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Friday, September 30, 2011

GUEST BLOG: SANDY SULLIVAN

Rodeo!


Good morning ladies and gents,

I'm running a bit behind on my post to this lovely blog so hang tight while I bang my head against the desk and come up with some witty and insightful blog to post.
Okay — that's better. A little coffee goes a long way to rearranging the brain cells.

I don't know if we're supposed to write something about writing or just in general, so my blog will be about the rodeo I went to the other night.

A lot of you may not know this, but the one I went to was technically my first real, sit down and watch, rodeo. I've seen tons on television, but I haven't been to a live one to simply watch the events. The whole experience was amazing.

The smell of livestock permeated the air. Dust clung to the seats, and floor. And the cowboys? All I can say is WOW!

I don't think I've seen that many cowboy butts in tight Wranglers, cowboy hats, dusty boots and sexy men in my life in one place. Well, maybe in Vegas during NFR (National Finals Rodeo). Vegas comes alive with cowboys during the huge event every December.

Anyway, the rodeo the other night started with a game for the kids. They came out of the woodwork to do what they called, "Gold Rush." I'm not really sure what it entailed except for a pile of hay on the ground and dozens of kids scrambling for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Then came the main events and of course, they held the bull riding to the end. The whole time I watched, I was mesmerized by the way the cowboys sat in the saddle—their concentration never broken by the crowd around them. Calf roping or bull dogging had to be one of my favorite events. Unfortunately, for my concentration, I now have a calf roping cowboy sitting on the edge of my desk, tapping his spur against the side, waiting for me to write his story. By the way, he already has a name. Corey Middleton and he's twenty-six, dark-haired, dark-eyed, nice chest, six-pack abs… um where was I?

I did enjoy the bull riding though, too. I just didn't get a close up look at the event since we sat too far away. Next time, I'm gonna be on the rail. I had a serious temptation to ask a couple of those cowboys to unbutton their shirt, let it hang and give me a sexy look while I took their picture. Alas, my twenty-year-old daughter, refused to let me.

I did learn about a new event for the ladies other than barrel riding. Breakaway calf roping is one of the newer events. The ladies have to rope the calf, just like the men do, but when the rope goes taut, it breaks away from the saddle, thus the name. I had to look it up and I'm sure one of my heroines will be using it. *cheeky grin*

Well, that's about all my brain can function on this morning, so I'll leave you all with this little tidbit. Men in tight Wranglers are the absolute best thing to look at on any day of the week.

. Until then, happy reading!
~ Sandy
www.RomanceStoryTime.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Blog: Josephine Myles

When characters develop a mind of their own...


Before I started writing my first novel, I used to imagine writers more as puppet-masters - planning out their novels and orchestrating everything to fit within that outline. As my only writing experience had been with short stories, nothing I'd yet encountered had contradicted that. I was able to plan out a narrative and then write it almost exactly as I'd expected. Is it any wonder I didn't find the experience all that exciting? There was no spontaneity involved, and I lost interest in writing for a good few years.

When I discovered the joys of writing erotic romance and was in the process of planning out my first novel, I thought I needed to know everything about what was going to happen. I had character sheets with detailed histories, a rough outline for the whole plot, and yet still I imagined I needed more. I could have gone on planning until I'd killed all the joy in the whole project. It took an experienced writer to tell me: "just get going and see what happens. You'll discover the story as you go along." Boy, was she right!

I began writing Barging In eighteen months ago, and while the first few scenes went exactly according to plan, I soon realised that I had a loose cannon in the character of Robin. I thought I knew him inside out, but clearly I was wrong as he kept doing unpredictable things. He was meant to be staying closeted at home, avoiding other men, yet he decided he wanted to go out to a gay bar. His first sex scene alarmed me as I had no idea he was that dominant. Worse yet, he would refer to things in his past that weren't on my history sheet for him. I would find myself staring at the computer screen, asking myself where the hell did that just come from? I was the puppet-master, wasn't I? It was like someone had cut all the strings and my puppets were parading around all by themselves.

Since then I've become much more relaxed about planning stories. I have discovered that many of my strongest scenes come about as a result of characters taking charge and doing things I couldn't have predicted. Yes, in my subsequent drafts I have to go back and change earlier details in light of things the characters tell me later on, but I think the extra work in the drafting process is a small price to pay for having vibrant, lively characters who take charge of their own narratives.

Writing is never boring when your characters have minds of their own. I'm no longer a puppet-master, I'm more like a Domme – I can set up the scene but my characters are feisty subs and are prone to insubordination, refusing to follow my orders. Sometimes they even use their safewords, yelling: “there’s no way I’m doing that – it’s out of character!”

It can be frightening at times, and it takes a huge amount of faith to just let loose and see where the story leads me, but it's exhilarating and I couldn't go back to planning every last detail ever again.

What about you? Readers, do you think you can tell the difference between a meticulously planned and a "seat of the pants" type novel? And writers, do you have a preference for staying in control, or do you let your stories lead you where they want to go?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. She blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She's beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo once spent two years living on a slowly decaying narrow boat, and was determined that she would one day use the experience as fodder for a novel. It may have taken a few years, but she got there in the end. She usually does. Barging In, her first novel, was released by Samhain Publishing on 20th September 2011.

Visit Jo’s website for more about her published stories, saucy free reads and regular blog posts.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Blog: DC Juris

Gone to the Dogs


Hi folks! DC Juris here. I'll be your guest host for today. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a transgender fella who writes GLBTQ and heterosexual romance, but mostly m/m.

For today's prompt, and because I'm generally crappy at coming up with things to blog about, I asked my Facebook friends what they want to know. My good friend, and fellow m/m romance writer, Ellis Carrington came up with six questions—here's one of them: What is your favorite dog breed?

You might think this would be a hard question for me to answer. After all, I work for a veterinarian. I see literally thousands of dogs in a year. How could I possibly pick one? But I can!

My favorite dog breed is without a doubt the Miniature Pinscher. Hands down, there's nothing like a min pin for loyalty and devotion. They want to be with you at all times, they're curious and tenacious and have two speeds: Go and Asleep. But I didn't always have such a deep love for the breed. Growing up, I loved the show Magnum P.I. I always said I'd have four Doberman Pinschers when I was an adult—two named Zeus and Apollo, after the dogs on the show, and the other two named Magnum and Higgins. But Dobermans were far too big for me, so the dream fizzled out. Imagine my delight when I discovered min pins. Thought not actually related at all, they're visually like…well…miniature Dobermans.

Our first min pin, whom we named Higgins, came to us as a shelter adoption. His owners, who weren't supposed to have him in their rental, had abandoned him to the streets. Their neighbors managed to catch him several weeks later, and took him to the local dog warden. At first, he only liked my husband. In fact, the shelter staff was amazed because they said he didn't like men. But Hubby walked right in, picked the dog up, and he earned a nubbin wag and a cheek lick. It took him a while to warm up to me, but once he did, I quickly became one of his pack.

Our second min pin came to us in a much darker situation. A dog control officer came into our vet clinic with what he said was a Teacup Chihuahua. The dog was four pounds of bruised, bloody mess. She was old, with a graying muzzle and had clearly been used as a breeding dog for most of her life, judging by the size of her nipples. The few teeth she had left were rotten and decayed, and she'd been beaten and left for dead. We discovered she wasn't a Chihuahua at all, but a severely underweight min pin! After giving her an exam, our veterinarian prepared to humanely euthanize her. But then, something happened. The little girl lifted her head and looked straight into my eyes. She wasn't done—she wanted to live.

I turned my big brown eyes on our surgeon, and several hours and several, several bags of fluids later, my husband came to see her. She wagged her nubbin, licked his fingers, and he whispered, "Well, hello sunshine. What a pretty little Ginger girl you are." That was the year 2005. She came to live with us about three months after coming to the clinic. She had chronic arthritis, messed up discs in her back, and over the next few years, she developed heart failure. But none of that ever stopped her. Ginger passed away in 2009, and now makes her home in a ginger jar on the top shelf in my kitchen.

We still have Higgins. He's old and crotchety, but still runs and plays. We're still not too certain what he thinks of the two puppies in the house, but he hangs out with his old pal, Duncan, an ancient West Highland Terrier who likes his bed and his food, and not much else.

We keep saying that when all four of these guys finally pass, there'll be no more dogs. We'll have peace in the house for once! But I think…most likely…there'll probably be a sweet little black and tan baby in our future. If not two. J

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Southern transplant who has retained none of his accent but all of his charm, DC Juris is an out and proud transgender bisexual living in Upstate New York with his husband, four dogs, three cats, and a menagerie of Halloween props just creepy enough to keep people guessing about his sanity. He's still hopelessly single when it comes to the woman in his life, and he'll gladly entertain offers or applications for the position! In the rare event that he's not writing, DC can be found surfing the internet for random research, killing things on his Xbox, reading, taking pictures of the world around him, or playing Farmville, to which he admits a complete and totally blissful addiction. You can keep up with him at www.facebook.com/dcjuris, or www.dcjuris.com.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Guest Blog: Paisley Smith

Fresh Blood


When Delilah Devlin first opened submissions for Girls Who Bite, she encouraged contributors to investigate vampire myths from around the world, looking for something fresh to add to the pantheon of vampire romance. She wanted the stories to be varied and unexpected. Fresh blood, so to speak.

Vampire romance has made a resurgence. Why are these fantastical creatures so alluring? A few of the contributors know.

How did you get interested in paranormal romance?

“I enjoy reading paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi. Short stories give me an opportunity to play with other genres.” ~ Karis Walsh

“I enjoy love, love, love paranormal romances. Different worlds, strange creatures ,make it fun and familiar emotions make it real.” ~ Myla Jackson

“I thought I was a stranger to paranormal beings, until I realized that the stories I grew up on were full of them—dangerous lights over woodland ponds; la llorona, the weeping woman; las brujas who could become birds at night.” ~ Anna Meadows

“I love paranormal anything! And romance is the cherry on top.” ~ Victoria Oldham

“I got into horror movies at a very early age. Werewolves, vampires witches and ghosts all had a huge appeal for me. It wasn't until I was much older that I discovered romance and learned that these elements were combined. I fell in love!” ~ Christine d’Abo

“I've always loved vampires and werewolves and things of that nature. So love of these things was the impetus for me to try my hand at paranormal romance.” ~ Regina Jamison

“All things magical fascinate me and have since I first saw The Wizard of Oz.” ~ Paisley Smith

“I grew up in a household of avid science fiction and fantasy readers. We read books as a family most nights after dinner. I was one of those kids who read under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to be asleep. When I started writing fiction as an adult, I naturally gravitated to paranormal stories.” – Adele Dubois

“I've always been interested in ghosts and vampires, remnants of the past. Other paranormal forms don't interest me at all, but my love of history makes me fascinated by beings who bring the past into the present. And vampires are sexy, so the romance part just comes naturally. There's not many vampire stories that don't contain some element of romance, or sexual transgression, even going back to the old Gothic novels of the nineteenth century, which I have studied in depth.” ~ Rebecca S. Buck

Do you only write lesbian fiction? If not, what else do you write?

“I write – and love to read – lesbian romance novels.” ~ Karis Walsh

The Gift of Lilith is my first lesbian story. I've written other books and novellas including girl-on-girl action, but this is my first totally lesbian and will not be my last! It was fun and I can totally get the attraction. And love is love no matter your gender or persuasion. ~ Myla Jackson

“Just about everything I write is about women in love. Those women are often, though not always, in love with other women. Female passion most captures and holds my attention as a writer.” ~ Anna Meadows

“I write primarily lesbian fiction, because I like to identify with my characters, and I find lesbian romance/ erotica incredibly hot.” ~ Victoria Oldham

“I tend to split my time fairly evenly between writing m/f and m/m. I've only recently started writing f/f and am loving it.” ~ Christine d’Abo

“I write lesbian fiction, poetry, children's stories, and regular fiction. I like to try my hand at various aspects of writing.” ~ Regina Jamison

“I write lesbian and bi-sexual erotic romance in a variety of genres from historical to contemporary to paranormal.” ~ Paisley Smith

The Crystal Altar is my first lesbian tale, though I've written girl on girl sex scenes in some of my mainstream erotic romance novels. I'm straight, and have been married and monogamous for twenty-five years. The Crystal Altar was a fun foray into writing something different and new. I think women are very sexy and I'm confident enough in my own sexuality to experiment with my characters. I hope straight women will also enjoy reading the stories in Girls Who Bite. Our heroines interact with vampires! What could be more exotic or exciting?” ~ Adele Dubois

“My published novels Truths and Ghosts of Winter (published by Bold Strokes Books) are both lesbian fiction, as is my forthcoming (in 2012) The Locket and the Flintlock. Since I'm gay myself, it comes naturally to write lesbian characters. I tend to think of my writing as not so much "lesbian fiction", as general/literary/historical fiction with lesbian characters in it. However, I have a wide range of interests, both in fiction and non-fiction, and I don't like to be put in a box, so I can see myself branching out!” ~ Rebecca S. Buck

Do you have anything else readers of Girls Who Bite might like to read?

“My first lesbian romance, Harmony, was recently released by Bold Strokes Books. Worth the Risk will be published in January, 2012.” ~ Karis Walsh

“I have great chemistry going on between two female characters in my book Duty Bound at Samhain Publishing. It's sexy and very tender. ~ Myla Jackson

“For more woman-on-woman, try my stories in the last two editions of Best Lesbian Romance (Cleis Press, 2010 and 2011), as well as the next edition, out in January 2012. For women in love with men, I have stories coming out this fall in the anthologies Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance and Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance (both Cleis Press). My fellow GWB contributors also have an incredible range of work out there—just about anything a girl could want on her nightstand!” ~ Anna Meadows

“This is my fifth lesbian erotic story, including Women in Uniform. I have another paranormal coming out in the spring (a succubus romance). I'm a full time lesbian fiction editor, so I get to spend all my time in lesbian fantasy land.” ~ Victoria Oldham

“I've recently send out a new f/f story for submission and I have a m/f/f story in the works. I hope they will both be out in 2012.” ~ Christine d’Abo

“If they're looking for more erotica they can read my story in Zane's Purple Panties entitled - Mom's Night Out. I have another lesbian erotica story that I'm waiting to hear about in terms of publication.” ~ Regina Jamison

“Writing Girls Who Bite inspired Delilah Devlin and me to pen a series of erotic, lesbian paranormals. Our series, Femme Noir, features sexy, kinky heroines and real-life vampire, Elizabeth Bathory. The first in the series, Bitten in the Big Easy, will be a September 2011, Ellora’s Cave release.” ~ Paisley Smith

“I have a backlist of titles with heterosexual heroes and heroines. However, the heroine in my newest release REV ME TWICE is bi-sexual. Though she is in love with the story hero, she likes to mix things up with the occasional F/F/M ménage and parties involving multiple partners. REV ME TWICE is my most experimental novella to date. Crystal, the REV ME TWICE heroine, knows what she wants and likes and isn't afraid to indulge her fantasies. I admire her for that. Readers and reviewers say they love this story because it's not afraid to be different. My booklist appears on my website at www.adeledubois.com/.” ~ Adele Dubois

“My novels, Truths and Ghosts of Winter (from Bold Strokes Books), both contain lesbian romance and historical fiction, interwoven with modern stories. My lesbian short stories (not paranormal) have appeared in Breathless: Tales of Celebration (Bold Strokes Books, 2010) and Best Lesbian Romance 2011 (Cleis Press, 2011). If anyone wants to find out more about me, I blog regularly: www.rebeccasb.wordpress.com.” ~ Rebecca S. Buck

Who is your favorite literary or movie vampire?

“My favorite paranormal books are the four in the Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko. Brilliant books, set in modern-day Moscow.” ~ Karis Walsh

Actually, I loved my vampire in Sex, Lies and Vampire Hunters, a book I wrote for Ellora's Cave Publishing. She's funny, sexy and new at it. ~ Myla Jackson

“Most of the ones I know are traditional stories with roots in Mesoamerican mythology, but I’m having a great time learning about vampire legends from around the world!” ~ Anna Meadows

“Though I hate to admit it, I'm a huge devotee of the Twilight saga. I think the romance aspects are utterly true to the genre, and Edward is femme enough I can picture him as a butch! And of course, I love Winter Pennington's vampires, who ooze sensuality.” ~ Victoria Oldham

“I loved Gary Oldman as Dracula, but I was also a big fan of Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows.” ~ Christine d’Abo

“My favorite movie vampire is Gary Oldman in Dracula. I LOVE that movie! I've seen it so many times! My favorite vampire story is by Octavia Butler - Fledgling. Fantastic read.” ~ Regina Jamison

“The variety of vampires on the HBO True Blood series and in the Charlaine Harris books is great! I mean Elvis as a vampire? Ha! Anne Rice’s characters also shocked me when they first appeared on the scene. I loved how androgynous they were.” ~ Paisley Smith

“I've had a major crush on Brad Pitt for twenty years. What can I say? I'm the loyal type. His character Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview with a Vampire will always be my favorite movie vamp, simply because Brad played the part.” ~ Adele Dubois

“Lestat from Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles--as he is in the movie, Interview with the Vampire, but especially in the second novel, The Vampire Lestat. I'm also a massive fan of Carmilla, in J. Sheridan LeFanu's Victorian short story of the same name, one of the first lesbian vampires!” ~ Rebecca S. Buck
Visit http://GirlsWhoBite.net for more information about Delilah Devlin and all the GWB contributors!

About Girls Who Bite

GIRLS WHO BITE: Lesbian Vampire Erotica edited by Delilah Devlin Cleis PressISBN-10: 1573447153ISBN-13: 978-1573447157Format: Trade Paperback On Sale: September 13, 2011

For bad girls looking for love . . . fangs are more than an accessory.
These are no Twilight tales — the stories in Girls Who Bite are varied, unexpected, and soul-scorching. Best-selling romance writer Delilah Devlin and her contributors investigate vampire myths from around the world, and add fresh girl-on-girl blood to the pantheon of the paranormal.

Take a walk on the wild side with some of the hottest erotic romance authors out there. In “La Caida,” a Mexican “salt-eater” saves a fallen angel and redeems her own soul. In “Bloody Wicked,” a powerful witch’s spell to lure a lover turns her into a vampire’s love slave. Through a “Pet Door,” a shapeshifting vampire meets the dominatrix of her dreams. South African “Impundulu” sweeps you back to a vampire’s primeval beginnings. With a list of contributors that include Adele Dubois, Christine d’Abo, Paisley Smith, Myla Jackson, Shayla Kersten, and Vivi Anna, Devlin delivers a dark and sexy read you can sink your teeth into!

So, sit astride the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, sail with modern-day pirates, watch a meteor fall to earth, and taste the powdery wings of a Monarch butterfly. Not things you’d expect in a vampire tale? Then sip O-positive from a femoral artery while tugging at the silky strands of your lover’s hair. Eternally delicious.
Order Trade Paperback Amazon
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The Book Depository


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GUEST BLOG: MIKE AND CYNTHIA ARSUAGA

Creating “MY LIFE AS A DOG”


In 2009, a year after I returned to writing my wife Cynthia took up the profession. By then, I had completed two novels in the SUBSPECIES series and owned a collection of thirty rejection slips. Her first novel, THE COUGAR AND HER VAMPIRE gained acceptance by the first publisher who saw it. To prove it wasn’t beginner’s luck, when the first publisher went belly up, the next - Secret Cravings Publishing - also offered a contract. Only acceptance of SUBSPECIES and the next two installments by Muse It Hot Publishing saved my pride.

About that time, fall of 2010, we began to wonder how a collaborative effort might turn out. We both love the paranormal romance genre. Up to then our books dealt with vampires, but the rules for our respective worlds were set and too far apart for reconciliation to a joint project.

While turning the problem over, someone on one of the groups we joined asked what the strangest shape shifter animal was. Up to then we thought they only turned into wolves bears or big cats. The answers covered half the animal kingdom and a few trees. Then, our family dog, an eight pound Yorkie entered the room with the trademark confident trot all terriers possess.

I think the idea hit us simultaneously. We immediately started brainstorming. Our Yorkie, Thumper, is a chick magnet as is the main character Drake Martin, in human as well as Yorkie form. To inject pathos, Cynthia suggested we begin the story with him as a child’s pet. She wrote the prologue where six year old Kady Hartley rescues him from the city animal shelter. With every intention of leaving as soon as possible, her pure love for the feisty little dog who she names ‘Precious’ changes his mind. He decides to stay “For a while”. Twelve years later he reluctantly leaves when the vet notices he doesn’t age. A decade later they meet. He’s a PI; she’s FBI.

The rest of the story sort of wrote itself. The world of shifter pack life including the title of Sufi for the leader was my creation. Cynthia polished up the characters, especially whacky little Linda, Drake’s secretary. There are many humorous scenes, centered on Drake’s frantic efforts to keep his two identities secret from Kady after they meet and she adopts him as a new ‘Precious”.

After I wrote the first draft, Cynthia edited for content and consistency. In addition to being funny the scenes are often complicated. Cynthia corrected many inconsistencies such as when I had Drake lock his clothes in a room after transforming to the Yorkie. (He’s naked when returning to human.) Inattention to such details could ruin the story, but Cynthia’s sharp eye caught them all.

Possible future collaborations are ahead. A sequel to MLAAD is always possible. Another that’s a little further along is ALEXANDER AND ROXANNE, a paranormal take on the life of Alexander the Great. Of course we continue our individual projects and edit each other’s work. Cynthia’s third novel BORN TO PLAY, a follow-up to BORN TO BE WILD was recently contracted by Secret Cravings. I have four installments of the SUBSPECIES series under contract. The fifth and final one (for now) is complete, having been put through Cynthia’s editorial wringer.

We have separate websites. Check them out at http://mikearsuaga.weebly.com or http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com

Raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mike completed careers in the United States Navy Submarine Force and the Transportation Security Administration. He lives in Orlando Florida with wife and Editor in Chief Cynthia, daughter Jennifer, six year old granddaughter Larrna and partner in crime Thumper, a Yorkshire terrier.

Mike’s extensive travels in the Navy took him to throughout the US, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, providing accurate and vivid settings for his stories. He has a five book series under contract with Muse It Hot Publishing. All are installments to The Subspecies series. The first, “SUBSPECIES’ released in May. “Subspecies, Inc. comes out September 2011. The third, “Children of Subspecies”, comes to life in December, followed by “The Tenth Legion” and the concluding installment “Lagrange Point” in February and May 2012 respectively.

The five books trace the evolution of lycans and vampires from being nature’s most reviled creation to its finest. They progress from lives of hiding in the shadows, hunting, and sensual but fruitless mating to become the key to saving humanity. In the process, they experience salvation and redemption, explore space, colonize Mars, travel in time, and learn the grand design of Creation.

Mike also co-wrote “My Life as a Dog” with his wife, published by Secret Cravings Publishing. MLAAD is a lighter hearted tale of a very special shape shifter and his quest for true love. Drak Martin’s animal persona is an eight pound Yorkie, of little use in a scrape but irresistable to women.

Monday, September 19, 2011

GUEST BLOG: Shermaine Williams

Masking the Truth

Art of the Written Word being released in hardback inspired me to write a blog post, partially because it’s gorgeous and I love it, but also because it got me thinking about masks. In the story, Yvonne, the heroine, uses a mask to hide her identity whilst attending a masked ball that reveals its lascivious side at the stroke of midnight.

While Yvonne’s mask is a physical one, there are also a number of metaphorical ones that many of us use.

I know that I use both. Well, spectacles can’t exactly be described as a mask, but I still use them in place of contact lenses when trying to hide my bags. A trilby or wool cap is the perfect way to hide a bad hair day or my reluctance to bother with styling my hair.

Metaphorical masks can arise in a number of different forms, such as the use of pseudonyms by everyone from writers to ‘celebrities’. The former will gain a level of anonymity required for personal or professional reasons, but those that are already famous, it seems a little redundant as we know who they are. However, it does allow them to present a face to the public different to that they display and give their persona a name.

How many times have you automatically said “I’m fine” when asked “How are you?” I know I do it all the time. It’s a situation that could see me accused of masking my true feelings, but it seems more convenient than regaling others with the minutiae of my dodgy knee and complaints about the weather.

Nowadays, even men wear make-up to hide imperfections or disguise contours, which can also be an effective mask. I’ve heard some people don’t even feel confident to leave the privacy of their own home without their slap on.

Rather than considering the negative connotations that can arise from the idea of someone wearing a mask—whether a physical one or not—all the reasons must be taken into account as there may be some valid ones. Not only can one protect oneself, they can also protect others, if only from the griping that every day life can cause!

Art of the Written Word is available at Total-E-Bound.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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 her website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

GUEST BLOG: ERIN O'RIORDAN

"Sweet Inspiration"
By Erin O'Riordan


It's accepted wisdom among pop psychologists that men are more visual than women, especially when it comes to how they perceive potential mates. Men like pictures, while women care more about thoughts and feelings. Still, this "rule" was never carved in stone, and erotic romance writers of both sexes sometimes need a little visual inspiration.

I have two favorite websites for this, one for scoping out delicious man-candy and another for scouting hot heroines. To ogle the boys, it's gotta be HunkDuJour.com. As the name implies, the website spotlights a different beautiful man every day. As I write this, said Hunk du Jour is Cory Fritz, a model with soulful eyes, chiseled cheeks and a tendency to take off his shirt.

In fact, most of the guys on HdJ have a tendency to take off their shirts. That's kind of the point. Shirtlessness is about as PG-13 as this popular blog gets, though. It's aimed at gay men, but as the bloggers point out, it's still "mom-friendly." Plenty of hunkiness, no nudity.

One caveat about HdJ: if you're looking for a photo of a specific guy, don't trust the A-Z list. A month or so ago, I spotted a Sam Worthington lookalike at breakfast, wrote a blog post based on it, and tried to link to Sam on HdJ. I couldn't find him on the A-Z list, and said so in the blog post. Just the other day, I discovered I had been wrong. Not only was Sam the Hunk of the Day (HOTD), but he'd been discussed on the blog before. If a male celebrity or model is under 40 and you think he's good-looking, chances are he's been on HdJ.

Female inspiration can always be found at dorothysurrenders.blogspot.com. The blogger, who goes by the clever nickname of Dorothy Snarker, calls it "A Gay Gal's Guide to Pop Culture. Why Should the Boys Have All the Fun?" Fun indeed are Dorothy's observations on everything from True Blood to the recent spate of straight men writing "lesbian" blogs. Her language in these observations is definitely PG-13, but you won't find shirtlessness here.

Dorothy does have two particularly fun lady-lovin' features, though: Gender F*ck Thursday, which collects photos of female celebs in male drag (suits and ties), and Tank Top Tuesday. The only thing these lady celebs have in common is their tank tops - they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. No matter where you fall on the rainbow of sexuality, it's nice to see a wide range of beautiful women appreciated, even if they don't all look alike.

If you're looking for a specific lady, Dorothy's tag list is conveniently located on the side of the page. This one's pretty reliable, and covers all of Dorothy's favorites from Aimee Mann to Zooey Deschanel.

Whether you use these or other websites for your visual inspiration, have fun looking! You never know how a way of looking into the camera, the tilt of a hat, a hint of a smile or the way someone fills out a tank top will spark great fiction. Happy writing!

Biography: Erin O'Riordan writes smart, whimsical erotica. Books 1 and 2 of her erotic romance novel series, Pagan Spirits, are now available. With her husband, she also writes crime novels, most recently Eminent Domain. Visit her home page at www.aeess.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GUEST BLOG: LISABET SARAI

Erotic Surrender
By Lisabet Sarai


I'm not afraid to admit it (at least not while I'm sheltered behind the mask of my pseudonym). I love BDSM stories. Give me a well-written, convincing tale that incorporates bondage, spanking, whips and clamps, blindfolds and tests of a sub's devotion, and I'm in a state of bliss.

Much of my own writing incorporates BDSM elements. In two of my novels, Raw Silk and Ruby's Rules, the plot revolves around a D/s relationship, while in Incognito, the heroine experiments with BDSM in an attempt to understand her own needs and desires. My collection Rough Caress presents fourteen different stories which explore the emotional aspects of BDSM. My recently-released romance novella, The Understudy, chronicles a young woman's initiation into the challenges and delights of a D/s relationship, by a man she can only dream of loving. Even when I'm not writing an explicit BDSM story, I find that elements of power exchange tend to sneak into my characters' relationships.

Why do I find BDSM exciting, to read and to write? It is not, primarily, the taboo nature of the topic. It's not because I think that restraint or pain is pleasurable or sexy per se. And unlike some romance authors, I don't add bondage or discipline to my work just to "spice it up" with something naughty. Rather, I'm drawn to relationships involving dominance and submission because of the fundamental eroticism of surrender.

The essence of submission, for me, is offering one's whole self to the dominant. The sub relinquishes control to her master. She holds nothing back. She bares not only her body but her doubts, her fears, her secret fantasies. She lets down all her barriers, trusting her Dom to takes responsibility for her pleasure and safety.

Surrender is arousing because it creates a deep psychic and emotional connection between the Dom and the sub. The intimacy of a successful D/s encounter is almost overwhelming. The sub cannot hide behind a mask of propriety. The Dom knows what she wants, however extreme or forbidden. He may understand her better than she understands herself. The sub no longer needs to struggle with her conflicts or confusion. She does not need to make any decisions, once she has made the essential choice: to place herself in the dominant's hands and under his control.

Surrender can be intoxicating for the Dom as well. It is thrilling to realize you have earned such profound trust from another human being. The Dom can exercise his will over his sub, do anything that pleases him, knowing that his actions also excite and satisfy her--because his pleasure makes her surrender more complete.

Probably the best way to demonstrate what I mean is to offer an (X-rated) excerpt, from The Understudy.

Geoffrey continued to survey his handiwork, close enough that I could feel the heat from his body, but he didn’t make contact with my hungry skin. Touch me, please! I felt like screaming. But already I knew enough to remain silent.

“I expect that from now on you will be on time.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll try.” Please, please, please―the mantra rang in my mind. But I knew he was once again teaching me patience.

Suddenly he scooped me up in his arms, carried me into the other room and settled me on the bed. I hardly had a moment to appreciate his strength before he released me. I moaned in disappointment.

“Hush! I’ll be with you shortly.” He began to unbutton his shirt.

I watched, holding my breath, as he revealed a muscled chest and flat belly scattered with black curls. Next he unbuckled his belt. It whooshed as he drew it out of his belt loops. From out of nowhere came the thought of that belt laying stinging trails of pain across my bottom.

He heard my gasp and grinned at me. “Not tonight, sweet. Your ass already looks like raw hamburger.”

He unzipped his trousers and pushed them down over his lean hips. His cock arched up from his groin, straining toward the ceiling.

Oh, God! Saliva gathered in my mouth. I stared at the fat rod of flesh bobbing up and down each time he moved. I was dying to run my tongue along the veined shaft and across the rosy bulb. He came to stand beside the bed, that sumptuous cock inches from my fingers. I wanted to grab him, squeeze him, stroke him until he showered me with his sticky jism. His eyes stopped me.

“Don’t forget, girl. I’m in charge here.”

“Yes, sir. I know.”

“Good. Now put your hands over your head and grab hold of the bars.” The headboard of the colonial style maple bed featured ranks of vertical wooden spindles.

“Are you going to tie me up?” I couldn’t believe what I was saying. Everything was happening so fast. I was driving on the freeway without brakes, my own perverse desires looming up and rushing by as I sped along.

I knew he read the naked desire in my face. He chose not to mock me.

“No. I want to see if you can be still, without being bound. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes,” I whispered, wondering if I really could.

“Tonight I just want to use you, to fuck you. To see just what kind of a slut you are.”

He climbed on the bed and nudged my thighs apart with his own. His cock gleamed like a rod of steel.

He rubbed the knob back and forth in the slick groove of my pussy. I arched and ground myself against him, the movements waking echoes of his spanking.

“No!” He clamped his nails around my nipple.

“Ow!”

“I want you to lie still, as if you were bound, or drugged. No squirming around. No trying to come. You’ll come, I promise―I said you deserved a reward―but only when I want you to do so. Do you agree?”

Strange emotion welled up, tightening my chest. I could only nod.

“Trust me, little one. I won’t hurt you. Well, not much. Not more than you can bear. In return, I’ll lead you into a whole new world of pleasure.”

I gripped the wooden bars, watching him smooth a condom over the rampant length of that gorgeous cock. My pussy twitched and wept. I wanted him so badly I was ready to cry. Even more, though, I wanted to show him that I could obey.

Geoffrey positioned himself between my splayed thighs. “Remember, Sarah,” he said. “Be still.” Then he rammed his cock all the way into my cunt in one fierce stroke.

For me, the heat in this snippet comes not from the sexual acts themselves (although they don't hurt LOL), but from Sarah's freely given consent to being used and even abused. She trusts Geoffrey to lead her, to teach her, to test her, to protect her, and ultimately, to give her release. Without that trust, this scene would be boring, just another physical coupling. Sarah's surrender gives the scene urgency and deep significance – for both characters. It's hardly surprising that they end up loving one another – although there are barriers that almost derail their relationship.

In fact, erotic surrender doesn't require sex at all. It transcends sex. It's a connection of mind and spirit that leads to a new kind of experience, one that I at least find intoxicating.

BIO: A dozen years ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published three single author short story collections and six novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. More than fifty of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.

Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two cosmopolitan felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com).

Monday, September 12, 2011

GUEST BLOG: LEANORE ELLIOTT

The Four Elements of S-E-X-Y
By Leanore Elliott


There are different forms of what we think may be sexy or may feel sexy. I admit here, right up front that I'm preoccupied with sex or what may be sexy, lol––because that's all I that read and write about: Hot, sexy tales. As a reader, I want the sexy scenes to make me squirm and hold my breath.

I feel that a bit of strain between the characters that simmers for a while, sets up for the sexy part. The man has to be strong but not too ego driven. Next, the girl has to be independent and strong willed.

When I write, I also like putting these powerful people into difficult situations, where they have to––have it out. There can be yelling, struggling and even have a little physical fight. BUT…they have end up at each other's mercy. (wink-wink)

There are four elements I must see in a story for it to be interesting enough for me to even write, let alone read. I think of this as being engineered with the same formula that is essential to all life on earth.

The Earth Element: Conflict, strain and adversity. Sometimes a bad guy, a curse, situation or a force will fill this element. Surprise or the unexpected can also play here.

The Water Element: A flow of feelings beneath the words, like a river of rippling emotions and the love scenes must involve some form of H20.(wink)

The Air Element: A cosmic twist of something surreal, like the character is not really human, he or she is molded by or from beyond the norm. Maybe, they are both thrown into a surreal situation and that would be the paranormal twist.

The Fire Element: Is the chemistry between the characters and even with the sub characters. This actually parlays with all the other elements. But you'd better be careful while using this, as I've actually burned up keyboards with this particular element. (giggle)

Out of the 14 novels that I have written: I have a most favorite erotic-paranormal scene and whenever I read it? I know it's 'Way Sexy' and involves all the elements.

To help the woman he loves, our hero has had his memory wiped. Our willful girl sets out to win him back by slipping into his new life. Only in this new life, he doesn't remember her at all and he also doesn't want her around. Yet, he feels inexplicably drawn to her and this makes him angry. Circumstances force him to accept her in the situation. She's almost smug and secretly happy about this. He plots to scare her away, and then he gets carried away, while our girl never see's what's coming.

This way sexy excerpt and more of my books can be found at this link:
http://captivesouls.weebly.com/-leanores-home.html

Thank You, Whipped Cream for having me here.

Leanore is my Muse's name and she spins these hot, unique tales, while I just edit and format them to present them to the public. In 2010, we penned 10 novels and so far in 2011, we spun four more out. I currently have 9 novels contracted with various publishers and three more set for release, July and August. See my Amazon Page and sample a 'Wicked' tale or two.

Friday, September 9, 2011

GUEST BLOG: GABRIELLE BISSET

In Defense of The Villain


Writing paranormal erotic romance means getting to do some very creative things with plot and story line. Vampires can fly, and of course, they can hypnotize and mesmerize, among other delicious things. Shifters can become any number of creatures, which is always fun. And in my new book, Stolen Destiny, I created a race of people called Aeveren who live many lives through reincarnation, have destined ones they are drawn to across distance and time, and possess powers above what humans have. But even more fun is creating villains in the paranormal genre.

Villains are always so enjoyable for me. Mine are usually mad, bad, and dangerous to know, in addition to being incredibly sexy. I like that in a bad man. They’re also intelligent, which is the hallmark of a good villain. There’s nothing worse than reading a story and the bad guy is a bumbling fool. It takes all the fun out of hating him, which is what villains are all about, at least on the surface.

But beyond hating them, a well-written villain can make the reader cheer for him, even as he does the most awful things. You see, the bad guy doesn’t have to be all bad. No, I’m not talking about giving him a heart of gold, although that might work. Instead, I mean the bad guy can be the character who challenges the hero to be all that much better. Because the best characters are neither all good nor all bad, a terrific villain can give a romance a wonderful twist, especially if he begins to compete for the heroine’s affections.

For me, the villain is often where the most fun is. Whereas the hero has to be honorable, at least to some extent, the bad guy can say and do things that are beyond the scope of what’s acceptable, and that’s where some of the best conflict can come in.

One of my favorite villains in my books is Amon Kalins. One of the most powerful of his race, he’s able to travel through time, manipulate it, teleport, and when he’s in control of his emotions, he can even affect what others think. Oh, and he’s six-and-a-half feet tall with blond hair and gorgeous blue eyes. Powerful and stunning. What a combination! Here’s a little taste of him, along with the hero and heroine of Stolen Destiny, Varek and Callia.

Callia began to speak, but Varek stopped her with a shake of his head. He quickly scanned the room but saw no one else. But he sensed they weren’t alone.
Leaning in to him, she whispered, “Where is he?”

Before he could answer, they heard the doorknob turn, and they turned to find themselves face to face with the Aeveren tempuster. Amon Kalins stood facing them in the doorway. Taller than Varek by mere inches but leaner, he seemed bigger than life. His long, pale blond hair, his most noticeable feature, hung to the middle of his chest. Running a very close second were his eyes, which were a color close to ocean blue. They sparkled with very fine yellow flecks, and the entire effect was almost magical. Dressed in all black and wearing a long black coat, Amon Kalins looked like a sorcerer.

Fucking wizards, Varek thought to himself.

The three of them stood silently, Varek and Callia taking in the sight of one of the most powerful members of their people and Amon sizing up the visitors to his home.

“Callia, Gethen tells me you are related to Elan. How is she?” His voice was husky and low. As he spoke, he slid out of his coat.

“She’s fine.” Callia felt like she should say something else but was uncomfortable. His deep blue eyes stared into hers like he was searching for something in her through them.

“And this is...” Amon’s voiced trailed off as he turned his head to look at Varek. A sinister smile drew the corners of his well-formed mouth up slightly, and he said in a mocking voice far different than the one he’d used with Callia, “...your brother?”

Varek hoped one of Amon’s powers was telepathy and intentionally spelled out in his mind exactly what he thought the tempuster should do to himself. Callia saw his body tense and diplomatically answered the question while she attempted to avoid eye contact with Amon.

“No, Varek is my destined one,” she said in a voice full of pride as she smiled at Varek.

Amon walked between them and, in a deep, hollow voice, said, “Ah, young love.” He sat in a dark leather chair and extended his arms out to indicate they could seat themselves in the two chairs facing him. Behind him hung full-size portraits of fierce-looking warriors.

Varek kept his eyes on Amon, jealously watching him stare at Callia like she was something he wanted to taste. He sat in the chair closer to the tempuster and silently hoped this meeting and their entire acquaintance with Amon Kalins would be brief.

Callia struggled to avoid Amon’s gaze and looked instead over his head at the warriors’ portraits. She felt his eyes on her and knew without even looking at Varek that he was watching the other man.

Amon thought to himself how easy it would be to dispose of the beautiful female’s destined one and considered doing so but decided not to until he’d heard the reason for their visit. Then he’d seriously consider how to rid her of Varek, whom he knew already didn’t like him.

“You didn’t come to see me to admire my ancestors’ portraits, carina, so what can I do for you?” He knew without even moving his eyes from Callia that Varek disliked the pet name he’d chosen for her. Carina. Little one. He did enjoy when visitors came.

Callia recognized Varek should explain their situation but believed Amon’s preference for her required her to answer. As she prepared to speak, she offered Varek her hand and held his tightly, hoping to remind him of how much she loved him.
“We need your help. We have to find who is murdering Aeveren in New Hope. We need you to use your...abilities to help us capture him.”

As Callia spoke, she felt like Amon’s eyes were enveloping her. They were almost hypnotizing, and she began to fear that they were connected to some unknown power he possessed.

He answered in a voice like a deep purr, “We?”

This time Varek spoke, his voice the one he’d used in Nil. “Yes. We.”

Amon pulled his gaze from Callia and turned toward Varek. Callia watched as his deep blue eyes became almost blue-black.

“And I would do this, why?” The purr in his voice changed to a growl.

Gabrielle Bisset is a college history professor by day, but by nights and weekends (and summers!), she’s an author of erotic romances. Stolen Destiny, her first novel, is out now from Siren Publishing. To buy the book, visit http://www.bookstrand.com/stolen-destiny

In addition, check out her novella, Vampire Dreams, out now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords for another wonderful villain.

To find out more about her writing, visit her blog at http://gbisset.blogspot.com/ and her website at http://www.gabriellebisset.com/ And friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002481284652&sk=info and Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/gabriellebisset

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GUEST BLOG: BETH D. CARTER

Out of the Comfort Zone


It is very easy to stay within the confines of what is comfortable and normal in your set boundaries. Many writers structure their stories in what their public has come to expect, and they’ve created quite an empire. For example, Lisa Kleypas writes romance stories set in Georgian and Victorian England and her fans know the wonderful adventure they are in for when they pick up one of her books.

Ms. Kleypas has also stretched out her fingers and stepped away from historical romance to venture into contemporary. Some authors manage to do this transaction successfully, while others never found the right tone with readers. The problem this can face is alienating the core fan base which expects certain standards. Writing within your comfort zone can be rewarding and safe, but it can also trap you. Jayne Anne Krentz found a unique way of not pigeon-holding her creative juices by creating three pseudonyms: Amanda Quick for historical, Jayne Anne Krentz for contemporary, and Jayne Castle for futuristic stories.

I personally like to change my genre’s up, which can be limiting as well. My first book, Black Leather Pants, was a contemporary erotica romance written when I lived in Paris, France, and much of it reflected my own experiences of French life. For my second book, An Innocent Heart, I told a Victorian era romance-mystery. I switched things up again with my third novel, Spirals, venturing into a futuristic-alternative world, continuing on with its sequel, Kismet. I stepped way out of my comfort zone with those two because not only are they ménage erotica romances, they’re written in first person present tense!

The downside to switching genres is that it can be difficult to get loyal readers. While one person may like contemporary, that same person may not like historicals. But stepping out of the comfort zone isn’t just for writers…it’s also for readers.

One thing I love about the explosion of ebook publishing is the emergence of fantasies in print. Readers are now able to explore different passions and a side of sexuality that hadn’t been there before. So many different love stories are visited now, from male on male love to multiple partners. Once thought taboos, ebooks are breaking down all types of zones to fulfill the readers demands.

Stepping outside whatever box makes you feel safe is a way of exploring a part of yourself you may have been afraid to face, whether it’s as a reader or writer. I constantly push my own boundaries because I never want to stagnate my stories; to fall into the trap where I substitute character names but have the same plot and the same expectations.

-Beth D. Carter
www.BethDCarter.com
http://bethdcarter.blogspot.com


I’ve been pretty fortunate in life to experience some amazing things. I’ve lived in France, traveled throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I am a mom to an amazing little boy named Hadrian. I live in Los Angeles, surrounded by friends and family. I have a fantastic job and work with people I really care about. And I’ve managed to fulfill my life long dream of being published. I can’t imagine not creating stories and becoming obsessed with characters I create. I am constantly trying to better my craft and each book is something near and dear to my heart. I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love. I draw much from my own experiences and journeys and hope that readers find a part of themselves between the pages. I love to hear from people and can be found on Facebook and www.BethDCarter.

Monday, September 5, 2011

GUEST BLOG: CECILIA TAN

Sex Scenes that Sizzle

by Cecilia Tan


For me, no love story is complete without the physical, as well as emotional, connection between the characters. How they get along in bed is as important to me as how they get along in the kitchen, or while fighting evil, or whatever circumstances have brought my two lovers together. I also find it isn't always believable for me to have my characters hold off having sex until the climax of the book. (No pun intended! Well, OK, perhaps it was partly intended...)

So sometimes my characters do have sex on the first date, or at least in the first act. The question becomes, though, where do you go from there? I love books that use unresolved sexual tension as a motivating factor, but it isn't always what I'm going for when I write. To create a satisfying progression for both the readers and the relationship that starts with sex early in the book, I often have to come up with ways to make each successive bout of love-making hotter or more significant than the previous one.

In the Magic University books, I accomplish this by making sex a part of the magical world and the magical power that some characters use. Maintaining their virginity, for some characters, is not a moral choice, but a magical one, as there are some spells that can only be performed by a virgin. At the other end of the spectrum, some spells require a threesome or a moresome. I am able to make sex a part of the plot in ways other than merely being a demonstration of the growing intimacy between the characters.

The university years are times of experimentation for many people, and my characters in Magic University are no exception. My hero tries out various kinds of partners and various styles of erotic expression while he searches for himself, and searches for true love. In my universe, love is magic, magic is love, and there cannot be true love without an intense physical connection. Ultimately, though, it is the deep emotional connections that Kyle forges that make the sex scenes the hottest of all. The growing love between him and his partner in each book is the most important aspect of that progression from shy, first-time sex to the climax of the plot.

Cecilia Tan is the author of The Siren and the Sword, Mind Games, The Hot Streak, and other erotic romances from Ravenous Romance. She is also the editor and founder of Circlet Press.

Spellbinding: Tales from the Magic University
by Cecilia Tan, with erotic stories by ten other writers
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Spellbinding-Tales-Magic-University-ebook/dp/B0055WXOTC

Friday, September 2, 2011

Between the Covers: Rebecca L. Gillan



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!
Another day, another story about people behaving badly on the various social media platforms. You can’t miss the stories: everything from teenagers posting deadly pranks to teenagers trying to rally support for a looting riot. You almost expect this sort of behavior from teenagers. This makes it all the more jolting when it’s adults doing really dumb things on FB, Twitter, Flikr, Grinder, or a few dozen other social media platforms, though, and doubly so when it’s about love/dating/cyber stalking. I have tried desperately to ignore this trend but it’s getting too hard to resist.

No blog about misuse of social media would be complete without a rundown of politicians who have over-shared pictures of themselves on Twitpic of Flikr. From Anthony Weiner’s crotch shot (with a name like that, he really should have been more careful about tweeting body shots) to the snarky/silly attempt of Spirit Airlines to cash in on his gaff by offering a Weiner Fire Sale, one thing has been made perfectly clear. Politicians will keep using the same lame excuse that didn’t work for anyone else. Anthony Weiner’s case was particularly hilarious because he claimed he didn’t recognize the little wiener in the picture... only to later hire a lawyer before admitting it was his little guy in the photo. I really can’t blame the airline, though. That was just begging to be done.

The Weiner Roast also served to remind us all of another New York State politician to get confused about the lack of privacy on internet social sites, though Craigslist really isn’t that type of internet community. Except that it is, as Congressman Christopher Lee found out, to his dismay and ours. This one was not shocking and really didn’t make many ripples before Anthony Weiner brought New York political sex scandals into the lime light. The developing Craigslist scandal surrounding Rep. Phillip Hinkle of Indianna is much worse. That guy is a “staunch” anti-gay, family values oriented social conservative… who was caught offering a teen boy $80 for sex. Ew. Just ew.

With all the news coverage of politicians doing dumb things on social media, one might think that there is ample warning for the rest of us. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. For example, there has been a startling trend of jurors looking for FB hook-ups… with the defendants they were supposedly judging. Of course, the guy was only 22—just barely out of his teens. Maybe he honestly thought jury duty was a great place to meet chicks. I think blogger Michael Cohen said it best when he said “The art of dating involves courtship and that doesn't mean instant access to our lives, which is what Face Book provides.”

I don’t know about you, but I am very ready for the feel-good part of this blog. This month, I have not one story about “doing it right,” I have found you a whole website full of them! Wonderful, soul-warming tales of lost lonely people finding that one person they loved when they were young and lost because of the pull of life. Dozens of awesome stories of Face Book helping them to reconnect and rekindle the spark. I linked directly to my favorite of the series, a story of young love ripped apart by parents who thought their daughter was too young for romantic love only to find each other years later and fall right back into love!

That’s about it for this month. Have a great rest-of-the-month and for those of you in the US, have a safe and fun Labor Day! And remember to keep your head in the game while having fun. Keep it between the covers or you might end up in the police blotter- or on this blog!


Rebecca


RebeccaLGillan.com