Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Science of Need by Jordan Bell + Giveaway!

As the first week of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour comes to a close, I've a very lovely author visiting today. Bestselling author of steamy romance novels and novellas, the wonderful Jordan Bell is on tour with her erotic full-length novel, The Fortune Teller's Daughter, and will be revealing a sizzling sneak peek of the book exclusive to Books à la Mode readers. Stay tuned for a chance to win a print copy AND a few surprise gifts! Readers, please help me welcome Jordan to the blog!

The Almost-Kiss and the Science of Need

There’s this scene about midway through my book where the Magician and my heroine, Serafine, are alone on his stage. He’s exhausted, too exhausted to keep working on his show and she starts distracting him by talking about nothing in particular while performing a card trick she picked up once upon a time. At this point in the story, there have been sparks between them, but they are also both struggling under enormous burdens—too big to allow their personal feelings to distract them from what they have to do. After her card trick, he takes her in his hands and buries his face against her stomach and just holds on like his life depends on her nearness. 

For a moment, the Magician who can perform astonishing, impossible feats of magic needs this strange girl—needs her more than he needs the sun to rise or the world to turn or air to breathe and it terrifies him. It makes him vulnerable, a thing he’s never had to be. It’s a great scene, my favorite in fact, and it was when I wrote this scene that I realized the story really centered around their unfulfilled needs than it did around sexual pleasure, which was what I thought I was writing about when I started.

I love to write kisses that make you feel a little weak and dizzy and sweaty, but there’s something just as intense about what happens when they don’t kiss, but really want to. The power of the almost kiss could conquer the world.

We talk a lot about creating characters who are strong and self-sufficient and it is particularly needling when a female character can’t take care of herself and needs a man. I try to stay away from this particular character trope myself, so I was surprised to discover that I was writing about a character who had taken care of herself all her life and that was the problem—she’d formed no lasting connections to anyone else and so when it came to trusting someone, she couldn’t do it. The situation I put her in, then, required that connection. It required her to need someone else. And the result was intense—sometimes very funny and often heartbreaking. The two characters are troublesome and complicated and constantly trying to outdo the other and it takes them forever to get out of their own ways. I think that’s pretty typical of most people, though. We are terrible about getting in our own ways.

God! I so know what you mean about the almost-kiss! The tense, smoldering aura creates such an intense moment.

As for The Fortune Teller's Daughter, it sounds just as incredible! I can't wait to have it in my hot little hands. Readers, here's a little bit about the book...
Serafine Moreau grew up on the shiftless, grimy edges of cities that were never home, raised at the capricious whims of her bohemian mother. She learned young how to move unseen through crowds, acquire things that didn’t belong to her, and disappear at the first sign of trouble. Together they made a curious life beneath street market tents, plying tourists with fortunes and new age voodoo. It wasn’t perfect, but it was theirs - until a stranger appeared one unremarkable autumn morning to steal the fortune teller’s life and leave Sera with nothing but questions.

Now alone, Sera wanders lost between days, strangled by the past and unable to pursue her future. Even the cards reveal nothing. So when an invitation addressed to her mother’s stage name Corazon arrives from an old carnival outfit looking to recruit the late fortune teller, Sera answers instead.

Beneath the labyrinthine tents she discovers enchantments that defy explanation and wonders that feel like magic. Bewitched by the carnival’s handsome illusionist and the dark whimsy of the Carnival Imaginaire, Sera finally feels like she’s home until the mystery of her mother’s death unravels with the secrets of the carnival’s past. At the center of the brewing storm hides Sera’s heart that can’t hope to survive another loss.

Click "read more" for an excerpt you can only find here, as well as a giveaway!

My hands lost their minds and carefully, cautiously, like approaching a wild animal, touched his raven black curls. He coiled, prepared to jerk away. My heart beat itself black and blue against my ribcage as I pressed through his hair a bit harder, petting the soft curls through my spread fingers. I dragged my nails lightly along the colic at the back of his head and a shiver ran along his spine, tensing and aggressively relaxing the muscles down his back. I touched my way down the scoop of his long neck and the wild animal yielded completely, dropped his head lower in submission.

I could hear his breathing alter, deep, ragged, needy breaths. His shoulders rose and fell with them and skipped breathing altogether when my fingers stroked the downy soft hair on the back of his neck.

His hands settled on my hips, tugged at the hem of my shirt until he had the fabric bunched up to the spot where my jeans stopped and my skin started. His hands rested there, two fingers in contact with my skin, my soft middle that never felt so fine as it did in his grip. My whole body reacted like it had never been touched by another human being in its entire existence. My madness begged me to bend down and press my mouth to the hollow where his neck and shoulders met, where the hair was fine and baby soft.

I imagined touching my tongue to his spine and feeling the electricity and power of his body rushing through me.
As if he could read my mind, and I wasn’t entirely sure he couldn’t, I heard the barest moans growl at the base of his throat. 

Barely, he dragged my hips an inch towards him until his forehead touched my belly and we held suspended in time and space, connected so very far from all the important sensual places and yet I’d never felt so naked, so intimate, so bared to another person as I did at that moment on my knees, caressing the back of his neck with my thumbs.

Not trusting the strength of my voice, I murmured softly, “You need to sleep.”

Eli shook his head slightly. “I don’t sleep.”

He inhaled, tightened his hold on my waist and pulled me closer until his eyes were pressed against my stomach. Encouraged by his closeness I allowed my hands to travel beneath the collar of his shirt, to the coil of lean muscles that made his shoulders so strong. They jumped as if ticklish to my touch. He sighed and mmmed against me.

I closed my eyes and reveled in the sensation of his body. The back of his neck, his shoulders, my stomach, these were suddenly the most sensitive, alluring centers of pleasure. I wanted to kiss him madly, the kind of kiss that leaves a person lightheaded because they stopped bothering with breathing.

I hardly know you. It was a heartbreaking thought, but it didn’t diminish my want. My need. I found myself pulling lightly at him, urging him closer, and he responded by dragging his hands up my bare skin, onto my back, clasping me to him so I couldn’t get away if I wanted to. The cool tent air licked against my exposed spine and it felt wonderfully indecent.

“Serafine,” he exhaled, a painful sound that preceded the softening of his hold on me. I weakened. “I can’t. I... you cannot be another distraction.”

He didn’t pull away altogether, and neither did I. We moved in small allowances, like pulling off a Band-Aid. Afraid of the pain of ripping it off too fast and going too slow just to make it hurt longer.

About the Author

Jordan Bell is bestselling author of adult romance short stories and novellas. She loves writing about strong, curvy women, dashing heroes, and terrible villains! She's a midwest girl who grew up in the country before moving to the city. She's still in love with small-town living but could never give up her white chocolate mocha lattes and easy access to wi-fi hotspots. A girl's gotta have priorities!

In her own words:
"I'm a simple girl who loves sizzling hot stories and I bet you do, too. Read for pleasure. It's like sex for the imagination."

You can find her online on:

Jordan and her full-length erotic romance novel, The Fortune Teller's Daughter, are currently on virtual tour with 15 other awesome romance authors as part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. From March 4th-31st, readers will be invited to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite, free books, and other fun goodies. Readers will also be able to participate in author chats, get insights into writing and publishing romance, and collect story swag.

This week, Jordan is touring with Erika Masten (who visited Books à la Mode a few days ago!), Marina Maddix, and Carré White.

To enter the giveaways and meet the other writers, you can follow the tour on the following sites:


Holy. Goodness. That snippet took my breath away! You've certainly got a way with words, Jordan; thank you so much for sharing today.

Readers, here's a quick message from the author herself about the giveaway:

One lucky Books à la Mode commenter will take home an autographed paperback of the book when it is released at the end of the month! (Also surprise swag will be stuffed in the box with the book—but I’m not telling what. It’s a surprise! But the box will be heavy!!) This is my first paperback release and I’m a little bit beyond excited. I’m run around dancing in my living room, singing at the top of my lungs excited. So I suspect the swag will reflect that excitement :)

I hope you enjoy!
Woohoo! To whomever the winner turns out to be: ya lucky bitch! To enter, all you have to do is tell us your favorite almost-kiss moment from books or movies in the comments below :) I wanna hear what you've got! We want thoughtful, relevant responses, here... comments like "Thanks for the giveaway" and "I don't know, but great excerpt" will not be eligible for the contest!

In fact, the commenter with the best or most convincing response—judged by both Jordan and me—will take home the prize. So make your words count!

I could name SO many off the top of my head from books, so I'll make it more visual and talk about movies. There are probably an equal amount lol, but here's one I love from Mansfield Park:

What's yours?

In addition, there is a tour-wide giveaway for a Kindle Paperwhite and copies of all sixteen books on tour. You don't want to miss out! Don't forget to follow the tour, and enter the combined giveaway below:
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends March 31st at 11.59 (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, rest of the world! Check out my sidebar for all my giveaways open worldwide.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Please show your gratitude and follow Jordan or the tour in some way, as she has been generous enough to provide this fabulous prize.
Good luck!