Beginning January 1, 2013

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Guest Blog: Heather Lin

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What does SFR mean to you?
by Heather Lin


Happy Friday, everyone! I’m so excited to be here at Long and Short Reviews for the very last stop on my blog tour. For three weeks, I’ve been promoting the heck out of my newly-released science fiction romance novel The System because I’m so excited to share it with those who love a good, action-packed love story. And I certainly hope that includes all of you!

The System is the first novel I’ve ever written in the science fiction romance genre, and I struggled with the decision to call it a science fiction romance. Before publication, I called it a futuristic romance because it takes place in the future, and I didn’t want to turn off those who might not be as interested in the science fiction elements. Also, I didn’t think there was much of a difference between the two.

But just before publication, I decided to do a little more research. Although I had my own ideas of how labeling The System a sci-fi romance could affect its marketing, I also wanted to be sure I wasn’t leading potential readers astray. What I found on my journey were two great blog posts at Love Romance Passion.

The first, by Marcella Burnard, stated that the lines between futuristic and science fiction romance are often blurred. Her general rule is that in a futuristic romance novel, the romance comes before the science fiction, and in a science fiction romance novel, the sci-fi and romantic content are equal.

The other blog I found was by Heather Massey, who runs The Galaxy Express, and she seemed to agree with Ms. Burnard: Romantic Science Fiction is science fiction with a romantic subplot, Science Fiction Romance is a 50/50 split, and Futuristic Romance is a romance with sci-fi elements. But she also emphasized that these are not strict rules and not everyone abides by them.

In the end, I was left with the knowledge that the terms can be flexible and various publishers and organizations often choose a single umbrella term to make their lives easier, but there is clearly a socially-accepted difference between the genres. So which one to choose?

When I originally wrote The System, it was 30,000 words and hands-down a futuristic romance. It was all about Brody and Capri finding love in a dangerous new world. But as I edited and added on to the original story, it grew to 60,000 words with a more complex, science-fiction driven plot. There are new technologies like spaceships and hover cars; the setting is a brand new, well-detailed solar system which is overseen by the UN; there is also way more action than I’ve ever come across in a romance novel; and, most importantly, the story contains a twist that easily gives the romantic plot a run for its money.

It’s for all these reasons that I made the decision to call The System a science fiction romance.

But what do you think? What do you expect to see from the SFR genre?

Comment below and leave your e-mail address to be entered to win a one of a kind bracelet engraved with a quote from The System! Winner to be announced on my blog September 1st!

About the Author:Heather currently resides in Delaware with her loving husband and beloved cat. She began writing romance and erotica in 2008 and hasn't been able to keep her mind out of the gutter since. Like Heather Lin on Facebook or visit her blog at http://heatherlin88.blogspot.com/ for updates, talented guest bloggers, and the occasional piece of free fiction!



Capri is an alluring young prostitute with a painful past; Brody is a ruthless mercenary for a crew of thieves from the spaceship Gypsy Lass. When he enters her brothel, the attraction between them is instant, electric, and too much for him to handle. After a robbery gone wrong, the crew takes Capri hostage, forcing her and Brody to remain in close quarters until they see fit to drop her on another planet.

But Capri's plight and the intense feelings between her and Brody turn out to be the least of their problems. Together—whether they like it or not—they uncover a secret no one in the whole System could have expected.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

GUEST BLOG: BILLI JEAN

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Wait, wait, wait – hold it! Where did summer go? Someone must have conked me on the head because you know I just don't believe it's over! Say it isn't true!!! :-)

Ahh…well, big sigh. I guess it's true and really, as a writer, I shouldn’t complain.

This summer I finished a complete manuscript for my Love's Command series. Woohoo! I also -- yes, I do more than sit in front of a computer and write! – had a nice relaxing summer.

This year was my first year in a new home. Around ten miles from where I live now is a great river (in my opinion it's only great if you can see the bottom!) to swim around in. I spent the majority of my free time there, paddling around in the water being lazy and enjoying the warmth. I live in Vermont, so I tried to soak enough up for later on when it's freezing cold and snowy! I might have accomplished that to some degree, but I know I sure did have a wonderful time.

I didn't do the American Vacation. Meaning, Disney, a cruise, or camping, traveling to relatives, and so on. I wanted to, but then after the move, I also didn't want to! So, all in all a very low key, relaxing summer with plenty of time to write and since I'm also a teacher, set up new learning centers for my students. I think I might have done more writing in the beginning of the summer than the end, but I had a fabulous time either way.

For me, it was the perfect summer – other than the fact that it's over-- how about you all? Any fun, sun and more fun??

About the Author:
Billi Jean has been writing since high school when she couldn't wait for Robert Jordon to write his Wheel of Time series faster. She writes paranormal, contemporary and historical romance.

Her first book, Midnight Star, has won numerous awards and was voted Best Book by Long and Short Reviews. Her next installment in the Sisters of the Moon series, Silver's Chance, has done equally well.

Next up is a new spin in this world of immortals called a trio of stories --Shades of Jade. A Spartan's Kiss will be the first in this new series.

She's also started a new contemporary romance series, Love's Command, with the first book, Running Scared now available in electronic and paper copy. For more information on what's coming up in her series, friend her on Goodreads, or follow her blog for snippets of her upcoming stories.



When a woman running scared runs into the arms of a sexy cowboy, she might lose her fear, but will she also lose her heart?

When a woman on the run hits a town right out of the Wild West, the first cowboy she meets sets his sights on her. Alone, scared, and starting over, Susan will have to decide if the big, bad Russell Ryland, retired Navy SEAL, now rancher, is for real or just using up his down time between missions.

Russell takes one look at the smiling, blue-eyed beauty and realises there's a heck of a lot more after retirement than he'd thought. As he begins to dream of a life with Susan, he fights an unfamiliar battle within himself-doubt. Does she want him, or is she merely out for some fun?

Time for the reluctant couple nearly runs out when the very men Susan is hiding from come to call. Will Russell wake up quickly enough to save her? Or will their doubts get them both killed?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

INTERVIEW: CHEYENNE BLUE

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Can you tell us more about “Under the Southern Cross” which is included in “Cowboy Lust”?

“Under the Southern Cross” is the story of an American who inadvertently witnesses a drug deal gone wrong. The FBI send her to a cattle station in Western Australia to keep her safe until the trial. However Sam, our heroine, isn’t going to cower away and keep out of trouble. She sets her sights on Jake, a Jackaroo who is working at the station for a few weeks. Jake could be just the person to keep Sam entertained!

Where did the idea come from?

This particular story has been simmering for a long time. About fifteen years ago, I was living in Arizona. My partner and I love the backcountry and the desert, so we’d spend most of our weekends following tracks across the Sonoran desert that were barely more than two wheel ruts, and camping under a spread of stars. We’d also stop in every tiny halfway to nowhere town we came across.

There was one such place that was a crossroads on a quiet highway: a few houses and a bar. It was hot, we were thirsty, so of course we went in. The bar was shadowy and deserted, the sort of place that sees few travelers and only a few hardy locals. We were the only customers, so we sat at the bar with our cold Coronas and chatted to the barkeep.

When she heard our Australian accents, she asked if we knew the outback of Western Australia. Well, yes, we replied, some of it, as outback WA is a large and nebulous place, with no fixed boundaries, dry, deserted, and starkly beautiful.

I was there, said the barkeep, and told us a tale, tall and fabulous, involving the witness protection program in the US, an outback sheep station, and her presence there as a “cook” until the FBI recalled her to Arizona.

To be honest, I took her tale with a sack of salt. Would anyone who was presumably still living with a new identity blurt out the tale to two strangers in a desert bar? Probably not, but it was a good story.

Who has inspired you as an author?

It wasn’t so much a person as a website. Back in 2000, I stumbled across the wonderful Clean Sheets (www.cleansheets.com), a repository of some of the finest erotica around. The stories on the site were (and are) superbly written, evocative, original, and hot. I thought, “I wonder if I can do that?” My first erotic story “Shadow Child” was bought by Clean Sheets, was picked up by “Best Women’s Erotica” and went on to be included in Best of Best Women’s Erotica.

I’ve kept going since then.

Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Red wine works well. :-)

How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?

I own a Hewlett Packard Jornada 720. It’s about 12 years old and obsolete technology, but it works for me. Its 6” x 4” full keyboard takes a bit of getting used to (at first it was like typing on a matchbox with a bunch of bananas) but I love it. I carry it everywhere because it’s so handy and I can whip it out to make notes.

What are some of your favorite books? Who are you reading now?

I’m very omnivorous when it comes to books. By the bed right now, I have “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe” by Charles Yu. In my bag I have “There But For The” by Ali Smith, and on the computer I have “Safe Haven” by Shanna Germain.

What's next for you?

I have two stories in “Girl Fever: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex for Lesbians” edited by Sacchi Green which has just been released by Cleis Press. Then I have a story, “Run, Jo, Run” in the upcoming “Girls Who Score” an anthology of lesbian sports stories edited by Ily Goyanes.

Where can you be found online?

I’m at http://www.cheyenneblue.com. I’m also active at Goodreads.com and love new friends!

About the author:  Cheyenne Blue has lived in the United States, Ireland, the UK, and Switzerland, but she still calls Australia home and her writing often reflects this. Her erotica has appeared in over 70 anthologies, including Best Women's Erotica, Mammoth Best New Erotica, Lesbian Cowboys and With This Ring, I Thee Bed. She currently lives in Queensland, Australia. Visit her website at http://www.cheyenneblue.com

About the Editor:
Delilah Devlin is an award-winning author of erotic romance with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing edgy stories with complex characters. Ms. Devlin has published over a hundred stories in multiple sub-genres and lengths with Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Kensington, Kindle, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing.

Find Ms. Devlin online at

Website: http://www.delilahdevlin.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DelilahDevlinFanPage
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DelilahDevlin



These cowboys ride hard...

There's a reason Western romance novels never go out of fashion. The cowboy is an iconic figure embodying the dichotomy of the fiercely independent, earthy alpha male crossed with the male as a nurturer and protector. Cowboys take care of their women in every possible way. Wild and wayward women are gentled by the scent of horse and cow and the sight of sun-kissed skin, the feel of work-hardened thighs and arms, and the sound of a deep-voiced Texas drawl.

Contributors at the top of the Western romance genre, including Charlene Teglia, Randi Alexander, Cat Johnson, and editor, Delilah Devlin, have corralled strong and memorable characters ranging from ranch hands to cattle barons, to a rodeo star and a feisty female gunslinger. Traversing romantic settings from Montana, Texas, California, Mexico, and the Outback of Australia, the stories in Cowboy Lust are risky and risqué, full of studs in spurs hot enough to send you to a vacation on a dude ranch!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Anniversary Blog Fest: Denysé Bridger

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Summer Heat


Some people live for the summer months, and thrive in the heat and the sunshine. I’m not one of those people. Give me a light snowfall and chilly temperatures and I am smiling and happy. Writing these exotic summer nights is always a lot easier in the cold, too! Not always easy to create a mood of seduction and emotional heat when you’re dripping sweat into your keyboard, mostly it just makes me irritable! Then again, I know I’m not really the general rule with the love of summer.

So, this leads me to wonder how readers respond? Do you like to read stories set in steaming hot places, or is a snowy mountain cabin with two sexy partners a welcome diversion in the heat of the summer? I tend to get absorbed in my books, so reading about blazing heat and sunshine tends to be something I avoid in the summer months, oddly. I didn’t realize that until recently. We all know that the steamier romances are smokin’ with heat and passion, so wow… overwhelm the senses?

What is your perfect summer day? I have a lovely corner of my patio set up with a table, chairs, and umbrella, and I love sitting there with a notebook and a chilled glass of wine. I’m not a beach person, unless it ocean waves pounding in on a rocky shoreline. That creates a world of enticing and exciting ideas to the creative mind.

This summer I discovered a new drink that is positively decadent, it’s called a Dark and Stormy–and it’s 2 ounces of Dark Bermuda Rum with 4 ounces of Jamaican Ginger Beer, all over crushed ice. If you get the chance, indulge in it! My sister’s been to Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas–she says drinking these Dark and Stormy concoctions was like being back on the islands! Hell, just the name of it conjures up images of pirates and maidens and storm tossed seas. I think this drink is destined to become one of my guilty pleasures!

Despite my aversion to writing summer in the summer, I have been frantically typing away creating my next project for Ellora’s Cave – it’s part of a two story set, with the other half of the tale being written by Cindy Jacks. We’re calling the Duet Backstage Passes and my contribution is entitled “Until I Find You Again” which is a song title from Richard Marx. If you visit my blog, Bound By Passion, you can get a glimpse of the very sexy Michael Eden–who just happens to be inspired by the delectable Ryan Gosling. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more info as we get closer to announcing the completion of this project! It’s going to be great.

Happy Summer Days to everyone!!! May your days all be blessed with love and laughter.

Denysé
Denysé Bridger
"Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy..."
** Best-Selling Author of 2011 **
WEBSITE: http://www.denysebridger.com
Fantasy Pages (general): http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com Bound By Passion (adult content): http://boundpassion.blogspot.com

About the Author: Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write, the American West, Victorian England, cowboys, a passion for pirates, Greek Gods, and Ancient Egypt. The other endless love affair in my life is Italia and all its magic, beauty, and dazzling culture. That passion spills into all aspects of my life. In the past half dozen years, I’ve signed with over a dozen publishers, and have released books in all lengths and genres, and it’s something I hope to continue to do for many more years. A visit to my website will show the diversity of what is currently available, and the mixing of genres and styles that will be employed in many up-coming projects as well. (All my social site links, etc., are on the About Me page)

Anniversary Blog Fest: Dana Littlejohn

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Hello everyone!

Dana Littlejohn here to share my experience when I took a trip in July to the lovely city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Beautiful city, fantastic food, rich culture and hotter than hell in the summer. It was a one of a kind experience.

My husband and I went for a week and stayed in one of those stay weekly hotels in Lafayette which was less than an hour away. It wasn’t one of the best places we have ever stayed, but it was clean, safe and came out way cheaper to stay than any hotel in New Orleans would have cost us. With the rental car and a complete kitchenette to cook our own food it was well worth it.

We settled in and decided to rest that first day, but the second we set out to explore Lafayette. It turned out to be a lovely city in its own right with friendly people and amazing food. I even ate gator and lived to tell the tale. LOL Although Lafayette was great I couldn’t wait until we went to New Orleans.

The next day we jumped in the car and was New Orleans bound. Along the way I saw swamps, bogs and, though I didn’t know what to expect since I had not seen the city pre-Katrina, I was stunned to see evidence of devastation after so long. We arrived in the city and did the tourist thing, walking around with our little map, mouths hanging open and pointing at everything we passed.

We ran into another couple as I took pictures of the building. The husband was a native, a born and raised Cajun he said, that now lives in Georgia. After talking for a while he and his wife invited us to hang with them. They could take us to some really nice places that weren’t on the tourist track. We walked and talked with them for while learning Jackson Square and ghost tales attached to New Orleans’s history and then they invited us to go with them to the roof of the tallest building they knew. From there they said you could see actual wall that held back the sea in the distance. I was scared to death. I didn’t want to go, but how could you pass up the chance to see something that incredible? So I sucked it up, pulled up my big girl panties and it was the best decision I ever made. It was the most frightening and beautiful sight I had ever seen.

Our next stop was Bourbon Street. We ate at Bubba Gump and spend a load of money shopping. It was incredible. We passed a ‘haunted house’ where a woman sat outside trying to encourage us to enter. Our escorts almost dragged us away from her. They wouldn’t let us anywhere near it not wanting us to bring bad spirits back to Indiana. That night there was a parade just for the sake of having a parade. And yes, they threw beads for boobs!

We left our new friends after that and headed back to Lafayette. We met up with them a couple more times during our stay. Since I was determined only to eat food I could get in New Orleans we had dinner with them in a few spots that was off the beaten path. I found out how addictive etouffée was, that I like to eat crawfish when it’s not looking at me and that okra is gross and makes everything taste nasty even gumbo.

My husband and I take many extended weekends during the summer, but we try to take one big one too. Our trip to Louisiana was the highlight of my summer. I learned that I love Cajun food, that Cajun accents are sexy even when you barely understand them and New Orleans doesn’t need a holiday or Mardi Gras to party. I have great memories to cherish forever and even traded emails and Facebook info with our new friends so we could all keep in touch. Also, I picked up some great history and inspiration for a story I am now working on.

Summer 2012 may be heading for a close, but I am looking forward to summer 2013. My husband and I try to go somewhere different every year, but New Orleans was so much fun we may have to double up.

About the Author:
Dana Littlejohn’s birth interrupted a late night Christmas party. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, diversity was never a stranger to her. Like the women in her books, she dated men of all races before marrying and settling down. Dana has called Indianapolis, Indiana, her home for over 10 years now. She lives with her husband in an empty nest. Though she works a nine to five at a doctor’s office to pay the bills, Dana looks forward to the day when someone will read one of her stories and decides it will make a great movie.

www.DanaLittlejohn.net



A client from hell, a murder investigation and meeting the man of your dreams: Is this a bad work week?

Jerri Ivory was over divorce cases, but when your boss asks you to do him a favor... During the important case, her boss is killed and she becomes a suspect all while she is trying to get to know Felix, a man her friend Linda hooked her up with. With all the chaos and mayhem going on in her life, can Felix slow her down long enough to show her they were meant to be?

Anniversary Blog Fest: Wendi Zwaduk

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Holiday Road!


I’m one of those people who needs a routine. I need it. Badly. Why? Without a routine I’m dangerous. I forget what all I wanted to accomplish. So when the school buildings let out, I cringe.

This summer has been a little different. For the past couple years, we’ve owned a travel trailer. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not much of a camper. I like my rooms to stay put. BUT, and yes, it is a big but, I enjoy the camper because we don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind. It’s all in the camper. Still, camping in the travel trailer wasn’t my favorite thing to do because we all have to ride in the truck. Now if you enjoy riding in a truck with two squirmy dogs, then it might be for you. It’s not for me.

But this past year we took the leap and got a second hand (really second hand) RV. As much as I don’t like to camp, I like the RV. It lives up to the house on wheels name. We don’t leave things. If I want to stretch out on the couch, I can. I can take the computer and my curling iron. It’s great.

So what does all that have to do with routines? I can keep mine intact. Yes. The RV is like a house, so I get up, let the dogs out and can go about my business in the morning. It’s nice. Plus I can see what’s happening while we drive – when I don’t get carsick. And if I get hungry or want a drink? Ta-da! We can get one! There’s no driving past the rest area only to find out that the small person has to pee. It’s great.

Wonder of all is I’m enjoying myself so much I’ve turned a day on the blog into travel Thursdays. Yep, so I can talk about where we’ve gone. Grin. I’m still not a camper girl—trust me, an RV isn’t camping in the sense that using a tent is—but I’m coming around.

Want to know more about Wendi Zwaduk? Here you go:

I always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I earned a BA in education at Kent State University and currently hold a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University.

I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. I’m published with Total-E-Bound, Changeling Press, Liquid Silver Books, Turquoise Morning Press, Decadent Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. Come join me for this fantastic journey!

If you like my work, tell your friends and email me. I love hearing from readers!

Site: http://wendizwaduk.com/
Blog: http://wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendiZwaduk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wendi.zwaduk
Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendi-Zwaduk/195277927167481?ref=tn_tnmn
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/wendizwaduk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3495446.Wendi_Zwaduk
On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/wendizwaduk/

Anniversary Blog Fest: Suz deMello

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My Summer Soundtrack
by
Suz deMello


A lot of authors pick specific music to write to, which may vary according to the book he or she is writing. Stephen King is well-known to listen to head-banging, big-hair, heavy metal music when he writes. Me, I prefer a less intrusive soundtrack for writing. When I wrote a sheikh book set in Texas, I listened to Arab-inflected music from Kite Runner as well as to Sting’s Desert Rose and Fill Her Up. Right now I’m writing vampire historicals set in Scotland, which means lots of mystical Celtic songs like those of Loreena McKennitt. McKennitt, along with folk songs like those of Judy Collins, is the soundtrack for The Kilburn Vampires series, including the first book, Temptation in Tartan.

And often my listening has nothing to do with my writing, but is more about what I’m doing or the season we’re in. When I go to sleep, I listen to a “sleep” playlist I have on my iPhone; same with exercising, but that’s a bouncy, lively soundtrack as opposed to the slower ballads that dominate my Sleep list.

In the winter between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I listen to jazz versions of Christmas carols, a weird love given that I’m an atheist from a Jewish family. And in the summer, my music reflects the season.

There’s plenty of great music for the summer in all different styles. In classical, I love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; Spring and Summer are my faves. Gershwin’s Summertime is a great jazz/blues choice, and different versions are available from all the blues greats—there’s even a great cover by Janis Joplin.

Rock and roll abounds with great summer tunes, especially given that in the early sixties, pop was heavily influenced by the California sound, which in turn was all about seaside fun. I grew up in Los Angeles, spending most of my summers in the pool or bodysurfing at Zuma Beach. (Shout out if you’ve been there!)

I love summer music, especially the Beach Boys, the soundtrack of my youth. Here’s some of my favorite summer listening:

It’s a Beautiful Day: Hot Summer Day
Steve Winwood: Summertime Blues
Lovin’ Spoonful: Summer in the City
Beach Boys: Surfin’ Safari; California Girls
The Drifters: Under the Boardwalk
Don Henley: The Boys of Summer
The Beatles: Here Comes the Sun; Sun King
Joni Mitchell: California; Carey
Katy Perry: California Gurls
John Denver: Sunshine on my Shoulders

Enjoy!

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 hit several bestseller lists.

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.

Anniversary Blog Fest: Morticia Knight

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Last Minute Summer Romance


How is it that summer is almost over, and I’m already having a hard time finding Number 2 Ticonderoga pencils at the store? Didn’t we just have shish-kebobs on the new grill, and watch the fireworks over the river? That was last week some time, right?

My family and I are looking at each other, and wondering what happened. It’s like we fell asleep and the evil summer goblins came and stole summer right out from under us. I’ve only used the stupid grill three times – one time, we just cooked the weenies and then ate inside. The firepit? Twice. We sat on the new patio furniture a few times, but all we’ve really been doing is working non-stop and making sure the kid gets as much as possible out of summer before she has to go back to school – with the said pencils.

Now I’m feeling a little ripped off, and so is my man. After all, I write wild and steamy romances, yet we haven’t had any extra fun summertime activities for grown-ups. We need some quality adult time!

It’s not too late. If you’re feeling a little bit like the summer train is passing you by, you can still take a night or two and make it romantic and fun. Recently, the hubby mentioned that it had been a long time since we drove to a tiny beach town up the coast in Washington. When we first moved to the seaside, we would go there a lot. It sort of became our special little thing. There’s a funny old time tourist trap there that advertises itself as a “Free Museum”. In reality, it’s an enormous, weird gift shop that sells salt water taffy, preserved baby sharks in a jar, plastic snow globes, shells, junk with the town’s name on it, and just about every type of little knick-knack you can think of.

Its true claim to fame however, is the sideshow circus freak atmosphere. That’s where the whole free museum thing comes into play. There are old glass slide show projectors, myriads of stuffed creatures – including a two-headed snake and two-headed baby lamb - world’s largest frying pan, and those Victorian fortune telling machines and other ones like it from that era. What’s really freaky though is Jake the Alligator Man. That is their number one attraction. There is a glass and wood case that’s about 4 feet long, and inside is a mummified alligator with a shrunken head attached. It’s supposed to be an actual creature that lived at one time. Okay…

But this bizarre place is one of the first things we discovered when we moved to our new home to start our life together, and combined with the awesome devil dogs (cream stuffed donuts with chocolate topping – yum!) at the hometown bakery across the street, it’s a reminder of a romantic time we spent together when we didn’t have more than a few dollars to spend. Since it’s located right on the beach, we can also grab a place for the night, go to one of the nice local restaurants, and we have an instant romantic summer getaway that’s special in particular to us.

No, there’s not a lot of time left for summer shenanigans, but there are still plenty of opportunities to create your own special memories with your partner. Everyone has those quirky little places that are part of your relationship history – take a day or two and enjoy them together. If you want to spice things up a bit, bring along a juicy erotic romance and read aloud to each other. Ooh-la-la! Who knows what kind of fantastic new memories you’ll want to repeat again and again?

Morticia Knight’s current release is The Perfect Third, an erotic ménage romance available at Total-E-Bound Publishing.

About the Author: Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale, whether it is contemporary, paranormal, historical, ménage, M/M or BDSM - she loves it all! One of her passions is bringing people's fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor. When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on a Three-Book series called Uniform Encounters set in the Southwest that features those yummy men in uniform.

Find Morticia online at

Blog: www.morticiaknight.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/morticia.knight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MorticiaKnight

Anniversary Blogfest: Cassandra Carr

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What I did on my summer vacation
by
Cassandra Carr


I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. And then I wrote some more.

What else did I do? Some pretty entertaining things, like taking my 3yo to a butterfly conservatory. Both she and my hubs wore yellow shirts -- the preferred color of the butterflies, but my daughter also had her long hair in a ponytail, which flitted about her back and scared any butterflies away that were considering landing.

My husband, however, seemed to be a huge shining beacon for the little devils, and constantly had 2-3 on him, as you can see from the picture where two are clinging to his shoulder.
The other is a butterfly that obligingly stayed on my daughter's hip long enough for us to take the picture. We also took our daughter to both sides of Niagara Falls -- we live in the Western New York area, so it's not far, as well as on several other little day trips.

All those things might sound boring to some, but although many people cart their children all over the world, hubs and I have some...different attitudes about travel. Though he enjoys BEING places, he doesn't enjoy GETTING places, so we don't go far from home. In a few years we'll probably take her to Disney, but not until she can walk by herself for longer than she can now. ;-)

Plus there's the matter of my schedule. You know, the writing. You people keep me busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

About the Author: Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora's Cave, Siren, Loose Id, and Sybarite Seductions, who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra's book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.

For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com, "like" her Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.

Anniversary Blog Fest: C.R. Moss

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Summer with C.R. Moss ~ Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada…


…Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; and Astoria, Oregon. Oh, and other points in Utah, Oregon, Washington and maybe even Canada.

Now, you may be asking, what do all these places have to do with each other? Well… Welcome to my summer. They’re the places I’ve traveled to (& will be traveling to). At the beginning of June, I drove down to the Phoenix area for a readers’ convention where I touched base with some of my favorite authors and met some new authors and readers. Then at the end of June, my writing partner and I were on the road again driving up to RomCon in Denver. I’ve done lots of road trips in my life, and I have to say, the drive from Las Vegas to Denver was one of the easiest and most interesting. The varying geological landscapes along the way were a sight to behold. One section in Utah was quite barren and seemed to take forever to get through on the way home. I fell in love with Colorado, though, and its mountains, greenery and water. At one point on the way to Denver after nightfall, we’d stopped so I could clean the truck’s windshield, and it was 45 degrees out. That was a bit of a shock, having come from a place that was already experiencing 100 degree temps during the days and 70 to 80s at night. The heat that Denver experienced while we were there was surprising, too, but we stayed cool in the hotel, and ultimately we all had a good time. And, speaking of the views, the eye candy in the form of the models wasn’t bad either! lol! I can’t wait to return next year!

Due to an injury, I spent the month of July at home. Occasionally I headed down to the pool to lie out, swim and write. Mostly I enjoyed coffee in the morning shade of my porch while I worked on a couple of stories—the next in the Double D Ranch Tales ~ Wild West Hauntings & a story for Evernight Publishing’s Naughty Fairy Tales line—and relaxed in the air conditioning, while outside, monsoon season brought what the weatherman called “juicy” weather.

As of writing this blog for the anniversary party, I still have one more trip to take before Labor Day. This is a personal trip to the Pacific Northwest. I’m looking forward to hanging out with a close friend I haven’t seen in six years, connecting back with nature at the beach, the river and the parks and doing some much needed healing after the year I’ve had. My friend told me some wonderful stories about the town she lives in. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great setting for a series of stories I’m planning on writing under my other pen name, Casey Moss. She’s also said that I should be able to witness some wonderful sunsets. I hope so. It’d be great inspiration for some more of my Sunset stories that I’m writing for Decadent’s 1NightStand series. While I’m up there, we plan to make a run down to the central Oregon coast points and maybe up into Washington. There’s also been mention of taking a trip across the border into Canada if we have the time and energy to do so. I also hope I get to experience a storm or two and see the crazy surf she talks about. Now that would make my summer and be some great fodder for a story or two.

Thanks for joining me here today! I plan on posting pics of my trip to the PNW so be sure to check out my blog http://crmoss.blogspot.com/

Happy Reading! C.R.

About the Author: An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities. So what does she write? She writes stories from the light and sweet to the dark and deadly with varying degrees of sexual heat. Writing as C.R. Moss gives her and her muses the freedom to explore worlds of possibilities when it comes to love. She also has a passion for penning dark fiction. Writing under the name Casey Moss allows her to slate other stories under Horror ~ Paranormal ~ Suspense ~ Thriller ~ Urban Fantasy. Visit: http://caseymossbooks.com/

Find C.R. Moss/Casey Moss here ~

Website: http://www.crmoss.net/
Double D Ranch Tales: http://doubledranchtales.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CRMoss.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CRMoss
Evernight Publishing – C.R. Moss: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/pages/C.R.-Moss.html
Evernight Publishing – Casey Moss: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/casey-moss/
Decadent Publishing – Sunset Desires: http://bit.ly/SunsetDesiresbyCRMoss
Decadent Publishing – Sunset Seduction: http://bit.ly/MFI99w
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/C.R.-Moss/e/B002DBE49W
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=C.R.+Moss

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Anniversary Blog Fest: Tamaria Soana

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One of my favorite summer memories was going to Daytona Beach with my good friend. We were twenty-one and had a blast. Our escapades included going on a gambling cruise (lost a lot of money), bar hopping and dancing the night away, renting four-wheelers and riding down the beach, sunbathing, and parasailing (well, okay to be honest she did the parasailing and I sat in the boat with the hot guys!) It was the best five days of my life!

My newest release is called At Sunset. It’s a fun and sexy short story about two friends taking their first trip together. Kimberly, my heroine, just had her heart broken and Amber is convinced that she needs to have a fling before she can move on.

The first day at the beach Kim notices a very hot lifeguard. Amber can’t seem to convince her that he seems interested in her. No matter how hard Amber pushes Kim won’t entertain the idea of meeting him.

The following day after the girls have their fill of lying in the sun they decide to go for a swim. A mishap in the water brings Kim and the hot lifeguard face to face and sparks fly!

When I was writing At Sunset, it was hard not to think of my beach vacation. In my case no vacation fling happened; maybe this story was what I wished happened. I think everyone fantasies about being swept away by a hunky lifeguard!

About the Author:
Tamaria Soana is middle aged, but just feels her life has begun. She writes sexy contemporary romance stories that always end with a ‘happily ever after’. Growing up she loved to read and make up new places in her head to escape to. In her late teens she began writing short stories and poetry; it wasn’t until her late thirties before she began to spin a full story. She’s married and a stay-at-home-mom of two beautiful young girls, they reside in Western New York. Cuddling up with a good book under an electric throw is her way to escape the cold Buffalo nights. Besides writing, she co-owns Shades of Rose Marketing and Shades of Rose YA Marketing, also hosts a talk show on Talkshoe called Live with Tamaria ~ Giving authors a voice.

Read… Relax… Escape with Tamaria Soana

Find Tamaria online at

http://tamariasoana.weebly.com/
http://tamariasoana.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TamariaSoanaAuthor
https://twitter.com/#!/Tamaria_Soana



Two women, Myrtle Beach, sexy lifeguards—what more could a girl ask for?

Kimberly doesn't believe she could attract the handsome lifeguard sitting on the stand keeping a keen eye on the beach patrons. Muscular, lean and sexy, surely he's not looking at her, but when a beach accident brings them eye-to-eye, she finds herself lost in his gaze.

Daniel works everyday watching the beach-goers, keeping an eagle eye out for problems along the white sandy shores. Sexy women capture his attention on a daily basis, but no one grabs him like Kimberly. Gorgeous and curvy in all the right places, he can't seem to keep his mind on the business at hand as she tans herself in the hot summer sun.

Can the pain of past relationships be overcome for two strangers to find love at Sunset?

Anniversary Blog Fest: Desiree Holt

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Hi everyone. Leave me a comment. One lucky person will win a copy of Once Upon a Wedding.

I wrote Once Upon a Wedding sitting on a balcony overlooking a beach with that same gentle breeze and the warm sun inspiring me. What better place to meet the man to fulfill all your dreams and what better environment to let your erotic fantasies hang out. I wrote it some time ago but every summer I love to pull it out and read it.

So what’s it all about, this story that I consider a great beach read?

It’s summer and Rainie McIntyre’s wedding is just days away. But she has an unfulfilled desire she just can’t kill—one hot weekend with one hot guy, to live out her fantasies before settling back into her button down life. When she tells her fiancé he’s not too trilled but he figures better now before the wedding than after. So off she goes to the beach, where the warm sun and soft sand, along with tropical drinks, put her in the right mood. But will her weekend prince charming show up and satisfy her erotic wishes?



Loraine “Rainie” McIntyre longs for just one weekend to let down her hair and find a man who will help her live out all her fantasies before her conventional wedding to her very conventional fiancé and continuing her very conventional life. Despite Stuart's protests, she knows she has to do this or she'll always feel she missed something in life. Goodbye Loraine, hello Rainie. And hello Joe, the sex god with lion's eyes she meets at the beach. Hopping on his motorcycle with him, she roars off to a weekend of the wildest sex anyone could ever want. But things are not always what they seem and life is about to hand Rainie a few surprises.
Read an excerpt from the book:

“Sounds like you should have a talk with Stuart.” They were silent for a long moment. Joe picked up one of her hands and played with the fingers. “So Rainie-who-wants-to-be-wild. Do you think I’d do?”

She frowned. “Do?”

“You know. For the weekend fling. I’m healthy, momentarily unattached and I can promise you the sex will be better than you can imagine.”

Her heart was beating in a stuttering rhythm. A flutter deep in her womb began to increase in tempo.

While she chewed on her lip, Joe made the decision for her. He swallowed the last of his drink, rose with lithe jungle grace and held out his hand to her. “Come on. I promise you an adventure you won’t forget.”

Rainie looked up at him. A wildness glittered in his lion’s eyes, a hint of something feral and untamed beneath all those tanned muscles and that amazing grin. Anticipation rolled over her.

“All right.” She stood up, hitched the thin strap of her flat purse over her shoulder and gave him her hand.

He tossed their drink cups in a trash barrel and led her toward the street.

“Where are we going?”

“I rented a house down the beach for the weekend. How does that sound?”

She paused. “I don’t have any clothes except what I’ve got on. And my car’s in the garage here.”

The amber eyes darkened to a deep gold. “If things work out you won’t need any clothes. And your car’s safe at the hotel. Anyway, I’ve got the transportation covered.”

They stopped at the curb where a gleaming silver Ducati motorcycle rested on its kickstand.

Rainie’s mouth flopped open. “Is this yours?”

“Sure is.” He winked at her and handed her a helmet. “Here. You’ll need this. Don’t want to splatter your brains before we get to that wild sex.”

Suddenly Rainie threw back her head and laughed. What the hell. This was what she wanted, wasn’t it? “Okay, Joe. Crank ‘er up.”

She hopped onto the motorcycle behind him, wrapped her arms around his hard, muscular body, her hands clasped against sun-warmed male skin and inhaled. A cologne so light its fragrance was almost elusive mingled with the scent of the sun, the Gulf waters, the lingering coconut aroma of the piña coladas and the male essence that was uniquely Joe. She had to squash an irresistible urge to pull up his shirt and lick his skin to see if he tasted as good as he smelled.

They roared down the street with wheeling seagulls squawking overhead and the rushing slipstream of the wind sweeping away the last vestiges of restraint.

Available at all online bookstores.

Come follow me on Facebook (desireholtauthor) and Twitter (@desireeholt) and email me at desireeholt@desireeeholt.com

Anniversary Blog Fest: Victoria Blisse

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Summer Holiday


And on this occasion I’m not talking about the song by Cliff Richard (Don’t judge me, I love Cliff!) but I am talking about the best thing about the long, hot days of July and August. Summer holidays. Kids in the UK get around 6-8 weeks over July and August away from school and this is the time lots of families take the time to go on holiday.



I’ve been to Scarborough just about every year since I was five (that’s coming up on 3 decades now) and I still love it. As a kid I loved the beach, the sea, the 2p machines in the arcades and the ice cream. Oh and the miniature railway and the open top bus.

Now I’m a grown up I love exactly the same things with an added appreciation of the gorgeous scenery and beautiful old buildings.

It’ll come as no surprise to you then when I tell you I write a lot of stories set in Scarborough. Today I’m going to share a little from my latest one with you. A proper British seaside holiday is within the pages of Smut by the Sea. It’s an anthology I have co-edited with the talented and lovely Lucy Felthouse and is filled with sensual, saucy seaside stories.

So here’s a snippet from mine.



So I set out to Scarborough to revisit the joy of my childhood. Of course my memories were sun-bathed and glorious, but by the grace of the British weather it was throwing it down with rain when I pulled into the familiar white-frilled platform of my haven of sanity.

And it wasn't just a shower, it kept up raining as I walked around to find a hotel room. It was also the kind of rain with purpose that they get up north. I'd forgotten the biting chill of rainwater impacting forcefully on skin and the short amount of time it takes to get wet, properly wet.

In London I leap from office to Tube to taxis and restaurants and back, I don't have time to get more than damp. By the time I found a hotel with a vacancy, I was drenched to the skin but I was happy. I'd seen my first glimpse of the tumble-down castle and heard the cry of the seagulls. I smelt the tang of salt on the air and smiled.

I sat in my room a while, it was gifted with a huge window and a view of the sea. As I dried out I watched the sea boil and break, churning white with ferocity and power. I tracked the familiar coast and picked out landmarks, absorbed the nostalgia and breathed. I was so relaxed, sat there in the comfort of my room with my wet jeans steaming on the radiator that my mind slipped to pleasure for the first time since forever. The soft velour chair stroked my thighs and made me feel decadent. I realised that I was sat by my hotel window half naked, thought about it a moment, then shrugged.

I was high up and overlooking the sea but hidden from public view. Who would want to look anyway? I am just a chubby girl; no one ever glances at me twice. And I don't mind, I'm too busy, then too exhausted for sex anyway. But there in that hotel room I felt stirrings I'd almost forgotten I could experience.

I was hyper aware of my breathing, my bust rising and falling under the plain white t-shirt protecting them. I watched them heave out of the corner of my eye and gazed out at the rain and the sea and the squall. The undulation of the tide seemed to mimic the rise and fall of my chest and I found myself unable to resist reaching up and stroking across my breast. I felt tingles slip down between my cleavage, over the hillock of my stomach to the valley below.
You can pick up your copy of Smut by the Sea here: http://smutbythesea.co.uk/anthology-vol-1/

So where did you spend your holiday/vacation as a child? Share your childhood memories here to be put in the draw for the anniversary weekend prizes!

About the Author:
Victoria Blisse is a Mother, Wife, Christian, Manchester United Fan and Award Winning Erotica Author. She is also the editor of several Bigger Briefs collections and Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City.

She is equally at home behind a laptop or a cooker and she loves to create stories, poems, cakes and biscuits that make people happy. She was born near Manchester, England, and her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories.

Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life.

Find out more at http://victoriablisse.co.uk and find Victoria on Facebook and Twitter .

Anniversary Blog Fest: Genevieve Ash

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The Front Porch


Summer evokes thoughts of warm lazy days, laughing with friends, visiting new exciting places or revisiting the comfort of old familiar haunts. This summer has been a strange mixture of happy, sad, busy and lazy. For the first time in a while, I was fortunate to have the summer off from the ‘day’ job. I had so many plans. Things I could accomplish, time to spend with family, places to go, people to see and of course, writing constantly. Ah, but the best laid plans…

Sometimes life has a way of making other plans for us. After we kick and scream our disgusted way through the surprises she has in store for us, all that is left to do, is to go along for the ride. I did spend time with my family, but not in the relaxed vacation atmosphere I had hoped for. The loss of my father was difficult for us all and although we celebrated his long happy life, we also grieved his passing. Travel plans were postponed, the yard work fell to the wayside and friends were put on hold. Now as the crisp cool air of autumn tries to push its way in to the summer nights, I look back and think where did summer go? The only constant I can recall is the time I spent sitting on my front porch; Early morning as the stars faded to light. High noon with the sweltering heat that has plagued so many this year. In the quiet darkness as the night trains whistled in the distance and my favorite time, twilight. A time when the day is not quite ready to leave, and the night still waits to be acknowledged. A time when the world sighs and says, it is done for today, let it go.

I sat on the porch for more hours than I care to count this summer. I started to feel a bit ashamed of my laziness, but then I realized they were not simply lost moments. They were moments of recharging batteries, letting go of stress, remembering the past and dreaming of the future. I sat in the sun, rain, heat and darkness --sometimes with my laptop. I finished a few stories, started a few more. My first full length novel is soon to be released and required several rounds of edits. I co-edited my second anthology and began work on a third. I have partnered in a new publishing venture and have recorded several audio books. Could I have accomplished more inside the four walls of my office? Perhaps. Was I lazy? I don’t think so.

Sometimes the best way to push yourself harder is by sitting down and taking a break. We all have busy lives, too busy. There will always be something to do because that is how we have decided it should be. The next time you find yourself wondering how you will find the energy to accomplish everything you had committed to- take a break. Find your own ’porch’ and have a seat. I think you just may find what you’re looking for.

About the Author:
Genevieve Ash is a multi-published writer of erotic romance. Although she believes in the fairy tale, she realizes that stories do not always end happily ever after. Her work takes you on a journey through the powerful emotions that love and passion bring, never giving up the hope that love will win. Genevieve’s latest release Going Dutch, is available from Total-eBound now and her first full length novel from The Wild Rose Press is due out soon. Genevieve and Essemoh Teepee have jointly edited the successful new anthology Cream of the Crop: Disciplined Sex and Voyeur Eyes Only: Vegas Windows (together with D.L. King) for Xcite Books. They also produced and published the two companion audio editions of the book. A third collaboration The Honey Trap: Sexy, Seductive Spies for Renaissance Sizzler Editions is due out late autumn. Find out more about all of her titles at www.genevieveash.com and www.alternatepress.co.uk.

Find Genevieve online at

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GenevieveAsh
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/genevieve.ash

Anniversary Blog Fest: Karen Stivali

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I’m not a typical beachgoer. Too much sunlight tends to make me lightheaded and cranky. I don’t go to the beach in pursuit of a perfect tan. In fact I’m usually the palest person on the sand. It wouldn’t take more than a tiny bit of glitter for me to make a convincing Cullen. I don’t swim in the ocean because whenever I try I lose a contact lens and without my contacts I can’t see well enough to determine which way is sandy shore and which way is out to sea. I don’t dream of exotic island locales or plan winter vacations in tropical lands. Yet, in spite of all that, my favorite vacation spot is, in fact, a beach.

For the past fifteen years I’ve spent one week each summer at the same sleepy little beach town on the southern coast of the New Jersey shore. Not the Jersey shore you see on the TV show. This is a tiny town with a cozy old-fashioned main street, miles of boardwalk safe enough to walk any time of day or night, and some of my favorite foods in the world.

Fifty-one weeks a year I look forward to my peaceful seven days of morning bike rides on the boardwalk. I crave the local flavors. The creamy homemade chocolate fudge and the luscious Italian ices. The freshly pulled salt water taffy. The thin-crusted pizza and hand cut cheese fries. The evening strolls watching the moonlight dance on the water. The late night performers who set up on the boardwalk to entertain with Beatles cover songs, yo-yo tricks and juggling displays. Those are my ideas of a beach vacation. I love the soothing sound of the surf rolling in and out. I love the feel of the wooden boards creaking under my feet as I stroll for hours. I’ve lived in five states in my lifetime, traveled to over a dozen countries and I currently reside hundreds of miles from the Jersey shore, but for that one week a year it feels as if I’ve come home.

The fifteen summers have seen me through a major move, a career change, the birth of a child, the death of a parent, the anxiety of being on submission with agents and publishers and finally, this summer, the anticipation of my first full-length novel being released. Two summers ago I finished writing my novel, the night before we drove to the beach. I spent that evening printing out all four hundred pages while I packed so I could hold it in my hands for the first time. I read it sitting under a beach umbrella with my toes dug into the soft white sand.

Last summer I headed to the shore buzzing from the high that not only had I been offered a contract to publish that novel, but the sequel had just been contracted as well. This summer I savored fudge and freshly fried donuts trying to quell my nerves about the fact that in a few short weeks my story will actually be available for readers. Sooner than I can believe I’ll be able to hold an actual paperback copy in my hands, of a book I wrote. That’s a dream I’ve had ever since I can remember.

I’ve only been back from vacation for three weeks and I’m already looking forward to next summer. Atypical beachgoer that I am, the beach is still my favorite place on earth. My annual summer reprieve. A place where I can remember the past and dream of the future.

Do you have a vacation spot that’s like a touch stone? Someplace you want to return over and over? Or is your ideal vacation all about the adventure? Leave me a comment and share your favorite vacation destination.

For more information about my current and upcoming projects please visit my website: http://karenstivali.com.

I can also be found on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenstivali
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005KWSFGO
About the Author:
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.

Karen has published three erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave: Marry Me (June 2012), Long-Distance Lovers (co-written with Karen Booth, March 2012) and Always You (Passionate Plume First Place Novella Winner, RWA 2012). Karen’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be, will be published by Turquoise Morning Press on August 26, 2012. Its sequel, Holding On, will be released on November 26, 2012. A prequel to these novels, the short story "All I Need", appears in the Foreign Affairs Anthology (Turquoise Morning Press, August 2012).

Anniversary Blog Fest: Reece Butler

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Cowboy Research
by
Reece Butler


I love hot cowboys with muscles from working hard, a work ethic that never quits, and an attitude to match. If they’re tall with the ability to dance and laugh at themselves, so much the better.

Let me tell you, folks, there are REAL cowboys out there!

Because I write erotic cowboy romance (ménage with a happily-ever-after), and there’s only so much you can learn from books and the Internet, I spent my summer vacation getting hands-on ranch experience, paying for the privilege of learning from those who live the life. (You can too, see below.)

My Bride Train series is set in Montana Territory in the early 1870s, so I headed to ranch country southwest of Billings. The work hasn’t much changed over the last hundred years and there’s always more to be done than hands to do it. Back then, however, there were dozens of men for each available woman.

I fed animals, moved cattle on horseback, drove a tractor and discovered they don’t have brakes. I helped sort sheep, got charged by a bull, and stepped in every type of manure you can think of. (I’ve heard a lot of bull over the years but this was the first time I saw it up close and personal.)

One of the biggest ranch jobs, spring and fall, is to gather cow and calf pairs to check them, brand the calves, and turn bulls into steers. I was honored to be part of the ranch family invited to participate in a spring gather done the old way, by horseback.

We were southwest of Columbus, Montana, at an altitude of about 4,200 feet. We needed horses because the canyon walls rise hundreds of feet, some at a thirty-degree angle. See photos of that day (and others) on my Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reece-Butler/319225498159135.

During those few weeks I learned a heck of a lot, and not just about ranch work. Life is close to the edge when you’re riding a horse miles from nowhere with no cell phone reception and the weather closing in. You have to trust in yourself and your horse. There’s nobody else around.

There’s a scene in The Badger City Gang, Bride Train #7 (August 2012) where Kate, the heroine, diverts cattle from stampeding over the edge of a cliff. She does it even though she’s being lashed with cold rain and hail. She stands her ground (on horseback) as longhorn cattle race toward her. She endures the cold, wet, and pain, proud of conquering her fears and surviving the elements to help save the ranch.

In 1872 women were the legal property of their husbands. Even when they were widows and inherited property, the law favored men. I used the hailstorm to prove to the trio of McInnes men that Kate should be seen as a partner, not a useless Eastern lady.

Sad to say, this scene was based on truth, only the cattle weren’t diverted. We had hail one day the size of golf balls. A ranch nearby had baseball-size hail. They lost most of their cattle when, terrified from the pain of the hail, they stampeded off a cliff. No insurance covers that destruction, so local ranchers donated cow-calf pairs to help them start over again.

That weekend we went out and kicked our feet up, swing dancing to a live local band. I danced with every man from twenty to eighty who asked, and had an absolutely fantastic time. That’s how you get through the hard times, by putting everything into living.

My cowboy heroes (three ranchers for every heroine, happily-ever-after) survive weather, varmints, rustlers, crooked officials, and—most dangerous of all—giving up their heart.

Reece Butler’s hands-on ranching experience was organized by Montana Bunkhouses Working Ranch Vacations at http://www.montanaworkingranches.com/.

About the Author: I love to create wonderful stories about strong men and women who make their own decisions and live, or die, by their actions. They don’t find it easy to face their past, or the personal demons who haunt their lives. But, through love and eventual trust, they find their way to a happily-ever-after.

I’ve devoured books since first grade but didn’t discover the joy of romance fiction until 2004. A year later I joined the Romance Writers of America® and began learning my craft. In 2009 the first book in my Bride Train series, Barefoot Bride for Three, won the historical category for the RWA’s Passionate Ink (unpublished erotic romance) Chapter. As of August 2012, seven “Bride Train” books have been published.

I’d love to hear from readers at Reece@ReeceButler.net.

e-books can be purchased via http://www.bookstrand.com/reece-butler
Personal web page: www.ReeceButler.net
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reece-Butler/319225498159135

Anniversary Blog Fest: Jennifer Stevenson

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Why all my books take place in summer
By
Jennifer Stevenson


I write romantic comedies and I set them all in summertime, the season of eternal youth. Like love, summer lasts forever. If you fall in love in summertime you will have that love the rest of your life. Every summer thereafter will remind you of the certainty, the glory, the exhileration of love’s roller coaster.

P.G. Wodehouse, seniormost god in my personal pantheon of romantic comedy authors, never wrote a story that wasn’t set in summer. He knew what he was doing. His universe, like mine, is the place where young lovers can do crazy things in the name of love, mess it up, and yet always wake to another sunny day to make their dreams come true. His summers were mostly English, although he set some later novels in the US, especially Long Island, where he spent the latter part of his life.

My summer stories take place in Chicago and thereabouts. Midwestern summers have their own charm, as Ray Bradbury recorded so memorably in Dandelion Wine. Remember the chapter where the kid talks to the shoe store owner about the immense power of new sneakers? If you were ever released from school into three months of unstructured play, you know the power of summer.

Summer flowers of the midwestern prairie roast under the sun, but never wilt. Lightning bugs and tree frogs make twilight magical with their light-and-sound shows. Nighthawks dive hundreds of feet through clouds of gnats. The clouds themselves arrive suddenly, build massive mountain ranges in the sky, dump floods and hail amid spectacular donner and blitzen, and then as suddenly depart, leaving us all steaming. Whether you’re walking on burning city sidewalks or skimming down country roads on your bike, you hear cicadas sawing away. A raindrop hits the dust and perfumes the air.

The Slacker Demons series is meant to be a series of firecrackers for summer readers. Like many heroes in my romantic comedies, these guys think of life as one long summer vacation. I don’t like to spoil that illusion by putting them through a Chicago winter, but I do like to drag them, kicking and screaming, into love. Each heroine is affectionately designed to make her personal slacker demon as miserable as possible…until he surrenders.

Don’t get me wrong. Chicago has truly miserable winters. I certainly shovel my way through them, fighting snow-sluggish traffic, shuddering under blankets, praying for a sight of the sun. Cars throw gobs of slush at me as I cross the street. My purple wiper fluid runs out halfway home, or simply freezes onto my subzero windshield.

But I promise you this: you will not find a Chicago winter in my stories.

There will be only endless days, ripe tomatoes still hot from the garden on your plate, cold beer in your hand under the stars, crickets just beginning to chirp at eight p.m., maybe a band playing in the park, the smell of the lake wafting in your bedroom window, and him, the love of your life, walking across the shadows on the lawn, coming to get you.

About the Author: Twenty-five years or more ago, Jennifer Stevenson was born under a cabbage leaf, dreaming of becoming a hack writer for the pulps. After a flustering detour down the rabbit-hole of literary fiction, she located a trail of breadcrumbs and followed it here, where she finds new uses for old sex demons and celebrates smart-mouth women. Find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Her latest sex demon romantic comedy, It’s Raining Men, book one of Slacker Demons, is available here: http://tinyurl.com/7cy559n. For something definitely weirder, try her roller derby vampire romance, A Taste Of You, available here: http://tinyurl.com/8ytcoou.