Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #12 - Don't Call Me Baby

This is my twelth Six Sentence Sunday. It's from my upcoming release Don't Call Me "Baby". This novel is about a young woman's coming of age and discovering her sexuality in the wild and crazy 1980s in the U. S. This scene is the first moment Catherine Stone, my main characters, sets eyes on the man who will become her match. 
She giggled a little too loudly and caught the attention of that very handsome middle-aged man at the adjacent table who licked his lips as he looked at her. She tossed her head, making her curls bounce as she gave him a sexy smile. He smiled in return and tipped his wine glass towards her. Leaning back in her chair, she eyed him up while she felt Brian's foot move farther up her leg until it rested at the top of her thigh. She spread her legs farther apart and guided his foot with her hand to her molten pussy.
"My God, you aren't wearing any underwear!" 
Look for this book to come out in September, 2011. Keep an eye on my website/blog and my Facebook page for updates. This book will be one hell of a sexy ride!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Tales #4 - Marching Band

This is my fourth Tuesday Tales, where writers are invited to create a story based on a prompt. This week's prompt is "marching band". My Tuesday Tales are part of a serial I've entitled "The Artifact". It's romantic adventure. Make sure to read all back issues before reading this one. Below is my list of previous Tuesday Tales.  Enjoy!

The Artifact
By Elizabeth Black

Chapter Three - Marching Band

Victoria raced down the crowded street in a futile effort to keep up with Julian. She shoved her way past vendors seeking to lure her towards cowrie and leather chokers she would have bought had she not been distracted by a particular missing statue of Aphrodite. The Goombay Festival was in full swing, with vibrant dancers, jaunty marching bands, tourists eager to part with their money for a taste of tropical delight, marauding packs of children, and street vendors selling jewelry, brightly-colored caftans, guava pastries and drinks, and bottles of suntan lotion for the pasty visitors from America and Europe. 

Julian plowed ahead of her, ignoring her cries to slow down. She found herself trapped behind a local marching band, horns blaring in her ears, whoops of pleasure erupting from the dancers in flouncing skirts and feathered headdresses. Heart pounding in her chest, she panicked as she watched Julian's form become smaller and smaller as he disappeared ahead of her, deep in the marching band amid the crowd.

"Dance with me, lovely lady." A band member dressed in bright reds and oranges grasped her around the waist and lifted her high in the air. Annoyed, she struggled but the man must have been used to women trying to free themselves from his enticing grip. "Ah, don't struggle, you beautiful creature. This is the Goombay Festival. Live life to the fullest!"

"I'd love to but I'm in the middle of an important search..." She twisted in his grip as he twirled her in a dizzying circle. "... and if I don't find what I'm looking for, it'll be my head on a platter."

"You must mean the Aphrodite of Rhodes, Miss Victoria Crenshaw."

She squeezed his upper arms so hard her fingernails dug half moons into his skin. He winced in pain, trying to pull away, but now she held the upper hand and gave him a good, hard shake. "So you know me. Do you know where that statue is? If you do, tell me now!"

"I only know what Kwame tells me, and he boasts he has a valuable statue but no one believes him because he is... well... Kwame."

"Where may I find this Kwame?"

He pointed down the street, through the burgeoning crowd and the fast-moving marching bands that swung their instruments over their heads in a frenzied dance of pleasure. "Down past the Bahamian Kitchen, a block past the plumeria shrubs, and across from Miss Nguyen's herb stand. You'll know the store by the bad smell and the riff raff loitering at the front door. Even the plumeria can't overpower that smell."

She raced down the street, not bothering to ask how he knew about the statue since there was no time. How many others knew that statue was coming to Nassau? It would fetch a hefty sum from a private buyer on the black market. As she shoved her way past men and women blowing trumpets in her ears and laughing as she winced, she spied Julian running past a copse of plumeria bushes. She kept him in her line of vision and shoved her way through the thickening crowd until she found Miss Nguyen's herb stand.

The man with the trumpet was right. The store next to that herb stand stunk to high heaven. Julian was already halfway inside as Victoria, who ignored the loiterers who groped at her slacks, followed close behind. 

"Where is it?" Julian leaned over a cluttered desk so close to a smaller, dark-skinned man he spat in his face as he shouted.

"I don't know what you mean."

He pounded the desk, causing a bottle of rum to rattle against the glass. "The Aphrodite of Rhodes! Did you sell her already?"

"No! No! If you want her she's yours but what do I do about my client?"

"Your client can go to hell." Victoria stood next to him, blocking him from escaping and leaving him trapped in his flimsy chair, cowering before her and Julian. "You must be Kwame. Give Aphrodite to me and maybe I won't turn you over to the authorities."

Julian looked surprised. "How do you know his name?"

She ignored him. "Give that statue to me. Now!" She gripped the front of Kwame's shirt and would have pulled him from his chair if the little rat of a man didn't reach for the safe beneath his desk.

"It's here. Don't hurt me!" He opened the safe, pulled out the statue wrapped in a dirty burlap bag, and handed it to her. "Please don't call the police. I'm already in enough trouble."

"Too late for that." She stalked off with Julian on her heels.

"But you said you wouldn't turn me over to the authorities!"

"I said maybe."

She and Julian raced to his jeep and soon found themselves back at the museum. She stormed into the building, fuming at his stupidity and her own. Now to get this statue on her pedestal where she belongs. Good thing there is an alarm system around the display so no one else can walk off with her. 

"All that excitement gave me an appetite." Julian followed her down the meandering hallways on their way to her office. Angry, she did not reply.

"Aren't you hungry, Vic? Please let me make it up to you. Let me take you out to lunch. No strings attached. Just us, some fried grouper, conch fritters, and fried plantain."

She remembered his kiss, feeling enraged over how he took advantage of her while at the same time... she remembered his kiss, how passionate and fevered it felt. How her pulse raced in her veins when he wrapped his arms around her. She wanted the excitement of lust but not the annoyances that go with it. What is it with men? Why do they think they can do whatever they want with me? Don expects me to come and go at his whim. We've been dating for only three months, and the sex isn't even all that great. We'd might as well not have sex at all. Julian comes back into my life and turns it upside-down. I think I'd be better off without either one of them in my life! 

But she remembered Julian's kiss...

"You've given me enough excitement for the day." She kept a few paces ahead of him, grateful for the distance. "Now that I have Aphrodite back, I don't need you anymore. Please leave me alone."

"You don't mean that."

She wondered if he knew her better than she knew herself. Conflicted, she wanted to feel his lips on hers again but was the aggravation worth the pleasure? Lost in thought, she turned her key in her lock and entered her office.

"Vicky, I'm so sorry about that way I acted before you left. Can I make it up to -- who's this?"

Victoria's eyes widened with shock and embarrassment at the sight of the person standing before her. What's he doing here? And why did he have to show up now of all times?

"How'd you get into my office?"

"Rod let me in. Mind telling me who this is?"

Victoria let out an exasperated sigh. "Don, this is Julian Archer, my ex-husband. Julian, this is Donovan Fleming, my boyfriend."


For more stories from other authors, please visit the Tuesday Tales web site. Next week's prompt is "boyfriend". Look for "The Artifact" to continue in the next installment.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Call Me Baby - Remembering the 1980s

I added a separate page for Don't Call Me Baby at the top of this web site. I'll update it as more information pours in.

I blogged about Don't Call Me Baby and the 1980s at the Sensual 'N' Secret blog. Here's the link:

Don't Call Me Baby - Remembering the 1980s - Sensual 'N' Secret

Here are a few things I remember about the '80s. More at the article.
Video Killed The Radio Star (I saw this vid the first time it aired) 
LP turntables
AIDS - and Ronald Reagan refusing to even acknowledge its existence.
The space shuttle Challenger explosion
Sally Ride - the first female American astronaut in space

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuesday Tales #3 - Kiss

This is my third Tuesday Tales, where writers are invited to create a story based on a prompt. This week's prompt is "kiss". My Tuesday Tales are part of a serial I've entitled "The Artifact". It's romantic adventure. Make sure to read all back issues before reading this one. Below is my list of previous Tuesday Tales.  Enjoy!

The Artifact
By Elizabeth Black

Chapter Three - Kiss

At the sight of Julian Archer, Victoria Crenshaw wrestled between an urge to rush into his arms and another, equally strong urge to claw his eyes out. Victoria did not believe in love. She swore she'd never again allow any man to get close to her, not after what Julian did to her.  He broke her heart so badly when he abandoned her he left a gaping hole where her soul used to be. The problem was although her mind rejected love and affection, her bruised and beaten heart needed it to survive.

He swaggered to her desk and perched on the corner. So close she could smell his spicy cologne and the mink oil emanating from his leather frock coat, she wasn't aware she backed away from him until her bum touched one of her recessed bookcases. Tattered heart thundering in her chest, she steeled herself, refusing to succumb to his iron grey eyes, tousled black hair, five o'clock shadow, smug smile that threatened to turn into a sneer, broad shoulders that cried out for her caress...

No! I'm not giving into to him no matter how hard he tries. "What the hell are you doing here?" To her horror, she whined like a petulant child. Eight years of pent-up rage boiled to the surface, and she snarled at him. "Give me my Aphrodite!"

"Claws in, darlin'. The last time I checked, the Aphrodite of Rhodes belonged to the Greek government. I don't think the Greek consulate would take kindly to you pilfering its prized treasure." He cocked his head in her direction, eyes twinkling in delight at the position he held her in. "You really are beside yourself, aren't you? I can't imagine someone as regimented as you losing a priceless statue."

"Get over yourself. I don't care why you're here or what you want, Julian." She sighed, exasperated and tired. "If you know where the statue is, please give her to me. It's dangerous for her to be missing. You know the effect she has on men and women. She's created and brought down civilizations. We need to keep her contained to prevent any trouble. Plus she's my responsibility and ... and I can't believe you are here, in my office, driving me crazy again! I wish you would leave."

He took a step towards her and she moved away until she backed into a ten volume set of books as rigid in their spines as she was weak in hers. Why am I acting like this? Any other day I would simply toss his luscious ass out of my office. What's the matter with me? His cocky demeanor dissipated, allowing a somewhat tender expression to cross his face. "Aren't you happy to see me, Vic?" 

"Why should I be? After what you did to me? How does Brittany feel about you being here with me?"

"We broke up six years ago."

Numbers tallied lightning-quick in her mind. "So you two barely lasted two years. She was a toothpick with plastic boobs. A tapeworm has a bigger brain. You left me for that?"

"She was a huge mistake, Vic, the second biggest I've ever made. The biggest was leaving you." He took another step towards her but she didn't back away. She fought an urge to throw herself in his arms with all her might. Her conflicting emotions tore at her, one minute demanding she lose herself in his embrace and the next minute demanding she thrust her jewel-encrusted Indian kris lying on her desk through his cheating heart. Legs cramping and will weakening, she felt the power of his animal magnetism and his brute strength as he closed in on her. She had nowhere to run. The corner of her office was only a step or two away. The only other way to avoid him was to rush past him but she knew she'd never resist falling into those strong arms.

"Vic, please... let's start over."

She laughed. Of all the arrogant, upstart, self-centered... "You can't be serious. Why would I ever begin again with you? You're a conceited, cocky, flighty bastard."

He grinned. "You used to love those qualities about me."

"I grew up. I don't need you anymore. I don't want you anymore." Vision clouded as her eyes filled with tears. Damn it, I can't hide behind lies. I still want him. I've craved his touch the entire time he was gone. Eight years is a long time to sleep alone at night. She choked back a whimper as she dug her fingernails into her thighs to ward off her pain. "Please leave me alone. Just give me Aphrodite and all is forgiven. I know you know where she is. I know you too well, Julian." She couldn't contain her anguish. A stray tear coursed down her cheek, leaving heat in its wake.

He walked to her until he stood so close he could touch her. She curled into herself, body and soul, and stared at her hands. Cocooned in the safety of ignoring his closeness, she stared down, avoiding his gaze. She absentmindedly tore at her cuticles until he took her hands gently in his.

"I hurt you worse than I thought I had. Can you ever forgive me, Vic?" She felt the warmth of his breath on her forehead, but she dared not lift her head to stare him square in the eyes. She feared what he would do if she did. She feared what she would do if she did! Her heart raced as his fingers caressed her hand. Frozen like a cornered cat, she trembled but no longer fought her tears as they fell one after the other down her cheeks like spring rain on parched ground.

His hand wiped away her tears. "What have I done to you?" He placed his thumb beneath her chin and lifted her face until she peered into his sad eyes. Her body shook with eight years of grief and pain, tears falling in an uncontrolled torrent. I want you. I need you. Please get away from me before I fall for you all over again.

He lowered his face to hers until his lips pressed against her own. At the touch of his kiss, she came to her senses and yanked her body away from his. Affronted, she drew back one arm and slapped him hard across the face.

He grinned but his grin was shamed. "I deserved that. You have some heft in that swing. Eight years of pent-up rage at me. I fully understand."

"Get out. Get out! First give me my artifact and --"

He crushed his lips against hers, pinning her against the bookcase. She struggled in his embrace but soon her spinning head and pounding heart could no longer resist. She had been without the touch of a man for nearly a decade, and as his strong hands kneaded her back she realized the only man she wanted all that time was him. She wrapped her arms around his body, partly craving his touch but also in an attempt to keep from losing her balance. His tongue slid into her mouth. He tasted of claret and fine Jamaican tobacco. His taste for the finer things in life haven't changed one bit. She felt one of his hands leave her back to fist her hair. He yanked her head back and planted his mouth against the pulse throbbing in her throat. Her body melted into his, eager for his touch. As she succumbed to his lust, she realized why she wanted him so badly against her better judgment. At her realization, a wave of depression washed over her.

It's the artifact. None of this is real. The Aphrodite Of Rhodes brings lovers together. It has inspired some of the most amorous unions in history. Julian is no different. There is no love here. It's only the artifact acting on both of our desires.

Julian held her so tightly she couldn't breath. She gasped, and he loosened his grip on her but did not release her. One hand found her breast and squeezed gently, making her feel weak in the knees. His tongue ran down her neck until it reached her collarbone, making her break out in shivers. Even though she knew their lust was not real and only an effect of the power of Aphrodite, she couldn't resist giving in to her arousal. She wanted to feel his hands on her body. She needed to taste his mouth. If only for a night. She'd been without affection for so long she'd take it if only for a fleeting moment, thanks to an ancient Greek statue.

"How did you know I'd be here?" She nibbled on his earlobe. "I'm surprised you were able to keep me in the dark about you working on this exhibit."

"You never would have come here if you knew I was in Nassau. I was afraid if you learned I was on the museum staff you'd pull out of the exhibit."

"I'd never abandon my career for you or any man, Julian. You're being rather presumptuous."

"I know, but that was my fear. I needed to see you so I did whatever I needed to do to get you down here."

Understanding the implication of his statements, she pulled away from his embrace. She eyed him up, a distressing sense of realization coming over her. "Exactly what are you saying, Julian?"

"I swiped the artifact hoping you would come here looking for it. And hoping you'd find me and not run away."

She rolled her hand into a fist, ready to strike him again. Her body shook with rage, but deep down other emotions warred with her fury; namely, her ego swelled knowing she had such a grip on him that he would risk his own career to lure her to paradise. But rage overtook her will and ran away with her.

"I ... can't ... believe ... you'd do such a stupid, stupid thing! Do you have any idea how much panic you've caused? All because you wanted to kiss me?"

He grinned and shrugged his shoulders. "Well, Vic, that's not all I had in mind..."

She lifted her arm, hand outstretched. "Don't tempt me to smack your other cheek. Now that your game is up, please give me that artifact so I may sleep well tonight."

"Okay, I got my point across and even got my way. You never could resist me, Vic."

"Don't push your luck."

He took her by the hand and walked with her to an office he shared with two professors. She sat on a plush couch and waited. He unlocked a closet door, opened it, and retrieved a large wooden box. Smiling, he lifted the lid, pulled out a large black velvet cloth, and reached into the box.

Then all the color drained out of his face.

She stood, fearing the worst. "What's wrong?"

"It's gone." His spoke so quietly she barely heard him, but his meaning was clear.


"It's gone! I can't believe that prick would steal it but I'm not surprised. Don't panic, Vic. I know where it is."

"You'd better know. Don't waste any time. Let's find it now. Take me to where she is."

"It's dangerous. I don't think you should go with me."

"I'm already in too deep. You take me there now, get that artifact for me, and get out of my life!"

"You'd might as well get your coat. We're going to be gone for awhile." He fished his keys from his coat pocket. "I hope you like the Goombay Festival. That's where we're headed."

"I've always wanted to go but not under these circumstances. Just get my Aphrodite for me. I'm counting on you."

She realized she told the truth. As they left the museum for his jeep, she realized something else. With the artifact missing, that kiss and her reaction to it - and to him - were very real. With the ghost of his kiss on her lips, she followed him to his jeep, wondering what the rest of the night would bring to her.


For more stories from other authors, please visit the Tuesday Tales web site. Next week's prompt is "marching band". Look for "The Artifact" to continue in the next installment.

Cover - Don't Call Me Baby

Got my cover for Don't Call Me Baby. I'm psyched. It steams up my web site. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Bennet Pomerantz

Welcome guest blogger Bennet Pomerantz. He's here to talk about the drive for writing.


Someone once asked me at a writer’s convention, "How can you get all these writing projects in all those different places like you do?"
I told him "It’s like the old joke . . . How do you get to Carnegie Hall? . . . Practice, Practice, Practice!" It is the same with writing. You have to keep working with it. It never will just come easy. You need to enjoy your life . . . family, friends, whatever you love. However, you also need to write. Know this, the work won’t write itself. I will say this, do not worry about what writer’s market you can sell it at in the future . . . worry about finishing the work.
It does not matter what genre you write. You need to work daily at your craft. Learn to block out the time in your schedule. If you work a full time job, work at lunch, on coffee breaks and if you can train rides going to and from work (that is how Scott Turow wrote his first three books). Some writers will go by a daily word count, if it works for them . . . That’s FINE. I just work with no time limit, word count, etc. You need to do what you feel comfortable with. You also need to be inventive, try out new ideas . . . be creative and let your imagination fly in any direction you want it to be. You do not have to have an outline, you can explore the characters as you are writing. Don’t worry if it is perfect, nothing ever is the first time around. Do not also worry about where it may be printed or sold, just write it!
I remember when I had a bad case of writers’ block (yes, and it does happen to the best of writers . . . me included). I could not write my weekly newspaper column, and the words wouldn’t come out. I stepped away from the computer. I turned on the TV and watched a few episodes of the classic series the Wild Wild West on TBS. At that time, the TBS network was full of classic 1960-70 television shows like West, Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Saint, etc. They also use to have such shows in a three-hour blocks of programming. There was a Sherlock Holmes book on my shelf above the TV. A thought occurred me out of the blue . . . Sherlock Holmes in the West. From that basic concept idea, I wrote a short story entitled Night of the Shylock which I combined Wild Wild West TV show characters and Sherlock Holmes in a story. This novella did not happen overnight, it happened over three weeks period. This story appeared in the pages of Power Star Magazine and later in the Sherlock Holmes’ fan publication The Red Circle. This simple short tale even spawned a sequel, The Case of The Retired American Agent All of that from an exercise of imagination from a bad case of writers’ block!
Look, I love all genres. I have written in most of them. Just take a risk and have fun exploring. Research a subject and create a universe with characters you create. Try new ideas out, you never know when that story you start will branch out and grow into the next great American novel.
So when are you going to the writers’ Carnegie Hall. You know Practice, Practice, Practice!
Food for Thought
@Pen & Ink Inc.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #11 - Don't Call Me "Baby"

This is my eleventh Six Sentence Sunday. It's part of the opening paragraph of my upcoming release Don't Call Me "Baby". This novel is about a young woman's coming of age and discovering her sexuality in the wild and crazy 1980s in the U. S. I just received my edits and I expect my cover this week. 
The sun had set behind the trees, casting shadows across the park hiding the car she sat in to some extent. Catherine wished it were a bit darker outside, because she was in constant fear of getting caught, but being that it was a hot June evening, that was too much to ask for. Besides, the possibility of getting caught thrilled her, made the encounter all the more exciting for her. Every horn blowing and car pulling in made her hair stand on end. Will this be the cop who pulls us over? Can we get away with me sucking him off here yet again?
Look for this book to come out in September, 2011. Keep an eye on my website/blog and my Facebook page for updates. This book will be one hell of a sexy ride!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tuesday Tales #2 - Museum

This is my second Tuesday Tales, where writers are invited to create a story based on a prompt. This week's prompt is "museum". My Tuesday Tales are part of a untitled serial. Make sure to read all back issues before reading this one. Below is my list of previous Tuesday Tales.  Enjoy!

Tuesday Tales #1 - Travel Agent

The Artifact
By Elizabeth Black

Chapter Two - Museum

Victoria tore through the boxes in the storage room. "If I don't find this piece before the exhibit opens I'm dead meat. It's holding the entire exhibit together and without it the show will fall like a load of bricks." She wiped nervous sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand. "Do you have any idea what could happen if the artifact gets in the wrong hands? It inspires love but also out-of-control lust. We must find it before it's too late!"

She shoved detritus around inside the box as if jostling the packing material would magically make it appear, a futile thought if she ever had one. "The artifact wasn't in the crate?"

"No. The crate was empty when I opened it." Rod Jenkins sounded like he swallowed his tongue. The poor man was far beyond embarrassment. He entered sheer-fright-over-losing-his-job territory. Victoria was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but she knew the benefactors would not be as sympathetic.

She inspected the holes in the wood where the slats had been nailed together. "You got a magnifying glass? I need a closer look."

She held the glass close to the wood and noticed two large holes next to each other. The center slat also had two large holes similarly spaced apart.

"This box has been opened and resealed. The artifact was inside but removed by someone in this museum. We must find out by whom and why!" A sickening thought crossed her mind. "Has anything else been removed from the exhibit?"

All the color flowed out of Rod's face, leaving his skin the color of oatmeal, even with a tan. "I don't know... I don't think so. Want to make a sweep to be sure?"

"Yes. Follow me. Let's give the entire exhibit a walk-through."

They entered the exhibit beneath two tall trailing red rose bushes that reached the ceiling. Red roses, the flower that spoke of love in nearly all languages. Victoria passed by displays, counting her artifacts as she walked. An illuminated manuscript of the Song Of Solomon, the most sensuous book in the Bible. The Venus of Willendorf. The German stone phallus carved 28,000 years ago, the oldest such known depiction of a penis in history. Researchers were unsure how the phallus was used sexually - if it was used at all that way - but it was used to sharpen flints. Germany allowed the sculpture to leave the country for the museum's grand opening. 

A second display area revealed terra cotta Buddhas with enlarged bellies women rubbed in the superstitious hope they would become pregnant. Paintings, etchings, and frescos depicting various exotic sex positions filled the walls. A reproduction of a portion of the Kama Sutra took up an entire room. A greenhouse with live plants on display used as aphrodisiacs. A display of Sumatran love beetles, which when toasted and ground acted as an love potion that tasted like oranges. These beetles were used in Sumatra as far back as the 15th century to churn the sexual desires of men and women. Down another meandering hallway, Victoria found exotic "French letters" and turn-of-the-century vibrators used to treat women for "hysteria" by bringing them to orgasm. A steel male chastity belt dating back to 1860 sat in a lonely corner away from the electronic toys and framed ads of vibrators from American 1920s Sears catalogues.

She walked to the dead center of the exhibit and the place of honor of her grand display and chewed the corner of her lip. She stood before the velvet-covered pillar and squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that when she opened them her prized artifact would magically appear but she knew nothing of the sort would happen. Where the keystone of the exhibit should sit instead rested an empty bottle of her favorite champagne, Krug NV Grand Cuvee Brut. The message was obviously meant for her but she had no idea who left it or why. As far as she was concerned, there was nothing to celebrate. Whoever thought it would be amusing to remind her of the artifact's disappearance in such a crass manner would pay a price she would choose herself.

Where was her Aphrodite of Rhodes?

She saw the lovely marble statue in her mind's eye and her heart skipped a beat, enraptured by the warring memories of beauty and lust. Hewn of delicate marble that turned pink when wet, the Aphrodite of Rhodes stood only three feet tall. The buxom depiction of the goddess of love stretched across a bench, head thrown back, upturned face with eyes half closed and mouth half open in an expression of ecstasy. One arm rested behind her head and her other hand caressed her left breast, pinching the nipple.

No one knew who carved it but most scholars believed it to be Greek in origin. The design was much more erotic than was common for the time. The earliest known owner of the statue was Alexander the Great. Since then, Aphrodite had seduced Julius Caesar and (quite fitting) Caligula. King Louis XIV presented Aphrodite to his Marie Antoinette on their wedding day. After the French revolution, the statue was returned to Greece where it was displayed for the world to see. The Grecian government agreed to loan the statue to the Caribbean Museum of Natural History for its grand opening show Love And Sex Throughout The Ages.

Rumors of the statue's power to inspire lust and love existed ever since she owned Alexander the Great. Acquiring the statue, even for a short period of time, brought lovers closer together. One story went that an assistant spent an evening cleaning Aphrodite before attending a party and reported two days later that for the first time in her life she went home with four men ... and two women! She had taken two days off out of sheer exhaustion. Merely coming in contact with this seductress hewn in marble inspired fevered gropings, wet kisses, and heavy-duty baby making.

And now she was missing. Damn the lax security in paradise!

"Victoria? You have a phone call." A lab assistant she didn't know walked into the exhibit behind her. "It's the Museum of Greek Antiquities."

Oh, great. I'm in for it now. She nodded and raced to her office. Skin crawling with mortification, she answered the phone. 

"Victoria Crenshaw." Her mouth was so dry the words stuck to her cheeks like peanut butter.

"Ms. Crenshaw, this is Ari Mavromihalis. I'm checking on the condition of our package."

"It arrived this morning, Mr. Mavromihalis."

"She's a thing of beauty, is she not?"

"Yes, she is." Too bad I didn't get to see her in person. "She will be the crown jewel of the exhibition. Thank you so much for allowing us to showcase her."

"She hasn't been out of the country in many years and I knew this exhibit would be an ideal reintroduction for her. We've decided to allow her to go on tour with our rarest antiquities. A world tour. Once you return her to us she will leave our lovely shores again."

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to show her to the world." Too bad all the world will see is an empty champagne bottle. Victoria wanted to cry, the anguish and fear tearing at her very being threatened to spill over to her phone call. Stalling for time, she wished the man would hang up and let her get back to worrying herself to a dozen ulcers. 

"You know of her charms, her ability to inspire lust and love in all who come in contact with her?"

"Yes, I'm aware of them."

"Don't let her out of your sight. The Greek government can't be held responsible for any crimes of passion or other passionate events."

Oh, where, where, where is that damned statue? To hell with the legends. Her only concern was finding it and preventing herself and the museum from being sued.

"I must ring off now, Ms. Crenshaw. We shall speak soon. In person. I shall arrive in Nassau in three days, when your exhibition opens. A pleasant surprise, no?"

A pleasant surprise? No! "I look forward to it Mr. Mavromihalis. I must ring off. I want this exhibition to be the best ever. People will talk about it for years to come." Oh, they'll talk about it, alright. The exhibit that makes world news for losing one of the most infamous sculptures in existence.

She slipped the phone into its receiver and leaned against her desk, shoulders slumped and head hanging in shame and terror. I'm not going to find her, am I? She wallowed in her misery with so much abandon she didn't hear the footsteps behind her as someone walked into her office.

"Vic, it's good to see you, although I wish it were under better circumstances."

Her skin tingled at the familiar voice. She straightened her body, every nerve alert, every hair standing on end, every beat of her heart thundering in her ears. No, it couldn't be. Not after eight years. She had not seen his name on the work roster for the exhibition. If she had, she would have demanded he be removed from it and sent as far away from her as possible. Heart pounding in her throat so hard she couldn't swallow, she slowly turned to face her greatest regret.

Standing before her as drop-dead gorgeous and as smug as he had been the day he walked out on her was her ex-husband. 

"Julian Archer, you son of a bitch! What the hell are you doing here, and where is my artifact?"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Guest Blogger: Sarah Ballance


From Sarah Ballance

Today I've brought a slightly different kind of guest blog, and I'd first like to thank Elizabeth for offering her blog so fellow author Elaina Lee and I may share this with you.  As you read through this information, please keep in mind our new titles—Elaina's TO URN HER LOVE and my story HAWTHORNE—are available for just $3 each with all proceeds to benefit the relief efforts highlighted below.  We hope you'll consider a donation through a book purchase, and thank you very much for your time as you visit with us today. 

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES, there's a moment when we forget all boundaries.  Geographic, political, and socioeconomic divisions fall, and there, for some of the most painful, beautiful moments in time, we are one.

Then—hour by hour, day by day, week by week—the vast majority of us lucky enough to do so will move on.  As the headlines change our focus moves elsewhere, and save for the occasional media update, many of us don't look back.

Some, however, struggle to look ahead.  Here's a glimpse at the staggering numbers and the broken realities affected residents of Alabama and Japan must face every day.

ALABAMA TORNADOES – April 27, 2011

The mile-wide F5 tornado that literally sliced the state of Alabama in half stayed on the ground for an astonishing 300 miles—a record-breaking distance, according to National Geographic.  It also left a path of utter devastation in its wake, and recovery  hasn't been easy, as evidenced by these facts reported by

·       25,081 families were denied FEMA insurance, including many whose homes had been wiped completely off their foundations.  FEMA's reason?  Insufficient damage. 

·       Following the April tornadoes, FEMA deployed 523 inspectors to the region.  Together, they've inspected over 5,000 properties a day.  That's a lot of destruction, folks.

·       Of the $4 million in initial FEMA aid for Alabama, $3.1 million went for temporary housing alone.  

JAPAN EARTHQUAKE – March 11, 2011

A June 29 update from Red Cross Japan reveals the following sober statistics:

·       75,215 people from the three most affected prefectures are still living in shelters or other temporary housing.  7,427 are still missing, their loved ones fearing the worst.

·       119,776 claims for unemployment were filed between March 11 and June 8 in the three most affected prefectures.

·       97,183 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.  35, 514 have left the Fukushima prefecture, forced to start over with nothing.

You Can Help … Today

Authors Elaina Lee and Sarah Ballance, through the generosity of the Astraea Press charity program, are proud to announce 100% of profits from their novellas below will go toward Alabama and Japan Disaster Relief, respectively.  As an additional token of appreciation for your support, if you have purchased either of their titles you are invited to contact Elaina or Sarah for a free gift (while supplies last).

TO URN HER LOVE | Elaina Lee | romance | BUY LINK | BLOG 

Caylie Abrahms bad day gets worse when the teen brother she's responsible for proudly hands her a gift.  Just wanting to show how much he appreciates all his sister does for him, Kyle steals what he believes is an ornate glass vase.  The gift is anything but however, and now Caylie has to find the owner of an urn.  Worst yet, she has to explain her dear brother stole someones loved one.

Against all odds she learns the urn belongs to Rick Marshall, her best friend from college, the man she'd poured her heart out to and been rejected by.  She never thought she'd see him again, let alone have to hand him back his father in glass.  Will her resolve remain strong in his presence, or will she suffer another broken heart?

HAWTHORNE | Sarah Ballance | mystery, romance | BUY LINK | BLOG 

After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home.   She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.

Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace.  In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything.  What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?

If you'd like to receive free promotional materials, please contact Elaina @ forthemusedesigns at gmail dot com or Sarah @ sarah at sarahballance dot com.  Available while supplies last.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #10

This is my tenth Six Sentence Sunday. The text is from my WIP, Secrets and Lies. This book is a mystery/family saga. I plan to have it finished by January, 2012. My book is about a woman searching for answers to a family tragedy, and she finds herself in danger the deeper she looks. What she uncovers threatens to tear apart her family and possibly cost her her life. In this scene, my protagonist Kate Stanwood is breaking into the home of a woman who has been threatening her uncle. Kate hopes to discover why as she searches through the woman's house while she is gone. But... she comes home early to Kate's surprise, leaving her trapped in the attic.
Any eight-year old with a screwdriver could get through that door. The lock was nothing more than one of those twist-the-little-knob numbers. All she needed to do was to insert a stiff, flat object between the edge of the door and the jamb like a shoehorn, shove aside the bolts, and pry open the door. She reached into her pocket, pulled out her wallet, and grabbed a credit card. She hadn't purchased anything with it in such a long time that she hadn't noticed that it had expired two years ago.
Does this door accept Visa? 
Keep an eye on my Facebook page, my blog, and my Yahoo group for updates on this book. It's quite a twisted little tale and it will be an incredible read. Just when you think you have figured it out... you're wrong! Enjoy my Six Sentence Sunday!