Friday, 23 October 2015

Ashe Barker Introduces the OVER THE KNEE anthology

It is my pleasure to welcome Ashe Barker to The Way She Reads today. She’s here to tell us all about the recently released Over the Knee anthology and her story in it. So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Ashe.


Hi there Helena, and thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog today. It’s the first time I’ve visited, and I’m so pleased to be here to give a shout out about the Over The Knee anthology, six wonderful, wicked tales of spanking and submission.

The collection is a smokin’ hot anthology of spankingly awesome short stories, over a hundred thousand words of sizzling naughtiness ready to melt your kindle. It’ll be a real treat for the spank-lovers among us. I’m so thrilled to have a story in the set, and I’m in fabulous company too snuggled up with Lily Harlem, Lucy Felthouse, Katy Swann, Dolly Watt, and Wendi Zwaduk.

In the Eyes of the Law is my story in the anthology.  When a lapse of concentration lands her on the wrong side of the law Libby finds herself facing her seriously dominant estranged husband. Josh thinks she’s a shoplifter, and as head of security at the shopping mall it’s his job to deal with thieves. But will he hand her over to the police or dish out his own brand of retribution?

This story was fun to write – short, snappy, and sexy as hell. I just adore this sensual cover too – Totally Bound cover art rocks!

The whole collection is out now and you can snap it up on Amazon or wherever you like to buy your ebooks. The individual stories will be out next month.

Here’s the blurb for In the Eyes of the Law

She’s still his wife, in the eyes of the law. But is she still his submissive? His to spank?
A momentary lapse of concentration places Libby Novak on the wrong side of the law. A criminal conviction could cause her to lose her job. How much worse could this get?
Libby soon knows the answer to that question when the head of security at the mall shows up. She hasn’t seen her estranged husband for years, and now she discovers Josh has a strict policy on how best to deal with shoplifters. He was her husband and her Dom. Will he turn her over to the police, or would a hard, bare-bottom spanking be sufficient redress for her misdemeanor? After all, that’s how he always dealt with her in the past.
Josh has never forgiven Libby’s betrayal. She let him down. She deserves to be punished. But does he still have that right?
Libby meant to divorce him. She was granted the decree nisi but never quite got round to making it final. They both know she’s still his wife—in the eyes of the law—but is she still his submissive? His to spank?

Check out the rest of the anthology too
‘Spicing it Up’ by Lily Harlem
Heat from a spanking ensures that Cassandra simmers with pleasure in a way she never would have imagined.

‘Kneel for You’ by Katy Swann
Should she agree to be spanked? Just the once? It would all be in the name of research, of course…

‘Silk and Decadence’ by Wendi Zwaduk
There is always fun in the club, but taking the fun outside and into life might be exactly what’s needed for a lifetime of passion.

‘Properly, or Not at All’ by Lucy Felthouse
How will a husband and wife cope when they’re told one of their favourite kinky pastimes is temporarily off the menu?

‘A Private Education’ by Dolly Watt
Archivist Emma Willoughby learns a lesson in kinky lust when she’s invited to assess the ninth Earl of Folchester’s private library.

And of course, an excerpt…

“I… Aagh!” There’s a whoosh as the belt slices through the air, then a loud crack as it lands across my bottom, wrapping itself around both buttocks. “Oh God, oh Jesus that hurts.”
Josh ignores my comment and my scream, as he readies himself to swing the belt again. Another rush of air, louder this time, and the belt again connects with my searing flesh.
“Oh, oh. Christ.” I screw up my eyes. Tears are already prickling behind my eyelids. Surely I used to be much more resilient than this. I’ve become soft, out of practice.
“Why couldn’t you trust me, Libby? Did I ever let you down?”
The belt lands again, leaving a third river of agony across my bottom. My arse feels to be on fire, yet still I lift it to him for more punishment. I know—I’m sure we both know—this isn’t about a bottle of perfume, nor is it about a lapse of memory, a moment of carelessness. This is about trust, broken promises, disappointment and long-suppressed anger.
At some level I know Josh has wanted to do this since the day I phoned him in Afghanistan to tell him I was leaving our army apartment and seeing a divorce lawyer. He was cool at the news. He didn’t ask me to reconsider or to wait. He just told me to do what I felt I must, and wished me good luck for the future. All subsequent correspondence between us until today has been via our solicitors.
The belt lands again and again. I am sobbing now and barely managing not to lift one hand in a futile attempt to protect my bottom from further abuse. Josh is no longer talking to me. Instead I know he must be concentrating on dropping stroke after stroke across my bum, leaving no spot untouched, yet managing not to land in just the same place twice. I’ll have stripes to show for this tomorrow and maybe for a few days after. Josh could usually leave marks that would still be evident a day or two later, and I used to take enormous satisfaction from those. Especially when in the days that followed a particularly heavy and satisfying scene, he would trail them with his tongue or his lips, arousing me to a near frenzy of longing.
The pain radiates across my bottom, sinking deep into my muscles, soaking through me, becoming a part of me. I know, as I always have, that moment when my mind gives up, when I submit absolutely. That moment when I allow myself to be wholly carried along, swept up on a wave which is purely about sensation, about feeling, yet not physical at all. The intensity of the beating is more muted, deeper but softening. My body stiffens, then becomes loose, fluid, pouring over my Dom’s lap. Even if I chose to, I couldn’t lift my hand to protect myself now. The only sound I am capable of is something between a groan and a purr, and I’m suspended in a place where time seems to stand still.

Buy Links

Amazon US             Amazon UK             Totally Bound

More about me…

I’ve been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. I still love reading, the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.

I tend to draw on my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.

When not writing – which is not very often these days - my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a couple of dogs, two tortoises.  And a very grumpy cockatiel. 

I have twenty seven (at the last count) titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and I have several more in the pipeline. All my books feature BDSM. I write explicit stories, always hot, but they offer far more than just sizzling sex. I like to read about complex characters, and compelling plots, so that’s what I write too. Strong, demanding Doms are a given, often paired with new submissives who have a lot to learn.

I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.

Author links

Thursday, 22 October 2015

ISLAND CAPTIVES by Fossbrook & Cole Blog Tour

Fossbrook& Cole
Release Date: October 19th, 2015
Cover Designer: J.C. Clarke
Genre: Erotic Adventure Romance


Mollie Wan-Chu, pretty and academic University Student, wins a place on the reality TV show "Shipwrecked Survivor." Filled with gleeful excitement she prepares for her time in the exotic sunshine of Potomac Island.
When she first arrives, the idyllic vision that has existed in her mind's eye becomes the reality, however the desire that builds in C4TV cameraman Pete and her co-islander Neil, ensures that the perfection soon gives way to a game of sexual domination in which Mollie becomes the unwitting subject.
Will Mollie survive the attempts to humiliate and hurt her or will she break down and be sent home in shame ...

Purchase Link

Facebook Release Day Party

Fossbrook& Cole are a writing duo comprised of a mystery man only known as Fossbrook and NJ Cole. Residing in the UK, Fossbrook enjoys writing the darker side of life. NJ Cole, author of over half a dozen erotic books, has an eclectic writing style. When Fossbrook& Cole get together is a combination of fire and ice. Only it’s hard to tell which is the fire and which is the ice.

NJ Cole

It’s A Mystery

Hosted by

Alpha Book Club, PR

US by David Nicholls

US by David Nicholls
Pages: 399
Date: October 22, 2015
Grade: 4
Details: Book Club Read

The blurb:

'I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.' 

'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?' 

Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

My thoughts:

Years ago I read One Day by David Nicholls and I enjoyed the book, although it was, of course, the love story that wasn’t. And, this book continues that theme. Rather than a love story leading up to a twenty-five year relationship it is the unravelling of what, at first glance, appears to be a happy relationship after twenty-five years. Although, that’s not quite right either. Both the story of Douglas and Connie meeting and coming together and the story of the demise of their relationship are told, in alternating chapters, at the same time.

For me this set-up worked wonderfully well some of the time, and not at all at others. I think that the author meant for us to walk away from this story with a sense that sometimes ‘only’ love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship; that sometimes, no matter how well a couple live their lives together, it doesn’t suffice. And that would have been fine if I could have believed in Connie and Douglas as a couple. But, to be perfectly honest, almost from the start I found myself wondering how these two characters ended up together, never mind managed to stay together for twenty-five years. I’m all for opposites attract but Douglas and Connie appeared to have nothing in common and, for me at least, the wide distance between them was clear from the moment they met. Combine that with the fact that I never got the feeling either of them moved towards a middle ground where they might have been comfortable together, and I ended up feeling that Douglas should be grateful the relationship had lasted as long as it did rather than surprised is was ending.

Part of the problem for me was that the story is told in the first person, from Douglas’s perspective. And, to be fair, Douglas doesn’t try to paint himself as better than he is, quite the opposite in fact. As a result I found myself liking him less and less which meant I didn’t want his last ditch effort to save his marriage to succeed.

The book could have been shorter. I got a bit tired of the back story. I guess it was there to show how the relationship deteriorated while Douglas remained blind to the downwards spiral, but since I found the combination of him and Connie hard to believe from the moment they met, that part of the story didn’t feel really relevant to me. With about 100 pages still to go I just wanted the author to get on with it already and bring us to the, in my eyes, inevitable conclusion.

However, before you start wondering how on earth this book ended up with the grade it did, let me add that there was a lot I enjoyed about this book. The story takes the reader through a full range of emotions. I laughed out loud only pages before I’d feel sad. I would recognised a scene as if it had been taken from my own life before wanting to throw the book at the wall because the characters did something which to me was completely unimaginable. And throughout the book were little gems of insights, such as this one about the way a loved one looks:

“I’ve been expecting to watch you grow older ever since we met. Why should it trouble me? It’s the face itself that I love, not that face at twenty-eight or thirty-four or forty-three. It’s that face.”

And this one about grief:

“Grief is as much about regret for what you’ve never had as sadness for what you’ve lost.”

Overall this was an easy and comfortable read. For a book that depicts the demise of a relationship it was remarkably upbeat most of the time. And, what’s more, I look forward to discussing this book with my reading group. Because the book does pose a few interesting questions such as:

o   When is love not enough (any more)?
o   Can a relationship between two people who are polar opposites ever work?
o   If you were forced to blame either Connie or Douglas for the demise of their relationship, who would you pick and why.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

CONNECTION by Brigham Vaughn: Excerpt and Review

CONNECTION by Brigham Vaughn
Pages: 189
Date: October 2015
Details: Equals Spin-off
             Received from author

The blurb:

After a lifetime of being told he’s worthless, shy, sheltered Evan Harris is forced out of the closet and kicked out of his home.  Friends in Atlanta give him a place to stay while he gets on his feet, but despite his eagerness to explore the city, it isn’t exactly what he expected.
Physically and emotionally scarred from a devastating car accident, Jeremy Lewis struggles to reconcile the brash, outgoing man he used to be with the social recluse he’s become.
Loneliness draws them to each other, but a strong mutual attraction isn’t enough to overcome their pasts.  In order to be together, Evan must discover his own worth and Jeremy must trust someone to see past his scars.


Thank you for having me here, Helena! 

This is a scene from fairly early on in the story, after Evan is kicked out of his house. By the time he arrives at Russ and Stephen’s place, he’s exhausted, overwhelmed, and a little terrified.


“You made it,” Russ said with a relieved smile, as if he’d been worried about Evan. No one ever worried about Evan.

“I think so,” Evan croaked.

Russ laughed as if he’d said something funny and held the door wide open. “Come on in.”

Evan followed, trying not to gawk at the fancy kitchen and perfectly decorated … well, everything. It looked like the kind of place you’d see in a magazine, but comfortable. He blinked dumbly when he realized he’d missed what Russ said. “Sorry. What was that?”

“I asked how the drive here went.”

“Um, okay, I guess.” Evan shrugged. He recalled an endless feeling of panic at the overwhelming sprawl of Atlanta and the confusing tangle of highways leading into Midtown, but not much else.

Stephen stepped out of another room, smiling as he held out a hand. “Hello, Evan. I don’t think we’ve officially met. I know you were there when I buried my father, but to be honest, I was so focused on that, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to anything else around me.” His tone was apologetic, as if Evan might be offended that Stephen hadn’t noticed him before.

Evan had been a pallbearer for the funeral, and it was true Stephen had seemed to look right through him, but he hadn’t taken offense to it. Evan was used to people looking through him. He was quiet and introverted, and even the school bullies, who picked on the noticeably weird kids, had left him alone.

The real question was why would a guy like Stephen notice him? He flushed when he realized Russ and Stephen were both staring at him. “It’s nice to meet you, too,” he mumbled. “And thanks for letting me come here. I—I didn’t have anywhere else to go.” His eyes stung with tears when, once again, it hit him how alone he was. Dependent on a couple guys he barely knew. Sure, he and Russ had texted and talked on the phone a handful of times since the funeral, and he felt like he could trust him, but how well did Evan actually know Russ?

“Hey, it’s okay, Evan.” Russ patted his shoulder and squeezed. The touch was innocent enough but it made Evan feel warm all over and the panic subside a little. “Come on, let’s sit down and talk,” Russ coaxed as he let go. Evan sucked in a deep breath. “You want something to drink? Beer? Something stronger?”

Stephen glanced at Evan. “Are you twenty-one?”

“Uhm, not until the end of February,” Evan admitted.

“I think under the circumstances we can ignore a few weeks.” Stephen shot him a smile that made him feel a little weak in the knees. Technically, he was probably old enough to be Evan’s father, but he sure didn’t look like any older man Evan had ever seen. Guh. He made Evan a little woozy just looking at him. “I wanted to be sure you weren’t … quite as young as you looked.”

Despite his discomfort, Evan managed a small joke. “Sixteen?”

Stephen gave Evan a rueful smile. “No, Russ mentioned you’d been working at the funeral home for a few years, so I assumed you were an adult, but I wanted to be sure. I know you still lived at home.”

Evan sighed, all the air going out of him and making him feel like a deflated balloon. “I was only living there until I could save up enough to leave Putnam.”

“You want to tell us about what happened today?” Russ asked.

“I guess.” Evan shrugged.

Russ fixed him a rum and Coke—the only drink Evan could think to ask for—and he sat on one end of the fancy L-shaped sofa, feeling horribly out of place.

He took a sip of the drink—strong enough to make his eyes water—and stared down at the glass. He peeked up through his lashes as Russ sat down next to Stephen on the other section of the sofa, watching them surreptitiously. Stephen draped an arm over Russ’s shoulder, and Russ rested an elbow on Stephen’s bent knee. They were so casual about it, so comfortable touching each other.


He raised his head, staring wide-eyed at Russ, who gave him a sympathetic smile. “You don’t have to, but if you want to talk about what happened …”

Evan didn’t. Not at all, but since they were letting him crash here, he figured it was the least he could do. He took another gulp of his drink before he began, hoping the liquid courage would do its job. “Um, so there was this casket sales rep,” he explained, thinking back to what had happened earlier that day.

My thoughts:

We first met Evan in ‘Partners’ when he worked in the funeral home and Russ (from the Equals Series) befriended him. Evan is gay and has been hiding the fact from his family and the town he lives in. When his secret is revealed his father kicks him out of his home and in his desperation he turns to Russ who doesn’t hesitate but immediately offers him a place to stay in the apartment he shares with Stephen.

Jeremy is Stephen’s ex and has been trying to rebuild his life after a devastating car crash left him alone, scarred and with permanent injuries. In the process he has become a bit of a recluse. He goes out to work but doesn’t have a social life and doesn’t believe he’ll ever be in a relationship again now he’s as damaged as deems himself to be.

Neither man has a whole lot of confidence. Both view the world and their place in it with suspicion. Evan would like to hope but doesn’t believe his dreams could ever come true while Jeremy has all but given up on hope and just tries to make it through his days without giving into despair.

When the two men meet, they engage in what can best be described as a slow and tenuous dance. The attraction is strong on both sides but neither man believes that the other could possibly feel the same. Throw in Jeremy’s hang-ups about his scars and limitations and a coming together appears very unlikely, until….

No, you’ll have to read the book J

I adored this story. Both Jeremy and Evan touched my heart. I was constantly torn between wanting to wrap them in my arms to keep them safe and make them feel loved and wanting to slap them around the head for not communicating more honestly with each other. To say I got emotionally involved in this story would be a gross understatement.

I love that there are no stereotypes in this book; the seemingly weak and defenceless may be stronger while he who appears self-assured and world wise may the one with most insecurities and lessons to learn. No typical stronger character ‘healing’ or strengthening someone weaker. This is much closer to reality; two men with issues, fears, and insecurities find each other and have to find a way to be together without crushing each other or themselves. These men are beautiful in their flaws – maybe because of them. Their journey so far has been breathtaking, engrossing, at times heartbreaking but ultimately beautiful and uplifting. But of course this is only the first part of Jeremy and Evan’s story. When we leave them we are allowed to hope they’re on their way to a future together but given their pasts and the realistic way in which the author tells their story, I have no doubt they’ll be running into another obstacle or two before they get there. And I’ll be with them, every step of the way.

To summarize: I adored this story. I’m in awe of the way in which Brigham Vaughn managed to portray these two damaged men without turning them into weak or boring characters. I loved the way we’re allowed to see Jeremy and Evan’s strength, even when they’re at their weakest. And I’ll never stop admiring this author’s use of the English language – her sentences are a thing of beauty and something I can only aspire to. In short, Connection, like the Equals series it sprang from, comes highly recommended.

Buy links:

Amazon                 Amazon UK            Are

The Equals Series:
Click on the title for my thoughts on the books:

About the author:  

Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Monday, 19 October 2015

SHE'S GOT IT ALL by Jewel Quinlan, Promo Post

Link to trailer on YouTube:   


She’s living her dream, not knowing she’s stolen someone else’s…
For Kayla Cross, getting a job as a DJ at legendary club Grace in Ibiza is a dream come true. It’s what she has worked for her entire life. Even if she had to do it behind her parents’ back, like a dirty secret—then and now. She left everything behind in order to give it her all, and she finds it’s going to take far more than the level of confidence she has in order to pull it off.
Lex Granger thought the job was his. But it wasn’t. And not getting the DJ job means another season of bartending, and watching longingly as others play on stage. When his boss orders him to make Kayla feel at home, he almost rebels. But his need to pay bills wins over his emotions. He resents his competition but can’t help being affected by her sunny disposition, talent, and long, lean form. Walking the line between admiration and envy can be agony...

Now available for only 0.99!
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Kayla had seamlessly taken control of the sound system a few minutes ago and the stuff she had been playing was good, better than the typical pre-recorded shit. But what caught his attention now was the sound of her voice. She was singing into the mic on her headset. Not lyrics but a beautiful stream of notes that seemed to flutter from her gut up to her vocal cords in a lilting sound that was captivating.
The notes she sang rose and fell, exotic and mysterious with the intriguing underlying beat. Her voice called, it drew…and soon women rose from their seats to the small dance area to move and sway with the music, and the men followed them. The same people who had been oblivious of the music a moment before as they’d smoked and talked were now giving their full attention to Kayla.
It wasn’t just the music that mesmerized them; it was Kayla herself. She was a vision. Her blonde hair gleamed under the lights, and her shoulders and hips writhed in a sexy dance, and all the while she continued to turn knobs and flip switches to make the music she sang to. She was absorbed in it and having a great time. Sometimes her hair flicked when she gyrated, as if in punctuation to her movements. Combined with the sound of her voice, she was like a beacon—the song of an angel caressing and drawing everyone in. It was like nothing he’d ever heard before.
 “Hola!” said a man in an aggressive tone, waving a one hundred Euro bill. “Can we get ten shots of Patrón?”
“Of course. Right away, friend.” Lex focused back in on his job.
It was awhile before he could come back up for air. But when he did, he noticed that the space was packed with bodies dancing to the music Kayla played. And, although she was keeping it mellow as instructed, it was the biggest crowd he’d ever seen on the terrace during the day. Security continuously went through, trying to keep key paths clear.
Hands holding cell phones were up in the air, outstretched toward her, as they took pictures and videos. Through it all, she wore the brightest smile he’d ever seen, occasionally lifting one hand to press the earphones closer. She changed the tempo to a faster beat and the crowd responded with cheers. She bounced up and down in joy, hand waving above her head with exhilaration, and the people lifted and pumped their fists in mimicry.
She was every bit as good as any DJ they’d had before and more. She was the embodiment of everything he thought he would have experienced and felt had it been him on the stage. Somehow, she caught him watching, and gave him a cheery wave. Embarrassed, he waved awkwardly back, and then pulled his eyes back down to the bar. And, even though he could acknowledge that Rick had been right, that she was good, he couldn’t help feeling the tiny nugget of palpable distaste lodged deep in his chest.


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About the author, Jewel Quinlan:

Restless by nature, Jewel Quinlan is an avid traveler and has visited 16 countries so far. Lover of ice cream, beer and red wine she tries to stay fit when she’s not typing madly on her computer concocting another tale. In her spare time she likes to do yoga, hike, learn German and play with her spoiled Chihuahua; Penny. It is Penny’s mission in life to keep Jewel from the keyboard. But, with the help of dog-chew-making-companies, Jewel has been able to distract her canine companion and continues to get thousands of words on the page for your enjoyment.

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