Alice Gaines

Some of my favorite covers by Alice Gaines

I have to admit to a weakness for bodice rippers–you know, the old historical romance covers where one member of the couple is ripping the other’s clothing off.  The idea being that they’re too excited to wait to undo buttons and hooks but have to get to each other’s bodies NOW!  After I learned that it’s almost impossible to rip the front of a dress but that the back would have a seam that might give way, I decided to have my  hero do that with my heroine in my first ever published historical romance.  Voila!  Waitangi Nights.

waitanginights  Dorchester Publishing did a wonderful job with that cover by filling it full of orchids.  The heroine was an orchid nurserywoman working for a rich and handsome man who lived in New Zealand.  By the middle they’d become lovers.  By the end, they’d become husband and wife.

In the olden days, publishers would hire two models and a photographer to do a photo shoot.  Then, they’d send the pictures to an artist who’d create an acrylic painting.  Publishers used to brag they paid more for the cover than they paid the author for the book.  I don’t know why they thought we’d appreciate that.

These days, photographers do the shoots with models and put the images up for authors and publishers to buy the right to use on covers.  Most people don’t pay to buy the image outright so the hero and heroine can appear on multiple covers.  That honestly doesn’t bother me that  much because we all hire wonderful graphic artists to make our covers unique and beautiful.

Here’s one I truly love.  CC_Alice Gaines_Cover (1)This was for Captain and Countess, my Kindle Scout winner.  I adore the intense color and how the man’s hand caresses the woman’s shoulder blade.  I also like the way she has one hand over her breast and the other tickling the back of his neck and his ear.  It suggests a bit of modesty but also a desire to touch him.  This is a Jenn LeBlanc image done up by my graphic artist, Talina Perkins of Bookin’ It Designs.

 

 

And here’s another one by Jenn and Talina.

TSL_AG_1563You may not be able to see the lovely flowers in the background.  I told Talina the couple is in Italy, and I wanted a garden setting.  Again, I think the cover suggests a combination of innocence and carnality.  I only learned later that my friend, Isobel Carr, who’s a perfect stickler for historical accuracy, sewed the garment the woman is wearing.

Here’s another but this time from a contemporary romance.  It’s still rather exotic in that the hero is a prince from a small Eastern European country.

Alice-Gaines_bEAUTY-aWAKENED_Front

I bought the right to use the hero and heroine, and Talina put in the background.  I love it because it suggests a palace, which is the setting of much of the book.

So,  how about you?  What makes a cover make you sit up and take notice.  I’d love to have your opinion, either here or at my e-mail authoralicegaines@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Just for fun, an eXcerpt by Alice Gaines

This is from my first self-published book, which is frankly erotic for the first half and a romance for the second half.  I hope you enjoy it.  As usual, you can join my mailing list at http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com

TSL_AG_1563

Shortly after the beginning of the second act, Carole had her first visitor—a woman, long-limbed, very elegant and most likely in her fifties. She forged her way right in and took the chair next to Carole’s.

She smoothed an errant curl with a bit of gray in it back from her temple. “Well, young lady, you’ve caused quite a stir. No doubt that was your intent.”

“I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“Ah, American,” the woman said. “No wonder no one recognized you.”

“Mrs. Carole Rose from New York.”

Instead of doing the obviously courteous thing—returning the introduction—her visitor pretended to look around. “Mr. Rose doesn’t seem to be in attendance.”

“He died several months ago.”

“My condolences. My mouth gets away from me sometimes. I’m Bertina Hammond, Lady Blakely, but my friends call me Bert.”

“I’m glad to make your acquaintance, Lady Blakely.”

“Well done, Mrs. Rose.” The lady’s smile broadened.

“Because I addressed you formally?”

“Because you didn’t assume I’m your friend.”

The music swelled as the tenor finished his aria. Applause rolled through the theater, as people jumped to their feet. Maybe some of them had listened to the singing. Carole also rose, as did her visitor. They clapped politely for a while and then sat back down.

“So, have you satisfied your curiosity, Lady Blakely?” Carole asked.

“Not entirely.”

“I’m not very interesting.”

The lady laughed. You couldn’t call it actual mirth, but it had a musical quality to it. “A woman alone in one of the best boxes? You had to know you’d attract attention.”

“I hadn’t counted on you to visit.”

“I daresay not, but ah, yes…here he is.”

Lady Blakely turned toward the back of the box, and Carole followed her gaze. Mr. Harthorn entered, went straight to her visitor, and placed a light kiss on her cheek.

“Hello, Bert,” he said.

“Hello, darling,” Lady Blakely answered. “I might have known you’d show up.”

“I can never stay away from you for long,” he answered.

“Liar.” Lady Blakely patted his cheek and rose. “Behave yourself with Mrs. Rose here. She’s American and doesn’t understand our ways.”

“No one understands your ways, Bert,” the man said.

“You’re such a bastard.” The lady rested her hand on Carole’s shoulder. “Watch out for this one.”

“Thank you for stopping by,” Carole said.

Lady Blakely left the box with an angry rustle of silk.

Mr. Harthorn sat in the now vacant chair next to Carole. “You mustn’t pay any attention to Bert. Her claws are sharp but don’t go very deep.”

“Do all people in England wander in without an introduction?” Carole asked.

“We’ve met.”

She studied him. His brown eyes sparkled with mischief, and his sable hair curled around his collar in a style too long for proper fashion. With his long legs and broad shoulders, he cut quite a figure. He was an indecently attractive man and obviously knew it.

“This afternoon, although we weren’t introduced,” he said. “I’m Roger Harthorn, as I’m sure your companion told you. She was quite scandalized.”

“You know Mrs. Carter?”

“I’ve observed her type often enough.” He gave her an insolent smile that dazzled, even in the near-darkness of the theater. “The posture gives them away as well as they way they pretend not to be staring. Dudgeon of the highest order.”

She couldn’t help but smile, too. He’d described the solicitor’s wife to a T.

“Do you enjoy the opera, Mr. Harthorn?” she asked.

“I tolerate it well enough,” he answered. “You?”

“I like it very much.”

“Don’t tell me I’ve finally met someone who comes here for the music,” he said.

“I’ll admit that wasn’t my only reason.” Her cheeks grew warm. They’d be quite pink now, but with any luck, he wouldn’t notice in the dim light. She’d never learned how to flirt, and at her age, she’d probably never catch up.

“You hoped to be seen, or you wouldn’t have taken a whole box for yourself,” Harthorn said. “I hope the person’s worth all the trouble and expense.”

“I’m sure he is.”

“A man. Of course. Give me his name, and I’ll arrange an introduction.”

Damn. What did she say to that? She didn’t have a name and didn’t want to meet anyone else, anyway. but she’d never find the nerve to tell Harthorn she’d come looking for him.

“A secret, eh? Don’t worry. I’m sure he’s seen you.” Harthorn rested his arm on the back of her chair and leaned close enough to put his lips near her ear. “He noticed you this afternoon well enough.”

Ah, yes. The brush of his fingers on her table as he’d gone by. “I don’t see how you could know that.”

“Mrs. Rose, let’s not toy with each other.” His voice came low and sweet, his breath tickling her ear. “We forged a connection this afternoon.”

“You’re exaggerating a bit, aren’t you?”

“Not at all. I haven’t reacted this powerfully to a woman since I was a lad.” He took her hand and set it in his lap, pressing her palm against the front of his pants.

Oh, dear Lord. She tried to pull her fingers away, but he held them there. “I got this way from simply watching you sip tea.”

Her heart hammered, and she had to remind herself to breathe. After all these months, she had her hand on a man’s member. Through his pants, yes, but the outline was unmistakable—long and thick and so very hard. Exactly what she craved. Deep inside, her own sex got the connection he’d spoken of. Despite the impossible situation, her pussy felt empty, begging for what it hadn’t had for so long.

No—had never had. Oscar was never like this.

“So, will you slap my face now?” Harthorn asked.

She swallowed around the lump in her throat. “No.”

“By God, you’re direct. An Englishwoman would have dodged and dallied.”

“I’m too old to dally,” she said.

“And thank the Almighty for that.” He bent toward her again, this time placing a soft kiss on the naked skin of her shoulder. “May I know your first name?”

“It’s Carole.”

“Carole,” he repeated, before gently nibbling his way toward her neck. Her breathing grew labored as he left pinpricks of fire everywhere he touched her.

“You’re trembling,” he whispered against her throat.

“You’d better stop. Someone might see.”

He straightened and turned her head toward his. “You’re an innocent.”

“I was married for ten years.”

“But you’re still innocent, aren’t you?”

“I knew my husband on our wedding night.” She tried again to free her hand from where it rested against his crotch. He still didn’t release it.

“But you were a virgin then,” he said.

“That’s the way it’s usually done.”

“How sweet.” That delicious smile curled his mouth. “And you haven’t had a man since he died.”

Since some months before, but she couldn’t betray her husband by confessing it. Instead, she bit her lip and did her best to calm her trembling.

“That only makes me hotter, Carole. My cock’s throbbing now,” he said.

“Shall I stroke it?” Good Lord in heaven, where had that come from? “Through the fabric, I mean.”

A light of pure mischief entered his eyes. “You’d like to do that?”

“I find it fascinating.” She squeezed him, pressing the head with the tips of her fingers. “Could I make you spend that way?”

He sucked in a breath. “I daresay you could.”

“Would anyone notice, do you think?”

“They can’t see into my lap.”

“Will they see this?” She reached lower, between his legs where his sac would be and stroked it softly. That took the mischief from his eyes, but his lips still stayed in that lazy smile. He turned back toward the stage, pretending to follow the opera, but they both knew none of the music penetrated his brain.

What fun. She’d never, in her life, expected to do anything like this, but Thomas had opened her mind to all kinds of delicious possibilities. Thomas. Darling Thomas. Why had she never asked him if he liked opera? She’d have to do that in her next letter. Then, she’d have to ask if he’d like to sit in a public place with her hand on his cock. For now, she’d pretend he was here with her now as she used gentle pressure against the length of his shaft. Up, down, and up again to linger at the tip.

“You do that very well,” Harthorn said. “I wouldn’t think you inexperienced.”

“I’m glad to hear it.”

He let out a soft moan. “This won’t take long at all.”

“You mustn’t give anything away with your expression,” she said. “Your friend, Bert, may be watching us.”

“She won’t tell. She likes her husband’s money too much.”

“And you know secrets he wouldn’t want to hear,” she said.

“I say…” His eyes drifted halfway shut. “Could we discuss it later?”

“Of course.” She moved her fingers faster, gripping him as tightly as she could manage through the wool of his pants. He sat rigidly, and his eyes went out of focus with pleasure.

“Talk to me,” he whispered. “Something filthy.”

“Would you like to fuck me, Roger?” There. She’d said it. The worst word she knew.

“God, yes.”

“I’d like that, too. My cunny’s getting damp for you.” That was no lie. Who would have thought that she, a virtuous widow with hardly a dirty thought until a few months ago, would find herself with a perfect stranger like this? Sitting in public, stimulating his sex and telling him she wanted him. “But you won’t have me, will you? No, you’re going to spend in your pants like a schoolboy.”

“Oh…ah…don’t stop.”

“No one can know what I’m doing to you, or I will stop,” she said. “Promise me you won’t make a noise when you come.”

He gritted his jaw. “Bloody hell.”

“Do it, or I’ll leave you hanging.” She paused in her work on his tool. She wouldn’t leave him this way. If nothing else, she wanted to see what he’d do when the climax hit him.

“I promise,” he said in a strangled whisper. “Have mercy. Finish me.”

She squeezed the tip of him and then stroked his length—hard and fast, all the way to the base. He closed his eyes and clenched his jaw as his body stiffened. His hips jerked as he climaxed, but he made no sound above a soft grunt. Such a sight he made—the male animal consumed by lust. She’d never watched a man’s face at the ultimate moment before. She’d see Thomas in this state eventually, and he’d witness her ecstasy, too. Right now, Roger Harthorn slumped against his chair, breathing heavily. She finally reclaimed her hand setting it in her own lap.

“That was extraordinary,” he said softly.

“I’m glad you liked it.”

“Like? My dear Carole. The word is inadequate.”

Pride glowed inside her. The idea of taking other lovers had seemed silly and even morally bankrupt when she only wanted one man—Thomas. but she could learn so much before she joined him. How much better to go to him fully prepared to fulfill his wildest fantasies than to have to grope blindly for just the right caresses to make him wild with wanting her.

Yes, Thomas had had it right. She’d experiment with other men and give the benefit of her lessons to her ultimate lover.

“You’re grown pensive,” Roger said. “That didn’t repulse you, did it?”

“Not at all.”

“You seemed willing. Even eager.” His face showed uncertainty, even worry. For heaven’s sake, the scandalous fellow who’d bedded any woman he wanted, actually cared about her opinion of him.

“It was a revelation,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like that before.”

“Nor have I. I usually entertain the lady.” The wicked heat returned to his eyes. “Would you like me to do the same for you?”

She nearly gasped with surprise. “Your hand under my skirts at the opera?”

“Not right now. It’ll be intermission soon.”

“You’ll have to rejoin your friends,” she said.

“Eyebrows will rise if I don’t.”

“Eyebrows have probably already risen.”

“No doubt about that.” He chuckled. “Still, I want enough time to do the job properly.”

“What do you suggest?”

“Will you be here tomorrow night?”

She smiled and nodded.

“I’ll see you then.” He leaned toward her again. “In the meantime, don’t touch your pearl. I want it hungry for my touch.”

http://www.amazon.com/Sixth-Lover-Alice-Gaines-ebook/dp/B00GM8CFKM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384452948&sr=1-1&keywords=alice+Gaines

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sixth-lover-alice-gaines/1117378036?ean=2940149002580

http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.co

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When I should be writing, Alice Gaines

How I spend my time when I should be writing:

On Saturday, I spent the entire day driving from Oakland to outside Sacramento for a wine party.  My friend, Roger Smith, who plays keyboards for Tower of Power, has his own winery, Bump City Winery.  I went up for his wine party.  Here’s Roger’s pick-up band playing at the party.  wineparty Roger is standing at the keyboard on the right.  On saxophone was Tower of Power’s lead sax player, Tom Politzer.  Note the young woman on bass in the back.  She really tore it up!

So, I got hopelessly lost on the way home, wandering around on levee roads on the Sacramento Delta.  When I finally called On Star, they gave me a roundabout path home that included two ferries across Delta water ways.  At least, I got home with this:

wineIf you know anything about the Bay Area, you’ll recognize the picture on the label as the San Francisco skyline.  Everybody knows! that Bump City is Oakland, not the city across the bay.  I tease Roger about this at every opportunity.

So, how did I spend Sunday when I should have been writing?  Making pasta sauce.  Here’s my favorite recipe.  I use my own homegrown tomatoes that I’ve peeled, seeded, and frozen.  I also use my own bell pepper and basil.  And my own chicken broth.  You can use a couple of cans of whole tomatoes.  Just crush the tomatoes with your fingers.  You can use water instead of chicken broth, but the broth makes the sauce richer.

In a food processor, make a pestata of lots of peeled garlic cloves, some sprigs of basil, about three pieces of bacon (or pancetta or guancale, if you have those), about half a large onion, and a small bell pepper.  Grind it all up really well.

Heat a bunch of good olive oil in a large pan.  When hot, add the pestata.  Cook for a while.  Make a hot spot in the middle of the pan, and add a few tablespoons of tomato sauce.  Add some red pepper flakes and cook pretty well.  Add the tomatoes and cook down.  Add some chicken broth and cook for a few hours, adding more broth as required.  When it’s sauce the way you like it, you can freeze it in serving batches.  In the middle of winter, this sauce puts summer in my mouth.

peppersBy the way, my Regency romance, Captain and Countess, is on sale at Amazon for 99 cents.  For a limited time only.

https://www.amazon.com/Captain-Countess-Alice-Gaines-ebook/dp/B00RUP60TI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

If you’d like to join my newsletter mailing list, visit my blog:

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New release by Alice Gaines

justoneweek_redo_500

New release from Entangled Lovestruck.  Just One Week.  Out September 12. https://www.amazon.com/Just-One-Week-Alice-Gaines-ebook/dp/B01KTEH68K/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF812

“Alice Gaines will tantalize your romance taste buds with a book you can’t put down until the very last page.” NYT bestselling author Jasmine Haynes

Her brother’s best friend is not only the hottest man Michelle Dennis has ever seen, he’s the one man she hopes to avoid after leaving town eight years ago. Of course he’s the one waiting at the airport. Worse, he made sure they’re staying in the same house.

Pro football player Alex Stafford is expecting to pick up his friend’s kid sister, not a full-fledged bombshell. He was planning to apologize for their past, but the feelings he had years ago come roaring back…and this time, there’s no denying them.

Keeping his hands off is a test he’s bound to fail—especially when they’re stuck in close quarters. But falling in love with Michelle, living in her world, isn’t an option for a guy like him. And remembering that will save them both a lot of heartache…

Read below for an x-rated excerpt:  (Not work safe)

Michelle awoke from an incredibly erotic dream to discover the reason she’d become so hot and bothered. In her dreamscape, the man making love to her had Alex’s face and an incredibly huge erection. Something she’d never be able to enjoy in reality, but for sleep-induced fantasy, it worked just fine.

The actual cause of her arousal became clear as consciousness dawned. Alex had reached around her, and his fingers had parted the lips of her sex. One now toyed with her using the same amazing technique he’d done with his tongue the night before.

“What are you doing?” she said, her voice breathy with sexual excitement.

“Thought that would get your attention,” he answered.

Another reality penetrated the fog in her brain. He’d become erect, the outline of his hardness pressed against her ass. The texture of latex against her skin told her he’d managed to put on a condom without waking her.

He was going to give her sleepy sex—the kind you simply enjoyed and didn’t worry about your own response or your partner’s. Just for the hell of it, she let her mind drift back to her dream, and she was taking that huge instrument inside her and it was pushing her closer and closer to climax.

Just when things couldn’t get any more heavenly, he shifted, lifting her leg up and over his and positioning himself to enter her. Spread wide like this, she felt impaled on him as he filled her completely. Now, she had him stretching her while his fingers continued his magic on her most sensitive flesh.

Pleasure so absolute she couldn’t bear it, and yet it got even better as he moved inside her. If she’d thought the night before had been a fluke, she had to admit now that Alex could make her body respond in ways she’d never imagined. And she selfishly took all he was giving her with no thought to satisfying him. She’d pay him back. Oh yes, she would.

He was driving faster now, and he rubbed harder. As the arousal built to unimaginable levels, she gave in to the inevitable. The orgasm rushed through her, starting at the spot between her legs and radiating out to encompass her entire being. She shouted as the spasms started, and she gripped him again and again. So intense. So beautiful.

Behind her, he stiffened, and he let out a muffled roar against her shoulder. He’d be coming, too, making her climax all the more powerful.

After a minute, they lay together, both working for breath. He still held her against him as if he’d found a treasure.

“Morning, sunshine,” he said finally.

“You sure know how to wake a girl up.”

“Not just any girl. You.”

To celebrate the release, I’ll be raffling off this pair of hand-crocheted stole to someone on my mailing list.   multicolorshawl To join my mailing list, go to my blog:  http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com

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New release by Alice Gaines (and a raffle)

New release from Changeling Press:  Earth Con, Jazzed Up

JazzedUp

Now available at http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2505

Zara represents the force of life and love through sex. Origin has sent her into the universe to battle her counterpart, an escaped spirit who brings enslavement and death. She’s followed Raven to Earth Con to save humans from Raven’s evil. What she doesn’t expect to discover is a human with the power of Origin strong inside him.

Nolan Price lost his sister to a cult, and since then he’s devoted himself to freeing other victims. He never thought to encounter a charismatic leader from another part of the universe. Nor did he understand the depths of his own strength.

To celebrate, I’ll be raffling off these wrist warmers to someone on my mailing list.  If you’d like to join, go to http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com wristwarmers

And now read on for an x-rated excerpt.  🙂

“It’s my nature. Come on.” With that, Zara turned and went into the bedroom. He followed, of course, and closed the sliding glass door behind them. They were going to get pretty loud in a minute, and the people by the pool didn’t have to overhear their orgasms.

She sat on the bed to remove her boots and then rose to begin a strip-tease. He never would have believed getting out of a T-shirt could be sexy, but at this point, everything she did had his blood at the simmer. She shed that and the badge, letting them fall by the bed. Now she was down to a flight-suit sort of costume. Form-fitting. It showed off her lush hips and small breasts. He did his best concentrate on getting rid of his own clothing as she pulled down the zipper of her outfit and shrugged it over her shoulders.

As she exposed more and more of her body, the idea of her being a sex goddess became believable. He could bury his nose in the crook of her neck and breathe in her scent. His own uniform came off without a hitch, but he had to tug at his shorts to get them over his erection.

When she saw him, she licked her lips as if she was already tasting his swollen flesh, and his knees almost buckled. He’d never had a fever like this for a woman, and he’d better get her onto the bed before he came just looking at her.

She either felt the same way or took pity on him, because she positioned herself on the comforter, her legs spread, and opened her arms to him. He went to her immediately and covered her body with his own. What little sanity he had left told him to hold his weight off her, and he took her mouth in a kiss as her breasts pressed against his chest. Her belly made the perfect pillow for his erection, and his hips flexed of their own power, pushing his cock against her.

“Do you see what I mean?” she whispered.

“Yes, oh God, yes.” He’d agree to anything at this point.

“I want you.”

She sure as hell was going to have him, but even drugged with passion as he was, he’d still take the time to get her as excited as he was. He slid aside to allow his hand access to her mound. His fingers contacted moisture, and he parted her pussy lips in search of her clit.

When he found it, she let out a yip, and her hips lifted upward. She was hot, too, as hungry as he was. He’d fuck her good and hard but not until he’d played with her for a while. He continued with firm strokes over her clitoris, pressing and rolling it until she writhed.

Oh yeah, this was sex the way it was supposed to be. Uncomplicated, blocking out the rest of the world, boiling existence down to sights and sounds and nerve endings. All his nerve endings had gone to the top of the scale and would soon take him over the edge.

Even better, she responded as if she felt the same way. Her breathing came raggedly, her breasts rising and falling, and a deep flush went from her cheeks over her neck and down to her chest. A woman as close to orgasm as he was.

With no more need to delay, he took his position between her legs with his cock ready to bury itself in her pussy and drove himself home with one thrust. She immediately climaxed, her muscles clamping down on him and then bursting into spasms. She shouted as she came — the powerful song of a woman finding ecstasy. As though he were the greatest lover on earth.

Somehow, he managed to hold on to a thread of control and hung back from the brink so he could bask in her body’s praise of him. He held himself above her, not moving except for the trembling of his arms. After a moment, her eyes opened, and she stared up at him with an expression of pure shock in her face.

“You’re not supposed to be able to do that,” she said.

“Not give you an orgasm? You must have had some piss-poor lovers in your day.”

“You’re not supposed to be able to resist,” she said.

http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2505

http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com

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Bay Area Book Festival by Alice Gaines

On June 5, I took part in a panel discussion at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley.  (Yes, that Berkeley.)  The second annual festival, and the first time they invited a bunch of romance writers to speak.  Only a little slow.  🙂

The gave us the fabulous subject Romance and Feminism:  From Bodice Rippers to Trailblazers.  Here’s our panel.  grouppic  In the back, Beth Barany (moderator) and Aya deLeon and in the front Moi, Kristin Miller, and Gail Carriger.

Although I adored the subject, I had to laugh a bit.  I started reading and writing romance in the heyday of bodice rippers, and I have a fewe books with covers to prove it.  The women in romance novels were always trailblazers–independent women with goals of their own who required their men to fit into their lives, not the other way around.  This is nothing new, but it’s nice to have the outside world notice.

I have to admit to some trepidation when I consider taking part in literary events other than those specifically about romance.  I’m always afraid someone is going to look down his nose (likely his, not hers) at what I write.  I expect questions like “Are you ever going to write a real book?” or “Romance is just porn for women, right?”

None of those things happened.  We had an overflow crowd with people standing in the hallway outside.  The audience was receptive and enthusiastic.  It was a fabulous experience.

goodpaneI decided to address the subject of feminism in historical romance.  It seemed an apt topic because in historicals our heroines live in societies where they had relatively little power and freedom.  But our heroines manage to stick up for themselves very well.  I mentioned my own historicals, which include such heroines as a professional orchid nurserywoman, a jewel thief, a wealthy American who wants to follow Darwin’s journeys around South American, and an American heiress who wants to sleep her way across Europe.  No shrinking violets these ladies.

Here I am holding up one of my bodice ripper covers.me and bookOverall, it was a fabulous experience, and if I’m asked to do it again next year, I’ll jump at the chance.  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, be sure to check out the book festival.

And by the way, I’ll have two releases next month, so I’ll be raffling off more of my handknitted items to someone on my mailing list.  Here’s one of the items:

IwristwarmersIf you’d like to enter to win these wrist warmers (and a couple of other things), visit my blog.  The form is on the front page.  http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com

 

 

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Reduced price for this month only (Alice Gaines)

This month, Amazon is featuring my sexy Regency romance, Captain and Countess.  It’s on sale for $1.99 for Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Captain-Countess-Alice-Gaines-ebook/dp/B00RUP60TI?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

captainandcountessThe book won the Washington Romance Writers Marlene Award for historical romance and was one of the first books selected for the Kindle Scout program.  Here’s an excerpt:

Bess woke some time in the night to a strange sound. For a moment, she had to focus on where she was. Definitely not in her bedroom. In the dim light from the fire, she made out the interior of the gamekeeper’s cottage. Oh yes, the storm. She’d taken shelter here from wind and driving rain, both of which had died down. Not even a drip sounded on the roof above. So what was that noise?

Jason Northcross, of course. He was doing something in the chair by the fire. Could that be his teeth chattering?

“What are you doing over there?” she asked.

“Nothing. Go back to sleep.”

His voice displayed displeasure in the extreme. What did he have to be angry about? He’d intruded on her, not the other way around.

“Is that your jaw clattering?” she asked.

“I’m cold, if you must know the truth.”

“Throw some more wood on the fire.”

“We don’t have much left,” he said. “I’m saving it.”

“In heaven’s name, for what?”

“For later. If the fire goes out, we’ll both become very cold, indeed.”

He had a point. She’d planned to bank the fire and stay warm with her own body heat, nestled under two blankets. Because of him, she’d had to make do with one. She’d grown a bit chilly herself. They had a problem, and only one solution offered itself. He’d resist, but neither of them had any choice, really.

“You’d better come get in bed.” With me. Dear Lord, what was she saying?

“I can’t do that, and you know very well why.” Delightful. He’d gone from sounding angry to petulant.

“This is hardly the lap of luxury,” she said. “Do you honestly mean to tell me that you couldn’t control yourself, even under these circumstances?”

He didn’t answer. He didn’t even move. Somehow the chair still managed to creak.

“Neither of us will get warm and neither of us will get any sleep with you and your blanket over there,” she said.

He still didn’t utter a word. After a long moment, he sighed.

“Your brother and sister will be angry with me if you catch something dreadful,” she said.

“They wouldn’t approve of me making love with you, either.”

“They wouldn’t know if you didn’t tell them.”

He went back to silence, his body a rigid silhouette against the glow of the fire.

“Everyone’s going to be quite scandalized that we were out all night together, anyway,” she said.

“You’re giving me permission?” he whispered.

Now it was her turn for silence. He refused to take complete responsibility for what would happen next, if indeed she allowed it. In truth, she already had with her invitation. After their earlier encounters, neither he nor she could pretend any surprise that things would get out of hand if he got under the covers with her, especially as neither of them were fully dressed. And faced with the real possibility that she’d let him—no, ask him—to take the ultimate liberties with her, she finally had to admit the truth. She wanted him. She’d wanted him that first night after the opera. She’d wanted him in her rose garden and by the river. And she wanted him now, more than she wanted anything else in the world.

The fact that she’d protested the opposite for this long only spoke to a dishonesty she hadn’t thought herself capable of. She claimed she didn’t care what others thought of her, but she’d held him away for just that reason. As a widow taking a younger man to her bed, she could be the object of ridicule. Then, too, she had to face her fear that he’d find her less than perfect and might even regret dallying with her. And yet, if she turned him down, she’d always wonder what she’d missed.

“I am giving you permission,” she said. “Complete permission.”

For a moment, he still didn’t move. Then he let out a long breath, as if he’d been holding it. She might have been holding her own.

The chair creaked again as he rose. When he lifted the tails of his shirt and reached to the fastening of his pants, she looked away. She’d feel him soon enough. She could look later. His step came slowly as he approached the bed. He spread the second blanket on top of her and stood, looking down. He’d left his shirt on but was naked below. So big. So male. So absolutely beautiful.

“You’re sure about this?” he asked.

“For heaven’s sake, I was a married woman,” she said. “I’m not a virgin, Captain Northcross.”

“You’d better call me Jason, don’t you think?” With that, he lifted the blankets and slipped in beside her.

“Jason,” she said before he leaned over and kissed her.

His caresses had enflamed her before. Now only flimsy layers of linen separated them. The heat of his body surrounded her as he kissed her again and again. Tonight, she wouldn’t push him away. He wouldn’t stop himself, stating reluctance to harm her reputation or other such nonsense. Tonight, he’d show her what a healthy young man consumed with lust could do.

https://www.amazon.com/Captain-Countess-Alice-Gaines-ebook/dp/B00RUP60TI?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

By the way, I’ll be raffling off more of my hand knitted items in July to celebrate the release of my contemporary romance, Just One Week, from Entangled Publishing.  If you’d like to join my newsletter list to be entered to win, go to my blog http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com Here’s a picture of one of my past prizes. newpinkcowl

Categories: Alice Gaines, Excerpt, romance, Sale, Sex, Sexy, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

New Release from Alice Gaines

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For years, Mora has studied the ancient art of sex in the literature and history of her planet, Vesta. Now she’s been assigned to visit Earth to discover, hands-on, how sex is performed so she can re-teach the pleasures of the flesh to her people. Unfortunately, she’s been paired with an aristocratic prig who prides himself on tight control of his emotions and denial of any sensual pleasure. Thank the Universe he’s a handsome devil, or the job would be impossible.

Laer has spent his life in pursuit of the intellectual over the carnal. Unfortunately, he scores high on Mora’s so-called tests of sensuality. Now he’s been assigned to a mission to Earth to study how to give and receive sexual pleasure. Watching a pair of Earthers make love opens up a new reality for him, but what follows between him and Mora in the bedroom steals not only his dignity but his heart.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2474

If you’d like to enter to win the hand-knitted wrist warmers at right, join my e-mail newsletter at http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com wristwarmers

 

And now, for an Excerpt.  (Adult content to follow)

 

He went to the bathroom door and paused on the threshold. Not far from where he stood, she sat in the huge, sunken tub as water gushed from the whirlpool jets, creating swirling currents around her. She straightened and stilled. Sensing his presence? He hadn’t made a sound.

“As the Earthers say,” she said. “Come on in. The water’s fine.”

“Did you really need to bathe in the middle of the night?” he said.

“I wanted to.” She looked over her shoulder at him, and her gaze fell to his erection and stayed there. “My, my, Laer. What have you been doing?”

“Imagining you.” He went to the tub and sat on the edge with his feet in the water. It was, indeed, heavenly. “And our mission.”

She gave him a smile full of sin. “Ready to experience something new?”

“What did you have in mind?”

She floated toward him, eased his legs apart, and crouched looking up at him, her face near his stiff rod. She gripped him by the base. “I could practice giving a man pleasure by playing with this.”

Vesta, what her touch did to him. All the sensations from his dream came crashing back into his consciousness. “Would that give you pleasure, too?”

“It would be fun.” She stroked him from the root to the tip.

“Then please proceed,” he said.

She bent and closed her lips around the head of his cock, and he nearly jumped out of his skin. So much more powerful than he’d thought possible, even in his dream. He closed his eyes to concentrate on it fully. The heat, the pressure as she sucked and slid her lips downward over his shaft. The throbbing grew more intense, as if he’d burst. Of course, he would if he allowed her to continue. He’d climax, shooting his essence into her mouth. No, he’d stop her before he lost complete control. So much sweeter to lose himself inside her body. But for now, he’d allow her to give him this sort of pleasure, and at some point, he’d do the same for her.

He opened his eyes to watch, although they didn’t focus completely, and her image came to him wrapped in a haze of lust. She moved her head up and down, her cheeks working to create suction. His skin gave off the glow of arousal, and so did hers, although less intense. Giving him oral sex aroused her, too. Interesting.

“It’s good.” He groaned. “Vesta, so good.”

She removed his rod from her mouth and held it against her cheek. The deep, deep blue of it showed how close he’d come to orgasm, and she’d have to notice the fact.

“I want to be inside you when I come,” he said.

She grinned at him. “You will be.”

“Then, now.”

“In a little bit.” She went back to caressing him with her mouth. Gritting his teeth in an effort for some control, he allowed her to continue. Just a few seconds more. He could hold on, take what she offered, and still fend off his orgasm.

He could, that was, until she reached between his legs and softly brushed his sac with the tips of her fingers. The action came as a total shock, and his body stiffened, ready to surrender to the inevitable.

No, he would not be so selfish. “Stop, Mora. Take me inside you while I touch the place you like so much.”

She released him, and when he lowered himself into the tub, she came toward him, ready to part her legs in welcome.

“Turn around,” he said. “Your back toward my front.”

She did as he’d instructed, and now he could grip his sex by the base to direct the tip to the lips of her sex. As she sank down onto him, she arched her back and placed her hands over her breasts.

“I’ll do that.” It was his place to touch her to give her pleasure, after all. When she didn’t have him with her, she could do what she wanted, but with his sex fully embedded in hers, he’d made her body his.

A possessive thought, but so very right under the circumstances. He pushed her hands aside and cupped her breasts, rubbing the nipples between his thumbs and forefingers. Softly, the way she liked.

“Oh, Laer,” she crooned. “Such a quick learner.”

“All credit to my teacher.” Just because he could, he nipped at the soft skin where her neck met her shoulder.

“And an animal, too.”

“To your credit as well.”

“How you fill me,” she said. “Did you get bigger?”

“Flatterer.”

“And to think our race gave this up.” Then she began to move, pushing herself upward and then lowering herself again. Her muscles gripped him with every motion. Squeezing. He’d approached climax earlier, and she’d have him there again soon. Before his control slipped, he smoothed his hand downward, over her belly to the hair covering her sex. When he reached the spot where her lips had parted to take him inside, he found her clit. Already hard, the bud awaited his touch, and he obliged, rubbing her and pressing.

“Vesta!” she cried. “Oh, beloved home, that’s exactly it.”

“And this?” He flicked his finger over her clit.

This time, she didn’t answer with words but with a cry. He’d brought her close, and now they could come together. He thrust up into her, barely aware of the water sloshing all around them. His lust-addled brain did register the glow of her skin, now fully as bright as his own. And the more they moved, the tighter the grip of her sex around his. He couldn’t last, but he had to. He had to make her come and soon.

He continued moving inside her while he used his finger to stroke her bud, as fast and hard as he could manage. His mind blanked out to everything but the desire to please her and the sensations of her walls milking him.

Just when he couldn’t take another moment and he would explode, she signaled her orgasm with a shout. Her inner muscles tightened even more around him, and he pounded into her as his climax claimed him. He came with a rush, and then she was spasming around him, pushing him even higher. He released his essence into her in powerful waves, crashing over each other, and both their voices echoed off the walls.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2474

 

Categories: Alice Gaines, erotic, Excerpt, futuristic, paranormal romance, raffle, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Hot Excerpt, The Sixth Lover by Alice Gaines

I just spent a crazy six weeks revising a book and writing a new novella.  What a way to enter Spring.  There’ll be much more about them in the coming months.  This month, I thought I’d treat you to an X-rated excerpt from one of my older books, The Sixth Lover

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Images of Pete’s rigid member haunted Carole’s dream. He was so huge, and her body craved him. No matter how hard she tried to take him inside her, his cock eluded her—always moving away at the last moment. She woke up in a state of excitement too powerful to ignore. So, as Thomas had instructed in his letter from months ago, she slipped her hand under the covers and pulled the hem of her nightgown up so that she could touch her mound. She gasped at the contact. Not what she’d sought in her dream, but the best she could do until one of the men could relieve the ache—assuming she found the audacity to ask one of them outright to fuck her. She had only met them the day before, after all.

 

As she let her mind drift back into the dream, a small sound penetrated the fog of arousal. Someone walking on the terrace just below her open window. Someone close enough to be listening to what went on in her room.

 

She walked to the window and looked out. Sure enough, Jean-Paul was standing on the terrace, staring over the wall at the garden and the vineyards in the distance. The moon shone brightly enough to show the black of his hair and the rigid set of his back. As she watched, he turned slowly and gazed up at her. Somehow, he’d known about her restlessness. Somehow, he’d guessed that she’d look out and find him. He wore the same half-amused expression on his face—as if he could read inside her and realize the height of her need for a lover.

 

No, not a lover with him. Something more complex. And yet, he was a man and had a cock. He’d watched her fellate his friend to orgasm. He had to have become aroused himself, no matter how much he’d try to hide it. Unless he’d had some relief since dinner, he’d fell the need for coupling as bad as she did. He did nothing to beckon her, though, but simply turned and gave her his back

 

Not bothering with a robe or slippers, she let herself out of her room and padded down the stairs. She had to go down a series of unfamiliar hallways, using her best sense of direction to find her way to the spot below her bedroom. A tall door stood ajar at a promising spot, so she let herself out through it. Yes, the terrace. Jean-Paul leaned against the stone wall a few yards away, so she went to him and took a spot beside him.

 

“You should sleep in the nude while you’re here,” he said without moving his stare from the distance. “We might want to visit you.”

 

“Isn’t this a visit?”

 

“I couldn’t sleep,” he answered.

 

“I couldn’t, either.” She moved closer to him so that her shoulder nearly met his. “I imagine we’re both restless for the same reason.”

 

He shrugged.  “Pete’s probably sleeping soundly. He always does.”

 

“And the staff?”

 

“Safe in their own quarters.” He moved finally, stepping behind her. Still not touching her, he reached around and rested his hands on the wall. Until then, the night air had felt warm enough, but now his body heat seeped into her skin. Denied until now, her poor sex moistened in anticipation. He breathed deeply as if he could smell her musk, the evidence that she wanted him.

 

“Have you ever watched cats mate?” he asked.

 

“I never kept pets.”

 

“They don’t look as if they’re enjoying it,” he said. “You’d think they were fighting except for the way the female lifts her ass into the air to tempt him.”

 

Finally, he did touch her, putting his palms on her buttocks. Not unlike the way he’d touched her when she’d come down for dinner, but now he kneaded the flesh. “You’ve been tempting me with this since you came into the house.”

 

“You’re the one who left that dress on the bed.”

 

His hands went lower, still squeezing. His fingers slipped between her thighs. Even from behind like this, they neared her sex enough to squeeze the lips and put pressure on her clitoris. More wetness seeped from her, dampening the cloth of her gown enough that he’d have to feel it.

 

“Damned clothing,” he muttered. He fumbled with the tie of his robe and then gathered up the skirt of her gown in his fists.

 

Yes. Now, he’d do something. He’d either touch her or fuck her. She’d come either way. Finally, his cock pressed against her bare skin. Not as large as Pete’s, but rock hard and hot enough to sear its imprint into her flesh. She whimpered with need. Just like in her dream—the hardness so close but not inside her.

 

“The male cat holds his female down, covering her with his body. She accepts his roughness. It excites her.” He parted her legs, stepped between them, and drove his rod up into her. No tenderness. No caresses. No soft words. Just what she wanted. She didn’t even have to look at him. She could just take and take and take.

 

Without breaking their union, he pressed her hands against the rocks of the wall and covered them with his own. His cock went right on moving inside her. Harder and deeper. Like the cat, she arched her back to offer him maximum penetration. He whispered a string of French as he kept shoving himself inside her. No translation necessary, the meaning came through. Soft, sweet, and nasty, the words told the story of males and females in heat. Coming together in the most primitive way possible.

 

As his thrusts grew more savage, he pushed on her hands so hard that the stones pressed into the flesh of her palms. She wouldn’t complain, though. She wouldn’t do anything to slow him. The climax was too close—coiling deep in her belly. She clenched her sex down on him, seeking more friction. In response, he grunted and ground himself against her with each thrust.

 

“Don’t stop,” she whispered. “Please, don’t stop.”

 

He bit her shoulder, right through her gown. Truly animal now. Both of them.

 

“Come,” he whispered.

 

“Yes…yes.”

 

He let out a growl and continued thrusting. To steady herself, she kept her palm firm against the stones of the wall. “Fuck me.”

 

“Like this?” he said as he drove himself deeper inside her.

 

“Yes, damn it. More.” Just a little more. Close, so close. She tensed as every nerve caught fire. She would come now. “Keep fucking me.”

 

He did. Hard. Her sex exploded in violent orgasm, clamping down on him in waves. She screamed as the power of it stole her consciousness of anything but her pussy and the hard male flesh that plunged into it. He roared as he came with her and thrust so hard he nearly pounded her into the wall. Savage and sublime at the same time.

 

It left her aching when it ended—physically and mentally. Her palms hurt from scraping against stone. Her shoulder stung from Jean-Paul’s bite. Her pussy felt sore even as it continued sending aftershocks around his softening cock. Most of all, her mind screamed that she shouldn’t have enjoyed that.

 

Jean-Paul had shown her no tenderness.  He still didn’t. He slumped against her, breathing hard. Not a sweet word or a gentle touch. He’d truly fucked her the way animals rutted, and yet, he’d given her the most powerful orgasm of her life. How could she not want more of the same? Sex like that could become an opiate.

 

After a bit, he sighed and pulled out of her, leaving her sex empty and wet with juices from both of them. He didn’t move away but stood with his hands on her shoulders. Now, they both looked out over the land that had been in his family for generations. The dark garden and the rows of grape vines that had heard their cries of release.

 

“Ah, bien,” he whispered. “You did well, cherie.”

 

“I did?”

 

“Yes.” He kissed the spot he’d bitten. “The mousse au chocolat. Very creative.”

 

“You mean with Pete.” She looked over her shoulder, but his face lay in darkness too deep for her to read his expression.

 

“I could tell he enjoyed it tremendously.”

 

She turned her face away from him. He might as well have just slapped her with that “compliment.” Only a moment ago, he’d climaxed inside her, and he only praised her performance with his friend.

 

Bastard. He had climaxed, and he’d shouted loudly enough to wake up the dead. Maybe Pete had heard. Maybe the servants had. He could give her the back of his hand with his words, but his animal roar told the truth. He’d come as hard as she had.  He only wanted to deny it for some reason.

 

She smoothed her hair and walked away from him without a word.

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sixth-lover-alice-gaines/1117378036?ean=9781940854007

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sixth-Lover-Alice-Gaines-ebook/dp/B00GM8CFKM/ref=la_B003ZO8D70_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414709497&sr=1-2

By the way, I’ll be having a new release out next month, EarthCon:  Hooked Up from Changeling Press.  That means, someone on my mailing list will win my latest knitting project.  miashrug

If you’d like to be entered to win, join my mailing list at my blog/website.  Sign up for my newsletter

Categories: Alice Gaines, erotic, Erotica, Excerpt, Sex | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

How to keep the sexual tension high, by Alice Gaines

All of us here love hot, hot romance, full of luscious love scenes.  Realistically, if you’re writing an erotic romance, your characters can’t be frolicking in the sack the entire time.  The difference between erotica and erotic romance is that the latter has three-dimensional characters and things actually happen in the story.

Still, you want to keep the sexual tension as close to the simmer point as possible.  This is especially true at the beginning of the story.  Unless you have a plot where the h/h already know each other and the action begins with them in bed, they’ll have to meet and become attracted to each other before they get to the really hot stuff.  So, how do you maintain sexual tension when the characters aren’t actually having sex?

Last month, I discussed the sexy or erotic premise.  This month, let me share some tips on creating sexual tension outside of the love scenes.

The first encounter
Beginning writers often make the mistake of having their characters drooling all over each other from the first time they meet. Even in erotic romance, a character seldom goes from neutral to sexual excitement when an intriguing new person enters the room.

Time stops briefly while the two people become aware of each other for the first time. What you need is a beat while their “eyes met across a crowded room.” (Note: Eyes don’t fly out of people’s heads.) Now, notice one thing or two maximum about the other character.

Continue the scene, dropping in more details as you go along. When the two characters interact, make clear that the non POV character has also noticed things about the POV character. Does he focus on parts of her body? Does he comment on her personal attributes in his dialogue? (“I’ve never seen you here before.” “Do you smile like that at every man?”)

Indicate interest with eye contact. The classic indicator of feminine interest is for the woman to make eye contact, look down or away (perhaps smiling or biting her lip), and then make eye contact again. That should tell your reader that she’ll welcome a man into her personal space. It’ll get a man’s attention, for sure.

Men are probably more forthright in expressing interest with eye contact. If the non-POV man does this, it may fluster the POV woman in a pleasant way. Her skin may grow warm, and she’ll almost certainly look away.

Next step – personal space
Shortly after the attraction between h/h is formed, one is certainly likely to enter into the other’s personal space. In historical romance, this often takes the form of a dance at a ball. This is a socially acceptable way for the two people to embrace, but that doesn’t mean it’s a trivial matter for either of them. Again, one or both of them may experience a flush of excitement, although it won’t be felt as truly sexual. All the senses may be heightened. Your character may notice the rustle of skirts, light and shadow in the hall, and various smells.

Dance or no, once the characters are up close and personal, they’re literally within breathing space of each other. That is, if their faces are pointed toward each other, they’ll be able to feel each other’s breath. Naturally, they can smell each other. One hopes, they smell good, whether that’s historically accurate for your book or not. Soap, shampoo, cologne, skin lotion come up often. Leather works for a horsewoman/man. If she’s wearing flowers, he’ll be aware of their scent.

H/h will be aware of each other’s height relative to his/her own. A man might note where the woman’s nose reaches on his body. Does it come up to his shoulder? To his chin? Especially if he’s much taller, he may feel protective of her, which can be frustrating if she insists on maintaining independence. She may feel a bit overwhelmed by his height and the breadth of his shoulders. If she’s always felt ungainly, she may enjoy the feeling of being petite next to him. They very likely will be aware of each other’s body heat.

You can play with physical proximity. If she’s bent over the craps table at a casino, he could reach for the dice, bringing his body close to hers. She can duck under him to help him find a file in the file cabinet. Either can reach past the other to push the elevator button. They can be stuck in a carriage or a cab together.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this position with someone who isn’t a lover or good friend, you know how awkward it feels if you’re not attracted to them or how exciting it feels if you are.

Sexual banter
The main form of sexual tension in dialogue falls under the category of sexual banter. This can range from quite innocent to quite explicit.

Innocent:
She stared out over the ocean. “What a beautiful view.”
“It certainly is,” he answered.
“But, you’re not looking at the ocean,” she said.
He gazed into her eyes. “There’s an ocean nearby?”

Less innocent:
“What have you heard of me?” he asked.
“That you’re a terrible rake.”
He laughed. “Then, I’ll do my best to be a better rake.”

Even less innocent:
She yawned.
“Late night?” he asked.
“Coffee, please.”
“Who’s the lucky guy?”
She stared at him. “William Shakespeare.”
“When he needs a stand-in, let me know.”

Quite explicit. There’s an amazing scene in The Taming of the Shrew where Katharine and Petruchio first meet. There’s a lot of great banter in there, but one of his lines is amazing. They’ve been going back and forth about tongues and telling tales. When she tells him she’s done and she’s leaving, he answers, “What, with my tongue in your tail?” I first heard that about 45 years ago and have never forgotten it.

Categories: Alice Gaines, Uncategorized, writing | Tags: | Leave a comment

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