Beginning January 1, 2013

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Monday, May 30, 2011


My Characters Yell at Me!

By Tara Lain

You know how really good book characters come alive for readers and you never want to let them go? You remember them forever and you can’t wait for their next story? Well, there’s a secret in the book writing adventure. Characters are even more alive to writers. In fact, they have a life of their own and sometimes –THEY YELL AT YOU!

Back a couple of years ago, I decided to write a novel. Funny, after a lifetime of writing non-fiction, to suddenly get bitten by the fiction bug, but I had discovered erotic romance and just couldn’t wait to write one. I thought up this story about an older woman and her younger science partner when, voila, this other man showed up. And he was a supermodel. And I thought, how the heck do these characters go together? But they all yelled at me, “yes, yes, this is our story, tell it”. I just listened and took dictation while they told me the story that became Genetic Attraction, a M/M/F ménage romance about two genetic scientists and their supermodel lover.

Whew. Got that story done. So with that put away, I started writing a science fantasy romance, but these voices kept YELLING in my head. Aren’t you going to tell our story? You can’t tell how the two guys get the girl unless you tell how those guys got each other! Okay, okay. So I started writing a M/M love story about how my young scientist who has the hots for his older woman boss meets this beautiful young supermodel who happens to be a GUY and falls in love with him. The result is called, of course, The Scientist and the Supermodel releasing May 31 from Loose Id.

But I was only half way through The Scientist and the Supermodel, when the characters started telling me that Jake’s younger brother, Caleb, who appears in the book ,needed a story of his own. Oooookay. So that book is now written and will no doubt be in your hands sometime this year, called Deceptive Attraction.

For many years, I wondered what ideas I could ever develop to create a novel. The truth is that once you turn on the spigot of your imagination, it rules you. I studied drama in college and one of my favorite plays was called Six Characters in Search of an Author because I loved the idea of these characters wandering around trying to find a playwright and group of actors to resolve their unfinished story. I now know that this was not an exaggeration. There are pieces of stories crammed in my head and once they yell loud enough, no doubt I’ll have to tell them.


Here’s the first simple step:

Comment on this blog and leave your email address. I will copy it and enter it in the drawing for the 2 books being given away during these five days. One copy of The Scientist and the Supermodel and one copy of Genetic Attraction. You’ll be notified by email if you win. Comment and email, simple.

Here’s MORE CHANCES TO WIN! (more complicated so read closely LOL)

• Go to my Book blog Leave a comment and follow the blog (if you already do follow, it counts). You will be entered in EVERY drawing until the end of the June. Two books will be given away every five days and you’ll be entered in all those drawings.

• Go to my website and figure out the name of the hero of my new book, Volley Balls, coming out July 1 (another contest is coming for that book). Post his name in your comment on the Book Blog Beautiful Boys Books (see above) and you’ll get two entries every week. (You can also comment a second time on the blog with the character name if you prefer)

• Go to every blog on my blog tour and leave a comment and you will be entered again during the five days in which the post is made.

• The entire blog tour is listed on my website and updates will be posted regularly so check it out. There will also be Yahoo Group chats where I will be giving away other books so watch for those!

Whew!! Remember, you can take each one of these steps and have a bunch of chances to WIN! (You just have to enter, the logistics are my nightmare! LOL) Got it? Go enter!

Here’s a little about me:

Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2010. She’s now on book seven. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.

Reach me here:
Author blog:
Book blog:
Savvy Authors:
Amazon Buy Link:
Fictionwise Buy Link:

Friday, May 27, 2011


Writing is a profession. Writing is a game. Writing is a calling. Writing is therapy. Writing is like sex.

Writing means many different things to many different people. There are those who say they are compelled to write because if they don’t it just hurts, like it’s some sort of cancer that needs to be gotten rid of. Others say they write because they want to. Some enjoy it, some say it’s painful or cathartic. I think the commonality that binds most of these people, though, is the desire to be published, and to be read by as many people as possible, whether it’s for the money, the glory, or the release.

That being said, do you write for your audience, or do you write for yourself first? Do you follow established trends and popular themes, or do you establish your own?

It’s a difficult question. If you buck the trends and go out on a limb, you risk not finding a lot of readers. Or you find the ones for whom you fill their particular niche. Which is better? To sell to the masses or to the few?

We see definite patterns in writing, as in film. When a theme is successful, you can count on its being duplicated over and over and over, each author hoping to hit the same home run and produce a winner of his own. Some of these are good, some are mere pale imitations of the first one, the bestseller, and contain no original thought. Then you also run the risk of glutting the market, and seeing the trend die out. What if you vary the theme? Add some spice to it or your own brand of whatever? Does that help? Sometimes, sometimes not. Originality is not always its own reward, sometimes it can be a curse. If something is too original, sometimes it isn’t accepted.

Even the successful authors face criticism over their originality. The Twilight series is undoubtedly successful, but there are a lot of people out there willing to make fun of Stephanie Meyer’s dazzling vampires. It was an original idea, though, and one which I thought had merit. It explained why her vampires chose not to go out in the sun, preferring the darkness and gloom. I like that idea better than having vampires go poof if exposed to sunlight, like in the old Hammer films.

So what is an author to do?

Do you go for the bucks, the quick and easy sale? Do you pander to the taste of the multitude? Or do you write what’s in your heart and let the chips fall where they may?

There is no easy answer, it’s an individual decision that needs to be made. But I think that the Bard said it best: To thine own self be true.

I intend to do so, for as long as I can.

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. Currently unemployed, she continues to write her books and stories, and reviews which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Wicked Nights, Dreamspinner Press, and Silver Publishing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Hey Baby, What’s Your Sign?

Recently I went out for Chinese food. The restaurant was nothing fancy, just a little hole-in-the wall type of place. The kind where there’s bottles of soy sauce on the table and you just know the food is loaded with MSG. Mmm, delicious.

The paper placemats were printed with the Chinese Zodiac and while we waited for our food, my friends and I amused ourselves by figuring out our signs.

For those of you that don’t know, the Chinese Zodiac is a 12-year cycle with an animal representing each year. Those born under the sign of a particular animal are said to share some of the characteristics of that animal.

I was born in the Year of the Rabbit, which has cycled around again for 2011. So, being a Rabbit, I’m supposed to be creative, articulate, compassionate, reserved, a bit of a homebody and have a tendency to avoid conflict. That’s not too far off, especially the homebody and conflict avoidance parts. Apparently my ideal partner is someone born in the Year of the Dog or Goat.

According to my placemat, Dogs are loyal, honest, kind, trustworthy, stubborn and sometimes selfish. Okay, so not everyone’s perfect.

Goats are creative, intelligent, calm, like to travel, may be high-strung, can need a lot of love and support and sometimes suffer from insecurity. Hmm. I don’t think I’m partial to Goats.

Just for fun, I decided to check my two characters, Shawn and Graham, from my recent release, Scent of Attraction, to see which animal they might be and if those animals are compatible.

I’d describe Shawn as shy, reserved, career-oriented, and a little awkward in social situations. That would most likely make him an Ox. Oxen are most compatible with those born under the signs of the Snake or Rooster.

Snakes are intelligent, analytical, charming, generous, somewhat materialistic and rely on gut instinct. Apparently a lot of artists are born in the Year of the Snake. This doesn’t sound like Graham. He’s smart, but he’s not motivated by material possessions and he admits he doesn’t always have the best instincts, especially when it comes to dating. 

Maybe he’s a Rooster. They’re confident, motivated, practical, resourceful, organized, and conservative. Roosters make good accountants and bankers. This sounds a lot more like my lawyer, Graham.   

Then, right in the middle of my chicken chow mein, it hit me. Maybe I could use the Chinese Zodiac as a starting point for personalities and characteristics for my characters. I could choose two compatible signs. Since each animal has both positive and negative characteristics, the negative characteristics might even suggest conflicts for my potential couples.

Let’s see. I could pair a warm-hearted, naturally dominant, hot-tempered and independent character born in the Year of the Dragon with a clever, charming, curious and aggressive man born in the Year of the Rat. There’s lots of potential for the sparks to fly with those personalities. Hmm, just thinking about that gives me an idea…

Pender Mackie lives in Canada though she spent her childhood years in England. An imaginative child, Pender wasn't a willing student and didn't learn to read until age nine when her father -- deciding some incentive was needed -- promised her a pony as soon as she could read a newspaper. Properly motivated, Pender picked up a book and discovered the joys of fiction. Though her infatuation with ponies didn't last, she still loves a good story. A technical writer for almost twenty years, Pender spends her daily commute making up characters, romantic plots and daydreaming. Pender has been writing M/M romance stories for three years but Scent of Attraction is the first submitted for publication. She is busy putting the final touches on several others.

Monday, May 23, 2011


“I’m Ready for My Close Up...”

I’ve been asked on more than one site to name or cast my books. Who would play the characters and why. So I thought, yanno, that’s a good question. Who could adequately portray the people I see in my head? For some characters, it’s a cinch. For others, namely the’s a struggle.

Here’s my list:

Tangled Up - Sav would be played by Tyrone Power. Not an easy task since Mr. Power is dead, but that’s how I saw Sav. Arran? I think Ewan McGregor would be perfect. He does well with oddball hairstyles and giving characters the right amount of sex appeal and heart. Mindy? Gut instinct says Scarlett Johansson. She’s good with characters that are a little left of center. Plus she’s gorgeous.

Careless Whisper – this one had at least one character in mind when I wrote it. Ryan Black was based on the look of Brett Chukerman. I’ve said Jonathan Togo in other interviews, but the more I read the story and the more I delve into his character, the more he reminds me of Brett. Plus, I can totally see him tripping over his own feet. Samara is a little tougher. Maybe Ginnifer Godwin before she got super skinny. She’s got the right twinkly, sparkly face.

Please Remember Me – This one also had people in mind when I wrote it. Back when I penned Right Where I Need to Be, I had the character of Deputy Marlon Cross as a secondary character. I knew right from the start, he was Ewan McGregor, a la the sixth Star Wars movie. The scruff, the floppy-ish hair. And those eyes. For Jade? Cameron Diaz all the way. She’s a former socialite-slash-actress. Not saying Cameron Diaz can’t act. Just saying she’s got the glitzy, glamorous look down pat.

The last one I decided to cast is a work in progress. I’ve been at this book, for geesh...5 years. Not the oldest one in the stable, but an oldie none the less. I called the book, Crash and Burn. Not the most original title, but hey, it was an EARLY book. Anyway, the role of the heroine has reminded me since the day I wrote it of Reese Witherspoon. She’s a little goofy, gorgeous, and smart. She’s also a little damaged. I think Ms. Witherspoon could pull off the juxtaposition of sweet and silly. For the hero, Paul, I had either Dane Cook or Bradley Cooper. Yup. Tall, sandy haired. Handsome. Mr. Cooper is probably almost a bit too perfect looking, but he worked rugged before.

So there you have it. My picks for the players to cast my books. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? I’d love to know. :-)

Writing is like breathing, you need to do it or you can't function. So, I write.

I started outlining stories in my head at a young age while revising the storylines I'd seen portrayed on General Hospital--well, as much as a seven year old can revise them.

The characters evolved and the stories thickened into my current works. I hope to take the reader on a journey in my stories--to places yet to be visited, meeting characters who will become close friends, and lots of sizzling romance for fun.

Readers can visit me anytime at


Friday, May 20, 2011


How About a Wicked Game of Pool?
Cassandre Dayne

Have you ever gambled to get something tasty that you desire? Perhaps it’s simply a friendly game to waste away a steamy rain slicked July afternoon or something you do on a Saturday night at your local pub with all your friends. Either way, it’s just fun and games, right?

What if it was something else entirely? What if you decided that in order to win the heart and possibly the hot, sultry body of the guy you hunger for that you would do anything to try and garner his attention, even if that meant challenging him to a game he always bested you at? Think about the end game. Who would really win? Would you do it and what would you put up as stakes. Let’s think about the sultry setting…

Imagine a darkly lit bar where mostly men enjoy the tasty treats that a man cave can offer. Glance across the room with me. Can you see the slight haze of smoke from the pulsing lights, the illegal cigarette smoke and the myriad of televisions blaring every sports related activity that ESPN could offer? Inhale deeply. Do you smell the hint of stale beer, the aroma of spicy wings and the wafting of chili? Take a step inside and brush your hand across the cool wood of the pool table, the warm softness of the emerald green felt. Glance around the room at the neon flashing lights advertising everything from Budweiser to saucy margaritas. Aren’t you thirsty?

Now close your eyes anD envision chalking the pool cue, getting it just right before you lean over, giving a seductive stance as you take the breaking shot. What did you hope for, solids or stripes? As you gaze down as the first purple ball twirls around the far right pocket, did you hold our breath until it dropped with a thud inside? Now, can you hear the approving grunts mixing with the electric rifts of Bon Jovi? Hmmm…I think you have the feel of Lucifer’s Lair.

The man cave nestled in the heart of the Flamingo Rustler caters to all men rough and tumble and their manly desires from sports to rich foods. It’s the kind of joint where the liquor flows, the food is always tangy, the testosterone keeps everyone on edge…oh and women aren’t allowed.

Well, except for that special someone. Would you dare allow the hungry men to watch your game, knowing they are betting on the outcome? I wonder if you could allow your inhibitions to be thrust aside. Take a moment to think about it. My bet is…you would.

A little taste of my last release – Wicked Wager Among Friends – Tales from Lucifer’s Lair

This is the first in a series about a very hot and spicy bar and restaurant in the heart of Richmond, Virginia called the Flamingo Rustler and the man cave, Lucifer’s Lair. Anything can happen over a tall drink or a game of pool.


Veronica Spelling was used to getting what she wanted, but not with men. She had long desired her best friend, Travis Hunter, for years. Golden, masculine and perfect, her mouth watered for him. And while they had admitted their kinky proclivities over long nights and tasty margaritas, he had never indulged. So she decided to take matters into her own hands and kick up the heat one wild night, suggesting a wicked little wager of pool. The prize? If she ended up the winner then she would receive her most heavenly desired wish, to be taken in the ass by a man for the first time. If he did, then she would become his sex slave for twenty-four luscious hours.

The only problem? He was decidedly gay, had only been with a woman once and was in a casual relationship with their mutual friend, Jonathan. Then there was that itching little problem of whether he could get it up or not. Against the odds, Travis finally determined his true feelings about the luscious vixen and won the bet. During those twenty-four hours, he fulfilled her most erotic fantasies. As morning dawned and reality set in, the question about Jonathan’s acceptance settled into their reality, and Veronica was left with a haunted feeling. Unsure of what to say, they left each other without further words. Could their combined friendship survive the blatant sensual act or would their entire world be turned upside down forever?
Travis eyed the surly man before turning his gaze back to Veronica. She seemed so vulnerable, like a tiny kitten needing to be protected and trained. And he planned on training her well. “Don’t worry Lucifer, I might just be falling in love.”

“You just remember what I said.” Lucifer turned a fake grin toward the attentive audience, gave Travis a high five and retreated back toward the kitchen, shaking his head.

Travis glided directly in front of her and took her hand, kissing her palm gently. “You were saying?” It was time to leave and not only to save further embarrassment, but he wasn’t sure he could walk any longer as the dense material continued to bite into his rock hard dick. They would talk in the morning and figure out if this scenario was nothing more than a tease. But there was no doubt what he wanted -- total control of her body, her passion and her very soul.

Veronica seemed to have a bit of trouble looking at him in his eyes. “Um, I said…I was saying… So back to the game?”

Travis stared at her wide-eyed. They were selling their souls to the devil but he couldn’t see a way around it without hurting her feelings. Then again, he didn’t want to stop either. He shivered from the realization. “All right. Where were we?”

“Do you accept the wager?”

He couldn’t believe she’d never experienced having a cock in her ass. At that moment, he wanted to teach her the finer art so badly his mouth watered from the thought. “Absolutely.” To be the one to touch her sweet little bud and inch his way inside the tight warmth of her stirred his swollen balls. How the hell was he going to concentrate on a sinful game?

She grinned, swirled the last bits of liquor around in her glass and set down the crystal with deliberately slow movements. Picking up the pool stick, she eyed the glossy pool balls. “I think it was my turn actually.” Veronica sauntered around the corner to take a shot and managed to get her foot hooked on the leg of the pool table. She grabbed the table and grinned, eyeing the bikers that stood watching with folded arms.

“Nervous little kitty vixen?” Travis snickered.

“That’s wild cat to you.”

Travis chuckled and contemplated the ramifications of what if. What if they had a torrid little affair that led to what he’d teased relentlessly about with her and the night morphed into a threesome and possibly something beyond that? What if she freaked out and refused to see him ever again? What if she couldn’t handle his need for erotic sex and his requirements for her to submit her body to him to pleasure with rapture and pain?

For the fiftieth time in less than a minute, Travis had second thoughts. He refused to hurt her. Sex and friendship never mixed and Travis knew better. He also knew Veronica had no idea what she was getting herself into. She was a good girl with conservative values. To bring her into the world of S & M was ridiculous and perhaps dangerous for her soul. No matter what she said, Veronica Spelling was not ready to be a submissive. As she leaned over the pool table and he caught the hint of her nipples, he froze. He had to stop this. Immediately. “Veronica!”

His bedraggled word showered across her just as she took the shot.

And missed.

The entire room gasped as the ball seemed to tumble over two others and jump backwards on the table.

“Oh no!” A young biker gasped.

“Bloody hell!” Lucifer cried, edging forward.

Travis cringed. How the hell could the damn ball jump over her hands backward? “Fuck!”

She glared at the ball, turned as she heard the hiss of the crowd and then witnessed the strained expression on Travis’ face. Her hand flew to her mouth.

Enjoy a saucy video treat:

My books available at:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Fourth and Goal by Jami Davenport

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Okay, so it’s the wrong season for football. In fact, this year because of contract issues, it’s possible there won’t be a football season. But I’m hoping you’ll get in the mood for some football after you read my latest release, Fourth and Goal.

According to statistics, 45 percent of NFL football fans are women. Even though big publishers claim football romances don’t sell, I believe there’s a niche for a football romances, especially ones in which the actual football isn’t just a background prop.

Keeping this in mind, I wrote a different kind of football hero romance, one in which the heroine loves football and is as knowledgeable as most men. My hero is a struggling football player, attempting to get his game back. The story not only follows the romance between hero and heroine, it also follows the team’s ascent from basement-dwellers to championship contenders.

I love football, and I thought I knew quite a bit until I started researching for this book. For starters, I attended the Seattle Seahawks Football 101 workshop. As a result, I toured the Seahawks training facility, listened to players and their wives talk about life in the NFL, and participated in some of the same drills the players use to hone their timing and reflexes. This workshop was entertaining and informative. Not to mention, I loved the goodie bags and raffles. The attendees met current players and their wives, former players, the head coach, and the TV personalities who do game commentary. Almost all NFL teams sponsor a Football 101 clinic in October to benefit breast cancer awareness. I highly recommend attending one of these workshops if you get a chance.

While most of my research wasn’t as fun as the Football 101 workshop, I enjoyed writing Fourth and Goal. I fell in love with my own characters, and they became as familiar to me as dear friends. Here’s a blurb:

Fourth and Goal
Book 1 in my Seattle Lumberjacks Football Series
By Jami Davenport
Available from Loose Id

In a game played on and off the field, only one of them will emerge the winner.

Armed with an uncanny ability for evaluating football talent, a dogged determination to succeed in a man’s world, and an empty bank account, Rachel McCormick agrees to help struggling wide receiver Derek Ramsey get his game back. Rachel believes Derek, her former best friend and lover, knows the truth behind a points-shaving scandal which ruined her father. She vows to expose the secret even if it destroys Derek in the process.

When Derek’s coach suggests sex as an excellent tension reliever the night before a game, Rachel takes one for the team. The next day, Derek has the best performance of his not-so lustrous pro football career. As Derek and Rachel rack up nights in bed and other places, the team racks up wins on the field. Rachel is torn between her loyalty to her father and her growing affection for Derek. Now it’s fourth and goal, one second left on the clock. Their hearts are on the line. Do they trust each other enough to go for the long bomb or do they get dropped for a loss?

Jami Davenport writes sexy m/f romances with memorable characters. She loves to use animals in her books as secondary characters. Jami also writes scorching ménages under another name for Siren Publishing’s Ménage Everlasting line.


Friday, May 13, 2011


I’m so excited my one-year anniversary of my very first published work is coming up on June 4th. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since the best thing that ever happened to me (not counting the hubby and offspring) happened. I’ve always been a daydreamer and when I was thirteen, I began to write the worlds that I imagined down. I’ve written when I was sad, lonely, or scared. I’ve written when I was happy, excited, or hopeful. I don’t know how to live without writing. Even if everyone stopped buying my words and publishers stopped wanting to publish them, I’d still write. It’s just a huge part of what makes me Ashlynn. It’s strange that a full year has been born and died before my eyes. It feels like just yesterday all of what I have today was just a prayer, my fondest dream. If you’ve read me thank you, there are no words adequate to tell you how much you’ve touched my life. Readers make writers authors so thank you for that gift! As a special gift to you, I’m giving one lucky commenter a copy of Blood Kin as a thank you to everyone who’s made the last year of my life so wonderful. If this is the first time you’re meeting me I hope you’ll give me a read.

I’d love to tell you a little bit about my novel from Wicked Ink, Blood Kin. It’s the story of Danya a young woman who survives heart-breaking tragedy to discover her family heritage as a vampire hunter. Experiencing a world she can barely accept, she meets Valin. He’s handsome, brave, and he understands her better than anyone else in her new life possibly can. Family drama twists and turns with some very surprising revelations. Embroiled in the sins of the past, her heart and her life hang perilously close to the edge of the abyss. You can buy this full-length novel from Wicked Ink Press.

I’d love to hear from you if you read it; you can email me at or comment on my website. You can see my full list of titles that include the genres of paranormal, urban fantasy, young adult, contemporary, science fiction, and erotic romance:

Hidden Magic-Wild Horse Press-Urban Fantasy Romance

The Mirage High series-YA Paranormal-Wild Horse Press

Dark Miracle-Wild Horse Press-Erotic Paranormal

Blood and Bondage-Wild Horse Press-Erotic Paranormal

Wild Hearts-Wild Horse Press-Paranormal Romance

The Mirage High series-YA Paranormal-Wild Horse Press (print anthology or individual eBook shorts)

Blood and Bondage-Wild Horse Press-Erotic Paranormal

Christmas in Redemption-Wild Horse press-Paranormal Romance Anthology

My Soul to Keep-Coming 2011-Wild Horse Press-Urban Fantasy Romance

Kiss Me, Kill Me, Bite Me-Coming 2011-Wild Horse Press-Dark Paranormal Romance

Reality Stinks- Coming 2011-Wild Horse Press-Urban Fantasy Romantic comedy

Chemical Lust-Cobblestone Press-Science Fiction Erotic

Passion's Escape-Silver Publishing-Science Fiction Erotic

Lost Heart's-Silver Publishing-Science Fiction Erotic

Wish-Silver Publishing-Urban Fantasy Erotic

Just One Night-Silver Publishing-Paranormal Romance

Vampires and Mistletoe-Silver publishing-Paranormal Romance

Captured Heart and soul-Silver Publishing Erotic Anthology

Love Factory-August 2010-Wicked Nights-Science Fiction Erotic

In the Machine-Wicked Nights-Science Fiction Erotic

Dark Man-Wicked Nights-Paranormal Romance

Eternal Gift-Wicked Nights-Paranormal romance

Aloha Christmas-Wicked Nights-Paranormal romance

Clockwork Hearts: Secrets 6/20/2011

Clockwork Hearts: Revelations 11/20/2011

Clockwork Hearts: Rebirth 4/01/2012-kNight Romance Publishing-Paranormal steam punk

Blood Kin-Keith Publications-Paranormal Romance

The Templar Vampire Series-Coming 2011-Keith Publications-Paranormal Romance

Fallen Angels-Evernight Publishing-Steam Punk Romance

Protector Mine-Evernight Publishing-Paranormal Romance

Indecent Encounters-Evernight Publishing-Erotic Romance Anthology

Dream Mists-Willow Moon Publishing-Paranormal Romance

The Vengeance Series-Decadent Publishing-Urban Fantasy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


What reading historical fiction has done for me…and perhaps you, too!

Reflecting on the pile of books at my reading chair—and listening to others discuss what they are reading lately, I thought I would discuss what reading historical fiction, in particular, has done to enrich my life.

Yes, it has improved me, as the Victorians would say. Improved me in so very many ways that to attempt to list them might require a longer post than we have space for here! But I thought it instructive to try. And to ask you for your list, as well.

Aside from the vocabulary words reading imbues you with, what about the simple pleasures of travel? Travel to concepts you might never have otherwise pondered. Life under a dictator. Sailing from your home to a wild and settled colony. Nursing wounded on a battlefield.

Then, too, reading allows you to travel to lands you might never visit…or might take years to afford to enjoy. I remember as a young girl walking across the streetcar tracks in Dundalk, Maryland to the small local library. There, I took out picture books of England, Mexico, Hong Kong and ever so many other places. I yearned to go to those places---and amazingly, I have gone to many. Later, travel formed another idea in my mind. That of marrying my passion to travel with my passion to write. As a teenager, I told my parents that I wanted to become a foreign correspondent and work in Moscow!

One of the most fabulous novels I read as a young adult was The Egyptian by Mika Waltari. This is a sweeping tale of that land under the rule of pharaoh Aknaton, he of the one god concept. This led me to take numerous courses in undergrad and grad school about ancient Egypt. Recently, when someone stated that they would like to be returned to that time and place, I recommended this book. They wrote back that they had enjoyed it. (And recently, drawn as I am to that land, I read with glee Stacy Shiff’s biography, Cleopatra, a superb work of historical research and divine prose. Closely related to that subject, a book I am in the midst of is Steven Saylor’s Empire about the Roman empire.)

As a child, I read and re–read a series by Elswyth Thane, Williamsburg, which stamped in my mind early colonial and Revolutionary Period American history. Living in the area of the first 13 colonies as a young girl, I recall driving my parents mad with pleas to take me to tour Washington, Philadelphia and the battlefields of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. This passion extended even to my adult life when I took my own children to re-enactments of the battles of Yorktown and Bunker Hill. I recall vividly one reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, standing with one of my sons watching Pickett’s charge as tears rolled down our cheeks while hundreds of men fell in the endless barrage. And I owe that memorable day more than twenty years ago, to Thane. Close on her heels is another memorable author of the American experience, Celeste de Blasis, and her Wild Swan trilogy.

I read Gone with the Wind many times, and watched the movie almost as many. My daughter (who now has a mad passion for fiction about the Tudors, the Borgias or the French kings) bought me the DVD of Mitchell’s classic a few years ago. I play it and smile at what we now share—a love of historical figures whose lives have outlived their years on earth and brought us much to ponder and debate. Other writers who have affected what I want to see, how I want to be toward others include and certainly are not limited to Bernard Cornwell, (Sharpe, Saxon), Thomas Flanagan (Irish), Anthony Trollope, (all), Phillipa Gregory (Wildacre), Elizabeth Chadwick (Marshall), and Sharon Kay Penman (Welsh trilogy).

In less specific terms, I can recount the enormous number of historical romances and historical fiction wherein the lives of extraordinary women, real and not, have influenced how I think about my own life. As a result of reading about life on wagon trains, in a castle, caught in wartime bombings, I value more dearly peace, civility, running water, food inspection, dentistry, free education, my car and social media! (Yes, even that!)

The beauty of the prose, the accuracy of the historical research (a thing to be noted and treasured!) are those elements that inspire me to write my own works. And to strive to do them as well on both counts as those authors’ whose work I value.

In this all too brief journey through my reading of historical novels, I will now reveal that, while I became a freelance journalist, I never did become a foreign correspondent. Nor have I yet gotten to Moscow.

But I have been so many places where fiction took me first. And when I do visit those places where I have been courtesy of the minds’ eyes of other authors, I have this feeling that all those characters, real and imagined, stand there with me, admiring, laughing, enjoying that all of us live together here and now in (relative) peace and happy literary harmony.

Do come and comment and tell us what historical fiction has taught you about yourself and your world.

Cerise DeLand gets a kick out of reading and writing historical novels. A history buff with a BA and MA in history serves her well to write Regencies and Medievals, as romances, erotica and mysteries. And when she's not deep into the annals of yesteryear, she writes contemporaries too! See more at

Monday, May 9, 2011


Opposites Attract

Thinking about the characters of a story is on of the joys of writing, creating their personalities and deciding how they relate to each other. Giving them something in common—a similar trait—can help to drive the plot forward and flow better, not least with characters that begin as strangers to each other.

The same seems to follow in real life—people seek out those that like and enjoy the same things as themselves. An item or activity that can be shared between individuals, something for them to bond over. But does that mean that it can’t work if they have nothing in common?

Think about movies you have watched – weren’t the most interesting ones those where the lead characters initially don’t get on? All lovey-dovey from the outset offers nothing for you to get your teeth into, which can make for a very boring movie.   

I like it when the characters do seem so opposed that it’s difficult for many to even imagine them together. A strong contrast, whether in one or many ways, offers another dimension to the characters and the plot. No one ever said that life was supposed to be easy and I like realistic stories.

In life, people often seek out those with similar likes and dislikes, figuring the link will somehow offer a benefit to the relationship. But I know people like this who fall by the wayside, while those who couldn’t be more different are in thriving relationships. Differences can offer a relationship a more interesting dynamic, allowing a couple to educate each other on new things rather than plodding along the same path.

I like it when the characters in stories seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, to the point where many find it difficult to imagine them together because they contrast so strongly in one or many ways. It helps to prevent the characters becoming too samey and adds some suspense to the story, making the reader want to see how they work out their differences.

This premise is one I used to write my latest release, Art of the Written Word, which is published by Total-E-Bound.
The notion of a woman being a ‘cougar’ has become popular so the older woman/younger man genre is unlikely to raise many eyebrows. However, dreaming up the hero and heroine, Garvey and Yvonne, and their contrasting personalities gave me the opportunity to have fun. Yvonne is a straight-laced ex-school teacher who encounters the more bohemian Garvey after hiring him for his artistic skills. It turns out that Garvey boasts other skills and is more than capable of coaxing her from her prim shell to show her more of what life has to offer.

I have heard it said that couples who have been together for a significant length of time begin to look like each other, but there is nothing to say that this is necessary to form a lasting relationship. Not only does lust and love not require couples to look alike, they don’t even have to be anything alike for sparks to ignite.

Though it may sound a little clichéd, there are occasions when opposites do attract and can create something wonderful.    

Shermaine Williams writes erotic romance from her home in London. She has released a number of tales from short stories to novels with several publishers and continues to do so as she just loves to create new characters. She can be found at

Friday, May 6, 2011


Welcome to Between The Covers, my monthly blog about erotic romance in the news! My name is Rebecca Gillan. Sometimes I come across stories that look like normal people doing normal people stuff. And sometimes I come across stories that sound like someone tried to re-enact their favorite scene from a romance novel and it didn’t go so well. Once a month, on the first Friday of the month, I share some of these juicy gems. So grab your popcorn and enjoy the ride!

First off, let me open up with the astounding news that Colorado may soon be joining the 21st century by repealing an antique law against adultery. That is, unless one lone duck in the state congress gets his way. It would seem he thinks repealing the sexual immorality portion of the law should stand because it might encourage brothels. I have to wonder, though, since the law doesn’t appear to actually be enforce, just what law he thinks has been used to make brothels illegal to date?

Let this be a warning to you: China has some very strict anti-prostitution laws. They are so strict, in fact, that the good folks in a town in Jilin Provence, China, were treated to the sight of a man sliding down a telegraph pole nekkid while trying to elude police conducting a prostitution sting. I can just imagine the awkward places he must have gotten splinters. The part of this all-too-brief story that caught my attention, though, was the telegraph pole. I know parts of China are pretty rural but surely they don’t still use telegraph lines? Either way, it sounds like he had more luck than the pair in my next story.

A father/daughter pair was arrested over Easter weekend when the daughter solicited an undercover cop to have sex with her dad. To make matters more bizarre, they are not from Florida; they’re from Iowa. And she wanted the dead done for a mere $20. I’d probably leave the state, too, if I was looking to hook my dad up with a little spring chick for Easter. That scenario takes the term “May-December romance” to a whole new, totally gross level, doesn’t it?

This week we learned that in every crowd there is at least one nutjob who’s afraid of progress, that cops in China are mean enough to risk splinters in the wood, and that we should just get dad a nice pair of bunny slippers for Easter. Remember to have a little fun from time to time, but keep it between the covers or you might end up in the police blotter- or on this blog!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday 13: Lori Toland

This post is part of the Virtual Book Tour for Trust in Me, Lori Toland's latest release from Loose ID. Commenters on this blog, and the other tour stops, will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card from Amazon, B&N or Loose Id and a copy of her book. You can see the other stops on her tour here.

Top Thirteen Favorite Characters of All Time

These are from many different places (books, movies, video games and anime) and with no further ado, here are my fave characters of all time, in no particular order:

1. Kyoya Ootori from Ouran High School Host Club: The snarky Ouran Host Club VP found a place in my heart when he shows a softer side for his bff Tamaki Suou in this fab manga/anime series. And he is super smart.

2. Jake from The Cat from Outer Space: Okay, this list would not be complete without at least one cat on it and this adorable feline is no different. He had an adorable sense of humor and talked. After that, I kept searching for a special collar for my cat so he could talk.

3. Kanji Tatsumi from Persona 4: This cutie pie from the wildly popular video game has a gay identity crisis that shocks the whole town (on public TV no less) but after he is saved from death, he accepts his true self. I won’t ruin the rest of the plot on this fascinating and fun game.

4. Dr. Romano from ER: You know him, not a huge player but the character everyone loved to hate with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I love this character because he is such an interesting character study. The writers created a person so hated, the only fitting end was for him to die in a fire.

5. Mulan: I think this says it all. A strong female lead who runs into battle to save her father. I cry every time at the end, without fail and along with a beautiful love story, this is a constant feel good movie. *sobs*

6. Ron Stoppable (from Kim Possible): Okay, I like beta heroes. But Ron takes this to a whole new level of funny and cracky stuff. On every episode, hubby and I are in stitches, plus there’s the whole best friend romance woven in that makes my teeth hurt with the cuteness.

7. John Milton (the Devil from The Devil’s Advocate): Wow. Evil Never Looked So Good… Al Pacino makes this character amazing, but the twist and turns of this character are very subtle to explosive at the end. Brilliantly written and beautifully played.

8. Maxwell Smart (from Get Smart): Again, with the beta hero. This list has them. But Max cleverly thwarts evil and saves the day in this very funny movie. I enjoyed it from beginning to end (even though I envy him for winning Anne Hathaway in the end).

9. The whole cast of Hustle: I didn’t think it fair to single out one character in this BBC TV series. As a group of grifters, not unlike Robin Hood as they steal from the rich but give to themselves, these clever, slippery characters stick it to the man as they think up schemes to play with people.

10. Damon from the Vampire Diaries books: I have to stress the book series because the TV series annoys me. Damon is wow, so sexy in the books. While Stefan may be a tortured hero, I loved that Damon took what he wanted without thought to anyone. Dude, I’m kinda twisted LOL!

11. GLaDOS from Portal 1 and 2: Wow. Evil (censored). If you’ve played this game, you know what I mean. But the clever dialogue from her to the player drives me to work more snark into my stories.

12. Henry Roth from 50 First Dates: Okay, this makes me sigh. All women should have a guy who loves them this much. To go through being forgotten every day and make her fall in love with him all over, that’s dedication. But my husband thinks he’s stalking her *cue eye roll here*

13. Usagi-san aka Usami Akihiko from Junjou Romantica: Whether it’s the manga or anime, I love this character like whoa. He is a great character study in romantic heroes that have interesting characteristics. He would basically rot without Misaki but he’s the seme… anyway, love him!

I know what you are saying. But where are the twins from Harry Potter and where is Ezio from Assassin’s creed. I thought you said you loved Yosuke from Persona 4 best and… well, I’ll be back for more soon and I’ll have a whole new list :-)

Thanks to Whipped Cream for having me by!

CEO by day, erotic romance writer by night, Lori Toland lives in Orlando where the summers are hot but the romance between her characters is even hotter. Writing since the tender age of 13, Lori somehow finds time to play video games and watch movies while taking care of her beloved cats and a husband who will forever be her hero.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Three Things to Do Before I Kick Off

Am I blunt? Maybe a little. Nah, BFF just told me, I’m really blunt. So, I’ll just put it like this: there are three things I’d like to do before I kick off. I got the idea from reading a post by my pal Mysti Holiday. I thought, hey, she’s got a great idea. Hmm....what about me? So I thought and thought and thought. Want to know what I came up with? Read on.

1. Fly in a jet. Lear jet. (That sounded like, Bond. James Bond. But he does fly a jet.) DH is a pilot and I’ve spent time in puddle jumpers. Love flying in them. That being said, I know the pilot and trust him. In a jet or a commercial plane, I don’t know the pilot. I’d be going farther away (like to Vegas). Kinda scary, but hey, they go fast and look sleek. Might even be able to join that famed ‘mile-high club’...possibilities...definite possibilities

2. Ride along in an actual stock car. I’ve sat in one. It’s a blast. Tight, but a blast. I want to feel the wind in my hair, the tang of the fuel, and the roar of the crowd. Ok, I’d like to be plastered to the seat and scared witless hoping I don’t fly out the window. Then again, this goes along with another thing I’d like to do—learn to drive a darned stick shift vehicle. I can’t get the rhythm down to shift to save my life. And I was in the marching band. You’d think I have rhythm. You’d be wrong. So, I need to learn to shift, so I can ride or even drive the stock car. Check.

3. Meet someone truly famous. I’ve had my run-in’s with some pretty cool people. Clint Bowyer, Elliot Sadler, Matt Kenseth, Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, Lora Leigh, Lori O’Clare, Joey W. Hill. Now they are pretty cool, but I’m talking someone really famous...Gerard Butler, Jon Togo...a girl can dream. DH met Former President Bill Clinton and has talked to Jack Roush. He’s scheduled planes for Bernie Kosar and John Cusack. So yeah, I want to meet someone cool. Possibly someone who’ll love to portray my heroes.

Not the most exciting list, but at least two of the three are doable. Give me that much. What are some things you’d like to do?

Writing is like breathing, you need to do it or you can't function. So, I write.

I started outlining stories in my head at a young age while revising the storylines I'd seen portrayed on General Hospital--well, as much as a seven year old can revise them.

The characters evolved and the stories thickened into my current works. I hope to take the reader on a journey in my stories--to places yet to be visited, meeting characters who will become close friends, and lots of sizzling romance for fun.

Readers can visit me anytime at


Monday, May 2, 2011


TSTL Characters

Haven’t we all run across romance book characters who are Too Stupid To Live? You know the ones—like the heroine who makes the ridiculous decision to march straight into a dumb or even dangerous situation despite her instincts warning her against it. Sometimes characters make bad decisions, just like real people do, but if they have plausible motivation to make those poor decisions, we can excuse them.

For example, if a character walks into a dangerous situation in order to save a child/elderly person/person they care deeply about, well, then that character isn’t stupid, but brave. Heroes tend to do things like this all the time. So why are male characters so often painted as heroes yet female characters are so often the ones who do the plain old stupid stuff?

Now I’m all for alpha males, but frankly, I enjoy a book more if the heroine rescues herself or someone else rather than being rescued by the hero.

In my upcoming romantic suspense book, Protective Custody, I put the heroine in a dangerous situation (which she did not walk into, BTW) when she witnesses a murder. Each time the villain comes after her, she—not the hero—is the one to save herself, except once. It was important to me that Megan not be TSTL. I wanted her to be strong and brave but not quite as much as the hero. After all, the hero must earn his stripes!

Have you ever read about a TSTL character that made you throw the book (or the ebook reader) against the wall? Comment and I will enter you in a drawing for your choice of my erotic romantic suspense, Tropic of Trouble or for Protective Custody—your choice. I hope you’ll check out my upcoming release, Protective Custody coming from Carina Press on May 9.

Protective Custody – Available from Carina Press
Witness to a murder, but no one will believe her…

Shocked by the brutal crime she witnesses through the window of her small office, Megan Jackson calls the police and is devastated when they question the truth of her story. With no body and no evidence of a crime, she’s written off as a nutcase.

Megan suspects the killer saw her face. Terrified, she calls the only person she can trust—her ex-boyfriend and former police officer, Will McCoy.

Despite a devastating breakup, Will jumps at the chance to help the woman who broke his heart. When the killer ramps up the stakes, Will is forced to take her into hiding—where the passion they once shared reignites, deeper and hotter than ever. But can Will keep Megan alive long enough to win back her heart?
Wynter Daniels lives in Central Florida with her husband of more than twenty years and their two nearly grown children. They are all the slaves of two very demanding cats. After careers in marketing and the salon industry, Wynter’s wicked prose begged to be set free. She writes for several publishers including Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id. Join her Facebook fan page HERE and her Yahoo! Group HERE. She loves to hear from readers, but only if it’s good;-)

Buy Protective Custody HERE.
Find Wynter on the web at
Visit her blog at

Text Copyright © 2011 by Wynter Daniels
Cover Copyright © 2011 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Winner of the "Spring is Bustin' Out All Over" GRAND PRIZE!!

Congratulations to the winner of our "Spring is Bustin' Out All Over" grand prize!! Leanne Dyck won her choice of a Nook, Kindle or $150 GC -- and she chose a Kindle. Thanks to everyone for playing :-)