Lovin’ U #1: Making It Good

Nicoline Tiernan is back with a New Adult mini-series!


Final_Making_it_good_200When shy Paula meets Wyatt on her first day at college, she’s immediately drawn to him, but she knows the tattooed hottie can’t possibly be interested. Wyatt is blown away the first moment he sees her, and now he has to convince her that he’s the right man for her.

Warnings: mf, losing virginity to a hot, tattooed guy

Word Count: 6341


Wyatt paid for her cone and hoped she didn’t see his fingers shake. Since he’d turned fifteen, women had fallen over themselves to go out with him. He’d never had to try so hard in his life, but he guessed this was a portent of the next four years. School had always come easy to him, though that fact ran counter to his reputation. Even his parents had always been surprised when his report cards had reflected top grades. He’d delayed enrollment for a year because he knew he wasn’t mature enough to handle that kind of responsibility. The time for easy success had come to a close.

And boy, was Paula proving that true. She was wary of him, and she kept staring at his tattoo. He couldn’t tell if she was afraid of the black mamba or fascinated. She licked the base of her butterscotch ice cream, and the image brought to mind what she’d look like on her knees, her long, light brown hair pushed back from her face so he could see her pink tongue dart out to lick his cock with the same relish.

She was pretty, the kind of woman who wore her looks carelessly because she had no idea how beautiful she really was. Wyatt had noticed her right off, but she’d been oblivious to his existence. Maybe he had bumped her when he’d leaned closer to see if she’d smelled as good as she’d looked. It hadn’t been intentional, and it had definitely gained her attention, so he couldn’t regret anything immature he might have done.

“It’s a black mamba,” he said when he caught her staring at it as they waited for the signal to let them cross the street. “The most venomous snake in the world. It’s shy, but if you don’t leave it alone, it will wipe the floor with your ass.”

“Oh,” she said, glancing away.

The walk light came on, and they stepped into the street. He wanted to hold her hand, and he had to actively force himself to refrain from grabbing for it. “Do you want to touch it?”

She stared at him, her eyes wide as if he’d asked another question altogether. Did she even know how soft and kissable her lips looked? He sank his teeth into his lower lip to keep his mind on track. That urge was nothing compared to what she generated when she ran her fingertip down his triceps and along the underside of his arm, following the way it wrapped around him.

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Random Acts of Generosity

Have you ever had someone do something sweet and thoughtful–but not even close to what you wanted?

On FB, I posted something about not being able to find a writing topic that could hold my interest. That was mostly because I was in the midst of grading 165 research reports before the end of the marking period so that I could have grades uploaded in time. Stress aggravates my ADD, which I get from my father. His comment (yes, I’m FB friends with my dad under my author profile) was to read a magazine I wouldn’t normally read. That got me thinking about how I don’t read magazines anymore. I used to read them all the time as a teen. My parents were wonderful about getting subscriptions to any magazine we wanted. I used to read National Geographic every month. That was the magazine we all liked. After that, there was some confusion about who liked what, and the confusion came from the place where random acts of generosity resided.

When I was about 12, Sassy magazine came out. My friend had it, and I wanted it. I think I grew out of it by 14, but it kept coming. I never asked for an extension on the subscription, but the thing just kept coming and coming.

My dad had a similar experience with Playboy (which I, like everybody else, liked for the articles). He commented repeatedly about how my mom would keep buying him subscriptions even though he didn’t want the magazine. It was during that discussion that I marveled at how my Sassy magazines kept coming. He looked at me strangely and said, “You keep leaving those postcards to extend the subscription on the table, so when I do the bills, I send them in.” After a bit of a laugh, we agreed that he could ignore whatever fell out of the magazine. I got those darn things until I was 19, at which point I think it went out of business. Not sure. I stopped reading them long before.

As for my father, he talked to my mom about not getting Playboy anymore, and she listened. I come from a generous family, the kind who buy things for you because they think you want them, not because you actually do. Magazines aren’t the only thing that’s happened with. I love them and wouldn’t change them for the world, but now I have  boxes full of Carnival glass and no idea what to do with it.

Don’t Stay

lesbian-same-sex-marriageI’m married, but I’m not. Michigan is one of those states run by Republicans intent on cutting funding to education and wasting tax dollars appealing an amendment to the State Constitution passed ten years ago that wouldn’t even make it to the ballot today. Polling shows that fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage is not popular. Most Americans (59%) support same-sex marriage. Even though 24% oppose it, 17% don’t care either way. That’s pretty high support, especially when you consider that only 86% of Americans support interracial marriage. [In the deep South, 29% oppose interracial marriage.]


So how does this relate to my situation? Governor Snyder, a supposed “businessman who stays out of social issues”, has decided to recognize that my marriage was legal, but deny the rights that should come with it. It’s an election year, and I think he’s trying to stay above a messy social issue, but he’d managed to position himself solidly against equal rights. As Atty Gen Eric Holder has the political balls to recognize my marriage, we will get Federal benefits. If I die, Suzy gets my Social Security. Good to know I haven’t paid into it for 26 years for nothing. There are about 1000 legal protections we still currently lack.


Here are some things we have to do now that we wouldn’t have to do if we had legal recognition from our state:Supreme court gay marriage

1. I have to write a note every year to keep on file at the pediatrician so that Suzy can take our kids to the doctor and make medical decisions.

2. We’ve had to write legal protections into our wills that specifically state who gets the kids, the house, etc, in the event one of us should die. This will can be contested by any of our family members and tied up indefinitely in court–because we don’t have legal status as a married couple.

3. We have to pay $400 extra/month for health care. If she were able to be on my health insurance plan, it wouldn’t cost a dime extra since I already pay for the family plan.

4. Depending on the hospital, we can’t stay with one another past visiting hours.

5. I can be fired from my job at any time simply for being a lesbian, and that’s a perfectly legal, legitimate reason.

Everybody I’ve talked to thinks Schuette and Snyder should let this go, even people who likely voted for the ban in 2003. My friend’s daughter, when told of our marriage, said, “Why wasn’t is always legal? That’s just stupid.”


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TRR Top Pick for Surreal Neal

I absolutely LOVED waking up to this wonderful review from Delta at The Romance Reviews!


“All of the characters are well written and have a depth not often found in erotic romance. As a frequent reader of ménage stories, I appreciated that each of the three main characters had an equal stake in the relationship. There is a LOT of sex–wicked, playful, sensual, loving, erotic sex. And it’s GOOOOOD. Ms Zurlo makes the reader feel the intensity of a scene, whether kinky or vanilla. If you like erotic romance that takes you into a relationship and makes you feel like a participant or a voyeur, then you’ll love HANGING ON 2: SURREAL NEAL. I wholeheartedly recommend picking up all of the Awakenings books too, as they’re just as well done as this one.”

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Websites and Censorship

I recently had a run-in with the forces of censorship. The provider for my website noticed (after 4 years) that I have adult content. They also objected to this photo, which I found Banned Photorunning around on Facebook. I thought it was sweet. You’ll notice that there’s no showing of the “uh-oh” body parts. After trying in vain to contact my web provider, I realized that my efforts were futile. I lost track of the number of times I tried to contact Webs before I gave up.

So I bought a new domain name–you’ll now have to visit me at–and spend the weekend designing a completely new website. It’s better than the old one, so I don’t regret that, and it has more features and cool stuff. This blog has to be run separately, but it’s also much better–and I can run the feed on one of my website’s pages. It has features I’ve always wanted, like the ability to embed pictures with text. And WordPress isn’t as glitchy. I’ve had posts at my old place where the spaces between words disappear. That’s in the past now. I’m going to look to the future.

So change your bookmarks. Update your links. Visit my brand-new website, and let me know what you think.

Love, Michele


Creating Neal


In a romance novel, the characters are the plot. Their foibles and flaws, wants and needs, drive the action and the way the plot unfolds. For Surreal Neal, I had to come up with a man who was handsome enough to catch Drew and Sophia’s eyes, intriguing enough to keep their interest, and kinky enough to bring something to the table that had been missing.

The other challenge I faced was in making sure neither Drew nor Sophia felt like their relationship was deficient. I wanted the addition of Neal to improve upon what they already had. This is part of the journey Sophia and Drew take as they fall for this imperfect hero.

Neal had to be submissive and a bit of a masochist because Sophia is a Domme and a bit of a sadist. He also needed to be strong because Drew is attracted to strong personalities. He makes the pair work to earn his trust, his submission, and ultimately his heart. He is the first man with whom Sophia voluntarily shares the details of her violent past. He’s a mirror, someone who can help her view her own life through a new viewpoint. Ultimately, he takes her further in the healing process.

Neal is the also first man who awakens Drew’s inner Dom. Until now, Drew had been content to sit back and let Sophia handle the role of Dominant. As he explores this new part of himself, he also gets a chance to see his life and his actions through an alternate lens.

In bringing perspective to both Sophia and Drew, Neal helps them become better people. In turn, they show him that he can learn to trust and love again. That part of his life isn’t over. It’s just beginning.

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