Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Guest Blogger Tina Donahue - Tis the Season to be Romantic – or else

When the love of my life and I first became a couple, I was so much in love I believed he’d find Christmas as enchanting as I did. When I started shopping for his present in October, he wore a bemused expression that said he didn’t quite get it.

“What’s the big deal?” he asked. “It’s just another day.”

His comment should have been a raging red flag that the holiday wouldn’t be everything I hoped for, but I brushed it aside and kept hoping. On Christmas Eve, I stared at the gaily wrapped box he lugged in from his car. Too big to be jewelry. Too heavy to be lingerie. Even so, I told myself I’d love whatever it was, because I knew he hated to shop and yet he had. For me.

Carefully, I removed the Xmas wrapping to see that he’d bought me a boombox.

“Got it at Best Buy,” he boasted. “They were going so fast, I had to elbow another guy out of the way to get yours.”

Not exactly the words a woman wants to hear. I’ll admit that I pouted because I wanted something romantic – something memorable. He didn’t have to get me a $10,000 ring (though it would have been great). But a card would have been nice. He hadn’t even gotten me a card! Holding back words I knew he wouldn’t want to hear, I explained the facts of Christmas to him – doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be romantic.

He seemed genuinely surprised. He even pointed out that my present was the top-of-the-line boombox. I sighed and told myself not to even think about the following year.

On that Christmas Eve, I got to work after he did. We operated a small business and generally arrived together, but he had a merchant’s breakfast to attend. It was still too early for the other employees to start filtering in, so I locked the front door and saw something taped to the receptionist’s desk. It was a card with my name on it. Curious, I opened the most beautiful Christmas card I’d ever seen. Inside was a lovely verse heavy on the love stuff. Beneath it he’d written: “There’s more.”

Was there ever. He’d left cards and presents (lingerie this time) all over the office for me to find and open. I was squealing, crying, and hugging him with delight. He seemed disappointed in my response. I didn’t get it. Unless I tore his clothes off and mine then wrestled him to the floor, I was doing the best I could to show my gratitude. Pulling back, he mumbled that he had to get back to work and I should do the same. With my giddiness subsiding, I went into my office and saw another box – a very small box – on my chair. It was wrapped beautifully. I didn’t give a damn. I tore that thing open as if it were the last piece of chocolate in the universe. What I found was much better. A diamond ring. I started screaming. He laughed. “Got ya.” he said.

So right. He got me that day and had me every one since. And that’s the spirit of fun, delight, and wonder I tried to convey in Adored, my latest release from Ellora’s Cave. In Adored, Adam gives Danni quite a few presents – some naughty, some nice. Here’s the cover, a brief synopsis, and an excerpt.

Adored is available from Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-7772-adored.aspx


A shameless fantasy come true. . . When tall, dark and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a trade show in Vegas, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s been the star of her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her in acts of domination and submission that leave her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, Danni indulges in a public sex act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a night of wild and unrestrained passion in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning. An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires. Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what Adam’s been hiding to protect her. . .a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.


She expected him to show up at her place. He didn’t. Instead, Hanson’s delivered a carton of Silvano’s cherry chocolates. Thirty boxes in all. Danni called him immediately and heard Mariah Carey’s newest release playing in the background. “You’re home?”

“Yeah. Why aren’t you in bed?”

“I am. Freshly bathed, shaved, made up and covered with cherry chocolates. Want to come over and eat me?”

He laughed. “Get some sleep. You’ll need it.”

“Wait!” She lowered her voice. “Thanks for the candy. That’s the nicest surprise I’ve ever gotten.”

“Then I’ll have to change that.” Without elaborating, he ended the call.

Tuesday came. She expected more than them working together like a normal VP and president, yet that’s what she got. They discussed and argued over the endless details for the launch. He acquiesced to most of her decisions, and not because he was a pushover. Danni had never known anyone as knowledgeable of the intimate apparel business as Adam. He was an expert’s expert who respected her take on the line and admired her work.

He also drove her crazy with expectation.

Every sound made her jump. Continually wet around him, she worried about staining her clothing, since she wasn’t wearing panties. After all, he expected her to be ready for anything.

She thought she was until she got home from work and found a medium-sized box, the kind used to ship a shirt, propped against her front door. Not recognizing the company name, she opened it cautiously. Inside the packaging lay a small paddle covered in black velvet. Hand trembling, she opened the folded stationery on top and saw Adam’s distinctive script—

For when you’re bad. Now, get some rest, you’ll need it.

For what? And when? She pressed the box to her heart, frustrated and giddy at his game, loving it, yet hoping for relief.

It didn’t come that night or the next day, though FedEx left another package at her apartment door. The small, lightweight box was the length and width of her hand. She jiggled it close to her ear, expecting to hear metallic clinking, the kind a collar and chain would make. Like the one in his fantasy where he led her into the white room full of lusty nobility. Beaming at the memory, she tore open the box and stared at the beige silk ropes inside, tied together in an incomprehensible maze. Clueless as to what they might be or how they should work, she read the accompanying flyer. The apparatus was a karada, a harness used for stimulation bondage. A series of nude photos of a beautifully endowed woman showed Danni how to wear the karada and how it operated, shifting between her legs as she walked and sat, stroking her clit.

She draped it over her nudity, refusing to go further. When she wore the karada, it would be because Adam had put it on her. She wouldn’t fantasize and masturbate while alone either, determined to have him satisfy her.

Tina Donahue is a multi–published novelist in contemporary and historical romance. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Romantic Times have praised her work; she has reached finals and/or placed in numerous RWA-sponsored contests. She was the editor of an award-winning Midwestern newspaper, worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company and is currently the Managing Editor for a global business document concern.




Tina Donahue said...

Hi, Meg, Kate, P.G., Kinsey, Kelly, Skylar, Diane, Erin, and Sydney - thanks for having me here today.

I'd like to tell the visitors that I'll be offering a print copy of Adored to the commenter with the BEST comment about the WORST gift she's ever gotten from a boyfriend, husband, lover, or significant other!

Let's take those Bad Boys to task! :)

Book Junkie said...

I was able to read Adored and I thought it was Fantastic. A new Tina Donahue fan!

Amber Skyze said...

What a romantic ending! :) Adored looks scrumptious!

Tina Donahue said...

Awesome - thanks! Loved writing it. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Amber - thanks for dropping by - hope you have a great holiday!

Meg Benjamin said...

Hi Tina, welcome to the Naughty Nine! What a great story.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Meg - happy to be here! :)

Jen A said...

You dont even want to know......sigh the worst EVER.....ugh was Proactive skin care.....just a WOW there.Well I know what he thought of my skin and the way I looked. He's my Ex for a reason:0)

Tina Donahue said...

LOL - great story, Jen - my sister-in-law gave me skin care products as an Xmas gift the first Xmas she was with my brother. I thought WTF? Did I look THAT bad?

Cai said...

Great excerpt, Tina! As for worst gift - my ex (is there any wonder?) took my car to the garage where he worked and gave it an oil change. That's sweet, you say? Well, it would have been had he actually DONE that instead of driving to the nearest bar and sitting there for several hours then getting behind the wheel of the car and then RUNNING from the police who tried to stop him for driving on a suspended license. Did I know his license was suspended? Not hardly!!

SO, for Christmas that year, I got to pay court costs and pay for having my car towed!

Cathy M said...

Cai and Jen, those stories are pretty hard to top. My worst Christmas gift was from a long time boyfriend who surprised me with one of those Gazelle Glider excercise machines. I almost cried I was so upset. When I asked him what made him pick out this gift, he said it was between that or a gym membership, and he thought that the machine was a cheaper way to go. And yes, this gem of a man, was subsequently kicked to the curb and by New Year's Day, I was single again. And I left him with the Glider, lol.

Judy said...

Loved the excerpts. Looks like a great read. I don't get too many bad gifts, but my husband got something odd a few years ago. It was someone we know slightly and she came to the house close to Christmas and I guess thought she should bring something ?? She gave me a small box of chocolates and gave my husband a bag of peas!! ( They are like a green English pea covered with something (I think they come from different countries)?? I am not sure!!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine Tina! I love your story about your first Christmas as a couple!

PG Forte said...

Wow. I'm sure glad I'm not the one trying to pick the best (or worst?) story here. Tina, I think you're gonna have your work cut out for you!

So glad you were able to join us today. Thanks for prompting such entertaining storie. ;! And your own story was wonderful.

Adored sound fantastic. Loved the excerpt!

Tina Donahue said...

Hi Judy- how funny and odd - peas for Xmas - did he like them? :)

Hey Kelly - thanks for having me - great site - glad you liked my story - laughed about it for years.

Tina Donahue said...

Hi, PG - the stories are good, aren't they? Laughed so hard I snorted!

Thanks for having me and liking my excerpt (blush).

Erin Nicholas said...

Hi, Tina!
*Loved* your story... guessing Christmas is your favorite holiday! *G*
I have a story that some of my friends would say qualifies as a bad Christmas present, but that I really liked! Two years ago, my husband bought me a new vaccuum for Christmas. Now I know that doesn't sound super romantic, BUT here's the thing. I REALLY wanted it, it was Top Of The Line and HE told me that he was going to officially be in charge of using it from then on (and he really has kept that up pretty much!). So, to me it was very romantic! :)
Merry Christmas!!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Tina!
It took me a while to comment because I was laughing too hard at the comments! You have your work cut out for you in picking the worst. Between the peas, skincare products and the ex-running-from-cops...LOL!! I'm still laughing!

I know one thing. I'm going to have to go apologize to my husband now for the times I complained about the gifts he's given me in the past. None of them--I repeat--NONE OF THEM compare to the court costs and tow!!

Great post and excerpt. Going to buy my copy of "Adored" tomorrow!!

Merry Christmas!

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Erin and Naima - thanks for stopping by! And thanks, Naima, for your purchase! :)

Love your Xmas gift story, Erin - what a way to get a guy to do the cleaning!

Tina Donahue said...

Cai and Cathy - didn't forget about you - I actually posted a comment yesterday but I guess it didn't take.

That was some story, Cai - cops and all.

Cathy - I've known 'sweethearts' like your guy - I couldn't help laughing reading your story. It reminded me so much of some of the losers I've known!

Hope both of you get real men who give you lots of TLC. :)

Tina Donahue said...

And the winner is...(drum roll here)...CATHY M.

Cathy, hon, please send your mailing address to me at tina@tinadonahue.com and I'll ship a print copy of Adored to you!!!

Cathy M said...

What a perfect Christmas present, Tina. Thank you very much, and wishing you a holiday full of love, laughter and wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!