domingo, 4 de dezembro de 2016

Book Blitz: "Liliana Batchelor" - Holly Blackstone


Title: Liliana Batchelor: The Complete Series
Author: Holly Blackstone
Publication date: December 2016
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Synopsis
A seemingly inconsequential decision at an intersection.
Just one moment – a pause, a choice.
And in a split second everything changes.
Liliana had no idea that something so simple would alter two lives forever, or lead to a series of events that plunge her headlong into corporate intrigue and a passionate romance.
Now presented in one volume for the first time – all five books in the Liliana Batchelor Series. From the windswept coast of Scotland to the grey days of autumn in the Pacific Northwest, read Lily’s incredible journey of self discovery as she finds herself drawn up into an epic love affair with intense and demanding CEO Stuart Watson.

This contemporary erotica series contains explicit depictions of sex, including BDSM, as well as a few instances of violence or attempted assault.



Includes the following books

And an excerpt from “A World Away

Excerpt 1
Lily barely has time to compose her thoughts before he closes the distance. Her stomach has that gnawing, achy emptiness to it - a telltale sign that she is attracted to him. She is completely floored seeing him here.
Even with her nearly three and a half inch heels he is still over four inches taller by her estimation. She looks up into his bright blue eyes as he steps close.
“Liliana, an absolute pleasure,” he says, taking her right hand and bringing it to his lips. She nearly swoons from the contact; it is so unexpected and intimate, and his lips are soft against the top of her hand. He holds on a moment and releases his grasp and her arm floats down to her side. Lily feels as if she must be levitating off the ground.
“Stuart… My goodness,” is all she can muster. He smiles a little at having rendered her practically speechless.
His eyes carefully play over her body. “If I may say so, you look lovely this evening.” God, but his Scots accent is sexy; not too overpowering, but the trilled r’s are hot.
“Thank you. I’m glad to see you up and around.” Couldn’t think of anything better to say?
“Yes, almost as good as new, except for a little residual soreness.” He holds up his right hand.
“How did you get out of that cast so quickly? I thought you tore a tendon or something.”
“Reconstructive surgery, physical therapy.”
“But still, that should have taken months.”
“I can be very determined,” he says in a meaningful way, staring straight at her.
Lily inwardly gulps. “Apparently.” Luckily she is saved by a passing waiter proffering more champagne. Stuart removes the near empty glass from Lily’s hand, puts it on the tray and retrieves two glasses, handing her one.
He holds out his hand and tips the glass until it touches hers. “To finally meeting under auspicious circumstances,” he says and drinks. She pauses a moment and then raises the glass to her lips and takes a sip. Suddenly, everything has changed; how did this happen? He walks into a room and she becomes flustered, nervous, flushed.
“Stuart, I’m surprised to see you here.” He raises an eyebrow quizzically, his eyes dancing playfully. “I’m glad,” she hurriedly adds, “but surprised.”
“I still spend a fair amount of time in Scotland. I had some… business to take care of locally and hoped you wouldn’t mind if I dropped in, knowing you would be here. You don’t mind, do you?”
It is wholly unfair. He has surprised her, has a definite advantage and they both know it.
He had been watching her from the moment she entered the ballroom, waiting for an opportune moment, studying her. When she had walked into his hospital room there seemed to be a sensual air about her, but he tried to pass it off as the drugs, circumstances.
Watching her move, sip her champagne and savour the food, he realised it hadn’t been the circumstances at all; it was her, and what made it
even more powerful was that it wasn’t forced. It was simply who she was, and she exuded it from her pores; it was in all she did. From the way her long fingers found the stem of her glass to the way her lips parted, it was wired into her and he found it incredibly sexy, utterly irresistible.
Her slight nervous discomfort at being caught off guard seems to increase her sensuality as she fidgets, playing her fingers along her glass, her lips pursing slightly as she tries to regain her composure.
Stuart’s gaze is intense and Lily feels a little flustered, and has a hard time meeting it; no man has ever affected her like this.
“What business are you in?” she asks, her hand nearly trembling as she lifts the glass to her lips and steals a look at him over the rim. She loves the Van Dyke; it makes his lips look even more sensual… as if he needs that. The tightly trimmed mustache accentuates the line of his top lip, then curls down to meet the goatee on his chin and the dark patch underneath his mouth makes his slightly fuller bottom lip appear more pronounced. She inwardly sighs; what a perfect mouth.
“I run my own business,” he says. “My father and his friend started it.” He knows others are staring at her. “Why don’t we find a quiet corner to talk?”
Her eyes get wide – she can’t help it – and she nods. He reaches out his left hand and cups her elbow and gestures to the far corner of the room. “Shall we?” Her body drinks in the sensation, his touch sparking a craving for more contact.
The combination of his well educated diction and slightly rough Scots enunciation is heady. He manages to seem intelligent yet a little dangerous at the same time. He was dressed like a rock star when you found him, her voice chimes in. Most powerful business owners don’t do that.
As they approach the table, Stuart lets go of her arm and pulls the chair out for her. She places her glass on the table, and smoothes her skirt as she sits, while Stuart pulls out another chair and sits kitty-corner to her. Lily crosses her legs; she’s grateful she packed something nice for tonight, and thank goodness she went downstairs. Take that, troublesome voice.
“Are you enjoying the conference?” he asks, taking another sip. She has a weakness for hands and his are strong, with long masculine fingers; she notices a Breitling watch around his wrist. Wow.
“Well, it just started today,” she says, finally overcoming a bit of her surprise and managing more sustained looks into his face. He is gorgeous; she doesn’t want to stare, but she could look at him all day. Here, in close proximity, she feels that hum of electricity around them like a cocoon. “But so far, yes.”
She takes another sip as he speaks. “I believe you said you were going to take a holiday afterwards?”
“Good memory,” she smiles, a little embarrassed. “I… thought with the injuries and drugs you probably hadn’t…”
“Remembered much? Remembered our conversation?” the tone is playfully accusatory. “Oh, I remember it very well, Liliana.”
She finds herself blushing a little and takes another sip of champagne. Be careful, you haven’t had much to eat all day.
“Not many people call you Liliana, do you mind?” he asks suddenly, softly. “Liliana just sort of rolls off the tongue, and it’s unique. I like it.”
Why did such a simple sentiment make her heart feel like it was trying to break out of her chest? Her mouth suddenly is dry.
“When are you going to tell me the rest of YOUR name?” she blurts out boldly.
“Soon. I’m just a bit… cautious.” Who was this man? A politician? No, he said he owned a business… why so cagey?
“Tell me what types of places you’re interested in visiting whilst here in my beautiful homeland, and I’ll be happy to offer suggestions.”
She takes a deep breath. Wow, his intensity – he just seems to exude power and confidence – nearly takes her breath away. She would never have guessed this when she was trying to comfort his unconscious form as he lay on the asphalt.
“Well, to be honest I haven’t made much in the way of plans. I anticipated doing a bit of research beforehand, but with the…” she fidgets, “… accident and all, and the bustle afterwards, well.” She feels like a schoolgirl with all the flushing and fidgeting.
He nods as she continues. “I do know generalities though.” Talking makes her feel a little more calm, although she worries about prattling on too much.
He looks amused, the corner of his mouth curled up and his lips slightly parted. Oh God, PLEASE don’t do that. She wonders what his lips would feel like on hers; they felt nice against the back of her hand. She shakes her head to clear her mind.
“What is it, Lily?” he leans forward and reaches out a hand to touch her arm; desire shoots through her body. “Is anything wrong?”
“No!” she says hastily. “Nothing is wrong. Where was I? Oh yes, places in Scotland…” she nervously catches her lower lip with her teeth and touches her tongue to her top lip, her mind churning.
He watches her mouth and then raises his eyes to hers. They are smoldering, full of desire. Oh my God, he’s attracted to me. If she had been standing she would have had to sit. Her insides are turned topsy turvy.
Her voice cracks slightly. “I’d like to visit some distilleries. Go see the rockiness of northern Scotland, perhaps the Isle of Skye, or Islay. Ruins…” her voice almost falters again; he hasn’t taken his eyes off of her, and the words are fleeing her as she is caught up in his gaze. “I love old ruins. Manor houses, castles…” It’s difficult to continue; she feels hypnotized by him, completely disoriented.
She is aware of a voice. “May I get either of you anything else to drink?” She shakes her head, the thrall he had over her broken. It seems like she is taking a breath for the first time in minutes. She should leave; Stuart is dangerous, being around him is too heady, distracting. She stands up to go. “I’m a bit tired, actually. I was thinking of heading out,” she uncharacteristically lies.
He puts his hand on her arm and she finds herself sinking slowly back into her seat. How did he do that? His touch is like life spreading through her body, all she wants is more.
“Surely you can spare a few more minutes Liliana?” He says her name as if he is making love to it, rolling it around in his mouth, tasting it. She sits, and he turns to the waiter.
“A bottle of La Grande Dame unopened, two glasses, and an assortment of the canapés would be perfect.” He makes it a request, but something in his tone lets you know he fully expects you to deliver. What company does he own?, she wonders, not for the first time. He’s not arrogant, but you don’t want to disappoint him. He must be difficult to negotiate with.
The waiter nods in assent and leaves. Stuart turns his piercing eyes to her and smiles amiably. “Now, where were we?”

Excerpt 2
As Lily emerges from the security barrier, she sees a young man no older than Stuart, dressed in a suit and holding a sign that reads “Miss Batchelor”.
Lily walks up to him. “I’m Lily Batchelor. And you are…?”
“Robert, miss. Mr. Watson sent me.”
“Great, nice to meet you, Robert.” She extends a hand towards him; something about him makes her a little uneasy – there’s a sharpness to him that’s a bit off putting. Probably just me being picky.
“I have a suitcase and bag downstairs that I need to retrieve, Robert,” she says as they walk towards the escalators.
Luckily, Lily’s items are some of the first off, and soon they are making their way towards a black Suburban. Robert holds the door open for her before closing it and sliding behind the wheel.
“So,” Lily begins, “I live at…”
Robert interrupts. “Sorry miss. Mr. Watson’s orders are I’m to take you to his home.”
She frowns at this. She’s tired, hasn’t showered since the day before and is horribly jet lagged. She’s dying to see Stuart – her body aches for him, frankly – but she’s aware of her limitations, and that she’s slightly grumpy from the flight. It was delayed and then hit weather, so what was already a long flight had an additional two hours tacked onto it.
She really wants to go home and shower and see her cats, make sure everything is okay and then see Stuart when she can relax and enjoy their reunion. She tries his cell and gets voicemail, so Lily texts him and says she’d prefer to go home first and get freshened up.
“Robert, isn’t there any way you can drop me off?”
“I’m afraid not, Miss Batchelor.” His response is curt.
This is ridiculous, she thinks. Soon they’re on I-90 heading towards Seattle.
“Where does St… er, Mr. Watson live?”
“Mercer Island.”
She flops back on the seat and checks her BlackBerry; no response from Stuart to the text she sent.
It’s Friday night, not unlike the one when their paths crossed the first time on a lonely stretch of road near a railroad crossing, except the air is cooler. She detected that tell-tale autumn crispness the moment she stepped out of the plane. Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is glorious; the sky is almost always pensive, covering the gamut of stormy blues and greys, and the wind whipping through the trees can make the branches sound as if they are chattering. The only thing that could make it better is more multi-coloured leaves to kick around and marvel at.
It’s fairly dark when Robert pulls off the freeway and meanders through a few quiet, tree-lined streets and stops in front of a set of gates. He punches a code in and the gates open slowly and he pulls forward and up the drive.
The house from the outside is magnificent, a Pacific Northwest masterpiece, with rough hewn stone and worn timbers. It sits on a small hill, the front lawn undulating down to a small drop off and eventually the
lake below. The home has a commanding view across the water, the end of the I-90 Bridge just visible between some trees.
Lily sits gaping until she realises Robert has opened the door for her. “Miss Batchelor?”
She collects herself and exits, taking her knapsack and purse. “I’ll bring your suitcase in. This way.” He says it quickly and leads her up the front steps into the foyer. He moves right, past what appears to be a sitting room and into what is obviously the library. She takes a step in and turns to the left, intent on examination.
“Mr. Watson is out, but will be back shortly,” Robert says to her back and leaves quickly. Lily is left stunned; he’s out and he’ll be back? Why drag her here then, instead of letting her go home first?
But her frustration is overwhelmed by her sheer awe of the room. It’s the largest private library she’s ever seen, spanning two stories. In front of her, against the far wall, is a tall stone fireplace with matching French doors on either side topped by arched transoms. An inviting gas fire burns in the hearth, with a sumptuous chocolate leather couch perched in front of it and flanking the couch and facing each other across the fireplace are two large red leather chairs with their own reading lamps and elbow stands.
From floor to ceiling on the walls along either side are shelves packed with books, some new and others obviously quite old. Lily drops her pack, sheds her jacket and steps forward to get a closer look. On either side, a wrought iron spiral stair leads to the Victorian style metal walkway that bisects the bookshelves, giving access to the volumes at the top of the stacks. To the left and right, like spokes emerging from the curved walls, are bookshelves about five feet high, also laden with volumes.
“It’s beautiful,” she whispers, although Stuart isn’t there to hear her praise.
Books were a relatively inexpensive hobby; if you couldn’t buy them outright, you could get them second hand or borrow them from a library or friend. When her Aunt Mona and Uncle Tom had been struggling, before his garage began to do well, there hadn’t been much for toys or outings and books had been a refuge for Lily. They had transported her to faraway lands, led her on tales of adventure and sacrifice; they had made her laugh and taught her a vocabulary far beyond her eleven year old peers. She still dreamed of having a home one day filled with books; for her they were symbolic of the collective efforts of her species - a chronicle of accomplishments and the repository of hopes and dreams. To be here, surrounded by books and feel in her heart that Stuart must somehow love them as much as she did fills her with further longing for him. Why isn’t he here?
She begins to browse the shelves - reference books and old dictionaries are bracketed with early American literature and classics like Shakespeare and Ovid. The section on history is enormous as is the science section, which not only contains shelves of materials engineering books, but Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and a book on nuclear rockets.
Lily almost forgets how tired and worn she is. She recalls a movie from her childhood where a hidden paradise is committed to gathering books and preserving the wisdom of the ages. She remembers sitting propped up on the couch, sick with bronchitis, Mona taking off work to stay with her and watching Lost Horizon , enraptured by the idea that all these wonderful things she had read in her borrowed books, all that knowledge could be something she owned herself.
She finds books in foreign languages- French and German and even a Bible in Latin, and realises that Stuart’s knowledge is far more diverse than she ever suspected.
She’s tired and thirsty and peeks her head out of the library but sees no one. Lily feels too much like an interloper to go wandering around a house, even if it is Stuart’s, so she contents herself with looking at his books. She discovers a case near the French doors in the far wall that holds fossils, minerals and all sorts of memorabilia, including a very old looking light bulb with two prongs and a stopper on the bottom.
Finally, her excitement is eclipsed by the fatigue that is in her body. She last went to bed nearly 24 hours ago, and her neck and shoulders ache from her vain attempts getting comfortable on the plane. She puts her purse beside the couch and curls up on it, placing one of the decorative pillows under her head. She looks at her watch; it is nearly 9 PM; an hour and a half since she arrived. Perhaps if she just rested for a while she would feel refreshed…
She can barely make out a voice piercing her sleep.
“Liliana.” The voice seems far away, and she can feel something soft stroking her cheek. Reluctantly, she opens her eyes to see Stuart’s face near hers. He’s crouched in front of the couch wearing a beautifully tailored navy suit, his green and indigo tie loosened. He nearly takes her breath away with his perfection.
“Stuart?” It takes Lily a moment to break through her sleepiness before she bounds up and throws her arms around him, nearly knocking him off balance as he’s getting up.
There’s that warm laugh in her hair. “That’s my Liliana,” he says and kisses her head as his arms wind around her waist. He feels so good; the familiar strength in his body and his scent are so…
She pulls back from him. Something’s not right; something is very, very wrong. “Stuart,” she says heavily, her face falling as realisation dawns, “why do you smell like perfume?”
He looks flustered. “I…” He’s never at a loss for words.
She pulls out of his embrace and takes a step back, nearly tripping over her purse. She reaches down and grabs it and backs away. “I wanted to go home, to shower, and you had me wait here while you were with another woman?” Her voice is choked with emotion and she realises that tears are trailing down her cheeks.
Stuart goes pale. “No, Liliana. It’s not like that.”
She turns and flees; she can feel the brush of Stuart’s fingers as he lunges for her. She hears a noise, a thud, like he’s banged into something and he yells, “Fuck!”
Lily’s out of the library and rushing down the hallway. She flings the front door open, and nearly tumbles down the steps, hot tears blurring her vision. She races down the drive, the front gates swinging wide as she trips the automatic opener.
Where to go? Think Lily, think! She remembers them making a left turn to the gates when they arrived, so she heads right, spying the swings of a park up ahead at the corner. That seems familiar. She remembers they passed a gas station before the park, and as soon as she clears the entrance of the last house, she cuts across the park and down the road towards the red neon of what surely must be the gas station.

Author Bio
Holly was born in New Jersey and moved to the Pacific Northwest at the age of eighteen. She's always loved writing and expressing herself and scrupulously kept a journal at a young age. She started her first book around the age of eight, although she never completed it, and in high school was co-editor of her school's literary magazine. She enjoys blogging, reading, and writing poetry and novels. Although an American, Holly is fascinated with British and Scottish history and culture; this interest is reflected in her choice to often use British spellings for words because she likes them better.
Holly likes exploring how a character's personality changes and adapts as they are introduced to new experiences that are challenging. She also enjoys creating worlds and tales that are deep and complex and are driven by a solid story, yet have intense erotic elements.
Much to her chagrin, Holly has many interests and has a hard time keeping up with them all. She enjoys cooking and has made wine with friends; she likes gardening, drawing, reading, video and board games, dancing, eighties music and yoga, to name a few of her more regular preoccupations. 



Giveaway (INTL - ends December 15th)


Liliana Batchelor Complete Series Q&A by Holly Blackstone

“An Accidental Affair” is your first book. Tell us how you started on the writing path.
I was away on a trip for a few weeks, and would work during the day but was in a small town and didn’t have much to do in the evenings. I was reading a lot, and was frustrated by some of the erotica I found; a few books were good, sometimes a novel would begin well and veer off oddly, or I would come across a whiny heroine I didn’t like.
I used to write a great deal and had even started several (non erotica) novels, although I never completed them. So with a lot of time on my hands in the evenings, I began to write. It took about two weeks, and the next thing I knew I had my first draft.
I wasn’t sure if I would publish it; I didn’t even tell my boyfriend, who I spoke with almost every night. I had been home about a week before I finally told him and he was so excited for me and supportive that I decided to figure out how to go about publishing it.
A while later I finally got the process sorted out and that first try was such a mess. When I previewed it on my nook there was something odd - the cover didn’t display initially and I had to make contact with support. I accidentally uploaded an older file which hadn’t been completely edited, and someone on my blogsite mentioned the mistakes and I got a little defensive – I still regret it to this day, but I was so full of angst and stress over it, and didn’t know I had used the wrong file. I was so wound up about putting myself out there I was really sensitive – will people like it? Should I I write more? What if readers really hate it?! I specifically ended book one the way I did because I wasn’t certain if I would go on, and thought at the very least it was a nice interlude with really no cliffhanger.
I told no one ,(except my boyfriend), I wrote the book – a large number of my friends still don’t know I write erotica! – but “An Accidental Affair” was pretty well received by readers. I couldn’t put Lily and Stuart down and had already started writing book two, so the interest was definitely a catalyst to continue publishing. There have been a number of readers and reviewers over the years who have been very kind with their compliments, and it warms my heart, and makes me excited to continue.

Why don’t you introduce us to Lily, the heroine.
I love Lily – I wanted to make her interesting, believable; someone you want to root for but a flawed character, like humans truly are. Early on in the series you see her plagued by self-doubt and self-recrimination as the result of her mother’s treatment of her. That inner monologue was old tapes playing of things Lily’s mom said that had wounded her. Lily is likeable but held back by her past, and has trouble seeing what other people do – that she is intelligent, honourable, passionate, loyal and sensual. I am a fan of showing and not telling, and I wanted her journey to self-awareness and true independence to be something readers could relate to – they could see the transformation before their eyes, understand who she was and what it meant for her to give so much to Stuart and ultimately, how she found the strength to demand what she wanted and stick by her decision. By the end of the series those troublesome voices are absent; her experiences – particularly with Stuart - have allowed her to reach her full potential, but it hasn’t been easy for her.

Lily travels to Scotland in the first and last book of the series. Have you been to Scotland? If so, did you draw on your time there?
I have been to Scotland once and would love to go back. I really enjoyed it there; it was charming. I actually have been to the Caterthuns – an old Pict ruin I mention in book one - and they felt old and filled with magic. In my short time in Scotland I fell in love with it, and it seemed like a great backdrop for the initial stages of Lily and Stuart’s romance to unfold. It is romantic and the loneliness and solitude would speak to Lily’s heart, and it moved Stuart that she was so attuned to the raw beauty of his homeland. The warmth I felt after my visit was definitely channeled into the series, although I haven’t been to the real Cairness!

Porsches?
Yes! I love cars; my first one was an old American muscle car – a Chevelle - in what I called cream of asparagus green and even though it was big it was beasty, and people significantly misjudged how fast it could move because of its size. I am fortunate enough to have driven a Porsche – a friend has one, a slightly older model - and wow! Whew. =) The way it handles… the first time I drove it I was in love and I hope - hope! – to someday have my own. It’s my little dream, and it’s good to have them, isn’t it? =)

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