Thursday, March 18, 2010

Delicious Tease Day #33: Juliet Burns

Today I'm welcoming my dear friend and Sizzling Pens blog partner, Juliet Burns. She's a talented writer and a truly wonderful person. So comment away on the excerpt below to win a copy of Secrets, Volume 28, Sensual Cravings, and some extra Pirate's Booty.

The feared pirate Merciless MacGowan and Lady Gertrude (Tru) Fitzpatrick both have reasons to flee Britain in September of 1649. Their narrow escape on the high seas is the setting for my Historical erotic romance novella, The Pirate’s Possession in Secrets Vol 28: Sensual Cravings

My pirate is a sexy, green-eyed Scot, Ewan MacGowan, who’s cargo has been confiscated and his letters of marque revoked by Cromwell. He’s no longer a privateer with permission to plunder Spanish and Danish ships, but an outlaw with a price on his head. Ewan is on the run with no money and no way to feed his crew on the high seas. His only hope lies with a plain Irish lady who claims she has buried treasure at her castle in Galway.

The door flew open and there he stood. Merciless MacGowan. The feared pirate.
And the most handsome man Tru had ever beheld.
Captain MacGowan was breathing heavily, his long legs spread wide. From one large hand swung a lantern. In the other, a brass mariner’s quadrant. He wore no waistcoat, nor coat. Blood and soot stained his shirt which lay open at the collar to reveal a swirl of brown hair. The same shade of brown hair fell in thick, tangled strands to his shoulders. His short beard was a slightly lighter shade and enhanced his pale green eyes. Eyes that cut into her as though he wanted to flay her alive.
She scooted to the edge of the bed and stood, smoothed her hair back, then brushed nervous hands down her wrinkled skirt. “I– I must insist that you knock before entering this cabin from now on, sir.” Pride kept her voice steady.
His lip curled and his laugh sounded more like a disbelieving grunt. Hanging the lantern, he strode to the desk and reached behind him for a chart. He unrolled it and placed the quadrant on it, then pulled a log book, quill, and ink from a drawer and began making notations.
Tru cleared her throat. “Sir, I–”
“Wheesht!” He slammed a palm on his desk and looked up, his eyes glittering in irritation. Tru jumped. Her wide-eyed silence assured, he returned his attention to the book. Reading? Writing? Navigation? For a moment, the man seemed more merchant than pirate.
She’d spied him once at court, elegantly dressed, on one knee before Queen Henrietta. A force had burned in him, just beneath the surface. As if he had to restrain a constant urge to attack someone. She’d never forgotten him, and in her girlish fantasies, she pretended he’d named his ship for her: the True.
Shamefully, her vivid fantasy life had nearly always featured the dashing privateer in quite improper scenarios. But, s’truth! His kiss had been more sensual than any of her imaginings.
As she watched him, head bent over his notebook, the arousing sensations she’d felt upon seeing him in the tavern came rushing back. The shortness of breath, the ache in her stomach. The longing that had assailed her when his mouth had swept over hers…
A knock sounded at the door.
“Yer me possession now.” He waved a hand. “Answer the door.”
Possession? He thought he owned her? Terror slammed into her chest. Then, they weren’t headed for Galway? Was she being taken across the sea? How would she help her people now? And what would happen to her? She’d heard of captives walking a plank, or merchant crews left adrift to die of thirst. Tales of women ravaged. Sold into slavery…
Use your brain, Tru. Why would he be wantin’ ta ravage ye, ye silly girl? And what man would pay good money for the likes of ye?
And wouldn’t her mother cringe to hear her even thinking with an Irish lilt? Her wits had gone begging. In the presence of a dangerous pirate, and she was worrying what her mother thought of her…thoughts.
But ‘twas a fact she’d never inspired lust in a man. Unmarried after eight years at court was the proof of that. How oft had her own mother called her plain at best, ugly if she were in a nasty mood? Even her cousin had said bedding her would be a loathsome duty done only to force her into marriage.
“Well, woman? Doona jus’ stand there!”
Tru flinched and hurried to open the door. A boy of about fourteen years carried a tray with a gold goblet and a bottle. And a wet kerchief.
“Evenin’, Miss.” He eyed her up and down, his gaze resting on her bosom. Her cheeks heated as he shoved the tray into her hands and turned to the pirate. “Cap’n, Mr. Tate reports we’re clear of the harbor.”
“Tell him to set the rudder at tharty degrees waest by nor’waest, Henry. And doona knock again.”
The boy grinned and nodded, tugging his cap brim, and shut the door.
Tru stood, holding the tray while Captain MacGowan continued to make notes in his book. Fear tightened her stomach. Had she fled her cousin’s clutches only to be sold into slavery by a cold-blooded pirate? It mattered not. ‘Twas too late to lament her choice. She would honor her Da’s last wishes. His cryptic note could only be interpreted one way. She must get home to Baile an Chláir and give her people the means to be free from Reginald’s tyranny. And she was determined to see it done. Whatever the price.
She delicately cleared her throat. “Are you taking me to Ireland, sir?”
“Bolt the door,” he ordered without looking up.
Her body began to quiver and her lungs couldn’t take in air. Her palms dampened. Was this her last day on earth? Don’t go borrowin’ trouble girl, she heard Da’s voice advise.
Straightening her spine, she lodged the tray on her hip and slid the bolt home, feeling the heavy wood lock her fate.
The pirate began rolling up the chart and clearing the desk. “Set the tray here and pour me a dram.” Slipping the map into its slot, he stood and watched her, hands on hips. Perchance he only planned to keep her as a servant? She trudged to the desk and did as he asked, removing her gloves before pouring. Her hand shook so badly the liquid splashed over the goblet. When she glanced up at him, he was scowling at her, and she noticed a half-moon-shaped scar creasing his left temple and another on his right cheek, slashing across his beard. How many more scars lay beneath his clothes?
Gertrude Fitzpatrick!
“The rag’s fer yer ding.” He gestured to her jaw and tossed the wet kerchief to her.
Tru caught it and held it to her throbbing cheek. The cold relieved the ache and his concern relieved her fear. Still, her heart pounded.
“I doona hit women, or allow me crew ta do so. T’was a misunderstanding.”
She smiled and heaved a deep sigh of relief.
He took up the goblet and drank deeply, studying her person as if estimating her worth. “Take aff yer clothes.”
Question of the day: Juliet writes about pirates, but there are a lot of other sexy hero occupations out there in romance today. What kind of heroes (job-wise) appeal most to you?Today’s winner will receive a copy of Secrets, Volume 28. Just comment here for the chance to win.


  1. Cowboys are my favorite.

  2. Hi Juliet!

    Pirates! I can't wait to read about your pirates! Great excerpt!

    I like cowboys too but I also love a hero in uniform....SEALs, firemen....all good things!:)

  3. Lovely excerpt, Juliet. I love a Highlander romance, and wow, a pirate, too!! What's not to like about that...can't wait to read this one.

    I enjoy reading stories with fire fighters, NavySeals, cowboys, businessmen, scientists, musicians.

  4. great excerpt.I have to say I've never read about a pirate.

    I like stories,with cowboys,firemen,well any men in uniform.

  5. Hi Juliet and Tracy,

    I like the excerpt. Ooh a good ole cowboy.

  6. I love the SEALs, cowboys, and businessmen.

  7. Nothing like a cowboy.
    Would love to have your book.

  8. Military/Law enforcement men are always a safe bet but I also love a brainy hero. Architects, doctors and businessmen could be pretty sexy too.

  9. Police Officers, Chefs, and last but not least me all time favorite SEALS!

    Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  10. men in uniform - there's nothing better!

  11. I do love men in uniform, like some other commenters mentioned. But what I enjoy is running across not-traditionally sexy roles, like teachers or accountants or hey, a middle manager--people who also make the world go round. It's exciting to see them portrayed as sexy, too!

  12. Loving the pirates! Great excerpt! I've always loved Highlander stories. Other than that, I tend to go for brainy types, doctors, lawyers, professors, and such.

  13. Pirates are hot, but I really go for welders... precise, hot, sweaty, strong, and don't mind a little pain (they get burned all the time)
    :D I might be slightly biased since I married one...

  14. Hi Leni, I love cowboys too. My first book published was a Silhouette Desire that featured a cowboy hero. He was a famous world champion bull rider. Yummy.
    Thanks for coming by to say hi today.

  15. Hi Blanche,
    I'd LOVE to write a firefighter hero. And I love any man in uniform. My series for Blaze (writing as Jillian Burns) features Air Force fighter pilots. Those flight suits and helmets are pretty sexy too. ;)

  16. Armenia,
    Funny you should mention musicians. Most editors will tell a writer to say away from musicians as heroes. But I've read a few I loved. A Historical by Lynn Stone comes to mind. The hero was a famous pianist, but he'd given it up bc of a tragedy...

  17. Hi Elaing8,
    I hear ya when it comes to men in uniforms. The brave and heroic men who risk their lives to put out fires and keep our cities safe make wonderful fictional heroes

  18. I like pirates but I don't read about them very much. Cowboys are nice too; protective sexy walking out of the sunset. I really like reading about warriors and highlanders though.

    I like brains but I don't want to be overwhelmed I just want to be able to have an semi-intellectual conversation, I wouldn't mind reading about police men either. You know that old saying about men in uniforms.

  19. Hi Bridget!
    Thank you for coming by to comment today!

  20. Hi Jeanette!

    I've tried writing businessmen before and I guess I'm not as good at it as other type heroes. My business men never sold.
    Course, i've been first frome several corporate type jobs, so.. The corporate world is clearly not for me. grin!

  21. Hi Denise,
    We'll definitly throw your name in the hat. Thank you for coming by!

  22. Hi Scorpio,
    Ooh, I love a brainy hero, not nerdy, but still like the absent-minded professor type. Seems like Jayne Ann Krentz used to write wonderful brainy heroes who were OH SO SEXY.

  23. hi Cindyc
    Of course, Brockman's SEALs come to mind first, but Chefs? I never thought of that but yes, a man who can cook would be very sexy! Yum!

  24. Hi Ina,
    You bet, a Marine, an Army Ranger, a Navy SEAL, or in the case of my Blaze series, Air Force fighter pilots. Nothing sexier, I agree!

  25. Hi flChen,
    Good to see you here.
    Yes, teachers, accountants, everyday , ordinary Joes. I once read a Superromance with a guy who was a high school track coach and he was wonderfully sexy. He was also a paraplegic in a wheelchair. TOTALLY sexy.

  26. Cowboys are a favorite of mine!

  27. I like to see heroes with many different occupations. Some of my tried and true favorites are police officer, firefighter, and professional athlete. Some other interesting occupations that I've recently run across that I enjoyed are tattoo artist, mechanic, and ultimate fighter.

  28. Hi Amanda Leigh,
    I never thought a lawyer could be sexy to me until I read my critique partners manuscript about an attorney who was attacked bc he defended gays and his face was mutilated. The story is a modern-day Phantom when he secretly grooms a young trial lawyer (Christine) to try the most controversial case of the decade. Wonderful courtroom drama, super-sexy love scenes and a happy ending where the phantom attorney finally gets his Christine.

  29. Dear Sweet Vernal,
    I welder, huh? Mm, I can totally see the attraction. Those bulging biceps covered in a sheen of sweat as he uses burning flames to make his metal sizzle and melt... :)

  30. Hi Gabby,
    Yeah, you don't see a lot of Pirate romances in book stores today. I think it's a shame. I'd like to see more. Marsha Canham has a wonderful Pirate Romance called ACROSS THE MOONLIT SEA

  31. While I adore pirates, I love construction men, police men and cowboys!

    Tracey D

  32. Ooh, that *does* sound like a good one, Juliet! If you recall the title, I'd love to read that one (I've always enjoyed Supers!) :)

    And I've got some of Ms. Canham's books on the TBR--some friends have really praised her pirates!

  33. Firemen & cowboys are so HOT!!!!

  34. I like business men, cowboys and men in uniform.

  35. I haven't read a pirate book in a while, I can't wait to read yours. I like men in uniform, law enforcement, firemen, military men. I also like the tycoon, sheikh, and lawyer professions. Really, I just like strong heroes.

  36. Any occupation where a man utilizes his brawn & his brains!

  37. i'd like hunky doctors and hunky scientists :)

  38. I like Cowboys, Indians, Seals, Special Ops, Bounty Hunters and Forensic Scientist! I like strong minded and strong bodied men!

  39. flChen,
    It was called A MAN LIKE MAC, and I believe the author died a few years ago. But it was a wonderful Super. I would have loved more by her.

  40. Oooh, Booklover,
    Construction men. They can go either way for me. But I can definitely see a sexy guy in a construction hat with his drill and screw... :)

  41. Hi Linda,
    I admit, I have a hard time with Sheiks, but if the right one came along... maybe.

  42. Hi Chelley,
    I LOVE a sexy scientist. An absent-minded professor type? Bring him on!

  43. Lady Graeye,
    I have to agree with all your faves. Bounty Hunters? YUM! Have you seen the previews for the new Gerard Butler film? He's a bounty hunter and has to pick up his Ex, Jennifer Aniston?

  44. I'm quite partial to men in uniform. I also would love to see more hero archaeologists.

  45. I love Pirates, cowboys, Special Ops but my # 1 is a Scottish Highlander who is Laird to his clan.
    Carol L.

  46. I love pirates, cowboys and Highlanders.