It’s always such a pleasure to hang out over on my dear friend, and fab writer, Kay Jaybee’s site. Thanks for having me back, Kay. Yours is such a great place to visit!
The pleasure is all mine KD!! I loved every word of Riding the Ether! Over to you hun…
Today, as my husband and I spent several happy hours digging in our allotment in the sunshine and preparing the beds for next spring’s planting, I found myself thinking about my characters in the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy and how they cope with the horrendous stress of living constantly under threat from the demon, Deacon. Everyone has an escape mechanism. Everyone has a place where they feel at least for a little while they can get away from the madness.
It’s not unusual that I should be thinking about that escape mechanism, that sane place while I was happily getting my hands covered with earth because gardening, being outside, is always one of my places to run away for a little taste of sanity. I dug, listening to a wren nearby singing manically. I dug while basking in the brilliant golds and bronzes of the autumn day, and I thought about Cassandra and Tara and Anderson and all of the Elemental Coven struggling for a little sanity in the dangerous place they’re in.
I think novel two of the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, Riding the Ether, is in many ways, more about how the Elemental Coven copes, more about how Cassandra copes and has coped in all of her years of self-imposed solitude. In the first novel, Body Temperature and Rising, we were getting to know the coven and what they were up against. Riding the Ether is all about seeing them at home, seeing them living under constant stress and seeing how they help one another through the struggles, how they help someone who is a stranger cope, and how she helps them in return.
Of course you’d expect a good amount of sex would be involved in coping with their stress, and that’s very true. But each member of the coven has their own way of coping, their own unique way of dealing with the stress of battling Deacon, of not knowing when and how his next attack will come. Fiori deals with her stress by being an amazing cook, and by seeing that good, healthy, delicious food is always available for the coven. Sky is a gifted apothecary, and spends her time with her tinctures and herbs. Tim is a sheep farmer. He, along with Marie, finds solace on his farm, in being outside. Tara gardens. She grows vegetables and herbs for the coven, and even in the dead of winter, which is when Riding the Ether is set, she finds solace in her greenhouse. Cassandra and Anderson are both lovers of learning, and happily stow away with a good book when they need an escape.
I wanted to create an intimate view of the Elemental Coven at home in Riding the Ether. And in doing so, I ended up creating a place where I wish I could go and hang out, in front of the fireplace in the library of Elemental Cottage with maybe a piece of Fiori’s ginger bread and a cup of her cocoa. Ultimately what makes the Elemental Coven work, what makes them strong, is their dependence on and their love for each other, and Cassandra experiences that love, that sense of home more powerfully than most because it’s something she has never known before.
The bond of home and family and acceptance all wrapped in the powerful sex magic of Elemental Coven is the coven’s strength and their escape, and I hope that readers will find themselves as welcomed into Elemental Coven as Cassandra does, because they’ll need a safe place when Deacon comes calling.
Cassandra Larkin keeps her ravenous and dangerous sexual appetite secret until she seduces Anderson in the mysterious void of the Ether. Anderson is the sexy, insatiable ghost who can give her exactly what she needs.
But sex is dangerous in a place like the Ether…
When the treacherous demon, Deacon, discovers the truth about the origin of Cassandra’s powerful lust, he plots to use her sex magic for revenge on Tara Stone and the Elemental Coven, who practice their own brand of sex magic.
Cassandra must embrace the lust and sexuality she fears and learn to use its power. Will she stand with Anderson, Tara, and the Elemental Coven against Deacon’s wrath or suffer the loss of friendship, magic and love?
Anderson felt his heart swell at the sight of her, seated on the floor of the library, the fire long gone out, still perusing her pile of books, as she had been when he pulled her away to tell her good-bye. On the floor next to her curled under the blanket from the chair, Alice slept soundly, and he smiled to himself, knowing what had happened as surely as if he had been here, knowing the poor woman’s need, and knowing his beautiful Cassandra’s compassion. He watched her for a long moment before he spoke. Her lust for knowledge was nearly as enthralling to him as her lust for the pleasures of the flesh. She was stunning in her vulnerability, vulnerability belying the power of a goddess, power that many would give their lives for, and yet she wore it uncomfortably, cautiously, and more exquisitely than she could have possibly realized. He watched her until he could stand the space between them no longer, then he spoke.
‘You have not been truthful with me, Cassandra Larkin. I have just returned from your room where I found your bed empty and cold.’
She smiled up at him. ‘I didn’t hear you come in.’
‘Indeed you did not. Imagine my disappointment at not receiving the reward for which I have endured a cold night on the fell to bring back the prize.’
‘Then you found the mirror?’
‘It is safe within the walls of Elemental Cottage, my love.’ Before she could stand and move into his arms, he seated himself on the floor behind her, legs spread on either side of her. His erection pressed hard against the small of her back as he scooted in close, running his hands up under the cashmere top to cup her full bosom, relishing the feel of her. She caught her breath and arched back into his embrace, so that his mouth found the hollow of her throat.
He slipped a hand up under her skirt over the solid muscles of her thighs and found that she wore no undergarments. She shifted and grunted softly opening herself so his fingers found purchase, first against the soft golden nest covering her mound, and then in between the burgeoning folds of her womanhood to the warm moist core of her sex. ‘Oh my love, you are in need, as am I. I am full with the weight of my lust for you. But even now I hear clattering in the kitchen. Our dear Fiori will not have it, the two of us missing breakfast after our night of magic and your night of,’ he nipped her neck and nodded toward the sleeping Alice. ‘Your night of magic. I fear we will have to manage a quickie.’
She pulled away from him long enough to reposition herself and helped open his trousers and ease them down far enough that his manhood was free and anxious for her. Then she lifted her skirt, giving him just the tiniest, most exquisite glimpse of her glistening sex before she settled onto his lap, sheathed his member with delicious ease, and wrapped her legs around him.
‘Take from me, but a little, my love,’ he grunted, as she began to rock against him. ‘It will be our secret, and it will make me stiffen in my trousers as I sit next to you eating Fiori’s fine breakfast, and everyone will smell your delicious sex all over me, and they shall all long for you to take from them as you have from me. They shall all long to be the chosen lover of the succubus.’
He covered her mouth with a probing kiss, letting his tongue and his lips swallow back her protests, and when she relaxed against his mouth, he spoke. ‘For that is what you are, my beautiful Cassandra, you are a succubus, a creature of exquisite, terrible and beautiful magic, and I long with all of my heart to be enthralled by you.’
The feel of her soft laughter against his mouth was ecstasy almost beyond words, and the deep pall of the night vanished in the sound of it, in the taste of it. And in her magic, he felt as though he were walking on a rain-washed fell in the sunrise.
‘I’m not keen on facing Fiori’s wrath if we’re late to the breakfast table,’ she said. ‘So I’ll only enthrall you a little bit this time. She bit his bottom lip, then his throat, and his member surged almost beyond control at the pure wonder of her. ‘It’ll be a quickie, succubus style.’
And her womanhood tightened around him like a glove, she surrounded him with such delight that he scarce could remember his own name, and it mattered not. It mattered not.
It was the trembling of her sex around him, and the shimmer of her power as she took her release that sent him tumbling to his, and he knew that if he were not already dead, he would happily die in the ecstasy of her love.
‘I am undone, dear woman,’ he whispered in his convulsions of lust. ‘Each time you take me I am undone with such pleasure as I have never known.’
‘That’s my magic, Anderson. I undo people. Just like it says on the label.’ She nodded to the pile of books on the floor.
He pulled her to him with such fierceness that she gave a little gasp. ‘It is much more than that, my darling, and you know this to be true, as do I. It is so much more.’
When he pulled away this time, there were tears in her eyes, and his heart felt like it would burst from the sight of her so. ‘I wish I didn’t know what I know,’ she whispered as he pulled her tight against him. ‘And even still I need to know more.’
There was so much he wanted to say to her, so much he wanted her to say to him, but Sky knocked softly on the frame of the door.
‘I’m sorry to interrupt, but breakfast is served and we all need to eat. There’s lots to be done.’
The commotion woke Alice, who had slept through their love-making, and she hurried upstairs to dress while Anderson and Cassandra tidied and tucked as best they could, offering each other furtive smiles that lovers do when they share such secrets as their flesh allow them.
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Thanks ever so much for sharing that with us today KD!! HOT extract!! I loved Part One of The Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, (Body Temperature and Rising), and having devoured Part Two, Riding the Ether, at top speed, I am very much looking forward to the series finale next year!! xx