaria Brown. Part of the “Naughty Spice: 17 Lusty Love Stories” boxed set

If you haven’t tried Lesbian romance before see what Lizabeth Tucker said about “Sappho’s Sisters”: “Lesbian stories are not usually on my TBR list. If they were all this well-written, I might reconsider that. Four stars” ~ Lizabeth Tucker

Blurb: “Sappho’s Sisters”.
Lady Eustacia Lumley is the only child of the Earl of Wentworth. It’s her duty to marry well and ensure the succession.
Margaret Durrell is the fourth daughter of a gently born, but near penniless Vicar. She has no option but to marry a man who can provide for her and possibly for some of her sisters as well.
They fall deeply in love, but is there any hope for them? Or will they both have to conform to the rigid rules of Regency society?

Excerpt: “Sappho’s Sisters”.
That evening, the women settled into a comfortable sofa in front of the fire in the yellow sitting room at Green Meadows with their embroidery.
“It’s good to be home again,” said Eustacia. “I like the hustle and bustle of Town, and shopping and parties are always fun, but I prefer to come home and sleep in my own bed.”
“Thank you once again for inviting me to stay with you for three months. Poor Papa is at his wits’ end wondering what to do about us all. Now that I’ve turned eighteen, he’s suddenly realized that Anne is very nearly twenty-two and time is running out to find her a good husband.”
“Four children in four years. Ugh. That’s one aspect of marriage I have never accepted—a baby every year.”
“No. I find that concept unappealing too. In fact, I find most men unappealing—selfish, arrogant, and quite often, silly. So many of the notables I danced with at Almack’s could not think past their clothes and their horses. They all either owned, or would inherit, property. Shouldn’t they be thinking about their lands and the needs of their tenants? Papa is always concerned about the lives of his parishioners.”
“Maybe they thought they shouldn’t talk about such things with a young woman.”
“Possibly.” Margaret did not sound convinced.
“Do you not want a husband and children of your own?”
“What I want is irrelevant. Papa can’t keep supporting us all, and what else is there for a woman who’s noble-born but impoverished? I’ve thought seriously about becoming a teacher or governess, but families wanting a governess usually also have sons, so they won’t hire a young woman like me. I could be a companion to an old lady. I can sing, and draw, and sew, as well as speak passable French. But I suspect agreeable old ladies wanting a companion are few and far between, and I’m much more likely to end up with a most disagreeable old lady.”
They both laughed, and then turned the conversation to happier topics.
Much later that evening, Eustacia noticed Margaret screwing up her eyes and frowning. “What’s wrong, Margaret?”
“I have the headache. I seem to get it more and more often these evenings. I don’t understand why. The light here is good for sewing, much better than at home. Good wax candles are so much more expensive than tallow,” she said and sighed.
“It’s almost time to go up to our chambers anyway. Would you like me to come and massage your head? My nurse used to massage mine and it really helps.”
“Yes, thank you. That would be nice.”
They put away their embroidery and walked companionably up the stairs together. Eustacia’s maid was waiting for her and soon Eustacia was in her night rail and robe, her hair brushed out. She dismissed the maid before walking down the hall to Margaret’s room. Margaret, who had no maid, was just tying her robe.
“Sit at your dressing table and let me undo your hair,” Eustacia said.
Slowly, she pulled out the pins and untwisted the braid. Margaret’s long, shiny brown hair rippled across her shoulders and down her back. Eustacia picked up Margaret’s hairbrush and drew it through the thick, wavy hair, pulling carefully and steadily from root to end in smooth sweeps.
“That does feel good. I can remember when my nanny used to brush my hair. I always enjoyed it.”
“I want you to enjoy this, too,” Eustacia whispered, letting her hot breath tickle Margaret’s left ear as she kept up the smooth strokes with the hairbrush. From front to back, from root to tip, Eustacia drew the brush through the hair in firm but gently soothing sweeps.
Margaret’s eyes closed and her shoulders relaxed some of their tension.
Eustacia noticed this, nodded to herself, and put down the brush, replacing it with her fingers as she pressed against Margaret’s scalp and began her massaging. First she rubbed in deep circles, beginning at the left ear and working her way across Margaret’s head to the right ear. Then she moved to the front of Margaret’s head, massaging deeply, pressing her fingers firmly against Margaret’s scalp, kneading from front to back this time.
By the time she’d finished, she could tell Margaret was much more relaxed, her shoulders no longer tense, her brow no longer furrowed.
Eustacia bent and pressed her lips to Margaret’s still-exposed neck, kissing it with soft, light, butterfly kisses from left to right across her neck, ending at her right ear, which she gently sucked into her mouth and nibbled on. Eustacia blew into that ear, then began to kiss her way across to the other side and repeated her caress on the other ear.
“Mmm, feels so good.”
Eustacia let her hands rest on Margaret’s shoulders, rubbing them softly, then more firmly, soothing and stroking down to the elbows, and then back up again.
Margaret’s eyes were closed, her breath coming more harshly, her body totally relaxed in Eustacia’s hands.
Eustacia rested her palms on Margaret’s sides, and when Margaret made no move to complain, she ran them up to cup the younger woman’s breasts. Margaret’s nipples were hard little points under the soft velvet of her robe. Eustacia pushed the robe apart so she could touch Margaret’s breasts through the thin linen of her night rail. The breasts were full and round, her nipples now engorged, and just touching them made cream seep from Eustacia’s cunny.
“Take off your night rail. Let me see you naked.”
“You first.”

Naughty is the new NICE! Order your preorder or paperback of Naughty Spice today! #NaughtyLiterati #romance #menage #newrelease

Naughty Spice Kindle Preorder:
Naughty Spice in Print:
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble. com/w/naughty-spice-francesca- hawley/1127757320?ean=2940155437048
Kobo: ebook/naughty-spice-2

Berengaria Brown

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tuesday Morning is the Best Time to Arrive in Havana by Suz deMello (#NaughtySpice @naughtyLiterati #CubaTravel)

Here’s a little about Suz’s story that's in Naughty Spice, One Hot Havana Night, and how she came to write it.

Tuesday Morning is the Best Time to Arrive in Havana 

I travel as much as I can, not just for inspiration but for engagement. When I'm unhappy, the best way for me to get away from the source of my distress is to leave (duh). Additionally, when I travel, especially to someplace new, I'm deeply engaged in my life and have no mental space for worrying about whatever it was that was bothering me. When I don't know the language, don't know where I'm staying, don't know where I'll eat my next meal, I have a lot more to focus on rather than dwelling on my last unhappy love affair (usually my issue, alas).

And so it was with my 2015 trip out of the USA. After the president announced plans to open the USA's relationship with Cuba, I decided to travel there ASAP so as not to see Havana when its skyline would be dominated by the Starbucks mermaid and the Golden Arches.

But I really screwed this one up.

At that time, Cuba had no banking relationship with the USA. That means that you had to have money in hand before you left for Cuba, because your ATM card and credit card wouldn't work there. So I planned to go to Cancun, withdraw a bunch of money, and then fly to Cuba.

Unfortunately, I neglected to tell my bank, so when I started to withdraw money, I got maybe $400 and then...nada. Zip. Zero.

I emailed my bank to no avail.

I tried to phone, but neither my hotel phone nor my cellie would get through (Damn you, Virgin!)

So I landed in Cuba with maybe a quarter of the funds I needed to have a really good time, or even to eat three meals daily.

I told myself that this was a good time to lose weight.

I shared a taxi from the airport into Havana with a couple of Ukrainian dudes and immediately paid the host of my casa particular for the stay. Alex was extremely kind, allowing me the use of his computer so I wouldn't have to pay a hotel at their business center for internet access--I was trying desperately to make sure I'd have enough money for the next phase of my journey, which was Isla Mujeres.

Nevertheless, I still had a good time researching my story for the Naughty
Literati, One Hot Havana Night. I couldn't afford taxis, so I walked all over Havana Vieja, the tourist quarter, where I set my story. A friendly expat showed me a lunchroom where I could eat a huge meal for $1-2--so that's where I ate. It was pretty good food--a protein (eggs, chicken or meat) with a little salad, plus rice and beans--typical Cuban fare. I even had enough left over so I could go to a bar and get a drink while listening to the local music every night.

Havana was great, but it's nevertheless a tourist trap. It's just that the tourists aren't Americans. Lots of Europeans, especially Italians, and a number of Japanese.

I learned a lot. Most people seemed pretty contented. As for the economic system, while I heard someone complain that they work really hard for little money, I saw only one or two people who seemed to be badly off. Everyone else looked happy and well-fed, though not obese. I saw many of the famous classic American cars, but I saw a lot of new cars as well--Peugeots and Kias, Hyundais and even Benzes. I just didn't see newer American cars. That's because Cuba isn't isolated at all. It's just that we don't have an economic relationship with them. Other countries have been trading with Cuba quite happily.

Still, I can't say that the place is well run. The Castros seem to be good at getting and keeping power, and not so hot at using it. Many of the old, beautiful
buildings are crumbling, though I must say that they're making an effort to resurrect them. Many streets are dug up as improvements are being made. And this brings me to the title of this post.

So why is Tuesday morning the best time to arrive in Havana?

Because the trash is picked up Monday night, at least in the part of Havana where I stayed. Until then, it's thrown into giant Dumpsters by the locals. As you can imagine, the garbage gets pretty ripe in the tropical heat.

But Havana smells great on a Tuesday morning.

And here's a snippet of the story I wrote after visiting Havana. It's in Naughty Spice, the NL's latest!

Havana, 1958... On the eve of the revolution, journalist Ellie Wheeler dreams of the biggest story of her life. Two hot men make all her dreams come true—even ones she didn’t know she had.

Guess what? It includes a sexy M/F/M ménage.

Here’s an excerpt to sharpen your appetite:

The big doors closed behind her with a click.

She turned to see Almonte leaning against them, eyeing her with predatory interest gleaming in his dark eyes. Her belly fluttered. She’d exposed corrupt union bosses and crooked politicians, but this was really the first time she’d played with the big boys. Organized crime was nothing to treat casually, and she’d thought she was ready.

Maybe not.

He stalked toward her. “Take that stupid thing off. It fools no one.” He tugged at her wig.

“Ow!” She put a hand up to her head to stop him. “My hair clashes dreadfully with my dress.”

“Then take off your dress.” He slid one long, dark finger along the curve of her
The Victor Hugo House, a place that inspired
part of Hot Havana Night
neck to her shoulder. The contact tingled in a way she hadn’t before experienced. “Strip for me.”

She turned to him, her eyes wide.

He laughed. “I thought you said anything for the story. You knew what would happen when you came up here. Shall we not pretend?”

She swallowed hard. How had she gotten into this predicament?

By being Hell on Wheels. Everyone thought she was brassy and bold. They had no idea she was still a virgin.

Like what you read? 
Here’s where you can score a copy:

Also available in print!