View Full Version : New Release today: Tort & Retort by Maura Anderson

Maura Anderson
February 15th, 2008, 12:34 AM
My latest release is out and you can buy it now from Aspen Mountain Press: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/new-releases/tort-retort/prod_127.html

Ambitious and driven patent law attorney, Gayle Osborne, has a secret. Her power suits and take-no-prisoners attitude hide a passionate nature whose only outlet is reading and reviewing erotic romance. If anyone finds out that she is “Miss Retort,” the snarky and opinionated blogger from the Hits & Misses review blog, she’ll lose everything—her reputation, her clients, her job and, worst of all, her gorgeous mentor and boss, Tyler Monroe.

“You want to do what?”

Gayle Osborne’s voice rang out through the coffee shop, causing the scattering of other patrons to turn and look toward her. Cringing, she tried in vain to become invisible. More attention was not something she really wanted.

She loved the normal weekly gathering of their little group—a relaxing Saturday morning spent with designer coffee and the latest offerings in the world of print and e-book erotic romance. A far cry from her buttoned up and formal world of patent law, it fed a hidden side of her. The same side that wanted to do things like fuck Tyler Morgan—her gorgeous mentor and boss.

Only a moment of insanity could have caused her to agree to this hurried weekday lunch meeting instead of trying to get some work done and watching Tyler from afar. Insanity, or just too much nagging from her friends. Gayle took a sip of her water and glanced around. Thank heaven the other customers seemed to have lost interest already.

The past year had been a rollercoaster of emotions between her growing lust for Tyler , and her need to remain competent and professional. Lately she’d needed to remind herself daily that no amount of sexual satisfaction was worth losing her career over.

But a collaborative erotic romance review blog?

Sure, they all exchanged reviews on the group email list about their latest page-turners. They warned each other about new wallbangers. They commiserated over the lack of honest and forthright reviews from other people, and the resulting necessity of sorting the gems from the duds themselves. But that was just among a small group of friends who shared a common interest, and a far cry from standing up and virtually shouting from a public blog.

She tried to imagine just what the reaction of her family, her mentor, or her clients would be if they did a web search on her name and found that. She shuddered at the very thought.

“Gayle, what’s the big deal? It’s not like we’re not already doing most of this. Hell, the more structured aspect of it should appeal to you.” Kelly looked exhausted and chugged down more of her second triple mocha of the morning. The woman could use her own caffeine IV lately.

Gayle bristled at the amusement in her best friend’s tired voice. “I’m not afraid of more work or imposing some organization.”

Anne laughed and sat back down next to Kelly. “This coming from the woman who has her entire e-book collection organized by genre, author and title, and then cross-referenced in a spreadsheet by publisher and series. Of course she’s not afraid of organization.”

Gayle rolled her eyes at the familiar jab. “The amount of work involved has nothing to do with it. There’s just no way I’m going to do anything that might threaten my career. It’s taken me years to get here and I’m not going to screw that up.”

“I’m a patent attorney who works with software engineers. Can you imagine what would happen if they found out I read romances, let alone erotic romances? They already hit on me and that would just make things ten times worse. Just the hint of anything erotic connected to me would make my credibility plummet instantly to the level of a slutty brainless twit.”

Kelly chuckled. “And you wouldn’t want to let on that you have a side that’s not cast iron and welded into a power suit. No one can know that you might be as human and as vulnerable as everyone else.”

Gayle sighed in exasperation. Her friends seemed determined to talk her around. “Like I’m going to advertise to my boss that at lunch today I’ll be reading a book called ‘Anus of Eros’ or ‘WigglyJiggly’ and expect the man to still think I can do my job and more?”

The very thought of Tyler giving her his patented “bimbo kiss-off” look made her stomach churn. In the time she’d worked for him, he’d gone through numerous girlfriends and each brief relationship had ended with that look. The huge crush she had on her boss, and his frequent starring role in her fantasies, made her all the more determined that he never turn that look on her.

She was lucky to not have a morality clause in her contract, but what if she lost some of their clients by doing this?

She took a sip of her rich, sweet mocha brevé. “And some of the author names sound like really bad porn star names. I mean, really, why would anyone actually admit they write as ‘Savannah Stars,’ ‘Tawny Strokes’ or ‘Thorny Rose’? If some of them didn’t write decent stories, I’d swear they were really men, in addition to having bad taste in pen names.”

“See, that kind of comment is exactly why we should do this.” Obviously excited, Anne latched onto Gayle’s objections. “We all want to see the quality and reputation of the genre improve. How better than to have a voice and help the changes along?”

Gayle could see by the stubborn looks on the faces of her friends that she was the only one who was not sure about this grand new plan. “Maybe I can just help out with the website? I’m pretty decent with HTML.”

“Not a chance, Gayle. Not when you’re the one who does the best job on the really tough reviews. You’re great at figuring out why something does or doesn’t work.” Renee chimed in from across the table.

Gayle made a final, valiant escape attempt. “I can’t do anything to impact my career or my professional relationships. I deal with a lot of very opinionated and curious geeks, and they’re sure to Google my name.”

“We’ve thought of that.” Kelly smirked and seemed far too pleased with herself for Gayle’s peace of mind. “I don’t really want my name out there either. Somehow I think most parents wouldn’t react too well to discovering their child’s pediatrician is an erotic romance reviewer.”

Gayle waited, almost patiently, for Kelly to get around to dropping the other shoe.

“Just like some authors, we’ll all use pseudonyms. That way we’re basically anonymous unless we choose to tell someone who we are. It’s perfect.”

It took effort to stifle the urge to toss her now empty coffee cup at Kelly’s smirking face. Instead she sighed and rolled her eyes. “If we do this, we need to agree that we can only out ourselves, no one can reveal anyone else’s real name.”

Renee immediately leaned over the table and stuck her hand out, pinky extended. “Pinkie Swear.”

They each repeated the childhood ritual of the pinkie swear as their non-disclosure agreement. After a brief break to refresh their coffee and snack supply, they ironed out the details of just how to set up and manage the blog and who would be responsible for what tasks.

She was thankful that one of the decisions was to not have another weekday lunch meeting over all this—it really did play hell with her carefully orchestrated work schedule. Staring down at her half-eaten biscotti, she mentally reviewed her schedule for today. She checked her watch and panicked. If she didn’t leave now, she might be late for her meeting with the luscious Tyler .

February 15th, 2008, 01:43 PM
Yay! Congratulations, Maura. Sounds great!

February 15th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Wonderful Maura! That is great!

February 16th, 2008, 02:29 AM
Sounds great Maura.

I wonder if she's going to have any fun with Tyler on this meeting. LOL

Yasmine Galenorn
February 18th, 2008, 10:16 PM
You so rock this genre, lady!

Yasmine :thewave:

Maura Anderson
February 20th, 2008, 03:31 AM
Thank you, darling :)

February 20th, 2008, 01:07 PM
that is something i would love to do review books or proff read or something and to do it with a sexy boss is even better

Maura Anderson
February 22nd, 2008, 10:16 PM
My EDJ boss is in the doghouse with me! Alas, my sexy boss only exists in my dreams - despite my wishes to the contrary!