A Rendezvous with an Old Friend – Emma Calin meets up with Sophia, from Seduction of Crowns.

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A character interview with Sophia Castellana from suspense romance novel ‘Seduction of Crowns’ for the Passion Patrol.

I’ve been at my home in south west France working on my next Passion Patrol story. There’s still some warmth in the sun in the middle of the day. I’m as English as fish and chips but my partner’s home is in France – a good 300 miles south of London where the sun is higher in the sky. A couple of days ago I was amazed to receive a phone call from a French woman working at Versailles – the royal palace of France at the edge of Paris. She introduced herself and informed me that the Queen had invited me to dinner at the Chateau de La Roche Courbon – an impossibly beautiful castle very close to my home. I wondered why some official had called me but I guess royals have staff to fix everything. The caller outlined her wishes:

“Her Majesty is hoping to see you alone on ziz occasion. Her ‘usband is gone to Canada for a spa water cure with his friend Monsieur Trou d’Eau. Her Majesty is also very happy in realizing zat you are writing sometimes for papers and magazines and can put forward her private aspects to zee public. It would be her plaisir for you stay overnight and sample her new crude wine.”

I put the phone down and sighed. Sophia – married to Charles 11th of France – is a bloody difficult woman to be frank. I caught sight of her at the Royal Ascot race meeting the day of the terror attack. I’d also seen pictures of her in the celeb’ magazines at the christening of the Ambastilias baby in Naples. The parents Helen and Marco were beaming but Sophia looked – well you know, regal. I think it’s her way of staying aloof from the semi-scandal surrounding her marriage. By staying above it all, she doesn’t have to talk dirty if you know what I mean. She was thirty nine. He was twenty four and a very innocent young guy. Sophia has a very close friend – Martine La Plume, president of France. I mean, these girls are very close and the press like to reflect upon the nature of their relationship. Is that what she wanted to talk about? Dear me – not my bag but I’m as curious as any cat and about to look at a queen. A few days later I kiss my man au revoir without saying too much and prepare for une promenade on the wild side – maybe.

I drive my elderly little Citroen C3 past the main castle building with its Sleeping Beauty towers into a private courtyard. A severe looking female with hair tied back into a bun stands by as I stop. She takes my small overnight bag and leads me through an old wooden door studded with chunky iron nails.

“Zeez are the servant’s lodgings. Her majesty will join you in the castle. The fires should have warmed the rooms.”

I follow her back out across an open area where I remember there was once a film crew making the TV show ‘Born To Be King’ about Sophia’s husband, Charles. That was a few years ago during all the French political upheaval which ended up with a grand yet constitutional monarchy. My companion has a strict and frigid military manner. The evening is deepening with the V formation of crows swooping down to roost with raucous calls, echoing a mortal shudder of black wings. I remember too that this was where Sophia first met Charles, when her life was very different and the woman destined to be a queen was herself a prisoner.

We enter a huge kitchen with a rotisserie style spit turning over an open wood fire. A wild boar is still recognizable as it sizzles, dripping fat down into a tray. A maid operates the mechanism with a rope and chain while basting the meat. The aroma hits my hungry button with a sledge hammer. OK, I’m not too self-denying or PC. We walk through to a grand salon with chaises longues, Louis XV chairs and a cheminée with a roaring log fire. A line of chestnuts squeak as they cook in the heat of the hearth.

“Her majesty will arrive Madame,” says the strict cool lady, pointing to a chair and moving back into the shadows.

“Thanks,” I say in English not wanting to show any imperfection in my French. I feared she might have some kind of school teacher’s baton in her pants to correct naughty grammar students.

A door opens and the Queen of France walks in. Of course, I knew her when she was Sophia Castellana, a London cop, before she turned cougar and scooped the boy king. I stand and she comes to me, arms open, smiling. I prepare for the French two-cheek peck but get a hug and a woman’s warm lips more or less on my eyebrow. OK – I’m cuddly short and Sophia is willowy tall.

“Emma – Emma you came to me. I’m so happy.”

I relax and smile back. She’s wearing a burgundy velvet pants suit, a cream high-necked blouse and a double string of pearls. Her face is calm and her long aquiline nose still gives her an air of aristocratic certainty. She seats herself opposite to me in the light of the fire, crosses her legs to show off her flat heeled hand stitched leather boots. I’ve worn medium stiletto heals and a blue and cream striped jumpsuit I bought in Naples in September. I look at my scarlet fingernails and romantic display of gaudy rings. Fearing the chill of a draughty castle I completed my look with a wool blazer, in dark navy with a sparkle silver plaid in the weave. She was out-gunned. I was just out-classed.

“That hog smells so good. If you hear a noise it’s me rumbling,” I say, not sure what to call her.

“It’s in the tradition of the great kings of France and of course of the English royal house of Stuart”

“Oh yes – like the heritage of Charles – I mean your husband, um – the king.”

“Yes, indeed – now we try some chestnuts and our vin bourru. It is the autumn tradition here.”

bourru

From nowhere a waitress steps forward with two bottles of what looks like cloudy cider and places them on a side table. Then she collects the chestnuts from the hearth and sets them on a heavy earthenware dish, their skins split and giving off a sweet yearning aroma. The girl pours the wine into large glasses, curtsies and departs. A couple of low electric lamps come on in the corners of the room but still her features change and reflect in the firelight. I sip the drink. It’s fizzy, yeasty and actually lovely. I peel a chestnut as Sophia does the same. I feel a bit awkward – like maybe you would, wanting to ask a queen what it’s like being a cougar and if she’s also gay. I raise my glass to her.

Salut…

She catches my hesitation.

“Sophia, please and salut to you.”

We make eye contact. The French believe that a toast needs eye contact to ensure good sex. It’s my favorite tradition.

“Sophia, I was a bit nervous. Since we last met you’ve been mixing with the great heads of state, the artists, the stars and all the other royals of the world. You’ve gone beyond my realm of experience.”

She stared into the fire and spoke without looking at me.

“And what do you think of me now?”

“Sophia – the truth is I don’t know you now. I think you’re beautiful, I think you’re regal, I think you’re strong and brave. When you came to France after that night in London, that terrible night of death, I wasn’t expecting you to marry a boy and end up as a queen.”

“A boy you say?”

“A boy relative to you. He’d never had a fight, or a woman. He’d been training to be a priest for Christ’s sake.”

“He was twenty-three, I was thirty-eight. If a man of forty marries a woman of fifty-five – so what? Who would care?”

I nod. She was right. She was so right.

“Look, I’m with you on that. We expect different things for and from a man of forty that’s all. Maybe he’s not looking for a child with a woman. A younger man still has to make his way in the world.”

“Sure I get that. Supposing you had a baby crab that had lost it’s shell while the hungry seabirds hovered above the beach. Let’s imagine that this is the last crab and it needs to survive at all costs. To save a society from civil war a man needs survive and bring a new focus to the people. Charles needed that and he wanted no one but me. He loved me.”

“And you loved him?”

She turned to pick up her glass and smiled. Her eyes were warm on mine and I could feel her strength.

“Emma – you of all people don’t run from the complexity of love. Love is not one thing. You can watch waves on the shore and they can always look the same. Yet, in the history of time no two waves have made exactly the same sound or the same exact pattern on the rocks or sand. When two people meet it’s like that wave and like that shore. If love was a precise idea everyone would know exactly how to get it – like we know how to make a pizza.”

I laugh.

“A French queen wouldn’t talk about pizza.”

“My name was Castellana. I’ll never be French no more than the Medici.”

“So, he loved you and….”

“And I felt my own sexual desire as a woman. I felt pride that a young man would desire me over perfect younger women. I’ve had a child and have the belly medals to prove it. I felt power like I guess a teacher feels power. I’ve never wanted ultra-Alpha types. I wanted a relationship where a guy had fixed his idea of ecstasy on me rather than other women. A man never forgets that first time.”

“Nor a woman.”

She held my eyes, brought her hands up to her jaw and looked back into the fire.”

“You’re right again. I was a good girl from a good Italian family. I went to a girls’ school to keep me pure. Emma – sex is a powerful drive. It’s like bloody Vesuvius.”

For a moment I wanted to keep her mind on Charles. All the same I knew what she was saying. I was about to speak when she began again.

“I was a cop once. You live with a cop. I don’t have to explain this to you but here’s a question for you. You’re hungry, you’ve got no money. You’ve never stolen a thing because everyone says it was wrong. Society says it’s wrong to steal but you’re hungry. In the shop there’s a sandwich – you snatch it. You eat it. It feels so so good. It’s a wicked sandwich. It tastes so so good. You’ve done what you needed to do. The hardest crime if you like, is the first. To take sexual food when you’re starving is no moral crime. The law just masturbates in order to stay untouched and neutral.”

I think I’m wide eyed, maybe hanging my jaw. This is a freaking queen guys! I love her frank honesty and compassion.

“You were a working girl in London when a situation broke over you. Your courage and strength burned itself into this young man’s mind and he needs that strength every day in his life. His situation in France has enemies. Do you ever fear that he will falter?”

“Yes, Emma please believe me, yes yes yes. I stay regal, brave and proud because that’s the expectation. That’s what royals are for. Charles is a man of royal blood – the house of Stuart. His blood unites the story of the Bourbons, the Medici and the throne of Britain. I’m more alone than I’ve ever been. I cling to my self belief and….”

“Martine,” I say.

She lets out a long sigh. I see her utter vulnerability and loneliness. She waits with her eyes closed before looking back at me.

“Yes of course. Love of Power is to have no fear of loneliness. She’s a wonderful woman. She’s bold and takes the heat of conflict.”

“She has advisors and experts around her I’m sure.”

“Thousands, yes. She operates from her heart you know. You can have too many hangers-on. I tell her that and she knows it. I was a police sergeant and when it gets tough you just act. You give the orders and believe me, under stress, that’s the real you. You won’t be judged on cool long term policy. When the gun came out, when the fist hit your face – what did you do? That’s you right there.”

I take a good swig at the cloudy sweetish wine. She seems ready to talk so I dive in.

“A lot of people speculate about your relationship with Martine.”

“Ah – but not you Emma?” she replies with a smile and a raise of her eyebrow. “I’m sure a hardcore female like you would never ever ever have the slightest curiosity about love with another woman.”

“OK – I’m curious.”

“I was on a police operation to rescue Martine from a plot within her own close group. We pulled it off by the skin of our teeth. We were thrown together and she let me know where she stood on her sexuality with just a small gesture. I admired and respected her. Her hand touched my shoulder and she knew from my response that I wasn’t troubled by her implication.”

“But you married Charles.”

“Of course. I wasn’t expecting it but events and social media created that momentum. I wasn’t expecting anything from Martine. Charles is a good and gentle man. He’s a superstar with a generation of teenage girls and I believe, their mothers. He is very handsome – maybe more beautiful if you like. I love him for that. I love him more for his desire for me.”

“The European press say that you are the boss at Versailles and that you and Martine are the government.”

“Then for once the press are right.”

Her gaze was fixed on my eyes. I had forgotten that this was a woman who’d stood up to a machine gunner in London and risked her life on the streets of Paris. That same toughness was still in her core. I hadn’t discovered too much except that I was looking at a powerful woman, a beautiful woman, an attractive woman and above all, a queen.

I decide to nudge our chat away from the intensity of world control and politics.

“Do you still see any of the old team? Anna La Salle still lives close to Paris.”

dormeuses“Sure, but she’s a top cop now and often in London. I saw her husband at the Petit Palais gallery a few weeks ago. He’s an art collector and expert on Courbet. He’s desperate to buy a picture they have there.”

“What’s it called?”

‘Le Sommeil’. I told him I’d like to buy it myself for Versailles. I think it might shock Charles.”

I nod as if I know this painting. All I know is that Courbet was

bussac

A chateau at Bussac sur Charente

a local artist who spent a lot of time at the chateau of Bussac, not far from here. I also knew he loved the erotic. I’d be hitting Google later.

“What lies in your future Sophia?”

“A dinner of roast boar with my wonderful friend and a few local officials. Then a flight to Moscow with Martine to see President Pinupskin in the morning,” she answers, downing her wine. She stands and gestures for me to follow her.

“And if I write any magazine features about you – what would you like to present as your message?” I ask.

“That I have the heart of a woman.”

“That’s very enigmatic.”

“And very true,” she replies.

My audience is over.

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Available in e-book and print formats on this link: ‘Seduction of Crowns’ 

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‘Cougar’ romance – a steamy excerpt – for adults only from SEDUCTION OF CROWNS

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Roche courbon

Chateau de la Roche Courbon – venue for the filmset action in Seduction of Crowns

First move of seduction by a ‘cougar’ – taken from chapter 21 of Seduction of Crowns by Emma Calin.

She was still reading when Charles came in. With only the light from the bedside lamp his head and shoulders were in shadow. She studied his large hands and the flatness of his stomach. Shamelessly and secretly beneath the duvet she moved her hand to a comforting aroused self-caress and set aside the book. It wouldn’t hurt to add a little secret tingle to his voice and presence. Wordlessly he lowered his lips to hers and she couldn’t stop, couldn’t stop, OMG, just couldn’t stop. The kiss was breathless, wet and pulsed out into his hair as her free hand held the back of his head.

Now I have been kissed,” he said.

She was trying to recover her senses. She was guessing he didn’t know what had just happened. He had one knee on the bed and was leaning over her. She moved her hands to his lips, like an animal wanting him to sense her. Some instinct in him made him clasp her fingers there and let the warmth of his tongue push between them. She knew where she wanted that hot tongue but not recorded on the bosses’ CCTV.

He took off his shoes and sat upright on the bed beside her.

You know I can’t stay, Sophia. Captain Côté is outside and I promised him I’d only be a minute. He has to guard me and he’s a good man. His soldiers are a bit rowdy after Vandervell’s film show and the wine. I don’t want to make things any harder for him.”

Did you just come to kiss me goodnight?”

Of course and to say I understand how you feel about the stuff I had to do for the show.”

The kissing and the bed scene,” she said.

I felt nothing. I just did what I’d seen on movies.”

She smiled, again letting her hand trail along his lips, gently parting them and feeling the warmth and wetness of his mouth. This time he kissed her fingertips.

She brought her lips to his and ran her hand along the fabric of his thigh. He gasped as she continued over his hard shaft. She paused at the head and pressed as she kissed him again, this time with her tongue.

Do you know how you made me feel just now?” she asked.

I don’t think so exactly,” he whispered.

You know I want you to let go too, don’t you?”

She pressed on his shaft, gently stroking him. He nodded and looked down.

I just want you to think of me and say my name and I’ll be saying yours, Charles,” she whispered.

He sighed and looked at her. She could feel the tight spring of his desire in every muscle of his body and chamber of his mind.

I love you,” he said in an awkward rush.

And desire me as a woman?”

Yes, Yes. It’s impossible not to….”

Then imagine me and say my name as you come. Hold me, only me, in that moment.”

I must go,” he said.

I’m thinking of kissing you, Charles. I’m not ashamed or shy about that,” she said as she slipped her hand back to her hot wet hood. She knew he was watching her face even through her closed eyelids. He was breathing hard as he watched her from the door.

Charles, Charles, think of me, oh God say my name, say my name too,” she pulsed out in a groan.

 

For more hot romance and adventure with Charles and his bodyguard-lover Sophia, check out ‘Seduction of Crowns’

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Fiction meets fact: could France’s political problems be solved with a monarchy?

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crowns with flagThis week I’m featuring the third book in my steamy suspense romance- ‘SEDUCTION OF CROWNS’. It’s a story full of FRENCH flavor. Although I’m British, a lot of my life is in France. The English Channel is only a few miles across but it’s a huge gap in terms of tradition and attitude. France has a wild culture of street politics, strikes and direct action. They have a bloody history of revolution. My lovely neighbours like to joke about us Brits bowing and scraping our queen, princes, dukes and the like. Officially, the French have no need or affection for Royals. That’s if you just take their words at face value……

Scratch the surface and you’ll find the newspapers and mags in France are full of features on, you guessed….. the princes and princesses of Europe. They can’t get enough of the outfits/gossip/pageantry of the real life royal soap opera. I believe they’re secretly jealous. Several admit to wishing that there was still a monarchy in France. Of course, they would have no real power (just like our British royals) – but would be there as a spectacle to provide ceremony and a sense of national unity. I’ve often wondered how a country like France could go about reinstating a royal family in modern times? I mean what is a celebrity after all but an uncrowned “Special One”?

Well, a couple of years ago I let my imagination fly free and came up with SEDUCTION OF CROWNS. It’s still my usual blend of female-cop action adventure and steamy passion…. but with a fantasy French finale!

Rather scarily, many of the predictions I make in the book have recently come true… a president comes to power and makes changes that enrage the people (Emmanuel Macron?). The recent ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (they wear yellow hi-viz fluorescent jackets) protesting across the country who correspond eerily with a political movement I call ‘The Patriotic Front”. Watch out for the ambiguous sexy Martine La Plume, their leader. There are several real-life living claimants to the French throne…. descendants of the original French Bourbon royals, via cousins/marriage and all sorts. A handsome guy from Maryland is the true descendant of King Charles the First of England and his French queen. When the crowd get behind him, history as always writes its own future in struggle and passion. It’s an all action romantic tale but maybe it says a lot about the way we are and just maybe points a way to bringing unity to a divided society. You’ll have to read my book to find out just how things might end up in France in the not too distant future.

‘Seduction of Crowns’ available in print on Amazon worldwide and as an e-book on my website and at most e-book retailers here.   (Hint: for best prices, always buy direct from the author.)

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My hot luncheon date at Bloxington Manor with the Earl – a character interview from Seduction of Dynasty

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Shannon's Law Post 4 photo Bloxington Manor

A character interview from Seduction of Dynasty.

At last I could get out of central London. I’d had an early meeting with my best ever friend, Anna La Salle, Deputy Chief Commissioner at Scotland Yard. These days we’ve all gotten used to soldiers and cops with machine guns mingling with the tourists in Whitehall. I often stand back and reflect at the madness and sadness of it all. I’m excited to be heading south to interview a true aristocrat and sexy hunk, but I never forget the danger that the police and military face on these magnificent streets, every minute of every day.

As I get nearer to Bloxington Manor I’m feeling quite nervous. I mean this guy is a peer of the realm and hob-nobs with the royal family. I remember going to bed after I’d sent Police Constable Shannon Aguerri to meet him. I just didn’t know what I’d find in the morning. I mean she’s got a heart of gold but also a big mouth and a bit of attitude – well honestly a truck load of attitude. That’s why she’d been kicked out of inner city. It could have been disastrous for all three of us. Shannon’s got so much front she’ll just face up to anything. Spencer Chamberlain Knightsmith, eleventh earl of Bloxington is a refined English gentleman and accustomed to respect. At first I didn’t know him myself, he’s the kind of guy who risks becoming a cut out wealthy aristocrat. I sure didn’t expect Shannon to find him welding up an old racing car with his overalls open to the waist and almost certainly nothing at all underneath. The view wasn’t wasted on Shannon.

I pull up in front of the pillared front entrance. Two long haired retriever dogs scamper towards me across the gravel drive. They look wet from the long damp grass of the meadow that runs down to the lake. A commanding voice booms out.

“Jilly, Bobby. Stop!”

The animals freeze and sit. In the distance I see the six-feet-four bear-like form of Spencer striding along the long drive of horse chestnut trees golden in the autumn sun. He’s wearing a tweed jacket, corduroy trousers and of course green wellies. Now my heart is beating a bit harder. This is the first time I’ve spoken to him since I set Shannon on him and put mayhem into his life.

He takes my hand and kisses me on both cheeks, European style.

“Emma – you’ve not changed a bit and you’re always early for appointments.”

“I like to set the scene before I get into the action,” I say.

“What a good strategy. Top class idea. Look, let’s get inside. I hope you’ve got time for some cold cuts while we talk.”

“Cold cuts?” I’d forgotten this old-style aristo language.

“Luncheon – I’m going up to the City later for a board meeting so it’ll be great to combine question with digestion.”

He chortles at his obviously choreographed expression.

“You’ve turned into a bit of a poet Spencer.”

“Well to be honest I do it just to make Shannon groan. She talks at twice my speed and my old duffer act slows her down a bit.”

I’m beginning to see what I set loose on the poor chap. I wanted him to be happier but I’m still not sure if I did the right thing. I look at his rugged face and brown eyes. His hair is still overlong and a little more grey. He eases a commanding hand into my back and smiles. I love his posh accent.

“It’s truly wonderful to see you again. To be honest I never felt we’d got to know each other before, well you know, before Shannon.”

“I was always watching you from a distance, feeling jealous of her if I’m honest. When you started to do things out of character I just had to let you go.”

“Out of character?”

“Like singing Elvis songs to her and taking her to Venice to propose.”

“All that kind of surprised me. You know a man is like a box of toys or something. A woman can’t control what’s in the box but she can choose what she pulls out and what games she plays.”

I stare at him. This isn’t the man I’d abandoned to the mercy of someone like Shannon.

“You’re deeper Spencer.”

“It’s called happiness. When you’re unhappy in life that’s all you are. Unhappiness is a city state. Happiness is a continent.”

His voice is deep and confident. If he wasn’t married I definitely could you know…….

We walk through the entrance hall with the grand stairway and through the long gallery of paintings. The Orangery is still the same with its view of the chapel and cricket field.

Avington-Park-9164“So this is where King Charles the Second consorted with his mistress Nel Gwynn?” I ask.

“Yes, I love that sense of history. I tell Shannon she should read the story of his father, Charles the First and his wife Maria. Now that was a love story.”

“Does Shannon agree?”

“She says she’d rather write a bloody hot love story with me than read one. She lives very much in the present.”

I watch his face in profile as he gazes out of the window. He nods in acknowledgement of the warmth her words convey. He turns to me and gestures me to sit. A maid wheels in a trolley with plates of sandwiches, sliced meat, salads and a range of beautiful fruit. He sits opposite me, his eyes flick to mine. I want to hold them and he lets me linger just a little longer than he would have allowed before. His sexiness is more obvious, more experienced. I’m showing a generous cleavage with a ruby pendant teasing his focus. He’s ten years younger than me. I smile and enjoy the ping in my belly. His eyes come back up to mine and I can see he knows what I’m feeling. I need to get control here.

“Those guys out there – your fans, they want me to ask you some quite personal things. I’m a bit shy to be honest.”

“Me too, but look, there’s only you and me here and we probably like the same stuff.”

“OK – the first moment you saw Shannon, what did you think?”

“You want me to be honest?”

“Sure.”

“Well, we live in a world of sexy images. You get kind of numb and I’d turned off, shut down. When I saw her, even in that police uniform I had a surge like I was seventeen.”

“Do you think she knew?”

“Shannon knows everything. She just has to angle her hips a little, push out her lips a little. I covered things up by bumbling on about the car I was fixing. She moved half an inch into my personal space and, well I wanted to kiss her then and there. She knew.”

“You’ve got to tell me if you were wearing anything at all under those overalls?”

I’m afraid I’ve gone too far and embarrassed him. He looks down and then sweeps his eyes up my body to my face, as if he’s tracing the path with his finger. Oh no…things are getting, you know – possibly humid.

“No, it was a summer day.”

“You didn’t get to say that much. Did you think about her after she’d left?”

He smiles slowly and brings his hand to his chin. I’d followed Shannon’s actions that night so his answer would be news to me too. His expression is wicked and knowing. He speaks slowly in a slightly husky voice.

“Emma, we’ve not met for a while but there’s no one closer to me. Yes, I thought about her.”

“You…?”

“Yes, I took a shower and I couldn’t hold back.”

“Did you ever tell her?”

“No, I’m a English gentleman. I wanted her to want me as only that at the beginning. It seemed my most favorable angle”

Behind my eyes I roll a fantasy of this gorgeous gentle man letting go in his lonely ecstasy of pure sex, thinking of me. I knew what I’d be thinking of later. I take some food while Spencer stands and pours some mineral water. His groin is level with my eyes. I let myself imagine that shower scene, his groan, his release. Several times.

There is a voice in the kitchen out of sight. It’s a female and I know that south London accent.

We both stand as she almost scampers in, her golden skin and crazy black hair somehow shouting her personality without the need for words. Her blue eyes mixed with her complexion made me crazy with jealousy I admit. She was here now but I’d had Spencer to myself for a precious time. A time that would kindle a little heat in me when I needed some private warmth.

We hug. Her body is young and wiry compared to mine. I’d have no chance against her. She kisses Spencer’s lips and glances at me. A woman like me knows that growl from another woman.

“I hope he hasn’t been a sexy charmer. I don’t allow that sort of stuff in here and don’t forget I’m a cop.”

“He’s been a gentleman.”

“That’s what I feared. That’s what had me fooled. By the time I realized his tactic I had my clothes off and it was too late.”

Spencer has returned to his aristocratic look. Just once I caught his eyes on mine with a look of complicity. For sure this man – my man, made love to her but now I knew something of him she didn’t. You can’t ever explain to men how much things like that matter to a woman.

“When I last saw you here you were a regular cop. You’re a Chief Inspector now at Scotland Yard, ” I say.

“Yeah, bullshit will always baffle brains Emma – I know you’ve always worked on that principle.”

“Whoever told you I had any principles?” I say, wondering if her tone had a bit of edge.

Spencer laughs

“Ha! You walked into that one Shannon.”

“Look, it’s only catty cos you’re here giving Emma smiley eye stuff. Bugger off to work and bring me in some spontaneous red roses.”

Spencer rises, kisses her and walks the door. He glances back but avoids my eyes.

“I leave you girls to chat. Emma and I never got to say much and certainly nothing new.”

Once he was gone Shannon pours some tea and sits opposite to me where Spencer had been sitting.

“So, what did you talk about? If it wasn’t about me then lie – I know you make stuff up at the drop of your knickers.”

“Shannon – are you a bit jealous of women around Spencer?”

“Course not.”

I let it drop and told her the truth.

“We talked about you and what happened when you first met each other…….”

Mid afternoon I drive out through the gates and head back to the crazy sprawl and scramble of London. I still feel turned on and you know, damp and naughty. I push a love song compilation CD into the player. I’d be at my flat in Chelsea alone for at least an hour before my man came home. Maybe I’d scratch my my itch of lust on him when he came through the door. Did I want to share that heat with another man? Maybe I’d take a shower with Spencer. Yeah, it’s a private affair and he’s my man after all.

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Shannon Aguerri at the old New Scotland Yard, before her move to Fleetworth Green.Find out more about Shannon and Spencer in Seduction of Dynasty on Emma Calin’s website

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#Book #Launch News: 99c For SEDUCTION OF WEALTH Another Action-Packed International #Steamy #Romance, the 7th Stand-Alone Title in the ‘Seduction Series’

Banner for Seduction of Wealth by Emma CalinSeduction of Wealth is out there – I mean the book, not just the filthy disgusting seduction of luxury, money, travel and happiness that we all know WEALTH will give us. Well, maybe eh guys! I know, I know – money can’t make you happy but enjoying a perfumed massage with a glass of glass of champagne on my super-yacht would beat a bag of fries waiting in the rain for a bus in my book. And my book is all about rolling in infinite wealth and luxury. No guilt, no shame, no social conscience. Just infinite pleasure and money. I ought to mention it comes at a price – theft, kidnap, murder, betrayal and mayhem. But hey – nothing’s free out there.

Seduction of Wealthy has a strong Italian flavour. Much of the action is set in Milan so I just had to go to get that authentic feel. A novelist simply has to suffer for Art. Just to make the point I tripped on a cobble stone and broke my arm. I ended up in hospital in Rome. I took that pain and stirred it into the hot sauce of the story with an extra pinch of oregano.

So here’s the blurb:

What would you do if your bosses said to break the law? How far would you go before questioning them? What if you’re a cop and your bosses are the law? Cop Kaitlyn Thorn must keep banker Randolf Quinn alive. Betrayed and on the run from her team, she gambles on nothing but her own instincts. Can she trust their love and save them both from destruction? A juicy mix of cops, crime and passion.
Seduction of Wealth cover art
Available worldwide on Amazon on this link for just 99c/99p during launch week ($3.99 normal price)

London Romance at Christmas

London spice 1 Seduction of Santa is loaded into the sledge with Rudolph ready to zap a copy down your chimney. Yes, its December 1st with snow in the UK. At 99cents/99 pence it’s the greatest way to warm your heart and get into the Christmas spirit. I’ve put in some hot love, some heartbreak and sprinkled some glitter onto the hard streets of London town. Christmas is a magical time for many but the bare knuckle life of an inner city cop goes on. There is homelessness, hunger and loneliness. Metropolitan police constable Paula Middleton finds herself in a true life Dickensian tale. Tough guy Max Muswell at first stands in her way. There’s nothing more tempting  than a present of love wrapped up in danger. Dare she peep inside?Santa book

Seduction of Santa. Real London. Real Londoners. Real cop story. Real hot love. Real Christmas.

GRAB YOUR COPY IN PRINT OR DIGITAL HERE. http://smarturl.it/SedSanta

Love Bleeds Blue in Paris

Paris and Tonnay Charente 097Some part of me is always in Paris. I know she’s a shabby arrogant bitch who would shrug off my impudent fan mail but I just can’t stop writing them. I could tell her she’s just a heap of stones arranged around a muddy river. I could tell her she’s not as French as I am, that her cool gaze was international and more security cordon than cordon bleu. And she would shrug and rain on me, lifting her skirt above the red and grey reflecting cobbles to show a tease of petticoat.

So, for a while I gave up the fan mail. This time I did a whole novel. I know she won’t care.She won’t read it. She’ll sell it secondhand for fifty cents on a Sunday market stall on la rive gauche. I walk in the tear stained footprints of the wasted and decadent greats. I hum along to the metro jazz and long to soften her lips of stone. A woman should not feel this way – but Paris – I love you so so much.

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Don’t tell me she’s male. No – Paris knows more of love than any man! Tell me I’m wrong guys – please.

Emma Thinx: In a language with genders go for the plural. Get the max.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Bleeds Blue Launch Crew – Go to Pad.

lbbdrawAt last, the firing sequence countdown has started. I’m breathing only hydrogen atoms now – they were on a two for one offer at Walmart. Yesterday we took to my French chateau garden for the climax of our VIP Launch Crew exclusive competition for names to be used in Passion Patrol Three – Love Bleeds Blue. Our special guest to perform the draw was Odile Vicomtesse de Saintonge, who appears in Passion Patrol Two.She obtained world wide fame for providing Shannon and Spencer with their historic love bed – a gift from Josephine de Beauharnais, lover of Napoléon.

The three winners have been selected and know who they are – but not their roles in the story. The VIP crew have seen the cover and next week is the grand reveal. Main fuel tank pressure is rising guys, countdown is running.

 

Emma Thinx: There’s a big leaking  dam of luck somewhere up stream.

 

 

Having the Last Word. My Secret.

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A heart of stone will never reveal the heart that beats within the stone

Whenever I see a sculptor, a construction site or guys/gals building an airplane or ship I wonder how the hell they’re gonna pull it all together into something that works, looks great or maybe at least something they can sell. Whenever I read curvy twisty tales I wonder how the writer thought it all up and then made it fit. It must be crazy standing on a piece of soil and looking up into an open sky and say “That’s where my skyscraper’s gonna go.”

So, at the first encounter with a new novel I’m too hare-brained to set out a plan like some writers. Once the characters have got a name they kinda resent being pushed around by some  office worker waving a blueprint. No, what I need is a flavor – maybe some little piece of dialogue that may come up on page 174. If it does it often goes out at the purple prose edit stage.

Somewhere in Passion Patrol Four a character is gonna say ” You can’t really really cry while your heart is still broken. The person who knows how to fix it will take your tears as a gift of love.”

There it is: the secret source of my work. That’s ahead of me now like a distant cloud on a sunny day. It’ll kinda move about, collect more woolly  sheep, morph into cauliflower or a stringy mustache;  but – it’s there.

Emma Thinx: Don’t trip on a milestone on the way to the horizon.

Suspense Romance meets Romantic Suspension Bridge

OK guys – it’s tuxedo and red carpet time. Well, maybe not quite but all things are relative. Members of my VIP Crew entered a draw to receive a free audio book edition of my story Escape to Love.

Rather than just drawing the names out of any old hat, I put on my cycle helmet and pedaled my tandem to the French town of Tonnay Charente for my first two wheeler-four legger  outing of the year. It seemed an appropriate location for the draw as the flow of one of France’s greatest rivers swept its random cargo of fallen tree branches onward to the Atlantic ocean.

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The flow of chance

I decided to award four prizes rather than just one – cos well hey, it’s Spring and I like to splosh out the romance whenever I get the chance. I think I’ve said already that I am the reader on the audio book. I’ve still got a slight London accent as has the central character Maria. I’m not a pro audio artiste but between you and me I never submit a book before I’ve read every word out loud. It’s a sure way to spot an ugly or awkward sentence or an unbalanced paragraph. So, here are our winners:

M. Cervantes from Texas USA.

M.Gerhart from Shoemakersville USA.

R. Fauble from Cadillac USA.

J.Edwards From Richmond USA.

Good job guys and thanks to everyone for joining in. Hope you enjoy the story. As you know I write about cops in my Passion Patrol books but this big hearted tough gal is on the other side of the line. Well, we all know it’s a pretty thin line don’t we!

Emma Thinx: Life’s an acting job. Don’t learn a line you can’t walk for real.