Today, Victoria is offering an ebook version of Sharing Nicely and a print version of the Whip It Up anthology. Don't forget to leave your contact email so you can win! :)
Don’t stop the Paaaaarrrrtay!
So, I’m thrilled to have been invited to party with Sommer! 9 years in the smut writing biz is a big achievement, I’m coming up to my own eighth ‘smutiversery’ this year. Wow, time flies. For such an achievement you need a pretty special party.
So today I bring a proper Venetian Masquerade ball. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of parties and masks, it probably started with my love of hysterical romance, I mean Historical romance! The dressing up, the freeing of inhibitions behind the all-important mask. It’s fun, it’s sexy and it’s mysterious.
Enter Sharing Nicely, a break from the old routine for me in many ways. There’s not one but two ridiculously rich characters in it, it’s a full 50k novel but it started as a 15k short. I’ve written a few novellas that have changed to series of novellas but I’ve never gone from short story to novel in one go! And then I decided to base a large chunk of the novel in Venice, a place I’ve never visited but I’ve always wanted to go.
So I enjoyed an online holiday, visiting all the hotspots of Venice from the comfort of my own sofa. And of course, I had to have my couple there for Carnivale, and soon I was picking out gorgeous outfits for them both and giving them matching masks.
So today you’re invited to the party of the year! Don your Sunday best and join the ball:
“We were led by a liveried young man through a vaulted hall, past an stairway and in through two huge, wide-flung doors into a magnificent ballroom. The room was filled with people as bright and opulent as the mural walls. I didn’t know where to look next. Above me hung great chandeliers of shimmering glass. Around me swirled women in bright gowns and men in tight britches. I was completely agog with wonder.
Greg took things in his stride. He held my hand through the crook of his arm and led me into the crush of people. He obviously knew where he was going as he strode confidently forward. I was amazed by the way people parted around us, some stopping to say hello, others nodding their recognition. I smiled and trailed behind him, trying to walk elegantly in my gown and not trip over the hem of it.
Finally we reached our destination and Greg introduced me to the Conte and Contessa. They both wore blood red velvet and the Contessa’s neck was decorated with several strings of sparkling necklaces. I felt instantly humbled, like a servant dressed in her mistress’s best clothes. It was strange, I was used to meeting the rich and famous in my capacity as club manager, but these people of high standing in their ornate golden masks scared me stiff.
“So glad you could come, Greg, and with such a beautiful young lady on your arm.”
I smiled and the conversation turned to business technicalities that I didn’t understand. I turned to speak to the Contessa but she’d already moved on. She was clearly the person in charge because when she moved across the room, engaging in conversation with all the guests and giving directions to any members of staff she crossed paths with, she did it with such authority and confidence. She was clearly a formidable woman.
I was happy to watch the goings on around me. There was a jovial atmosphere behind the masks—I was sure most people could tell who they were talking to, but still, it added a little playfulness to the event. I wondered how many people would pluck up the courage to flirt with a person behind the safety curtain of their papier-mâché mask.
I plucked a glass from a tray that was offered to me and thanked the young girl before she waltzed off on her way. I admired her balance and poise, I was sure I’d have dropped a tray of champagne flutes if I’d attempted to carry them. Greg was still deep in conversation. I didn’t mind too much, it was clearly a good opportunity for him to catch up with a serious business associate.
I watched those in the centre of the room dancing to what even I with my lax knowledge of classical music knew was a Viennese Waltz. Maybe I’d watched an episode or two too many of Strictly Come Dancing . I wasn’t sure it was totally time appropriate but the orchestral music, coming from a surprisingly small number of musicians huddled at one end of the hall, certainly sounded suitably classic for such a gathering.
“Sorry about that.” Greg turned to me. “I thought it was best to get the business out of the way as soon as possible. Now I can focus on having a good time with you.”
“Sounds fabulous to me,” I replied with a huge grin. “This is amazing, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” He pulled me into his body, and cupped his hand around my shoulder. “I’ve been to a few of the Conte’s masquerades now but each time I’m taken by the scale and magnificence of it all.”
We stood and watched for a while then Greg relieved me of my glass and dragged me to the centre of the ballroom.
“I can’t dance,” I squealed. “Greg, I can’t.”
“Hush,” he said. “Just follow my lead. It’s a slow one, you’ll be fine.”
He clutched my waist and I laid a hand on his shoulder. The other hand he gripped tenderly in his hand and led me forward with a gentle tug.
I was going to protest, but as the music started I found myself too absorbed in not standing on anyone’s toes to think about talking. It took a minute or so, but I did eventually get the hang of the steps.
“See,” he smirked. “I knew you’d get it.”
I smiled at him. I was still not sure I could talk and dance at the same time, but I had to concede he was right. I enjoyed being swung around the floor, albeit elegantly, by his strong, demanding touch. I tingled with arousal as I followed his steps—our bodies barely touched but it felt like elaborate foreplay. He stared deep into my eyes when I finally lifted my head from looking at my feet and I could see the lust simmering in his expression behind his shiny, blue mask.
My dress moved magically around me, I didn’t snag it once and the swishing made me feel lighthearted and free. I began to enjoy myself as I felt the music and didn’t worry so much about the steps."
For more pick up Sharing Nicely available in eBook and Print! Now, on with the party. Pick up your mask and join in the fun!