Monday, May 18, 2020

Guest Post: Love, Art and Other Obstacles by Sadira Stone

Today I'm very happy to welcome Sadira Stone to my blog. Her new release: Love, Art and Other Obstacles is the 3rd book in her  Nivana series. And the new release is on sale in e-book format for $2.99 from May 18th until May 29th. (My plug - the book is really good, I love Elmer.)

Tell us a little about yourself:

After a long teaching career in Germany, working with the kids of U.S. military members stationed there, I moved to Washington State. Now I spend my days in my little home office writing steamy contemporary romance. I’m loving my new chapter in life! The writers I’ve met, in person and online, are the most supportive group of friends you could ask for. When I’m not writing or reading, you’ll find me walking around Tacoma, playing darts (I’m getting better), playing ukulele and guitar with Hubs, family, and friends, or cooking up a storm. When this horrible virus finally subsides, I look forward to exploring the Pacific Northwest and hosting parties again!

What do like the most and the least about writing?

I’m a weirdo—I actually enjoy editing more than I enjoy writing the first draft, which can be a slog. Once I have words on paper, I can shape them into a satisfying story. Finding ways to promote my work can also be a slog. I look forward to the days when I have enough writing income to hire someone else to handle promo.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

Rejected by her family for her bisexuality, graphic artist Margot DuPont yearns for a life with no fences, no limits, and no family ties. Between college, work at Book Nirvana, and an art competition, she barely has time for her part-time girlfriend, much less a flirtation with her competitor.

Dumped into the foster system at a young age, ceramics artist Elmer Byrne craves a big, loving family of the heart. His artist family almost fills that need, but something is missing...until Margot. But when he offers his heart, her thorny defenses shatter him.

Thrown together in an art competition that could jump-start one artist's career, but not both, their irresistible attraction forces them to reconsider the meaning of success.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I have a steamy romance novella coming this summer, set in a Washington beach town, and I’m working on a romance series set in a bar in Tacoma.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

I hope you’ll enjoy the Book Nirvana series, steamy contemporary romance set in a quirky bookshop in Eugene, Oregon. What sets this shop apart is its extensive erotica collection, kept behind a locked red door. Every couple in the series has their turn exploring the sensual delights hidden in the back of the shop!

Book One, Through the Red Door, features Clara Martelli, the bookshop’s widowed owner, who reluctantly ventures into the dating world a year after losing her husband. Two enticing men want her, one suave and risky, the other soothing and safe.

Book Two, Runaway Love Story, features Laurel Jepsen, a new employee who makes a detour to Eugene to help her elderly great-aunt and finds unexpected love on the running trails beside the Willamette River. The trouble is, he can’t leave Eugene, and she’s only passing through.

Excerpt from “Meet Cute” scene: 

That fuzzy, flame-colored beard of his must tickle. What would it feel like brushing against her breasts, over her belly, between her thighs?

She bit her lip hard. Too much time in the red room.  

The guy turned toward her and grinned. Was it just her imagination, or did his eyes flash when they met hers? Warm hazel eyes, thickly lashed and sparkling with playful energy. 
A happy little vibration rose from her belly and twitched the corners of her mouth upward—until she recognized him. 

Oh, yuck. This guy. She’d seen him hanging around the shop, flirting with Laurel, all swaggering, macho bullshit. She remembered how Doug, Laurel’s boyfriend, had tensed like an angry stork and glared at the shorter, buffer man. 

Maxie waved. “Margot, you remember Elmer? He gave me a ride.” She nudged him with her bony elbow. “Isn’t he cute?”

Real cute. And he knows it. 

“How’s it going, Margot?” His grin widened as his gaze flicked down her body and back up.


No way to avoid his extended hand without offending Maxie, so she took it. Warm, calloused, his grip firm but not too tight. A tattoo of a foaming beer mug adorned the back of his hand. Beneath the copper hair on his forearm, pretty muscles flexed.  

Feet on the ground, DuPont. You’ve got no time for flirtatious fuzz-beards.

Maxie’s merry gaze flicked from Elmer to Margot. “He’s exhibiting at the Rainbow Center on Saturday.” She grinned up at Elmer. “Margot helped Laurel design that poster for the art show.”

His eyebrows rose. “That’s your work? Really nice.”

She shook her head. “It’s Laurel’s work. I just helped her with the graphic design software.”

“Graphic design? Like ads and words and stuff?”

She curled her lip and prepared for battle with yet another snooty artist who looked down his precious nose at graphic arts, like nothing with words or photos could ever count as real art. “I make stuff everyone sees, not just rich people in art galleries.” She stepped closer, glaring up into his startled face while she ticked off on her fingers. “Posters for community events, book covers, the logo for this shop, and its website and signage and—”

He raised both hands and backed off a few steps. “Relax, angry elf. I wasn’t putting down your work, okay? I said I liked the poster. Jeesh.”

Maxie’s painted-on auburn brows rumpled. “Margot, I’m surprised at you.”

That stung. She lowered her gaze and shuffled her boots. “Yeah, well, I’m sick of snobby artists.”
He crossed athletic arms over his impressive pecs. “I’m not one of them.”

Her cheeks flushed hot. “Okay, cool. Sorry. So, um, what are you exhibiting at the show?”

“Ceramics. Beer steins, mostly. Donated a dozen to the Rainbow Arts Center.” He winked, her dig seemingly forgotten. “If someone likes my stuff, maybe they’ll order a complete set.”

Beer mugs. Definitely not snooty. Embarrassment drilled deeper into her skull.

The pretty potter smooched Maxie’s cheek. “Well, gotta shove off. Max, I’ll pick you up at ten on Saturday. Ladies.” He pantomimed lifting a hat brim, then ambled toward the door.

Maxie prodded Margot’s boot with her cane. “Why’d you bite his head off? He’s a nice boy. You should ask him out.”

She rolled her eyes. “Max, I’m not looking to date right now. Especially not that guy.”

“What’s wrong with Elmer?”

“I’ve seen him in action. He flirts for sport. I’m not gonna be anyone’s plaything.”

The doorway bell tinkled as Elmer strolled through. Laurel looked up from wiping the counter. “You want to wait in the café, Aunt Maxie? I’ll be done in fifteen minutes.”

“Of course, doll.” Maxie tottered toward the coffee shop next door.

Margot moved behind the counter and watched through the plate-glass window as Elmer crossed the street and unlocked his rust-bucket pickup. “Pain in the ass, isn’t he?” Nice ass, though. Firm and crunchy.

Laurel chuckled. “Oh, he’s not so bad. I think he just flirts out of habit, like some people nibble their nails or twiddle their hair.” She turned away to straighten a pile of flyers. “Margot, do you—um…”


“Do you date guys?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Sometimes. Why?”

“On his way out, he asked about you.”

“Oh, so I should date him, get him off your back?” She scrubbed her fingers through her hair. “No thanks.”

“Well, I hope you’ll come to the art show anyway. I’m running the race at ten, but I’ll help with the set-up beforehand.” She cracked a crooked smile. “I’ll do my best to corral Elmer. Gotta warn you, though—if he sets his mind on you, he’s persistent.”

“Don’t worry.” She shoved a hand through her spiky hair. “I can handle pushy guys. I know how to push back.”

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Thank you for being here today, Sadira. 

1 comment:

Sadira Stone said...

Thanks so much, Marie, for this chance to meet your readers. I'm glad you fell for Elmer. Isn't he adorable? (For non-writers, our characters really come to feel like members of the family.)