Beginning January 1, 2013

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GUEST BLOG: ANA BOSCH

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One of the perks of writing my newest novel, Art of Death, was that it gave me the opportunity to travel back in time to my art school days. I'm sure we all remember that first taste of freedom we had after finally breaking free of the clutches of our parents and venturing out into the world. It was a magical time, wasn’t it?

I learned so many valuable lessons in college. I learned that the pigment known as Indian Yellow was originally created from cow urine. I learned of the existence of furries. I learned that just because they’re selling two Long Island Iced Teas for the price of one, it doesn’t mean you should drink two Long Island Iced Teas for the price of one. And I learned that if a security guard knocks on the studio door and you let him in, the nude model who was in the middle of posing will throw a fit and cuss you out.

If there’s one thing I wish I took advantage of more in art school, it’s the access to nude models. My parents were basically paying for people to get naked in front of me twice a week. Figure drawing classes feel almost surreal when you’re a sheltered teen who’s never before seen a real live naked person who wasn’t related to you. And getting a spot up close to the modeling platform is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because of the unobstructed view, but a curse because some models are chattier than others, and what exactly do you say to a guy after you’ve spent the past twenty minutes rendering the creases of his ass?

Now that I’m five years out of college, I’m sure I’d be more adept at handling the social aspects of working with figure models. At this point, I likely wouldn’t feel any awkwardness at all. I do plan to sign up for a figure painting class in the near future as a way to brush up on my skills, and I recommend it to anyone with artistic inclinations. I will warn you, however, that straight male instructors tend to suck at offering a good balance between male and female models. One of my college instructors even justified his choice of models by saying, “Who wants to look at a naked man all day?” I’m sure a good portion of the girls in the class, and a handful of the guys, would have raised their hands, but he could only see the world through his “straight guy” goggles.

Riley, the main character from Art of Death, is a recent graduate of a prestigious art school, but after struggling to make ends meet in the midst of the recession, he takes up nude modeling to supplement his income. I would have killed to have a model like Riley in college; at my school, you were more likely to spot a yeti than a young, attractive male model. They were so rare, in fact, that the two or three times we had them, a lot of us girls got so flustered that we created some of the worst paintings of our college careers.

Of course, Riley pays a price for his attractiveness when he catches the eye of the famous artist Coliaro, whose paintings are linked to the serial murders of twelve young men. But if you want to hear that story, you’re going to have to check out Art of Death! About the Author:
Ana Bosch is a freelance illustrator in Illinois who can't go more than five minutes without working on something creative. Despite pursuing a career in visual art, she never could kick the habit of writing fiction, an interest that dates back to the third grade.

Ana is an avid animal lover and can't imagine life without her feathered and furry housemates. In her spare time, she runs a weekly webcomic and drinks lots of tea.

Find Ana online at:

http://www.anaboschwriting.com
https://twitter.com/#!/anaboschwriting
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ana-Bosch/134060073368339



Despite the support of his rich older boyfriend, starving artist Riley Burke is determined not to be a trophy—hence his second job as a nude model at the local art school. It’s important to him that he pay his own way, so when the artist Coliaro requests a private modeling session with him, he jumps at the chance to earn some real cash.

Then he hears the rumors—that Coliaro is undead. That his worshippers perform rituals to fill him with life energy. That every time he paints a male nude, the painting transforms to depict a gruesome murder. And that shortly after, a young man turns up dead.

The source of these rumors is a man named Westwood, who claims to be an instructor at the school and warns Riley not to get involved. Riley ignores the advice—but when the rumors pan out and another murder looms, he turns to Westwood for help. Westwood is clearly keeping secrets. He’s dangerous, and Riley doesn’t know if he can be trusted—which makes him all the more attractive. Riley is in way over his head… and his involvement with the undead may make him the ultimate target.

Monday, July 30, 2012

GUEST BLOG: EVELYN JULES



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Hi everyone! I’m Evelyn Jules and I’m guest blogging today! I have special permission seeing as how I’m an official author and everything. Yep, it’s true! I signed my first contract with Turquoise Morning Press in April! It just magically floated into my inbox one day. Okay, that’s not exactly how it happened. You want the real story? Here goes….

It all started about a decade ago…Oh. You want the Cliffs Notes version? Hmmm. So a year ago I went to the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get-together in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended as a ‘reader’ but I was also there to support my incredible author friend, Margaret Ethridge. I follow her wherever she goes. True story. During the get-together there was a raffle with fabulous prizes. One of those prizes was a professional critique of 10 pages of manuscript from Kim Jacobs at Turquoise Morning Press. Guess what? I love watermelon gum. Oh, and I totally won the critique! :D

As soon as I got home I started writing like a fiend. It took me close to two months before I had something I thought was presentable. This was my big chance. I didn’t want to waste it. They always say the waiting is the hardest part. Hardest. *giggles* Yeah, I write smut. I might as well come out and say that right now. Anyway, it was another two months before I heard anything. Kim gave me tremendous feedback, offered several suggestions on improvements, and in the final line of the email she told me that if I was willing to make the revisions, she was very willing to look at it again and offer me a…contract. *gasp* The ‘C’ word! What every author and aspiring author dreams of!

So I went back to my writing cave, added another four thousand words to my story, polished it, hugged it, kissed it, and forced Margaret to edit it more times than I can count, then I held my breath and resubmitted it. Fast-forward to April 1st (also known as April Fools’ Day). I got an email from Kim. She said my story made her laugh and cry. She loved it. More importantly…she wanted it! Happy, spastic dancing ensued. But it all came to a crashing halt when I recalled what day it was. Wait a minute. This wasn’t a joke, was it? I wasn’t entirely convinced either way until I received that ‘C’ word. My very own contract! Happy, spastic dancing ensued once more, this time accompanied by fits of sobbing. It took a very watery phone call to convince my own mother I was a published author. One too many April Fools jokes will do that to a person.

And I suck at Cliffs Notes. But I would like to share one last important detail with you. My first story, an erotic romance entitled Blind Faith, will be released this week! Here’s the blurb:



Faith Lawson is just your average, wholesome librarian with a dirty mind . . . until a chance encounter with a handsome stranger brings her fantasies to life in a frantic night of passion. But when he walks out her door, he leaves a piece of his past behind that changes everything.


Sounds good, right? Just smile and nod. Oh, and please come visit me on my blog, twitter, and facebook for updates, news about future releases, fun games, contests, and general dirtiness! Thanks so much to Judy and Marianne for having me here!

So to leave you all with a question, what’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you in 2012?

http://www.facebook.com/EvelynJules
https://twitter.com/#!/EvelynJules
http://evelynjules.blogspot.ca/

Buy the book at:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/209492
ARe: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-blindfaith-899951-149.html
Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/blind-faith
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Faith-ebook/dp/B008QO3T64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343593189&sr=8-1&keywords=evelyn+jules+blind+faith
Turquoise Morning Press bookstore: http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/blind-faith-by-evelyn-jules

Friday, July 27, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DIANA HUNTER

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Hello, and nice to meet you all here at Long and Short Reviews. I’ve lurked for quite some time, but this is my first time writing to you. Thanks to Judy and Marianne for the opportunity!

I have a confession to make: I love the fantasy genre. I got started back in 1970 when my aunt left a copy of The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart on my grandmother’s table. That was first time I made a conscious effort to remember an author’s name because it was the first time I read a book where the next in the series hadn’t been published yet. I was thirteen and watched the bookstores eagerly for the next installment.

Later I discovered other authors: JRR Tolkien, Katherine Kurtz, David Eddings, who swept me away to new worlds and sparked my imagination. Let me into a bookstore and I made a beeline for the fantasy section every time.

And yet I write erotic romance, not fantasy.

Why the disconnect? Luck. Fate. The whims of the early Internet.

Probably it was all three combined that led me to the Ellora’s Cave website back in May 2003. Reading through their submission guidelines, I realized I had a manuscript that fit their definition of erotic romance. I hadn’t really considered what genre it belonged in when I wrote Secret Submission; I just wrote the book.

Now, however, I discovered an entire genre dedicated to the romantic love that expressed itself in what society called taboo or kinky methods. I submitted my manuscript and a career was born. Seven full-length novels, five novellas, and eight short stories later, people associate the name Diana Hunter with erotic romance with a BDSM twist.

My stories go from the mild (Hooked), to the extreme (Stress Relief) and everywhere in between in the exploration of the male dominant/female submissive relationship. The biggest question I had when I started was, “How can a self-confident, feminist woman ever want to give up the independence she’s worked so hard to get?” Each book still explores that basic question as I’ve discovered there are as many answers as there are women on the planet.

But recently I deviated from my formula. I also enjoy murder mysteries (Agatha Christie, anyone? Poe?) and have long wanted to try my hand at writing one. Why not combine the tension and suspense of a murder mystery with the hot sex of an erotic romance? Thus, Shooting Star was conceived, written and published.

Readers are an eclectic lot. Everyone has genre preferences, but most read all sorts of books, both fiction and non.

Writers are the same way. We have the genre that made our careers, but we have lots of stories inside of us. I’ve used branding to separate out some of my stories so readers know what they’re getting when the purchase a book (I have a historical out, for example, that’s a true-life telling of a soldier’s adventures during the Civil War. I wouldn’t want anyone buying it and wondering where the whips and chains are!).

Still, Shooting Starfeels like going out on a limb for me. I’ve never written a murder mystery, so that’s nerve-wracking enough. But my real question lies with reader preferences. Will they accept a Diana Hunter book that doesn’t explore the question of a woman’s independence vs. a woman’s submission? Will they enjoy a book from me that balances two different genre in one book?

I’m hoping the answer is a resounding “yes!” And, who knows? If this book is a success, maybe I’ll try my hand at a fantasy erotic romance!

So how about it? Do you mind when authors experiment a little within their genre? What about branding? Should authors use different pen names to alert their readers of a genre shift? Or should readers expect the authors to write in different genre and accept it?

Again, great to be here and nice to “meet” you all! Leave a comment or a question and you might win a copy of "A Night to Remember", a short story I recently released.

Play safe,

Diana

About the Author:
Bondage. Chains. Rope. Tied down and taken.

We all have our fantasies, right? Diana started writing her stories back in 2002 when the web was young and she couldn’t find BDSM stories that explored the romantic love she knew existed. When a friend challenged her to write one of her own, she did—and Secret Submission was born, along with a career in writing BDSM-themed erotic romance.

When not tied to her writing, Diana can be found engaging in other, more mundane activities such as gardening, scrapbooking the memories of her two grown children, or weaving (yes, by hand, on a real loom). Still married to her best friend, she’s branched out and begun writing in other genres as well. After all, why should we only have one fantasy?

You can find Diana’s other works under the names CF Duprey (historical fiction), Diana Allandale (straight romance and short stories) and Mystic Shade (for the shadier sides of our desires).

Play safe!



Earth Captain III is coming to town.

Davison, NY, hasn’t seen this much excitement in decades. A real Hollywood movie is going to film right in their little village! Callie, Laura and Josh are caught up in the excitement, one looking for a story, one looking for love, one looking for acceptance amid the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown.

But the last Earth Captain movie brings more than romance...it also brings death. And one of the three is the target.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

GUEST BLOG: BERENGARIA BROWN

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It’s Summer. Why do you keep talking about Winter?


I must confess I prefer summer to winter. Long, lazy days sitting under a shady tree, a long, cold drink in one hand, and a short, hot book in the other. Or laying on a beach, a long, cold drink in one hand, and a short, hot book in the other. Or— Well I guess you can imagine what I like to do on vacation. The week I spent in Hawaii one year is engraved on my mind and heart as The Best Vacation Evah.

Summer is such a sexy season. All those half-naked men on the beach, sweaty muscles gleaming in the sun. All those shirtless construction workers on the roadsides, sweaty muscles gleaming in the sun. Shirtless men playing ball in the park. Men in short shorts with delicious, muscular thighs. Everywhere you look is inspiration for an erotic romance writer in summer. YUM.

Winter just doesn’t have the same appeal. Sure shoveling snow off the walk gets men sweaty, but they don’t exactly take off their shirts to go shovel snow. Unfortunately. And all those bulky clothes. Who knows what anyone looks like underneath them. No, winter is definitely Inspiration Fail.

So then I guess it’s kind of weird that my new medieval series of books is focused on winter. Sure some of the stories begin in summer. But the heart of the stories, what they’re really about, is what will happen come winter. Back then, the only store to get your next meal from was roaming around in the forest wearing hooves and horns, and you had to catch it, not buy it. As for vegetables and grain, the only way to get them was strictly grow it yourself. So the growing season was fundamental to living for the rest of the year.

What if there are people fighting in the land and you can’t sow your crops? What if men steal your harvested crops? What if there’s or a bad season and your crops don’t grow? What if there’s an evil, self-centered ruler who doesn’t care about the people?

And what about the women? Back in medieval days a woman was a possession. She had no legal rights to land or wealth or even food.

I began by writing a story about Lady Elinor, who is left alone to care for her family’s castle, people, and lands when her father and two brothers are killed in battle. But the story wouldn’t end. Her new husband’s cousin arrived needing protection. Lord Jeffrey refused to be defeated…

And then, when I thought I was done, I remembered all those stories about Robin Hood, and knew there was still one more hero needing his happy-ever-after.

All four books in the medieval ménage series, Elinor’s Stronghold are out now. The story begins with Elinor in Pillaging Elinor’s Castle.



Lady Elinor's father and two brothers are killed in battle, and Lord Rhys loses his demesne. To protect her people Elinor decides she will marry Lord Rhys, but only if he agrees the Captain of the Guard, Hammond, will share their bed and the decision making from now on. They agree and seal their contract in blood. Rhys and his people move into the stronghold.

After the wedding they begin to plan for how to survive the attack that will inevitably come. The stronghold is a wealthy one, and many will consider it an easy target with its lord and his sons dead. They also have to blend the two households together and prepare for the coming winter. At night Hammond and Rhys work hard in bed, learning to share Elinor, finding out what pleases her best, and arousing each other to new heights along the way.

About the Author: Berengaria is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.

Find Berengaria online at:

Blog: http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/
Website: http://berengariabrown.com/
Friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berengaria.brown#!/berengaria.brown?v=info
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/BerengariaBrown

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DANA LITTLEJOHN


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dana will be awarding five prizes, one randomly chosen commenter at each tour stop will win a prize. All are promo items displaying a different Dana Littlejohn design: 2- t-shirts (size XL), 1 coffee mug, 1 ink pen (black ink) and 1 baseball style hat. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Hello everyone!

I am Dana Littlejohn, author of erotic and sensual romance, here to talk about what I learned from my protagonist. Christian Cooper is the hero in this story although he is not seen in the story much. He has been married to Andrea for 20 years. Andrea is the heroine and thinks she may have made the wrong choice when she married her husband.

Andrea and Christian are empty-nesters. After working years for someone else, Christian has the chance to start his own business. Andrea finds that now that the children are all grown up, she doesn’t have anything constructive to do with her life. While Christian is away working and Andrea runs into her first love, Raymond. They renew their friendship and things become intense.

Raymond wants to be with Andrea. She’s the one that got away and he hasn’t gotten over it. He respects the fact that she is married and does not push the position she has put him in. However, he does remind her how good it was between them mentally and physically in hopes to tempt her to come to him. Weakened by her loneliness, Andrea leans on Raymond for the things that Christian used to do for her.

At the completion of this story I learned that anyone can be caught in a bad situation when ill-equipped with what you need most from your spouse. When your basic needs are not met by your spouse it leaves the door open for someone else to come in and fill that need. Relationships take time, energy and commitment. It’s work, but not all work is hard work.

As I did research for this book I was reminded to take that to heart myself. The day to day bump and grind, new projects, family, friends, all kinds of stuff can move you away from your spouse mentally, sexually and spiritually. Though you may not mean it, it can still happen and cause issue within your marriage before you know it.

Even couples who are crazy in love after twenty years of marriage should remember that when basic needs go unmet problems can easily arise. That was the bottom line I learned. :-)

Here is a peek inside To Have and To Hold:

On Saturday the group met for lunch and was done before the day grew too late.

“Girl, I’m glad your friend Raymond is part of the group. He‟s nice and now we have some eye candy,” Regina whispered to her giggling.

Andrea chuckled. “Yes, he is very handsome.”

“I think he likes you, too.”

“We’re just friends. I’m married, remember?”

“Being married doesn’t make you invisible, Andrea. That man is interested in you,” Regina said in a teasing voice. “Have you told him you’re married?”

“Of course I have. Here’s the thing. Raymond and I have history. We knew each other back in high school, but we haven’t seen each other in just over twenty years.”

“Oh, that’s not going to cause any problems for you, will it, Andrea?”

“No, we’re both adults. We choose to be friends and that’s what we are.”

“Okay, Andrea,” Regina said not sounding convinced.

Outside, they went their separate ways, but Ray waited for Andrea.

“I’d like to walk you to your car, if that’s okay?”

“Sure, that’s fine,” she said, slowing her pace.

“Your friends are very nice. I think I’m going to like being in this book club.”

“They’re your friends, too, now.”

He smiled. “Yes, I suppose they are.”

“Ray, Regina said she could tell that you were attracted to me.”

He sighed. “I’m sorry, Andrea, but I am attracted to you. Of course I’m not trying to be obvious, but how can I deny the attraction? You are beautiful, intelligent and truly a nice person, you always have been.”

“Ray…”

He grabbed her arm and stopped walking. “What would you have me do, Andrea? Do you want me to treat you badly just to hide how I really feel?”

“No, Ray, I don’t want you to do that.”

“Good because I wasn’t going to. Look, I can’t help the way I feel about you. The moment I held you in my arms again it was like the years just melted away for me. Leaving you was the biggest mistake I ever made and I have been kicking myself for it for the last twenty years.” He dropped her arm and his shoulders dropped. “I know you have a different life now and it doesn’t include me like it used to. I will respect the fact that you are married. I just want to be a part of your life…even as just a friend.”

Her heart tightened at the pained look in his eyes, those beautiful brown pools that still shined with the love he has for her.

“Of course, Ray. There will always be a place for you in my life.”

She pulled him into a hug and together they continued to her car.

That night she cooked dinner for her and Christian, but he never showed up. She cleared the table, put a plate in the microwave and went to bed. A few hours later Christian slid into bed behind her.

“Hi, sweetheart.” He kissed her shoulder. “Are you asleep?”

“No, Christian. I can’t really sleep when you’re not in bed.” She rolled over to face him.

“I’m sorry for coming in so late. I know I should have called and I’m sorry. On a good note I think I found out how I could move up the ground breaking,” he said excitedly. “Everything is moving right along. These are exciting times for our company. It’s like watching a flower bloom right before your eyes.” He kissed her and turned over.

Andrea sighed and went to sleep frustrated again.

****
About the Author:
Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but has called Indianapolis, IN her home for over ten years. She works a nine to five at a nearby doctor's office while she pursues her dream of writing. Her writing to-do list grows daily. Stop by Dana's website to see what she's doing next . It's a ride you will not soon forget!

Website: www.DanaLittlejohn.net
Blog: www.authordanlittlejohn.blogspot.com and www.trysomethingnewwithme.blogspot.com
Facebook @ liljohndana
Twitter @ authordanalittlejohn



Christian and Andrea Cooper had made many plans on what they would do when their children were finally out of the house. Now that they were gone their plans had hit a snag. Christian had the chance to start his own company and promised to put their plans in motion as soon as it was off the ground. Andrea agreed to those terms, but she had no idea how lonely and neglected she would feel while she waited. On a trip to the city in search of something to do she ran into Raymond Reyes, her first love. Reminiscing with Ray brought back a flood of emotions that she found difficult to ignore. Did she make the right decision by marrying Christian after all? Could Ray convince her that this was their second chance and they were meant to be together?


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Rosalie Stanton

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Boy meets girl.

Girl meets boy. Or boy meets boy. Girl meets girl. Girl meets three boys. When readers pick up a new romance novel, they more or less know what to expect. There will be an inevitable chance meeting or reunion. Sparks will fly, heat will rise, that old feeling will stir with a vengeance, people will relearn what they have forgotten or take a crash course to discover something new. It’s no secret romance novels have a formula, and that formula, more or less, crosses genres.

So why do we come back? Why do we find ourselves craving more of the same? Why does the romance genre itself continue to trump all others in terms of popularity and audience? And if the formula is so successful, why isn’t everyone successful in what they write?

Formula might be tried and true, but knowing where all the important revelatory moments are is only half the battle in penning a novel. Yes, we could discuss style, grammar, sentence structure, and all those other things, but the sad truth is some of the more successful works aren’t always well written. These works do, however, play on favorite, popular kinks, and, with very few exceptions, likewise rely on the formula.

Truthfully, I believe the secret ingredient is really a mixture of secret ingredients. Knowing what works and what doesn’t, knowing how to write believable chemistry between your characters, know how to establish conflict that doesn’t feel artificial or forced. In the end, we romance readers love, well, love, and we want to fall in love along with the main couple time and time again.

Take Pride and Prejudice, arguably one of the greatest romances of all time. Darcy meets Elizabeth, Darcy chases Elizabeth, Elizabeth rejects Darcy, Elizabeth realizes there has been a massive misunderstanding, Darcy saves the day, Darcy and Elizabeth admit where they have been wrong and everyone lives happily ever after. Remarkable? No, this plot is incredibly familiar, and has been repeated through countless stories like it. What did Darcy and Elizabeth have that other, less successful romantic couples do not? For me, it’s the snark. The banter. The quarrel, the fight. It’s creating a memorable dynamic.

Realistically, though, a romantic couples’ success is not always about dialogue and dynamic. Some of romance’s most celebrated heroes are those tortured by ghosts they can’t dodge or mistakes from which they have not recovered. Charlotte Brontë’s Mr. Rochester was so successful, he morphed into countless heroes across the spectrum, including Daphne du Maurier’s Maxim de Winter. Jane Eyre and Rebecca have remained incredibly popular gothic romances, even with their mutual overall simplistic story. We have the thrill of the unknown, the need for redemption, and the sensation of being the one person who can guide a brooding man from the shadows. Heroes and heroines separated by darkness and reunited by something greater than the self.

Consider now your favorite modern romance authors and your favorite books by those authors. What makes the dynamic work? What separates them from the other authors? What makes a great connection between hero and heroine? There is no one answer, of course. People’s tastes are subjective, though there is enough relative evidence to suggest a pattern among classics. We revisit simplistic storylines that retell something we’ve already read but in a way that captivates us. We enjoy reading the same old with a new spin. The strangers in an elevator, tension between boss and employee, old lovers running into each other at a grocery store, the cop protecting a witness from a killer, and so on. These are not new plots; I’d wager most of us have read at least a couple from each, and even more for all the others I didn’t mention. What makes one stand out over another? What makes an author’s characters stick with you long after you’ve completed their journey. What makes them unique? What makes you come back for more? Inquiring minds want to know!

Comment with your answer and email address for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

About the Author: A lifelong enthusiast of larger than life characters, Rosalie Stanton’s muse is fueled by alpha males, from badass bikers to scruffy-looking Nerf herders, and the intelligent, strong, and independent women who actually do the driving. She loves interweaving the lives of people who appear to be polar opposites and delving beneath the surface to see how well one actually complements the other.

Rosalie lives in Missouri with her husband. Writing is her first creative love, but she also enjoys working with other authors and has a variety of critique partners, and likewise works for Mundania Press LLC as an editor. At an early age, she discovered a talent for creating worlds into which she could escape. Over the years, her vivid imagination evolved into a love of words and storytelling. Rosalie graduated with a degree in English. Neither writing nor editing pays the bills, but thankfully her day-job employers understand where her true passion lies. When her attention is not engaged by writing or editing, she enjoys spending time with close friends and family.

Find Rosalie online at:

http://rosalie-stanton.com
http://rosaliestanton.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/rosaliestanton



As far as birthdays go, university librarian Clarice St. Clair hasn't had a string of successful celebrations, and her twenty-fifth doesn't look to be any different. It's not enough that the sexy subject of her schoolgirl crush walked in on her with her pantyhose around her ankles, but now her mother has dropped possibly the largest bomb in the history of large metaphoric bombs.

Happy birthday. You're about to become a succubus.

Professor Weston Ryans has known Clarice since her days as one of his students. Though now they are nothing more than friendly colleagues, he clearly recalls her enthusiasm, her wit, and the litany of sinful things he wanted to do with her after hours. After catching her with her nylons around her ankles, he decides to smooth things over, but ends up hearing his favorite former student is the bargaining piece in a demon contract. And Weston knows something about demon contracts--he lost his father to one.

Suddenly everything is thrown into question. Clarice is about to change, but she doesn't believe it. Weston is determined to help, but he doesn't know how, and the clock is ticking. Yet when the transformation starts, Clarice finds herself hungry for one thing…and Weston is happy to cater to her needs.

Monday, July 23, 2012

GUEST BLOG: WYNTER DANIELS

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Erotica vs. Erotic Romance


There’s been a ton of hype lately about erotica, ever since Fifty Shades of Grey hit all the bestseller lists. Dubbed “Mommy Porn” since women of all ages were reading the book and its two sequels anonymously on their electronic reading devices, the series began its life as Twilight fan fiction. But I digress.

This type of book is really nothing new. That’s what a rather conservative friend told me last week. “It’s not very different or much more risqué than the old Harold Robbins books I read in the eighties. But that was something I did in private so no one would see the book cover and know what I was reading.”

For those of us who write romance on the erotic side, the popularity of Fifty Shadeshas given us hope that our sales will get a nice bump thanks to the fact that so many people have ventured into the erotic fiction world.

But most of what I write is erotic romance and there is a difference. Romance requires several things erotica doesn’t. ER heroes and heroines must get their happy ending. There’s no such requirement for erotica. My characters can be just as flawed or messed up as Grey was in Fifty Shades, but mine must be redeemed by the end of the story. The reader must care about the hero and heroine. They must end up together, even if that’s just for now. Any other ending pushes the book into the erotica category.

Want an example of erotic romance? Check out my book, Protective Custody from Carina Press. I promise you that satisfying ending. Personally, I prefer that. But I read and write my share of erotica. It all depends upon my mood. Here’s a link to one of my most popular erotica stories from Ellora’s Cave, Customer Service.

In fact, I have a brand new release, Desert of Desire, which is an erotic romance short story. Here’s a little about it:



When New York reporter Eve Mason's boss gives her an ultimatum, she's forced to step out of her comfort zone and onto a westbound flight to interview gardening guru Beau Calloway. The last thing she expects is a fling with the reclusive author. But when Beau sweeps her off her feet, she must choose between the comfort of her safe world or the new, unknown landscape in the heart of the desert.
What about you? Do you need that happy ending or are you satisfied with what erotica provides? Leave a comment and I’ll enter three names in a drawing to win a copy of Desert of Desire.

Friday, July 20, 2012

GUEST BLOG: NAOMI BELLINA

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Secrets, secrets, I've got a secret


Everyone has secrets. Some are small and silly; some are big, deep, dark and scary ones we will take to our grave. We entrust our good friends with our secrets, and do our best to keep them from people we know will spill the beans. If we're starting a relationship, eventually, some of the important secrets will come out. When do we reveal our mysteries to a potential lover? Do we behave like guests on a reality show, and bare all on the first date, or hopefully, wait until an appropriate moment to gently disclose our surprises?

One of the best parts about starting a new relationship is that wonderful in-love or in-lust feeling, the honeymoon phase. You know, when all is right with the world, and our new love can do no wrong. That period of time should be enjoyed as long as possible, because it doesn't happen all that often, for most of us. We know, however, that everyone over a certain age has some sort of baggage, and things in their life that aren't all sunshine and roses, and eventually we'll see the dark side of our new love. Hopefully, when revealed, that part won't be anything too bizarre and we're already so in love, we can accept them with their flaws.

But what if our loved one keeps something from us that could potentially cause harm? We date awhile, become totally smitten, then find out our lover is a fugitive on the run, and if we want to stay with them, we will have to move every few months. This example is a bit extreme, but we've all had those moments when a new boyfriend or girlfriend reveals something that makes us go ewwwww! Or how about the stories we hear, of someone getting as far as the altar and beyond, only to find out a bizarre fact about their spouse that they managed to keep hidden all through the courtship.

Should we start the truth-telling process on our first date, the second, or third? Before we sleep with them? Maybe have a questionnaire ready to fill out, and present it at just the right moment. That would certainly kill the romantic mood, and probably ruin any chance of future dates. Perhaps we just have to do our best and trust our instincts, listen to our friends' insights, and hope that Cupid is kind, and that if we really care about someone, we can work through any obstacles.

In Creatures of the Night, Maya has one of those big, scary secrets, and unfortunately, Kyle finds out before she wants him to. Sometimes, that's what happens!

How about you? Have you kept a secret from a lover, or found one out that surprised you?

Leave a comment, and enter to win your choice of one of my ebooks. Thank you, Long and Short Reviews, for having me as your guest today.



Assuming he is the recipient of a large inheritance and fed up with the rat race of the city, Kyle quits his day job and moves to the small town of Hollister to live in his deceased aunt's home. He is, however, unable to locate the money he thought was his, and his search leads him to the local library where he meets Maya, a charming librarian with a secret. Their quest to remove an old curse leads them to a family of witches, one of them a wild spirit who has been lured away by her dark and fiery lover and kidnapped. A daring plan to rescue Sasha puts Maya in danger and allows Kyle to use his role as a hot-shot lawyer to help. Can they accomplish their mission safely, solve the mystery of the missing money, and open their hearts to love?

About the Author:
Naomi lives in beautiful sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical black cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets, but finds she is drawn to erotic romance because her characters insist on canoodling, and sometimes even falling madly in love. So she lets them. Occasionally, however, they go to dark and strange places. She lets them do this also. Most of her stories will surprise readers with unexpected twists and turns, because isn't that what makes life exciting?

Her interests include dancing, hula-hooping, drumming, and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play, have fun, and indulge in the pursuit of passion whenever possible. She hopes you enjoy her stories and would love to hear from you at naomibellina(at)live(dot)com. Visit her website at www.NaomiBellina.com.

Her motto: Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

GUEST BLOG: CAT GRANT

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher Riptide Publishing. Click on the tour banner above to see the other stops on the tour.


A Day with Cat Grant


Hello, everyone! Thanks for joining me on my Doubtless blog tour. (Didn’t I just do this last month? And the month before, and the month before that…) Leave a comment and you might win one of my backlist books!

People seem endlessly fascinated by how writers work. But for me, it really is like that old saw about staring at a blank page (or in my case, my laptop screen) until drops of blood form on your forehead.

I’m not a terribly fast writer – I usually shoot for a thousand words a day, though sometimes I get a huge burst of energy/inspiration and knock out a lot more. I am, however, a dyed in the wool night owl. Most of my books have been written between 10 PM and 2 AM. Which means I’m usually crawling out of bed around nine or ten the next morning.

I start off my day with green tea and some fruit or a bagel, then I sit down at my computer to read my email and do my daily social media stuff (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). I try not to read or poke at what I’ve written the night before, because once I start I’ll get caught up in it, and there goes my exercise time. I usually walk or ride my stationary bike thirty minutes a day, which is something I recommend for all writers. Sitting for hours on end is murder on the back and legs, and since I already have arthritis in my knees, I can’t afford to tempt fate.

After, while I’m still in my workout clothes, I try to get a little housework done. It’s way too easy for me to let it go, and within a few days, my place is no longer fit for human habitation. (You don’t want to see my bathroom when I’m nearing the end of a project. Pretty damn scary!) Then I take a shower and go out to run errands.

When I get back, I usually jump in and start revising what I wrote the night before, which can take as long or longer than the initial drafting process. I’ll add stuff, I’ll move things around, I’ll fiddle with words – nitpicky stuff. Then I’ll let it sit for a few hours while I have dinner and either watch TV or listen to music to help clear out my head before I start drafting a new scene – usually with my cat trying to push my computer off my lap.

Not a terribly exciting process, but for me, it does the trick. :-)

You can order my new novella Doubtless here: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/doubtless

About the Author: EPIC Award–winning author Cat Grant lives by the sea in beautiful Monterey, California, with one persnickety feline and entirely too many books and DVDs. When she's not writing, she sings along (badly!) to whatever's on her iPod shuffle, watches lots of movies, and fantasizes about kinky sex with Michael Fassbender.

Where to find Cat:

Website: http://www.catgrant.com
Blog: http://catgrant.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cat.grant
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/CatGrant2009
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1912055.Cat_Grant



Loving your best friend is hard . . . especially when he's marrying someone else.

On the surface, Steve Campbell seems to have it all: a beautiful home, a snazzy car, and a dream job as one of the country’s top 3-D optics researchers. But underneath, he’s restless and dissatisfied, tired of empty encounters with leggy lab assistants and endless evenings alone.

A chance meeting with a handsome escort lifts Steve’s spirits and opens his eyes to his long-repressed attraction to men—and his love for his best friend and business partner, Connor Morrison.

Connor might’ve loved Steve like that once, but now it’s too late for their happily ever after; Connor’s about to ask his boyfriend to marry him. Fortunately, it's never too late to learn about yourself, and maybe Steve can find a happy ending on his own.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

GUEST BLOG: KELE MOON

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kele will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner above to see the other stops on her tour.




Heavyweight UFC fighter, Romeo Wellings comes from the hard streets of New York where his family ties to the mafia cause him nothing but pain. His life takes a surprising detour when he crosses paths with the twin sister of his long time enemy. After a steamy one-night stand, he faces the fight of his life, but it’s not in the cage. The secret relationship that blooms between Romeo and his real life Juliet has him battling his family and a dark past rather than let her go.

The only lawyer in her hometown of Garnet, Jules Conner is also a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy and co-owner of a successful MMA training center. Strong and dependable, Jules is always there for those who need her. Until one forbidden night in Las Vegas with Romeo leaves her feeling so alive she can’t stop reaching out to the sexy, bad boy of MMA, even knowing the forbidden love affair could jeopardize everything.

As the tide rises against them and the people they love work at keeping them apart, Romeo and Jules hold onto a dream for a better life together and vow to go down fighting rather than accept a tragic ending.

Read an excerpt from the book:

“What’re we gonna do about that, Juliet?” Romeo sat back in his chair and ran a hand over the fine hairs on the back of his neck as he studied her. “You don’t strike me as a rule breaker.”

“I’m not,” she assured him. “I always play by the rules.”

“But not tonight?”

“Nope, not tonight. I told my brother I was out on a date with a cop.”

Romeo had been taking a sip of his water but coughed into his glass. Then looked at Jules with wide eyes and laughed. “Are you friggin’ kidding me?”

“No.” Jules laughed with him. “Wyatt hates you. I couldn’t tell him I was buying you dinner.”

“I’m personally insulted by that.” Romeo did a very good job of feigning insult. “I don’t think I like being your dirty secret.”

“I’m sorry.” Jules frowned before an incredulous laugh burst out of her. “Were we pretending to be allies? You’ve been bad-mouthing my best friend and my brother to the media for the past four months.”

“That’s part of the game. It’s what the promoters want. It’s what the fans want, and I like to give the fans what they want seeing as they’re the ones who make sure I get a paycheck. And I thought we already decided we weren’t enemies.”

“True,” Jules had to reluctantly agree. She took another bite of her forgotten dessert, letting the sweetness rest on her tongue for a long moment before she sighed. “I’m not real sure what we are.”

“What would you like us to be?” Romeo countered tauntingly, his tone daring her to be honest.

Jules sat there quietly as she considered her answer. She really didn’t want to be enemies with him, not after tonight, not after what he’d done this morning. She genuinely liked him, but it was more than that. She was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Everything in her was humming for something she was finding hard to name. Friendship, sure, but there was something much more carnal between them. The word lovers seemed all wrong; it implied something soft and sweet and romantic, which was the very last thing she wanted from a man like Romeo.

“Sweaty and naked,” Jules finally settled on. “Wild, sweaty, and naked. That’s what I want us to be.”

Romeo sucked in a sharp breath. His eyes widened. His entire body tightened as if something electric had struck him, but Jules had to give him credit. He recovered quickly and leaned forward as his voice dropped to a low hum of arousal. “You wanna take off?”

About the Author: A freckle-faced redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives on pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love, there are no rules and true love knows no bounds.

So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it, she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who has infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven, he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children, who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts—they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Find Kele online at:

Email: kelemoon@me.com
Website: http://www.kelemoon.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kele_Moon
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kelemoon

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

GUEST BLOG: JO ANDREWS

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People ask me why I write erotic paranormal romances instead of something else. The simple answer, of course, is that I just plain like reading and writing them. But the truth is a little more complicated than that.

Men lean toward books that have a lot of action and adventure, like spy stories or suspense or hard science fiction. They’re hunters and their instinct is to look outward. Women are nurturers and their instinct is to look inward – into people. They lean toward romances, which are about the dynamic between male and female, about how the hero and heroine interact with each other and with the world around them.

Romances are about the complexity of the human heart and mind. And because hearts and minds are so complicated and vary so much, romances are endlessly fascinating. Even one of the many dynamics possible can have dozens of stories written about it and none of those stories will be the same. With different protagonists, whole new dynamics happen, because each character is unique and won’t react in a similar fashion. All those variables are immensely satisfying to explore, which is why I love writing romances.

Why do I write paranormal romances? Because I also like action and adventure, and own a huge collection of spy stories, mysteries and science fiction myself. Romance becomes so much more intense when there is danger, when the hero and the heroine have to deal with real threats to their lives and have to make hard decisions to survive or to save each other. It shows what they’re made of and how much they’re willing to sacrifice or grow. The world of shape-shifters, vampires and other paranormal creatures is dangerous, full of conflict and exciting! All of which intensifies the romance – and intensity is what I’m after.

Why erotic paranormal romances? Because I love writing about sex. LOL. But the reason behind that is because one is most vulnerable during sex. That’s when one is most exposed. When the defenses either come down or are raised. When one surrenders oneself to one’s partner or hides and tries to deceive. When one shows most truly the kind of person one is. I write about passionate people who fight and love and care fiercely. Which is why my stories are erotic and have several intense love scenes.

I love mixing romance and sex with action and adventure. I hope you’ll take a look at my novel, Driving Force, and tell me how well I’ve succeeded. I’d love to hear from all of you.

You can email me at jo@jo-andrews.com or visit my website at www.jo-andrews.com to read an excerpt.



Sierra Wallace hates Ian Raeder for making her teenage years a misery with his mockery and constant teasing. But he’s so damn hot! Just the sight of him turns her insides to molten lava. Ian’s hunger for Sierra is driving him insane. But he’s a Shifter, a leopard in his other form, and she’s human. He has to stay away from her.

When enemy Shifters invade Wade County, Colorado, Sierra and Ian are caught in the crossfire. As they fight to keep each other alive in a war that threatens to destroy every Shifter in the county, barriers tumble. The driving force of their long-suppressed passion explodes into sheet-scorching animal lust. In the torrid nights that follow, they discover that their firestorm of love and desire is far more devastating to them than any war.

Driving Force is available at Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

Monday, July 16, 2012

GUEST BLOG: LILY HARLEM

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Erotic Romance for Men
by
Lily Harlem


Steamy reads for men, yes, you read that right! Ellora’s Cave have a new line of saucy stories designed to get your man hot-under-the-collar and ready for action. I am thrilled to say I have a book included in the line up called DESSERT. (available from 13th July onward)

But do men like raunch between the pages as well as between the sheets? I wasn’t sure, so before I started writing I did a little research into male reading habits.

Here are two reactions from men when asked about reading…

“Women cook, women clean, women look after the children and women read. Men bring back the dough and have no time for luxuries like reading.”

“I like to read, but I’m a very busy person. I don’t have time to read!”


Of course that is a big generalization and surely we have left such static gender roles behind, however, studies show that there are still big differences in reading habits between the male and the female of the species. First up, women do read more, or at least are more willing to admit to it according to a UK study, and they certainly seem to be more avid readers – not wanting to stop until they’ve turned the last page. With more than half of men confessing to never finishing a book though this might not be due to short attention spans, perhaps men gravitate towards books that don’t necessarily need finishing because they are more factual based.

Which brings us to the issue of fiction. It is here, it seems, the gender gap is at its widest. Studies carried out in the United States, Canada and Britain consistently find that women read more fiction than men. Men account for only about 20% of readers in the fiction market. Which of course makes the challenge of writing an erotic romance for men a bit like trying to fly to the moon with chocolate wings!

But I wasn’t daunted (well, a little bit maybe) and I asked myself a few questions before I started typing.

Are men’s heartstrings harder to tug, than women’s? Among the men who answered one survey, more than half said they disliked romance and chick lit. But, I wondered, is this because they’re tough and gruff by nature or because society expects men not to swoon over love stories? Perhaps they’ve never tried a romance or, don’t want to admit it. Personally I don’t think their heartstrings are harder to tug, I just don’t think they like having them yanked. Other things float their boat when it comes to a story of two people getting together?

So what is it? What is going to win a man round and make him pick up a book he wouldn’t normally? The answer is simple – SEX! Men like sex, a lot, we don’t need to do a survey to find that out! Therefore, in order to write a book for men – I’d already decided to make DESSERT a novella rather than a novel, more chance of him finishing it - I figured that sex had to be a massive theme going through it. And not a slow build up to the action, I wanted to give men that instant gratification, the fantasy come true, a scenario that wouldn’t likely happen in real life but was realistic enough to get away with in a contemporary setting.

Which is why I chose the ancient Japanese tradition of Nyotaimori to kick-start the story. What could be hotter for a guy than sitting down to a dinner that is served from the body of a beautiful lady? Well, apart from when it’s time for dessert which happens to be a…

I’ll let you read the blurb…

Nyotaimori was new for me, eating my dinner off a beautiful, naked woman an experience I’d never been lucky enough to indulge in. So when a customer treated me to a meal at The Geisha Plate it was an effort to keep my cock under control and my focus on the food. Damn, it had been a while!

But control myself I did until, that is, the spice levels cranked to boiling point and dessert turned out to be a mind-blowing, soul-twistingly delicious blowjob. I instantly craved more.

Plus I’m not a guy who likes debt, I had to return the favor by hook or by crook, it was an urge that threatened to consume me. Luckily my lovely Geisha girl turned out to be the sweetest woman I’d ever had the pleasure of pleasuring, and her healthy appetite for getting raw and naked with me for starters, main course and dessert turned out to be a wild ride for my every fantasy, and enough to keep me more than satisfied in every department.

I hope it’s tickled your fancy, and you’ll treat the hottie in your life to some spice for his e-reader. Perhaps if men give erotic romance a try they’ll become as hooked as we are on the genre, and that can only be good for all of us.

And, I hear you ask, did I road-test Dessert on Mr Harlem? Yes, I most certainly did and all I will say is it hit the spot!!

Lily x

You can buy a copy of DESSERT here http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10202-dessert.aspx. About the Author: Lily Harlem is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance and lives in the UK with the lovely Mr Harlem and several crazy cats and dogs. In a past life she worked as nurse in a busy trauma unit in London but now has a slower pace to her days and relishes indulging her imagination in raunchy, naughty stories which flow from her fingertips onto the screen.

Find the author online at:

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/
Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/lily_harlem
Facebook http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Lily-Harlem/100003519563064
Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Harlem-author-page/200182030094568
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4070110.Lily_Harlem

Friday, July 13, 2012

GUEST BLOG: SUZ deMELLO

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SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK


A number of people I chat with often express that they’d like to write a book, but don’t feel they own the toolkit or have the talent. No one was born with a pen clutched in a tiny hand already knowing how to write. Anyone can learn how to write both fiction or nonfiction, though fiction is more fun.

I wasn’t educated as a writer, but when I wanted to learn how to write, I went back to school for a couple of courses at my local community college. Were they all I needed? Not by a long shot. That was in 1996, but I continue to take seminars and attend workshops, as well as read, read, read.

So what books are helpful in learning the craft? There are many, but here’s a few I found helpful. The Weekend Novelist (Robert Ray) is a good plotting manual, as is The Writer’s Journey (Chris Vogler).

I’m fond of meticulously crafted writing, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Browne and King) is essential for attaining that goal.

Looking for inspiration? I read other writers’ autobiographies. On Writing by Stephen King is an autobiography masquerading as a craft book. So is Starting From Scratch by Rita Mae Brown.

Among other subgenres, I write historicals. I love to leaf through books about clothing throughout history and own Costume 1066-1990s by John Peacock—isn’t that a perfect name for the author of a costuming book? The History of Underclothes (Cunnington) which includes everything beneath outerwear—shirts included—is indispensable. English Through the Ages (Brohaugh) lists just about every word in the language along with the date it was first used in writing—usage in conversation generally precedes that by a couple decades. This book, or something like it, is essential for avoiding anachronisms, which will throw the reader out of the story.

Here’s another couple of more references I keep close to hand: The Chicago Manual of Style and Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld.

In the main, though, the internet has made owning references less important. Yes, if I have a book with the info I might reach up to grab it, but most often, I’ll just click a few keys and get the answer online.

It’s important to remember that the writer’s journey is a very long one. Unless you decide to stop writing because your Muse has gone AWOL (mine is partying somewhere in Argentina, I believe) you will never stop learning and growing.

Happy writing!

About the Author:
Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift, a.k.a Suz deMello, has written over fifteen novels, plus several short stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous genres including romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, contemporary comedy and erotica. She’s a freelance editor who’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Ai Press, Liquid Silver Books and Etopia Press. She also takes on private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in PW, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and reached the top ten on a bestseller list.

A former trial attorney, she resides in northern California. Her passion is world travel, and she’s left the US over a dozen times, including stints working overseas for many months. Right now, she's working on her next manuscript and planning her next trip.

Her blog is at http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com. Find her reading picks @ReadThis4fun on Twitter, and befriend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SueSwift). Her sites are at http://www.sue-swift.com and http://www.suzdemello.com.

Here’s some info on her latest book, Temptation in Tartan:



She had to marry a monster…

Rumors had followed the chieftains of Clan Kilborn for centuries. Said to be descended from the Viking Berserkers, they were ferocious in battle, known for tearing off the heads of their enemies and drinking their blood.

But English noblewoman Lydia Swann Williston would marry Kieran, Laird Kilborn, to bring peace to the Kilborn lands after the horror of Culloden and the brutal pacification. A widow, she also brought needed wealth to Clan Kilborn. For her part, eighteen-year-old Lydia wanted children. With her husband killed at Culloden, she would make a new life in the Highlands.

The old chieftain of Clan Kilborn also died in battle, and she hoped that the new young Laird would lack his ancestors' ferocity.

She was wrong.
****


Published by Ellora’s Cave in June 2012, Temptation in Tartan reached #1 on the All Romance Ebooks bestseller list for historical (other) romance and spent a full week in the top five. Its sequel, Desire in Tartan, is in process.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

GUEST BLOG: ALEKSANDR VOINOV

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Riptide Publishing. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on his tour.
Thanks for joining me on the Incursion virtual book tour! Feeling lucky? I’m giving away three prizes to commenters on any of the blog tour stops. Comment on this post (feel free to ask questions!) and you might win! The first winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate and a swag bag with assorted magnets, wrist-bands and other goodies. Two more lucky winners will receive swag bags as well. I ship internationally and will draw the winners from all commenters after the tour is over. Deadline for entry is 7/15/12. Please include your email address in your comment so that I can contact you. Enjoy!

You can’t step on the internet (or especially Twitter) without stumbling over promo. Sometimes I get the sense that Twitter is predominantly invented so authors procrastinate from writing and shout “buy my book!” at each other.

Okay, that sounded cynical. It’s not that bad. I actually really enjoy Twitter, and I’ve got to know some awesome people (who also happen to be writers – or, the really rare species, readers!) and we’ve had fun and kept each other from writing, but basically, I see Twitter as a huge garden party, with the advantage that nobody tramples the grass and you can block people who are annoying or drunk.

I have to admit, I’ve bought books from authors I met on Twitter. But I can honestly say that I have never bought a book from a stranger on Twitter who shouted at me “Buy My Book!” Nor will I.

The biggest draw of the internet is that there are fewer barriers. You don’t need an excuse (or even a big reason) to strike up a conversation. “Wow, that was funny”, or “hey, nice to meet you, am a big fan”, which in the real world demand a lot more effort and a follow-up conversation. I’d seriously struggle to approach a stranger on the street and tell them “wow, love your haircut”, because in Britain, that would be inviting a punch in the face (you don’t even look at people on the bus or train or tube – I’m convinced there’s a paragraph of the law that forbids it on pain of death). On Twitter, that’s just being friendly and maybe striking up a conversation, or spending the time or being sociable.

Once you follow your favourite authors or authors you’re curious about, you realize what cool and funny and awesome people they are. Kari Gregg is hysterically funny on Twitter. Josh Lanyon is friendly and insightful, and Rachel Haimowitz is delightfully pervy. Megan Derr is great fun to talk to, too, and I try not to miss tweets from Nerine Dorman, Anne Tenino, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane. Or Kirby Crow. It’s my way to stalk and casually stay in touch with people whose work I admire, and if any of them tweet “hey, my book’s live NOW!”, I’m the first to run and buy it. (And I’m probably missing a few dozen author friends…)

But the point is, none of them run around going “BUY MY BOOK!” We’re having fun, hanging out, chatting, no strings attached.

There are authors whose tweetstream is nothing more than “Got an AWESOME REVIEW AT GOODREADS” or “I’m A BESTSELLER AT COFFE CUP BOOKS!” and, worse, retweet these two over and over and over again. If I’m their follower and I see the same tweet twenty times a day and nothing else, I’m bored. A few weeks later, I’m annoyed. A month later, I begin to hate them a little, and then comes the big author cull and I block them and might, if I feel especially vindictive, report them for spam (because, sorry, but automating two or three tweets and running them a hundred times a day IS spam).

Most of all, even if I see their book somewhere, my thought is not “oh, awesome, interesting book”, it’s “THAT’s the author who bored me and kept shouting at me to buy his/her book NOW!” and even if somebody recommends the book, and even if it sounds interesting and the cover is great and I would have bought it normally, I won’t.

That’s the big one for me. Promo is one thing, and in a way we all have to do it. Just look at which advertisements go “viral”. It’s the fun stuff, the touching stuff, things we care about anyway. You draw a lot more interest with something cool and interesting and funny (like the kid in the Darth Vader costume in the car advert, or a flash mob singing and dancing) than with “BUY MY BOOK” repeating fifty times until you’ve been unfollowed and blocked and reported for spam even by your grandmother.

I would argue that soft promo works much much better than the hard sell… build relationships, one at a time. Even if you don’t sell a million books, you might make a friend and have a good time, which is worth something. It’s actually the only promo I personally care about. I’m doing it to have fun with friends, not to sell books. And strangely, that does sell books.



Fighting with your back to the wall is all well and good—as long as you’ve chosen the right wall.

When the local authorities ask Kyle Juenger to hunt a shape-shifting Glyrinny spy, he can’t refuse. After all, he can use the reward to replace his paralyzed legs with cyberware, and maybe even to return to his home planet. Besides, he hates the morphs—those invasive, brain-eating monstrosities whose weapons cost him his legs.

Kyle’s best lead is the Scorpion, a mercenary ship armed to the teeth. Grimm, the Scorpion’s pilot and captain, fascinates Kyle. He’s everything Kyle lost with his legs, and he’s from the same home world. He’s also of the warrior caste—half priest, half savior. But Grimm’s been twisted by life as a merc, and Kyle’s stuck undercover as a criminal on the run.

That doesn’t stop Grimm from coming on to Kyle, or from insisting he’s more than the sum of his past and his useless legs. But Kyle has other concerns—like tracking a dangerous morph who could be wearing anyone’s face. And as if things weren’t complicated enough, Kyle can’t tell if Grimm is part of the solution . . . or part of the problem.

About the Author: Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he makes his living editing dodgy business English so it makes sense (and doesn’t melt anybody’s brain). He published five novels and many short stories in his native language, then switched to English and hasn’t looked back. His genres range from horror, science fiction, cyberpunk, and fantasy to contemporary, thriller, and historical erotic gay novels.

In his spare time, he goes weightlifting, explores historical sites, and meets other writers. He singlehandedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects and interests. His current interests include World War II, espionage, medieval tournaments, and prisoners of war. He loves traveling, action movies, and spy novels.

Visit Aleksandr’s website at http://www.aleksandrvoinov.com, his blog at http://www.aleksandrvoinov.blogspot.com, and follow him on Twitter, where he tweets as @aleksandrvoinov.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

GUEST BLOG: M. RAIYA

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Hi!

My name's M. Raiya, and I write m/m romance. Some of it, like my first novella, The Glass Man, is pretty erotic. But most of it, like my series Notice, is more fantasy adventure with a side of romance.

I love fantasy, and I grew up reading Tolkien and Mary Stewart and Katherine Kurtz. I started writing long, convoluted epics that became trilogies and then became series and kept going and going and were absolutely unpublishable but lots of fun.

Then I went to college and majored in writing, and then I went to graduate school and majored in English. My professors tried really hard to make me write serious, literary fiction where a bunch of unhappy, middle-aged, married folks sat around and complained about being unhappy, middle-aged, married folks. While I was in school, I published in a literary magazine (for free -- it's all about the prestige, you know) and then I had the brains to realize that this wasn't for me.

I did a complete 360 and started writing m/m erotica. And I got paid for it!

Then I kind of settled down a little and thought about who I was and what I wanted and all that stuff, and I started working on the series that became Notice. This series goes back to my fantasy roots -- my main character is a dragon shifter -- but it encompasses what I've come to love -- m/m romance. My main character is Varian Kendall, a proud, noble dragon lord who is all caught up in keeping his hidden lives from colliding. Not only is he the ruler of his clan of dragons, he is a high school history teacher, and he is gay. Very few people know the full truth about him, and he likes it that way. His lover is his complete opposite. Josh Fairleigh is an artist and is very openly and flamboyantly gay. My published first novel, Notice, is about how these two unlikely partners meet and how their relationship develops as the dragon's hidden lives begin to collide in a bad way.

The second in the series is a short story called "Nice: the Dragon and the Mistletoe," and in it, their relationship takes a whole new turn. In the most recent story, a novella called A Sky Full of Wings, Varian and Josh get married, amidst all kinds of drama and intrigue.

Here is a link to a book trailer I made for A Sky Full of Wings:
http://mraiya.blogspot.com/2012/06/sky-full-of-wings-book-trailer.html

You can visit me on my blog and check out my more erotic romance, like The Glass Man, and my science fiction novella, Ice, at: http://mraiya.blogspot.com

Thanks! I'll leave you with an excerpt from Notice:



I was a creature of many secrets.

The three aspects of my life -- my human teaching career, my dragon life, and my homosexuality -- stayed so separate that only two people alive, my bodyguards, knew everything, and I kept even them on the fringes. My dragons only knew that I also taught human children, but my students didn't know about my dragons and certainly not about my sexuality. My lover only knew I was a teacher and had no idea that I was also a dragon, and I liked it that way very much.

My worst nightmare was to have my three lives collide. I knew who would be the causality if that happened.

I taught history in a small high school in northern Vermont. Fifteen minutes into the last period on the first day of school for the year, everyone was tired, hot, and ready to go home. As I collected the papers from the wire bin where the students had put the "getting to know you forms" they had just filled out, I was thinking wistfully about fresh mountain air and moonlight on my wings.

And about someone who would be lying on cool sheets in our bedroom, freshly showered, waiting for me...

I shuffled through the papers as I walked to the front of the classroom, and I suddenly felt my heart stop for an instant.

One of the forms in the middle of the pile was blank, except for the words, "Consider this your official notice."

A student? My thoughts dissolved in horror.

The knights were after me again.

And had sent a student to kill me.

Monday, July 9, 2012

GUEST BLOG: SARA BROOKES


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sara will be giving away a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. Click on the banner above to see her other stops on the tour--remember, the more you comment, the better your chances.


I thought I’d share ten things no one knows about me today just for something a little different while I’m celebrating the release of Chasing Sin.

I love movies: comedy, drama, thriller, action, etc—which is something people know about me. But what I haven’t confessed before is that I own approximately 450 movies—350 of which are DVDs. And yes, one of them is Twister. ;^)

During severe weather, I have a very strong tendency to walk outside to see what’s going on in the sky. I did it just last night, in fact, and nearly got hit by my neighbor’s trash can when a strong gust blew through.

My Go-To snacks during long drives are Dr Pepper and Funyuns. I’m not sure why because I’m sure the thought of those two things together is pretty disgusting, but it’s just something I’ve done since I was a teenager. Can you imagine chasing storms with that smell lingering in the car? LOL

I’ve been to Hawaii nine times and have never been swimming in the Pacific. Why? I hate the beach. The sand. The salt water. Blech. It’s just not for me. More than likely this is due to the fact I’ve lived within ten miles of a beach my entire life. The beach just isn’t that big of a deal to me. A hurricane barrels up the coast near me? Totally different story, I am so at the beach to see the ocean show a little attitude.

While it’s mostly an activity kids find enjoyment in, I still like to stare at the clouds and see what kinds of shapes I can find. I don’t lie in the grass like I did as a child though because my allergies just can’t handle it. But a nice chair and cold glass of lemonade work just fine for me.

Despite all the long drives I have to go on, I hate driving. As in: I will do anything I can to get out of driving. So I would obviously not be the driver on a storm chase team. Oddly enough, I’m actually a really good driver.

One of my favorite things late at night during the summer is to watch heat lightning along the horizon. Can you tell I spend a lot of time staring at the sky?

Even with all this fascination with weather, I am not a fan of snow. There’s a reason I continue to live in the south. Where I live right now is about as far north as I want to go. I’d rather deal with the humidity and heat over the frigid cold and piles of snow.

Chasing Sin was written during a hurricane. That’s right, in late August of 2011, Hurricane Irene barreled through my area. She knocked out my power for eight days and generally just made of pain of herself. But I thank her for giving me a few days off work in order to write!

I actually munched on Funyuns while typing up these ten facts about me. Evidently, my love them isn’t simply relegated to long drives.

Thanks so much for joining me here today!

About the Author:
Sara Brookes is an award-winning author who has always been fascinated by the strange, the unusual, the twisted and the lost (tortured heroes are her personal favorite). She is an action movie junkie, addicted to coffee and has been known to stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing RPG video games. Despite all this, she is a romantic at heart and is always a sucker for an excellent love story. Born and bred in Virginia, Sara still lives there with her husband and daughter. The entire family is owned by two cats, Galahad and Loki, who graciously allow the family to cater to their every desire.

Find Sara online at:

Website: www.sarabrookes.net
Twitter: @sara_brookes
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brookesofbooks


Every spring, Kate risks her life chasing violent storms. Tired of watching her take unnecessary chances, two of her closest friends offer a different thrill. Devoted lovers Snyder and Tripp don’t just share a passion for nature’s fury; they long to have the fearless woman between them.

Though she is reluctant, she also knows the proposition is too irresistible to refuse. Her acceptance leads to an explosive night of no-holes-barred sex for the threesome. However, when morning dawns, she realizes this type of unusual relationship isn’t one she belongs in.

Despite her best efforts to keep the men at arm’s length, Kate finds herself facing down the storm of the century with them at her side. With Mother Nature intruding, the trio discovers shelter in each other’s arms. With the hurricane raging outside and passion raging inside, everything is at stake.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

GUEST BLOG: A.S. FENICHEL

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Thank you for having me here. I’m so happy to have this opportunity to share details about Mayan Craving, my second book with Ellora’s Cave Publishing and to tell you a little about my research for the book.

I decided to tell you a little about the BIG BAD in my stories, Mictlantecuhtli. I like to call him Mictlan for short. I’m not ashamed to tell you that although my books are titled “Mayan” I plucked Mictlantecuhtli from Aztec mythology. I have taken a little “writer’s license” as far as that goes. He was a principal god to the Aztecs and often referred to as the Lord of the Dead. He is depicted as a blood splattered skeleton or a large head with big teeth and no eyes in his sockets. In some descriptions he wore a necklace made from human eyeballs. Pretty yucky stuff. As I said, I call him Mictlan, but if you look it up, that was actually the name of the level of the underworld, which he ruled over. Again, a little license.  The truth is, I didn’t want to distract the reader with trying to pronounce meek-tlahn-tay-COO-tlee every time it appeared. I know complicated names always pull me out of a story if I have to constantly think about how to pronounce them.

He has his horrifying moments in my book, but for the most part, in both my first book, Mayan Afterglow and in Mayan Craving, Mictlan appears as an extremely good looking man of about thirty. In fact he’s so perfectly handsome, he’s an abomination, and the characters find him hard to look at. When he loses his temper…well that’s another story. The “real’ Mictlan is over thirty feet tall with black glossy skin and spikes protruding from his entire body and crowning his enormous head. Not for the faint of heart.

Mythological Mictlantecuhtli was the ruler of the lowest level of the underworld, the northern realm of the dead. In my books, he is taking advantage of the End of Days in order to take over the realm of humans. He goes through ritual after ritual in an attempt to enter our world and end the reign of humankind. Our hero (Asher) and heroine (Nancy) have their work cut out for them. They have to defeat Mictlan, save Nancy’s sister from Mictlan’s harem, and deal with their own issues of falling in love.

And you thought it was easy being the star of a romance novel.

The Aztecs worshiped and feared Mictlantecuhtli but in my post-apocalyptic world, Mictlan is the devil. Only those he has turned to the other side worship him and they are cursed.

I know this all sounds a little gory for a romance novel, but trust me, it works.

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today. You can find more information about Mayan Craving on my Web site http://www.asfenichel.com.

About the Author:
A.S. Fenichel adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey. She now lives in the southwest with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When she is not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history and puttering in her garden.

A.S. can be found online at:

Blog: http://www.asfenichel.com/Blog--Mayan-Mentions.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/asfenichel



Surviving the End of Days was only the beginning of the journey for Nancy. After years of searching, she’s finally found her missing sister, but when she attempts to rescue Robyn, she enters her worst nightmare. Captured by demons and about to be sacrificed, Asher is her unexpected hero. Asher’s kindness and bravery arouse her lust, and leave her wanting much more than just his friendship.

Asher has been in love with Nancy since he first laid eyes on her, but her infatuation with another man always left him standing in the background. Her sudden craving for him couldn’t turn him on more. He can’t help finding rapture with Nancy, but the attraction could only be fleeting.

While danger and passion pull them together, doubt may rip them apart. They’ll need more than a carnal connection if they’re to survive.
Buy the book at:

Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10057-mayan-craving.aspx
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Mayan-Craving-ebook/dp/B0080K3E00/
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mayan-craving-as-fenichel/1110608660?ean=9781419939181
Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Mayan-Craving/book-WzQKs8KmCUmY7m4-WB1zkQ/page1.html?s=HoybZBJlqE2RVLnOaEGGYw&r=1