Take it away lovely :D
Thanks for having me over, Tabitha. It’s always a pleasure to be at yours. As you know, I’m busy promoting my latest Grace Marshall novel, The Exhibition, which is the third novel in the Executive Decisions Trilogy. Stacie Emerson and Harris Walker are the stars of the show with frequent appearances by their friends, Dee and Ellis, and Kendra and Garrett. I’ll introduce you properly to Stacie and Harris in the excerpts, but for this post, I want to introduce you to two members of the supporting cast, Bubo virginianus and Puma concolor. These two are better known as the great horned owl and the mountain lion or cougar.
Harris Walker is a wildlife photographer and, in The Exhibition, we first encounter him up a tree in the wee hours of the morning photographing a family of great horned owls. Now, you might think, ‘oh how cute! He photographs birdies!’ But great horned owls are the bad asses of the owl world. Here’s a peek at what happens when Stacie calls Harris at an inopportune moment:
Gradually the pins and needles subsided in his leg. He blinked his watering eyes and kept shooting. Just a few more. He just wanted a few more shots. He leaned out precariously onto the branch wrapping his legs around its girth and securing his position with his feet, ankles turned, soles of his hiking boots pressing hard into the wood. He was just focusing in for a close-up of the largest brancher, who was doing its best to swallow the huge piece of skunk when, into the silence, his Blackberry rang, and both the adult owls were instantly hyper-vigilant. Shit! Had he really forgotten to turn the stupid thing off? He never forgot. Ever!
Hanging on for dear life with his legs, he contorted himself to reach it in his pocket before he realised the offending device was still in his backpack, which he’d left at the bottom of the tree, and it was a damn good thing he had. The owls’ necks swivelled Exorcist-style and those wild yellow eyes honed in immediately on the bag, instead of him. The female rose up silently, the tips of her wing feathers nearly slapping Harris in the face before both she and the male attacked his backpack, talons first, with a terrifying force. He figured the female, who was the larger of the two, weighed in somewhere around five pounds. That might not sound like much but it was five pounds of super-charged predator on wings that spanned well over a meter, and most of that weight was muscle, sharp beak and talons – talons strong enough to sever the spinal cord of its pray and definitely strong enough to do severe damage to a human, even one the size of Harris. As the devise kept mindlessly ringing they kept attacking. And it wasn’t difficult to see that the backpack was losing the battle. They continued to shred it even after the device went silent. Harris stayed very still, holding his breath, goose flesh rising on his neck. Jesus! It could have been him. Whatever had possessed him to leave the phone in his backpack could very well have saved his bacon. Great horned owls were known for being aggressive, especially close to their nest or their young. He held tight and watched the destruction below. And when the backpack was truly and properly destroyed, and the owls seemed to consider it no longer a threat, they decided to find a more peaceful place to finish their snack.
Once they’d flown, Harris waited a full five minutes before he moved, straining to hear owl sounds or see the returning flutter of wings. When there was neither, he eased his aching body down the tree and surveyed the pathetic remains of his backpack, which was not only well-shredded but liberally dotted in owl poop.
The next member of the supporting cast I’d like you to meet is the mountain lion or cougar. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains and spent a good bit of my time outside in the woods. So elusive are these fabulous cats that never once did I catch a hint of even the tip of the tail of this ghost of the mountains. Mountain lions can leap as high as fifteen feet and as far as forty. They can be up to five and a half feet long from the end of their nose to the tip of their tail. They’re the largest wild cat in North America. Unlike other big cats, they can’t properly roar, but the sound they do make is terrifying. Here’s what happens when Harris take Stacie to meet a couple of mountain lions.
Mountain Lion Encounter:
‘My cat has several daybeds up here,’ Harris said. ‘Doug knows her haunts pretty well by now. You won’t see any footprints though, cougars are light footed, and this canyon is mostly rock. It was nearly two years ago I took the photos, and mountain lions breed only every other year, so if Doug’s right, then we might see the male too. The pair’ll stay together anywhere from three to ten days while mating. Otherwise, they’re solitary, except for females with kittens.’
They’d been walking at a steady ascent for nearly an hour when they heard the first scream. Stacie gasped and let out a little yelp. She was nearly on top of Harris when the second scream erupted and echoed through the canyon. ‘That’s the male?’ She whispered, the beat of her pulse metering her voice.
Harris shook his head, slipping a hand in Stacie’s to give it a reassuring squeeze. ‘That’s the female calling the male. She’s ready to mate. Terrifying sound, isn’t it?’
The sun was just staining the sky pink when they topped the rise that overlooked an outcropping of rocks opposite them on the other side of a narrow canyon. And there on a ledge were the two mountain lions. Harris could feel the tensing of Stacie’s body in the excitement he knew she felt because he felt it too. From the looks of the situation the female had been calling for a mate, and the male, who crouched on the outcropping just above her, had just arrived. Harris breathed deeply and slowly to steady his hands as he aimed the camera. He was so engrossed in the cats that it took him a second to realize Stacie had her own camera, and he couldn’t help feeling a swell of pride at just how calm she was, already shooting next to him. But then he reminded himself she’d grown up in the Russian wilderness. Beneath the big city venire, she was made of stern stuff. He leaned close to her. ‘This is my cat alright. See the little notch in her left ear, some old injury.’ His voice was less than a whisper, but she nodded that she understood.
If I were giving out the Grace Marshall Oscars for best supporting actor, I’d never be able to choose between these two magnificent creatures. They bring out the very best in Stacie and Harris and make them forget their problems and their differences. In so many ways, they are a major part of what drives the plot of The Exhibition, and I’m very pleased to have this chance to introduce them. Oh and another thing about mountain lions … they’re great matchmakers.
Successful NYC gallery owner, Stacie Emerson, is ex-fiancée to one Thorne brother and ex-wife to the other. Though the three have made peace, Ellison Thorne’s friend, wildlife photographer, Harris Walker, still doesn’t like her. When Stacie convinces Harris to exhibit his work for the opening of her new gallery she never intended to include him in her other more hazardous plans. But when those plans draw the attention of dangerous business tycoon, Terrance Jamison, Harris comes to her aid. In the shadow of a threat only Stacie understands, can she dare let Harris into her life and make room for love?
‘It doesn’t matter what you believe.’ Her reply was cool, distant. ‘What matters is that I’ll pay my debts. I promise that I will. Then all of this’ll be over with.’
She stood to put her pack back on, and he came to his feet and caught her by the shoulder, not wanting it to end like this, not wanting her to leave until they were good again. When she tried to push him away, he pressed her between his body and the stone of the cliff face. ‘You can’t just shut us all out, Stacie.’
‘I never wanted you involved in the first place. I never wanted any of you involved but you couldn’t leave it alone,’ she jerked back against him but there was no place to go. ‘You couldn’t just let it go.’
He moved in closer until his body pressed up against hers, holding her tightly against the stone. ‘No, I couldn’t, and I can’t and neither can anyone else who cares about you and neither would you if the situation were reversed. So whether you like it or not, I’m here to stay. We’ve already discussed this, so get used to it.’ He punctuated his point with a harsh kiss that couldn’t have been very pleasant for her, but then he was angry, worried, scared for her. Instead of shoving at him as he’d expected her to do, she curled a hard fist in his hair and ravaged his mouth with every bit as much ferocity as he had given her, pulling him still closer, rubbing her body against his, making him instantly and startlingly erect.
She snaked a hand down between them and savaged his fly until he feared for what lay beneath, until her fingers wriggled and dug their way into his walking trousers to possess his cock with a tight grip as though it were a weapon, one she were about to use to do serious damage.
He fumbled to return the favour, with her ripping at her own fly to make room for him, to guide his fingers down over her mons. Her eyes locked his in a devastating gaze that felt as though she could see right through him. ‘I need you to touch me there.’ Her voice was a breathless whisper. ‘Where I’m wet, where I’m open, where I’m always, always hungry for you.’ Her breath caught; her eyelids fluttered and she sucked her bottom lip as he found her cleft, wet and open as she’d promised. ‘You can’t tell me you don’t want to be like those cats.’ She guided his hand still further and manipulated it until first two, then three fingers pressed up into her. ‘You can’t tell me that when I present myself to you all hot and ready and begging for it, you don’t want to service my need. You can’t tell me you don’t want to get a little primal with that cock of yours.’ She gave him a hard squeeze and drove her hand up and down his length, thumbing the already abundant pre-cum over and around the tip until he gritted his teeth and held his breath while his hips bucked hard against her efforts.
He scissored her deep with three fingers and raked the silky slickness of her up and over her clitoris, and the sounds from the back of her throat easily resembled the sounds the female cougar made when the male mounted her. They wildly, madly fucked each other’s hands. The wind had risen and even on the clear morning, the chill left no doubt about lingering for more than the quickest of releases. Then she shifted, pressed her back hard against the stone and rested both of her hands on his shoulders. Before he could protest the removal of her fingers from his cock, she wrapped her legs around his waist, her still clothed crotch rubbing tight and insanely hot against his exposed cock as she began to rock and gyrate, and it was all happening way too fast.
‘Stacie I --’
‘Shut up, Harris,’ she spoke between chattering teeth. ‘I need to come, and so do you. You can fuck me properly when we get back to the SUV. It’s too damn cold to linger.’ With each sentence she ground against him, baring down with the extra leverage the cliff at her back afforded and, almost before the words were out of her mouth, she convulsed. Her spine stiffened and her shivers had nothing to do with the cold. Harris could stand no more. He felt the eruption deep in his groin. It might have been embarrassing had the circumstances been different, but as he tried to cover himself, tried to hide the results of Stacie’s hard ride, she shoved his hand away, pushed him back and practically fell into the space between them positioning herself so that she caught his release, all of it in her mouth. What could he say to that? What could he do but hold her there, helplessly grunting the weight of his need into the back of her throat. It was an act as intimate and as primal as the cougars mating on the rocks minutes ago. And sex, any kind of sex, with Stacie Emerson was worlds apart from any other sexual experiences he’d ever had. As she stood and wiped her mouth on the back of her hand, the look of hunger in her eyes, the promise of more sex to come in the SUV before the trip home couldn’t help but lighten the mood. As they straightened and tucked and donned their packs, he wondered if that was maybe why she did it. Whatever her reason, it definitely worked for him in ways he was still trying to get his head around.
Buy The Exhibition Here:eBook:
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About K D Grace/ Grace Marshall:K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
K D has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available. She was nominated for ETO’s Best Erotic Author 2013.
K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition are all available.
Find K D Here:
Fantastic stuff - thanks Kd - if you've never read any of Grace Marshall or Kd Grace's books - wow - lucky you to have such a treat in store! One of my favourite authors who brings sensuality and sexuality together beautifully. Thanks for coming over! x x x