Author: Claudia H. Long
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Release Date: Feb 1 2014
San Francisco in the roaring 20s– After World War I, San Francisco is a wild town. Abandoned by her lover, Violetta is swept up in the new, freer ways and becomes America’s first “embedded journalist.” She joins a brothel that caters to San Francisco’s most powerful men in order to write her epic story on the conditions of working women. But federal agents looking to clamp down on both vice and workers’ rights don’t take kindly to her modern views. Shorter dresses, fair pay for women, and the dark and frightening worlds of sex and politics teach Violetta the lessons of a lifetime.
Claudia H Long writes fiction when she isn’t mediating messy legal disputes. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and as a change she recently tried to take up belly dancing. Luckily, she is a better mediator than she is a dancer, by far, but her real love is writing fiction.
The Harlot’s Pen, her first venture into the roaring 20s, is a Devine Destinies book, an adventure in embedded (literally!) journalism and the rights of working women in the world’s oldest profession. Claudia is also the author of Josefina’s Sin (Simon & Schuster 2011). The Duel for Consuelo, which follows on Josefina’s Sin, will come out in late Spring 2014 with Booktrope.
Claudia has two grown children, and lives in Northern California with her husband and far too many animals.
Violet turned the knob to her room. “Oh, that’s good,” Caleb said. “You got Posie’s room, didn’t you? Perfect.”
“Why’s that perfect?”
“Because I liked Posie, and I like you. Besides, it’s haunted.”
“Nonsense,” Violet said, feeling a surge of superiority. “Ghosts are figments of an overactive imagination.”
“Figments? That’s some vocabulary you’ve got there, Violet. Aren’t you superstitious? I thought all whores were superstitious.”
“Nope. My imagination is literary, and I can tell the difference between reality and fiction. Ghosts are just a convenient fiction to scare the credulous. You don’t believe in ghosts, now, do you, Caleb?” She grinned at him. Maybe he would just want to talk.
“Not since you just said they were just for the gullible.” He smiled back at her, but his eyes were narrowing. “I’m not gullible. And speaking of not gullible, I can tell you ain’t a whore, either. What’s your game?”
Violet stood very still. How do I answer? “No game, Caleb. Tonight, I’m your whore.”
“Good, since I just paid good money for you. Now, get over here.” He sat down on the bed. She took a step towards him. Impatiently, he reached for her hand and closed the gap between them. Then, with a single move, he swung her across his knees, and lifted her skirt over her head. He stroked the back of her thighs above her stockings. “You’re pretty cool, aren’t you? I know how to heat a girl up.” Violet shut her eyes tight as his hand came down hard across her naked rump.
After each blow he rubbed her bottom and slipped his hand between her thighs to keep them spread. As he struck, she could hear his breath come hoarser, and could feel his erection under her stiffening and growing. At last he released her, and she struggled to her feet. She was breathing hard, blinking back tears.
“On the bed.” She lay down immediately. He pushed her legs apart, knelt between her knees, and loosened his trousers. “You’re nice and warm now. Tell me how much you want me.”
“I want you,” Violet said.
Caleb clenched his teeth, and she saw the muscles move in his jaw. “Tell me, Violet.”
“I want you, Caleb. I want you now!” He released his erection from his pants, and Violet’s eyes widened. He was bigger than Sam, far more erect than Grayson, her first lover and runaway groom, and a drop of liquid at the end of the shaft glared at her in readiness.
“Beg,” he whispered.
Violet heard herself whimper, but she had dissociated herself from her body and had not sobbed volitionally. “Please, Caleb, please take me now.”
“How do you want it, Violet?” His voice was low.
She knew the answer, just as she had known it with Sam. “I want it hard, Caleb, hard and fast, and I want it now.”
She shut her eyes as he drove inside her. Far above her, she saw herself arch in pain, then buck in pleasure as she cried out her own release. She grasped Caleb by the back of his shirt and moved against him, begging and urging him on.
When he was finished he lay upon her, breathing raggedly.
“Oh, my God, Violet. You’ll never last here.” He pushed up on his elbows and looked down at her, the boyishness and sparkle back in his eyes. “A whore’s supposed to fake it, Violet. Not actually like it!” He stroked the side of her face. “You’ve got a room full of men downstairs to please. If word gets out about this, you’ll be used up in a week. There’ll be a line out the door!”
Violet looked up at his blue eyes. “No, Caleb, I don’t think it will be like this with everyone. Just you.”
Caleb grinned at her. “You’re a real bearcat!” He got up and adjusted his pants. “See you downstairs,” he said with a wink. He tossed a handful of coins on her bureau. “A real bearcat, yessiree.”
A convenient fiction to snare the credulous.