Elite Doms of Washington Series
Published by: Troll River Publications
Can you have love and power at the same time?
Congressman Jonathan Brond has mastered his work, his reputation and the art of sexual domination while keeping his family’s political legacy intact. But a chance encounter with college student Christiana Snow promises something he didn’t think was possible–meeting someone honest.
When the charismatic man proposes a summer of sensual, sexual submission, Christiana leaps into his world—the antidote to her bland life. But Washington, D.C. is an unforgiving place; soon gossip and scandal threatens their relationship.
Yet, in a town of players, sometimes introducing a new game is the only way out. Who knew love would be the winning plan?
Stand alone. Not a cliff-hanger.
For a sneak peak at the Elite Doms’ attempt to bring a little discipline to Washington, D.C., curious readers can download Holiday Ties,
The Jefferson Suite had a reputation. Everyone said so.
Christiana Snow watched Henrick, the sous-chef, slip a red rose into the silver bud vase on the room service tray she’d been tasked to deliver. “There are some naughty stories about the guests that stay in that suite.” He winked. “Let me take you to dinner, and I’ll tell you all about it."
She turned her back on Henrick’s smirk—and his eyes that never seemed to travel farther north than her neck. Since the day Christiana started working at The Oak she’d fought the desire to bend her knees to force his gaze to her face. It would only give him the wrong idea.
Instead she threw back two ibuprofens with her milk and then set the glass into a nearby bin of dirty dishes. Gossip made her head hurt.
She felt Henrick’s eyes travel her body as she pushed the room service cart into the elevator. "For a reporter's daughter, you aren't very curious,” he called after her.
Curiosity wasn’t the issue. The Oak, which stood mere blocks from the White House, attracted politicians and paparazzi—and dozens of men, sporting earbuds attached to wires disappearing into their dark suits, sent to watch them both. It took real concentration to ignore the stories that the hotel’s staff collected like trophies.
At least the tips were good at the boutique hotel and restaurant, and the mundane work gave her time to think—or think forward, as her father always said. And that’s what she was going to do—think forward and move forward. She didn’t have time to get wrapped up in other people’s lives and certainly not the pseudo reality of the D.C. politicos.
The elevator creaked to a stop. Water sloshed in the silver pitcher as Christiana leaned over the cart to push the slatted metal door aside. A dusty, oil-paint smell greeted her as she started down the hallway, lined with canvases of hunting scenes set in over-sized, gilded frames higher than she was tall and wider than her arms could stretch.
Christiana took in a lungful of the stagnant air as she reached the Jefferson Suite’s double doors at the end of the corridor. She knocked and listened for the sound of footsteps. No one came.
Her leg danced with impatience. Mrs. DeCord’s order was Christiana’s last task of the day, and she wanted to finish it as fast as possible to rush off to meet Avery, her best friend. Christiana had agreed to be her “date” at some society fundraiser that afternoon.
Christiana studied the rich mahogany crown molding, lining the long hallway. Gold brocade wallpaper led her eyes to images of smiling women, draped in gossamer swaths of pastel blue and green fabric. They stared down from their ceiling mural home, their eyes cold and full of secrets.
Christiana knocked on the door once more. After no response, she pulled her master key card from her apron pocket and slipped it to the lock slot. The door cracked open but stopped against something on the other side. Through the gap in the door, she saw a man’s shoe lying on its side.
She called into the room, “Hello? Room service. Ma’am?” No one answered though muffled voices resonated deeper within.
Well, she couldn’t wait. She pushed harder on the door, and the shoe slid aside.
The cart’s wheels whispered over the marble entryway floor. She announced herself one more time. No reply. She picked up the man’s dress shoe, an expensive leather smell wafting to her nose. She set it down beside a tufted chair in the hall.
A male voice echoed from the bathroom off the suite’s master bedroom. “No, Yvette.”
“Please take me. I won’t say a thing.” Mrs. DeCord’s voice reverberated off the tile.
“You know our agreement.”
Mrs. DeCord whined, “I don’t understand why I wasn’t invited. I’ll show up anyway.”
“You won’t do any such thing, Yvette.” He spoke her name like a caress. “Take off your panties.”
Christiana’s insides seized at the man’s abrupt change in tone. Maybe she had heard wrong. After a long silence, she urged the cart forward, but the wheels bogged down on the plush carpet in the living area.
The voice spoke. “Bend over, put your hands on the counter. Good. Look in the mirror. Eyes on me, Yvette.”
Smack! A sharp slap pierced the air, and Christiana jerked backward as if stung. Mrs. DeCord moaned. Was she hurt?
Christiana couldn’t break her gaze, eyes glued on the bedroom doors. They weren’t closed completely. They were slightly ajar, a sliver of the interior showing through a small crack.
“Open your legs.” The man’s voice, sandpaper and velvet, rooted Christiana in place even though her heart fluttered wildly. “Very nice, baby.”
Christiana took a deep breath to steady herself, inhaling musk mixed with the fragrance of lilacs. Something else hung heavy in the air.
Mrs. DeCord’s whimpers grew louder.
Should she call, so they knew she wasn’t trying to hide her presence? If they saw her, would they realize she had overheard? Should she leave? If she abandoned the lunch, they’d know she’d heard and run away, probably to gossip.
“Mmm, you like that, don’t you, sweetheart?”
Christiana licked her lips at the man’s chocolate-caramel tone. She tried to place the voice—maybe he was a radio announcer. No, he sounded too sexy and way too dangerous.
Slap! Slap! Christiana’s leg bumped into the cart and silverware clanked. Water splashed on the linen, and she stilled, but no new sound came from the bedroom.
She couldn’t abandon the lunch in the middle of the living room. She’d just have to be quick. Christiana maneuvered the cart to the small bay window overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. She set up the silver and lifted the dome on Mrs. DeCord’s salad.
“Touch yourself,” the deep, rich voice said. Christiana’s heart punched at her ribs, and she lifted one hand to her breast to still it. Her eyes darted to the doors.
She gulped and tried to shake off the sound of the man’s sexy intonation. Christiana tiptoed over to the French doors of the master bedroom and risked a peek into the room. The bed’s comforter wilted over one side of the bed, and sheets bunched in a tight wad at the foot, bulging through the brass rails of the footboard. Pillows lay scattered on the floor. Braided black ropes hung limply from the frame of the headboard. She envisioned a restrained body, spread-eagle and helpless on the bed. Oh, god.
A chill broke out across her body. Instinct told her to click the doors shut. She winced at the snick of the door jam. Did they hear her?
More whispers escaped from behind the closed doors. She couldn’t make out the words, but the sensual rhythm of his voice rose and fell in a soothing, hypnotic cadence. Christiana’s ears strained for the man’s instructions, for what he wanted Mrs. DeCord to do next. Footsteps brushed across the carpet in the bedroom. The man spoke in rumbling purrs, approaching the bed.
She bit her bottom lip when a thought arose about that strange, human scent. Sex. A pang hit between her thighs as an image slipped into place of the faceless man—with that voice—putting his mouth on Mrs. DeCord’s neck.
A long wail and an ecstatic groan drifted from inside the bedroom.
Christiana stepped back. She needed to leave—now. If caught eavesdropping, even accidentally, she’d be dismissed. She clutched the silver dome to her chest like a shield and slunk to the marble foyer. The man’s smoky voice oozed into the main room as the suite’s front door clacked behind her, a barrier to . . . what?
She jogged down the long hallway to the elevator, punched the call button, and tried to steady her breathing as the elevator creaked upward. The man’s voice still reverberated in her chest. Relief coursed through her body, glad she hadn’t run into either of them inside, especially him. One look and he would have guessed she’d heard, had sucked in the air, heavy with sex, and understood.
Her imagination settled on Mrs. DeCord pressed into the mattress under a dark, mysterious man. His lips floated over her breast. Christiana shook her head in a vain attempt to stop the image from evolving into the man slipping his hands between the woman’s legs.
Christiana hit the button twice more. Come on. She gave up on the antiquated elevator and headed to the stairs. More questions surfaced with each step downward.
Did Henrik’s wink mean he knew? Who was Mrs. DeCord hooking up with in the Jefferson Suite? The mystery man had done something carnal to her, something she’d wanted done, though Christiana couldn’t imagine what. Something with ropes and slaps and Lord knows what else. Maybe she should’ve listened when the other waitresses, huddled in the employee break room, tittered about who slipped through the hotel lobby trying not to be noticed.
Then again, maybe not. She began to understand why her manager, Brian, had directed staff to drop off the orders and avoid looking around. He had warned, “In the political climate of Washington, D.C., some things are best not to see.”
Christiana dislodged her overactive daydreaming and ran to the staff room to gather her things before clocking out. She jumped when her phone rang.
“Hey, get here already! I’m guarding your dress in the main ladies room. You know where,” Avery said. “I never wore it, and you seem to like blue.”
Avery’s closet enjoyed a regular turnover, as the budding socialite wouldn’t be caught dead photographed in anything twice. Christiana was the grateful recipient of Avery’s generosity. Her hand-me-downs were really more like hand-me-ups for Christiana.
She grabbed her purse from her locker. “I’m leaving right now. How come this event is so early?”
“Mom said it’d be like happy hour. It’s really so they can all start drinking earlier. Serve anyone interesting today?”
“No one special.” She glanced in the small mirror inside the door and smoothed down a few wispy bangs to cover up the two-inch scar on her forehead, now pink from exertion.
“Oh, come on. It’s an election year. Everyone wants to be seen.”
Christiana laughed. “You sound like my dad.” The silence on the other end signaled Avery wasn’t pleased with the comparison. Another faux pas—something Avery said Christiana was very good at making, like wearing the same dress to a charity event more than once.
“Um, do you know Mrs. DeCord?” Christiana asked.
“Sure. Former Miss Dallas, married to a high-powered lawyer. Well, at least for now. Women like that go through men like wardrobe changes. Why? What’d she do? Spill it.”
“Oh, nothing. She comes in from time to time.” Damn, she shouldn’t have asked. Avery’s natural investigative nature came alive when a fellow socialite’s name arose.
“Who was she with today? Not her husband?” Avery’s voice lit up with excitement.
“I don’t know what her husband looks like. It was probably him.”
Avery snorted. “Yeah, right. No one goes to The Oak with who they’re supposed to be with.”
“I’ll take your word for it. Look, I’ll be there as soon as I can, okay?”
Christiana stuffed her phone into her purse and sprinted to the garage.
Cars choked Constitution Avenue even on a Saturday. Tourist season had begun in Washington. Families clad in matching t-shirts and people carrying maps and cameras would soon replace D.C.’s full-time residents, who would escape the city for Rehoboth Beach on most muggy summer weekends.
She shifted in her seat and adjusted the air conditioning vents to blow directly over her clammy chest. Christiana glanced to the National Mall alongside Constitution Avenue. Stopping at a red light every thirty-five feet never used to bother her. It gave her time to take in the sights. But lately the Washington Monument’s constant pointing to the sky created an unsettling feeling. It only reminded her nothing really changes in D.C.
Christiana pulled up to the entrance of the Rosemont Country Club only ten minutes late. Sunlight bounced off the brass plaque on the white brick pillars, the only announcement to the outside world that the elite of Washington gathered at the other end of the dogwood-lined driveway. Members of Congress discussed budget negotiations while golfing and bored wives complained about Neiman Marcus inventory while sunning themselves on the terrace.
Avery’s family had held membership here since the club opened in the 1920s. Her great-grandfather was one of the founding members. The Churchill women had spent countless hours flipping from their backs to their fronts by the swimming pool and attending mixers and events in the cool evenings. Avery reveled in the ambience. Butterflies usually took over Christiana’s stomach at the thought of crossing the threshold of the country club though she attempted to raise a little gratitude for Avery’s generosity in letting her tag along. Or drag me along.
Christiana handed her keys to the valet, whose traditional red coat was replaced by a ridiculous number in black and pink. Oh, right, today’s event was a fundraiser for breast cancer research. Great, she’d be in blue while everyone else draped themselves in various shades of fuchsia and rose. She hoped no one would notice. She knew everyone would. Even when helping a great cause, Washington feasted on mistakes, and failure to heed dress codes was a major gaffe. It took a lot of time and money—none of which she had—to conform to all the rules of Avery’s world.
She shook her head and tried to focus on not tripping up the stairs in her high-heeled sandals. But memories of work today and what she’d overheard at the Jefferson Suite kept replaying in her mind. Stop it. Chris. Think forward. She slipped through the massive oak door.
Reviews from Goodreads
“Elizabeth SaFleur's book explodes and almost rocked our capital for a loop!”
“Wow. Where do I start... This book, 'Lovely', was an exceptional book.”
“Elizabeth SaFleur did an amazing job in creating a book that will stay with me. A must add to your tbr list. Highly recommended.”
“Madame SaFleur a job well done. A perfect title—simply Lovely. Hoping that this story continues. In my opinion, Christiana and Jonathan’s journey is far from over.”
“This page turner leaves you feeling vindicated and wanting more of HOT Jonathan.”
“A great read and an author I'm certain to keep going back to.”
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have wanted to be a writer since I was five years old. As a child I wrote poems, stories, song lyrics – anything that involved words. When I was seven I wrote my first book, the Mystery of the Bunny. A real best seller! ;-) I am the daughter of two English teachers, so they were encouraging at first – at least until I got to college. Then I was told to develop “marketable skills.” My writing dreams took a back seat until very recently because of that advice.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Believe it or not, only in the last few months did I answer the question, “what do you do?” with “I’m a writer.” For the last thirty years if you’d asked me my profession I would have responded with the standard line: “I’m in public relations.” Saying I’m a writer is much more fun – and true.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I was fortunate that “Lovely,” my first book, was picked up by the first publisher I sent it to – Troll River Publications. It took about eight months to publish. While “Lovely” was in final edits, TRP also published my novelette, “Holiday Ties.”
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Yes, I do! I have spent thirty years in the communications field, with an emphasis on public relations. This means I make companies look good. J For the last sixteen years, I’ve run my own PR business. It’s been challenging to write and do PR at the same time. My client base is comprised of corporate, government and nonprofit organizations. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of Washington, D.C. insiders, who I can’t say much about. Their positions and my erotic romance writing don’t go hand in hand, if you know what I mean. My clients would not appreciate the graphic nature of erotic writings. Or perhaps they’d think they provided inspiration! I’ll never tell. . .
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My most current book is “Lovely,” a contemporary erotic romance (and book one in the Elite Doms of Washington series) where college student Christiana Snow finds dominance and submission with Congressman Jonathan Brond adventurous—and ripe for scandal.
But more books are on their way!
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
My wonderful publisher is Troll River Publications.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It takes me about four months to write a first draft. I credit that length to the fact I work a full-time job. I’d write a lot faster if I could do it full-time. Editing takes far longer – months and months. I hope to speed up both the writing and editing process with each book.
What can we expect from you in the future? i.e. More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m so glad you asked. The second book in The Elite Doms of Washington series will be out in early Spring 2015. It’s tentatively titled “Untouchable.” The sequel to “Lovely” will be out in early summer 2015. The Elite Doms series (all contemporary erotic romance) will include at least six books, though I’ve started outlining a seventh. Those Doms in Washington are coming out of the wood work. Each Dom (and one Domme, a female Dominant) has a unique story. But they all will include deep character development against a significant plot. The Washington, D.C. setting demands that a lot happens in my books. I’m just along for the ride half the time. I go where my stories take me.
What genre would you place your books into?
Definitely contemporary erotic romance. But I have an idea for a dystopian menage story. So many books, so little time.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
At first I was just going to write one book: “Lovely.” It “came” to me as a contemporary novel from the start. One day, in 1996, I was sitting outside in a café in Washington Harbor, minding my own business, sipping my white wine. As I gazed out at the grey-blue waters of the Potomac, I swear I saw a woman being lashed to a sailboat mast. I wondered if she liked it. Jonathan Brond whispered into my ear, “Would you like to find out?” But I didn’t start exploring the story in earnest until two years ago.
Caption: Sailboat inspiration
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
I love Jonathan Brond, the hero in “Lovely.” Jonathan’s inner conflict at being both a sexual Dominant and a politician makes him a complex character. We meet him right as he is growing disillusioned in his congressional post and his desire for more freedom in his life is reaching an explosion point. You see, success in Washington is measured in inches – and is earned slowly. Doms are more direct. They make things happen. Jonathan is quite frustrated that he can’t live his life the way he wants given his position. But then he meets Christiana Snow . . . and everything changes.
Caption: Jonathan Brond inspiration
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I can write anywhere – hotel rooms, airports, at the DMV. But I find I’m most productive, sitting at my desk and writing for long stretches of time. My most productive writing time is between two p.m. and seven p.m. I don’t know why, but there you have it.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I try really, really hard not to read my reviews. I fail repeatedly. My publisher says I’m not allowed to read them. She says I should just concentrate on writing. She’s right, of course. But then my finger hovers over that Goodreads bookmark and well . . . I see them. I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful early reviews. But I know that one star is coming. (EEK.) You can’t be published and please everyone.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Titles come to me early, usually after writing the first three chapters. I think it’s because I write with themes in mind. The title seems to naturally come from that overarching premise.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
First, my characters names have to fit their personality. But the name should also showcase other aspects of their lives. For instance, I chose “Christiana” for the heroine in “Lovely” because I wanted a name that could be shortened in a variety of ways. Her “best friend,” who is quite vain and jealous of Christiana, calls her “Chris.” This is a subtle way to “demote” her to something generic – not a boy and not a girl. Christiana’s father calls her “Chrissy,” which shows he still thinks of her as a little girl. Jonathan, the hero, always calls her “Christiana,” which shows he sees her as a full-grown, beautiful woman.
As for place names, I’m lucky. Everything in Washington, D.C. comes “pre-labeled.” But I also have to be careful. For instance, the Waldorf Astoria is my inspiration for The Oak, which is the hotel in “Lovely.” My gut instinct told me the Waldorf might not appreciate being referenced in BDSM scenes.
Caption: Charlize Theron, Christiana inspiration Caption: Waldorf-Astoria in Washington, DC
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
My characters always arrive with a few traits already determined. But as the story unfolds, other characteristics emerge. For instance, in the second Elite Doms book, the heroine London Chantelle turns out to be a masochist. I did not see that coming! But I knew from the beginning she was headstrong, quite capable and had a temper like Mt. Vesuvius. (When she told me the hero had to flog her harder in one scene, I had no choice but to obey. LOL)
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I definitely weave an overall theme into all my books. For “Lovely”, the theme is “can you have love and power at the same time?” (The moral of that story is real power isn’t what it seems, and real power goes nicely with love.) But also forgiveness plays a big part – forgiveness for the past, for people not being strong enough, and for yourself. Themes of freedom (what it really means) and being yourself over what society dictates is “normal” also shows up in my books.
Your favorite food is?
Potatoes. You can’t do anything wrong to a potato – French fries, scalloped potatoes, baked potatoes (with sour cream), fried potatoes (we call them “home fries” in the South). I could eat potatoes every day.
Elizabeth SaFleur is an erotic romance author who is finally sharing what simmers in her imagination—lots of alpha males, seductive encounters, and love. For many years she lived and worked in her novels’ setting, Washington, D.C., in public relations. In her thirty-year career, she represented or encountered some of the city's powerful insiders.
Elizabeth now writes, tweets and posts under her pseudonym, Elizabeth SaFleur, since her former clients might be a little shocked at their past PR counselor’s new career choice. Then again, perhaps they would fear they provided inspiration. (She has sworn secrecy.)
Her series, the Elite Doms of Washington, is contemporary erotic romance for the progressive woman—unafraid and unencumbered by society’s boundaries.
Lovely, the first novel in the series debuting in January 2015, was inspired one sunny day at an outside café in Washington Harbor where Elizabeth swore she witnessed a woman being lashed to a sailboat mast, happily. Lovely’s hero, Jonathan Brond, was born that day when he silently answered her unspoken question, “does she like that?” with yet another question: “Would you like to find out?”
Today Elizabeth shares twenty-eight, wildlife-filled acres in Central Virginia with her husband and dog, and is sometimes separated from her laptop to indulge in dance classes and visits to wineries and hiking trails with friends. She lives by one quote: “If you really want to be happy, nobody can stop you.”
Elizabeth is a member of the Romance Writers Association, the Washington Romance Writers, and avid reader of all fiction genres, but especially books with a happily-ever-after ending. Visit www.ElizabethSaFleur.com to drop her a note.
Author Website: http://www.elizabethsafleur.com/
Publisher Website: http://www.trollriverpub.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethSaFleur
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizaLoveStory
Author Google+ profile: google.com/+ElizabethSaFleur
Author Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethlovest/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8409162.Elizabeth_SaFleur
Author Amazon profile: www.amazon.com/author/elizabethsafleur