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Monday, May 31, 2010


Short Romance VS Long Romance

Until recently I've written books in the 40,000 to 65,000 word range. Lots of conflict weaved throughout the plot, suspense and of course, sex. You can't have a romance without sex, can you? I guess you can, but that's another topic. Writing a longer book takes longer time, obviously. But not always for the obvious reasons. There's times when you just don't know what your characters want. You write in a scene, then delete it because it doesn't flow or really make sense. But you know you've got to come up with something because you're not ready to write the end yet.

The last two books I've submitted, and been offered contracts for are short romances. Quickies, if you will, because they're coming out with Ellora's Cave. I'm so thrilled over that because of the publisher's reputation, and longevity. By short romance I mean 15,000 words and less. I mean, who can't do that? I didn't think I could but found that I obviously can, and what's more, I like it.

Writing a short romance can be whipped out in no time. You keep the plot simple, don't write in a lot of secondary characters, and get the hero and heroine into bed as soon as you can, as often as possible. Readers want short stories they can read in an hour or two for that quick romance fix. And I've discovered that I enjoy writing shorter romances.

My first Ellora's Cave Quickie is Talk Dirty to Me, and it came out on May 24th. If you like short, hot reads then you'll love Blake and Lilly's story. Blurb below. I hope you check it out.

Lilly has been in love with her brother’s best friend Blake for years. She lost her virginity to the oil driller on her eighteenth birthday, only to wake the next morning to find him gone. After he pulled that stunt twice more, she swore never to see or talk to him again. But now he’s back for her brother’s wedding, and he’s as sexy as she remembers.

Blake thinks Lilly’s even sexier than ever. Unable to resist one another, they don’t make it out of the airport parking lot before taking up where they left off. As the two rediscover their passion for each other, nothing and nowhere is off limits!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Erotic Romance, Writing and the Dixie Chicks

Growing up a kid’s life is usually defined by their parents. Well, mine were very country. I can remember being on my Daddy’s shoulders during some of the greatest singers in the genre at the Grand Ole Opery in Bainbridge, Ohio. Some of those old melodies that I heard then can still waft through my house especially when I write. There’s nothing like those good old country songs to get one in the mood.


Tonight, I fell asleep in front of the TV as I commonly do when I’m on a writing spree. I’ll work and work then take a break when before I know it, I’m stumbling to bed again because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I’ve always been a late night person and while it doesn’t surprise me it is sometimes disconcerting. This time though, instead of dragging myself up, I was riveted to what was on the TV. I had apparently fallen asleep to some documentary that I was watching on historical political events. What I woke up to was something totally different. You’d think I’d have something better to sink my teeth into. LOL!

Still, this one completely captured my attention. While I no longer listen to country music any more unless I’m nostalgic or just really can’t get into the mood, I do listen to singers like Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Shedaisy and the Dixie Chicks. What I was seeing on my big screen was a documentary about three women and something known as ‘the incident’ to them and the rest of the world. An incident that everyone by now realized should never have been blown out of proportion because what was said has been found to be relatively true in the years since it has happened.

And while I don’t want this blog to turn into a political forum at all, it made me wonder about my own chosen career and just how it can hinge on the whims of the reading public just like theirs hung on the whims of a listening public. There have been times when I tell people I write erotic romance and something between horror and disbelief cross their face. When that happens I have to grit my teeth sometimes and just smile because when all is said and done, I will write what I write for a variety of reasons.

Now some of you may ask ‘How can you love smut?’ to which I would reply ‘How can I not?’ I mean everyone has a different perception of what porn is, what smut is and what romance is. Mine just happens to be a little bit broader than most. But here’s the key to the whole thing and it something most of you don’t know. I write just as much non-erotic stuff as I do the erotic venture. Yup, you heard me right. Again, I can hear you say ‘Huh? What are you talking about?’

What, indeed. The bottom line is that I write what I love at that moment. Some days it’s just as hard for me to get into a sex scene as it is the writer who has never written one. I truly understand that as I write, I am not the one in control but my characters are. If they don’t want to have sex, they won’t. If they want to shoot someone, they will. And if they need to defend themselves against the next wave of alien bloodsuckers, they will do it superbly.

I write what is in my heart at the very moment I put the words onto the page and not a second before I’m supposed to. I’m one of the few writers who won’t write to a market because it’s popular nor will I be swayed against finishing something that isn’t the latest trend or fashion. I need to be passionate about what I write and if I can’t be, the piece may never get started or even finished for that matter.

At a talk I gave this past week, one of the topics I spoke to was career. I’ve been around a long time in the romance field and I have always written the ‘hot’ stuff long before it was in vogue. I can remember the very first time that Sandra Brown put in the words ‘tongue f**k’ and that book hit the best seller list. And the very first BDSM book I ever read was in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s by a science fiction author named Sharon Green and the book was The Mind Guest another one who made it to the NY Times bestseller list. The moment I finished the book I told my husband that someday I would write a book just like it. And I did in my own way.

I used to tell people to write what they know until I was corrected by a bestselling author who told me to write what I could imagine. I’ll take it one step even further and say one should write what they know along with what they can imagine. Only then will you get the full effect and range of your writing.

I’ll end this by saying thank you to the Dixie Chicks for giving me this blog idea. I was always on their side about ‘the incident. They’re good at what they do and they won’t comprise who they are to get it done their way.

Just like me. I will always write what I love no matter what genre.


Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to that goal by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager. Even though she is no longer in the medical field, Lynn has studied natural medicine and remedies for years. She is currently getting her Ph.D. in natural medicine with an emphasis on historical medicine and is still utterly fascinated with all things medical. During her free time she weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, one dog, three cats and a snake named Sandune. She is a past board member of the Romance Writers of America, past VP of EPIC and current EPPIEs Chairman for EPIC.

Where to find Lynn on the net:
Many Shades
XtraOrdinary Romance Yahoo Loop:

Monday, May 24, 2010


Mysti kicks off her virtual tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions for her debut release, "Shut Up & Kiss Me" here at Whipped Cream! Leave a comment and be entered to win a $5 gift certificate to her publisher, The Wild Rose Press, in addition to the contest entry for Whipped Cream Reviews.

Writing Sex is Harder Than Having Sex
by Mysti Holiday

Just over a year ago, my writing partner, Kealie Shay, challenged me to a duel: we were both going to start and finish a complete erotic romance story of at least 7500 words in 24 hours. If you keep in mind the only erotica I’d written were a few 1000 words stories for Whipped Cream Reviews, and that aside from those, I’d never written a fully consummated love scene in my life, I was clearly feeling both ambitious and a bit delusional.

Shockingly, we both met that goal and my story became “Shut Up & Kiss Me” published by The Wild Rose Press.

When I submitted my story, it was slightly under 8,000 words. Today, it’s almost 13,000 words and the additional 4,000 words are nearly all sex. To be honest, after receiving my first round of edits from my wonderfully patient and supportive editor, Lori, I asked her why she’d contracted my story. Because – OH MY WORD – the edits were intensive, and they were 90% about the sex scenes. Considering this was erotic romance, and that the sex scenes are a big focus, I was and still am amazed.

Here are the facts. I’m a pretty good author. I’m multi-published outside the erotic romance genre, so I know how to string together words. I also used to be an editor, so grammar and I are pretty close friends (we form a tight trio with the Chicago Manual of Style). I suppose this must have reflected through, so Lori felt secure enough in my writing ability. Still, she had to hold my hand for months while we pounded out the sex (hmm... pun intended!).

I never thought I’d get sick of sex. I was wrong. After a few rounds of edits, I never wanted to write about or even think about sex again (my husband did his level best to talk me out of that last bit *wink*).

The simple fact is this: in erotic romance, the reader wants to know every single thing that happens. Every touch, every shiver, every gasp. It’s not enough to have the hero kiss the heroine. As the author, I had to document the way his lips moved, felt, tasted moment by moment.

While I’m certainly no expert and have lots more to learn, I’m miles better than I used to be at this gig. Take a look at some examples between my initial submission and the final, published story.

(Original, Unedited):

He braced one hand on either side of her face and imprisoned her against the door. She writhed against him, clearly frustrated that he was taking things so slowly. But after years of waiting, he wasn’t going to rush through.

He kissed the corner of her mouth, traced the outline of her lips with the tip of his tongue. She turned her face in an attempt to capture his mouth in a kiss but he moved away. He made love to her cheek and her throat; he caught her lobe in his teeth and gave it a tug before swirling his tongue in her ear, and then blowing on it. He delighted in the shivers he felt against his body, and repeated everything on the other side of her face.

(Final, Edited):

He braced one hand on either side of her face and imprisoned her against the door. She writhed against him, clearly frustrated he was taking things so slowly.

But after years of waiting, he wasn’t going to rush even one part of this. He’d fantasized how she’d taste, look, feel. How she’d moan when he sucked on her breasts or feasted on her body. How she’d scream his name when she came. Every single moment counted tonight, every one a dream come true. She wasn’t some bar hook-up or a one-night stand.

She was Kasey. And that was so much more.

He tried to ignore the twist of his gut as he realized what was happening, tried to lose himself in the physical sensations, and pretend the feelings inside didn’t exist.

He kissed the corner of her soft mouth, traced the outline of her eager lips with the tip of his tongue. She turned her face in an attempt to capture his mouth in a deeper kiss but he moved away. He made love to her cheek and throat, tasting soap and salt and something uniquely Kasey. He caught her lobe in his teeth and gave it a tug then swirled his tongue in her ear and blew on it.

Her shivers against his body made his cock throb, and despite being desperate to touch her skin-on-skin, to feel her moist center, to roll her nipples between his fingers and have her touching him, he repeated everything on the other side of her face. He caught each sigh, each moan, each shudder and echoed them with his own.

Did you notice that the second version is more than twice as long as the first? I was told that the line “He delighted in the shivers he felt against his body” simply didn’t tell us enough of how he felt and I needed to show how he was affected.

What about this? I thought it was a pretty good scene, until my editor once again poked and prodded and pointed out the things that needed expanding upon to make it better.

(Original, unedited):

His control snapped and he pulled her to the floor, burying his head between her legs. She moaned, writhing against his most intimate kiss. He pushed her legs farther apart and settled between them, sucking on her clit, lapping her cream—had anything ever tasted so good? He pressed a finger into her pussy and then another, pistoning them in and out while he took her over the edge with his mouth. She clutched at his head, pressing it harder against her groin and then convulsed around his fingers with a cry.

With one final lick across her clit, a move that made her jerk, he moved back up her sated body and captured her mouth. She wasn’t going to come down, only move up again and again until she had no energy for more.

He felt her lips curve in a smile against his. Then she pulled away from the kiss, sucked on his ear lobe and said, “My turn.”

(Final, edited):

His control snapped. He dropped to the floor, pulling her down with him and tore at the tiny straps holding her panties on.

“Mine...” he growled beneath his breath and buried his head between her legs. She moaned, writhing against his most intimate kiss and her legs dropped farther open, allowing him to settle between them, to suck on her clit, lap her juices—had anything ever tasted so good? He thrust a finger into her soaking wet pussy and then another, pistoning them in and out.

Straddling one of her legs and rubbing his jean-encased cock against her knee in the same rhythm as his tongue licked her clit made him shudder as his own climax built.

“Cole, oh, God, Cole...”

Her hands opened and closed against his shoulders as she tipped her pelvis to give him even more access to her core. He sucked her into his mouth again, flicking his tongue across the tip of her clit, then added a third finger inside her cunt. She clutched at his head, shoving it harder against her groin and finally convulsed around his fingers with a cry. After the last spasms from her orgasm squeezed his fingers, he slipped them out. Her body jerked when he gave one final lick across her clit and then slithered up her sated body and captured her mouth. Her stiffened nipples grazed his chest and sent little pulses of awareness through his body.

Her lips curved in a smile against his. Then she broke off the kiss, sucked on his ear lobe, and said, “My turn.”

Again… more than 100 words added to this. In this case, some of it was dialogue because Editor Lori mentioned that my characters were awfully quiet during sex and this wasn’t acceptable either!

And lastly this little tidbit…

(Original, unedited):

She unzipped his pants, and pulled his cock free, loving it with her hands, nibbling carefully up its length. “Mine.”

She took him into her mouth and sucked hard and fast, pumping him to the point she felt his balls tighten in preparation to come. She released him with a pop, and pulled his pants completely off.

(Final, edited):

She slipped her hands from his loose grasp and unzipped his pants. Her hands danced along the ridge inside his cotton briefs before she pulled his erection free, loving it with her hands, grazing her teeth carefully up its length. “All mine.”

She enveloped him with her mouth and sucked hard and fast, tongue flicking across his length, hand squeezing the base. Caressing his balls, she brushed one fingertip across his rectum. His cock jerked in her mouth. Her lips curved in a tight smile around his shaft at the sure knowledge he was hers for the taking. She pumped him with her mouth and hand to the point that his balls tightened in preparation to come. Her own pants were soaked with the juices of her arousal, and she throbbed with the need to have him inside her.

Kasey released him with a pop, and ignored his words of protest. “Not yet, not yet,” she chanted.

The last scene, above, was originally 193 words from the point she unzipped his pants until they shuddered in completion. The final version? 761 words from unzipping to incredibly satisfying mutual orgasms.

Writing sex isn’t as easy as doing it. You have to pay attention to two bodies and every single thing each body is doing, feeling and how it responds, how it moves, where the hands are, how they’re positioned -- not to mention what’s going on inside at least one person’s mind. Every shiver of awareness, every bead of sweat, every touch, every last shudder. It’s not just about what is going on, though that is important, it’s about HOW IT FEELS.

Right now I’m working on a story that has one ménage scene, because four hands, two bodies and one penis wasn’t enough… I needed six hands, three bodies and two yummy penises to keep track of. Double the work… but double the fun!

About the author: Mysti Holiday is the pseudonym of a very busy SAHM who dreams of warm climes and hot bodies. Most people know she writes, but not what she writes about: sexy men and the wanton women who love them.

She's married to a wonderful man who happily sacrifices himself for research, and she spends most of her days dreaming of interesting and unusual situations in which to place her characters. But most of all, she's a sucker for a happy ending.

Visit Mysti at her website: and join Mysti and her friends for a hot Hump Day picture on Wednesday, and mouth-watering hotties every Saturday on their blog: !

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hero Worship

...or why do I like jerks?

Don't worry, this isn't a post about my dating habits. Nope, this is strictly about the stuff good romances are made of. Namely, a hot hero. We've all heard how important it is for the reader - and you, as the writer - to fall in love with the hero in a romance novel. All well and good if the kind of man you like is "traditionally" heroic.

What happens when you tend to like guys rougher around the edges without that clear S on their capes? Are you doomed to continually hear that your hero is not sympathetic or likable, especially when you're dealing with books that aren't single titles?

Case in point: my favorite Nora Roberts' book, Angels Fall. Yes, I gush about this book to my friends a lot. Take a wounded heroine who's a bit odd, a lot smart and gutsy as hell and pair her with a hero that isn't one the Hallmark channel would have any clue what to do with.

Sold! So sold, in fact, that I recently finished my 4th reread of AF and own the book in both paperback and HC. Brody is my kind of hero. He isn't full of poetry and doesn't always woo. Sometimes he's downright crass. One of my favorite lines is when Reese, the heroine,waits for him to kiss her goodbye after their first kiss and he says, paraphrased, "What, are we going steady now, Slim?" That's Brody.

Brody also is a hero in ways that many men would never be, ways I won't illustrate here for fear of spoilers. He's a man of action, not words. Words are cheap and lots of people buy them on layaway.

He's also the kind of hero I write or that I've tried to write. A lot of readers expect a traditional hero, and from responses I've received, apparently that means one who thinks heroically at all times. To me, a true hero/heroine is one that sees a way out of doing the right thing, knows they have a choice, but still does the right thing anyway.

What do you think? What makes a hero? Are you okay with rougher edges if the person is, fundamentally, a decent human being?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Author bio:

Cari Quinn wrote her first story - a bible parable - in 2nd grade,much to the delight of the nuns at her Catholic school. Once she saw the warm reception that first tale garnered, she was hooked. She attempted her first romance in junior high, long before she'd ever read one. Writing what she knew always took a backseat to what she wanted to know, and that still holds true today. Cari's genres of choice include contemporary, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, urban fantasy and paranormal. Recently she discovered erotic romance. Her first erotic novella, Full Disclosure, debuted last winter from The Wild Rose Press, and two new releases are coming soon from Ellora's Cave and The Wild Rose Press. Visit her at:

Monday, May 17, 2010


When Two isn’t Enough
Jeanie Johnson and Jayha Leigh

Picture this: a roomy front porch on a massive log cabin sitting on 25 acres. Situated on the North Carolina side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the landscape is dominated by various hues of green and dotted by the bright oranges, yellows and deep reds of the towering lilies and roses that surround the porch. A Carolina blue sky laced with white cotton candy clouds and warmed by a lemon ice cream sun hovers above. The silence is broken only by the sound of the shimmering stream gurgling a happy song. It’s nothing short of beautiful, which is why Jeanie and Jayha are lounging on the front porch. Jayha is sipping the nectar of the gods (sweet iced tea) and Jeanie is drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola™ as they enjoy the warm day that is about to come to a close and allow night to have its turn. [Yeah, we know neither of us has that kind of money but this is our fantasy and our blog for today so just go with it].

“How was your day, Momma?”

“All good, Bambina,” Jayha answered with a sigh.

The sigh might’ve been quiet, but Jeanie heard it just the same. “Why the sigh, Momma?”

Sinking deeper into her seat, Jayha took a long pull of her tea before answering. “I was reading a lot today.”

“Which is normal for a writer,” Jeanie said in an attempt to insert some humor into the conversation.

Of course, Jayha simply smiled indulgently at Jeanie. “Uh huh, but it just felt like I was stuck in a bad version of Groundhog Day reading the same thing over and over again…almost like I could auto-populate the stories. It was pages and pages of the same damn thing just different characters, different places, different authors.”

“I know what you mean, Momma.”

“It’s like the industry got together and handed out a book of storylines that they expect every book to fall into. The secretary and her boss, the city girl and the country boy, the older man and the young girl. The only thing that seems to change is small tweaks here and there.”

“You don’t like the tweaks?” Jeanie asked.

“Depends. The tweaks make it interesting but it’s not the tweaks that bother me so much as the relentlessness with which the industry pursues the hot new storyline. And what bothers me more than that is that elusive 'Keeper of the Storyline' who snuffs out deviations that haven’t been pre-approved in order to be true to what LA and NY have certified as 'hot.'"

“What storylines specifically are getting you all hot up under the collar?”

Jayha took her time answering. “It seems that the industry is suddenly being flooded with stories involving women and multiple partners.”

Having also noticed the increase in ménage and ‘group’ stories in the industry, Jeanie nodded.

“I wonder if women are really into that kind of thing or if someone decided that that’s what women are into?”

“It’s mostly just fantasy,” Jeanie said.

“True but whose fantasy is it? Do women really want more than one man in their bed at once?”

“Good point, one man is usually messy enough,” Jeanie said tongue-in-cheek.

“Tell it.” Jayha laughed as she took another sip of tea.

“Although there is something to be said for two men who are all about pleasuring one woman…” Jeanie continued.

“Or three men,” Jayha said as she lapsed into a smile.

Jeanie knew that smile. She bet her momma had retreated to her warm, safe place where three men stood to do her bidding. Jeanie bet every man was dressed in a medley of ninja and highlander gear…as they flitted around her industrial-size kitchen and cooked and baked.

“Stop it, Momma” Jeanie said with a grin.

Jayha gave her a faux innocent look complete with fluttering eyelashes.

Jeanie rolled her eyes, “Momma, I know what you’re doing.”

“You do not.”

“Yes I do,” Jeanie sing-songed teasingly. “I’m betting there is some cooking going on by some ninjas and highlanders.”

“Oh, you hush. It’s not my fault that the kilt-wearing, ninja chefs want to defend my honor and cook for me 24/7,” Jayha said with a toss of her shoulder length Senegalese twists.

“Your ‘honor’? Did you actually say your ‘honor’?” Jeanie laughed loudly.

“Would someone like some restriction?” Jayha threatened.

“Only if I get to play with two dudes that talk to me about how they’re going to drink Coca-Cola off of me,” Jeanie said smartly.

Jayha shook her head. “You and your Coca-Cola fetish.”

Jeanie laughed again, “Yeah, and you and your ninja/highlander chef fetish.”

“As far as fetishes go, it’s a good fetish to have. Still, I wonder how many is too many?” Jayha wondered.

“I thought you had a harem of ninja/highlander chefs?” Jeanie asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Ninja/highlander/cowboy chefs,” Jayha corrected. “And I do…but I only want them for their cooking prowess.”

“So if five dudes wearing kilts, cowboy hats and Tims wearing swords rocked your world with their food you wouldn’t be inclined to ‘reward’ them?” Jeanie asked with waggle of her eyebrows.

“Of course I’d reward them…but not all at once. Plus, if they’re feeding me like they should, I’d only have time to rock two of their worlds at the most before the ‘Itis’ set in.”

“I agree five is like three too many,” Jeanie said.

“In bed but not anywhere else. I could totally handle five guys catering to my every whim. You know one to hold my sweet tea, another two to fan me with palm leaves. One to hold my plate of cheesecake, and another to sit at my feet and fawn over my greatness.”

“You’re a demanding something,” Jeanie said “although the other three could stand around and take notes on how to please me.”

“Yes, but being that I went to Shara’s School of Benevolent Despoting, I now know how to be benevolent. As such, I’d allow them to reward themselves by giving me a full body massage so I could be in peak condition to flip back and forth between all of the ESPN channels and the NFL network.”

“Oh, that’s mighty nice of you,” Jeanie said.

“I know, right? Of course, this is all hypothetical being that in real life I can see Mr. Me getting a little pissy about that kind of thing.”

“A ‘little’ pissy?” Jeanie asked.

“Yeah, a ‘little.’ You know how men are. Still, it would be nice to have those five men in my kitchen seducing me with their big…tempting…dishes,” Jayha sighed.

Jeanie shook her head in wonder as she heard her Momma’s wistful words. Five men in bed was three too many. And though they joked, she couldn’t help but wonder right along with her momma if that many partners at once was the secret fantasy of women…or was it simply the perverted dream of some faceless man/woman in a penthouse who loved money as much as he/she hated women.

—Jeanie and Jayha

A kickass tag-team bound together by the pen, Jeanie (the shagalicious wordslinger) and Jayha (the ninja master of h*ll no’s) are forces of nature that will either leave you begging for mercy or begging for more.

We are women who have brains we aren't afraid to use; feelings we aren't afraid to express; and, middle fingers that we aren’t afraid to extend. We pen stories that push all kinds of boundaries and we don’t apologize for it. Our heroines are feisty; our heroes are hot, and our stories are one-of-a-kind adventures. Come visit us at

Praises, compliments, adulation, and the like for Jeanie and Jayha can be sent to:

Jeanie Johnson and Jayha Leigh links:

our website:

our yahoogroup:

our Empire:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



Why Sorcerer Cowboys?

I suspect I was the only person who walked out of the George Straight concert, saw the marquee advertising a Nine Inch Nails concert the following month, and went "Look mom! Nine Inch Nails!!!!!!" I think a few guys in cowboy hats even turned to stare. And yet, I'm the same person that while watching television recently, saw an ad for professional bull riding and lamented the fact that I was working and couldn't attend. My boyfriend just rolled his eyes.

I am a mix of two worlds and so are my sorcerer cowboys. Coming up with the StarMyst series was fun. I wanted to write a cowboy story, but I didn't want to write just any cowboy story. I love writing those too, but this time, I wanted something different. What things aren't usually mixed? Back when the series started (in 2007) it was cowboy paranormals. So I made my cowboys paranormal.

They had magic. Once I had made that decision things flowed from there. With each book I've built on the world, made it richer, more vibrant with societies and feuds. It's not just about people who breed horses and practice magic; it’s a whole society built within ours, too. And with each successive book, the magical element has gotten stronger.

It's a hard pair of genres to mix. I also come from a traditional science fiction and fantasy background. When I showed readers the original publisher's cover for the first book in the series, they were like "eww, cowboys!" I had to explain the magical part. And then they were like, "cowboys?"

I've always been different, wrote to my own muse, and fostered an eclectic mix of interests and hobbies. When I'm at the barn, the radio in the back plays rock. In the front barn, the radio plays country. I think it depends on who is cleaning stalls, but my life is kind of like that. So to me, giving my traditional cowboys magic seemed to come naturally.

I hope you enjoy the mix of magic and the rodeo world that comes in my latest book, StarMyst: Rodeo.


Mary commutes between her dream home near the Mark Twain national forest in Missouri and her current residence in Iowa. She lives with a menagerie of animals including an opinionated horse and a cat who was a dog in past life. When not writing spicy tales of erotic romance, she enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy, spending time with her horse, and enjoying the outdoors. Lucky for her, her partner (hero) shares these same passions, and usually both of them can be found in their respective dens writing.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Born 1965 in Rome, Italy, I soon started my travelling career. At the age of five, my parents took me to Lagos, Nigeria, where I grew up free and hot like I've never been since. I loved it there and still think of it with nostalgia. Anyway, it was also where I learned English.

After my African experience, I was ready to tackle the US. I lived in Atlanta, GA, five teenage years, attending the Crestwood High School where I started my writing career by publishing a short story, "Nostalgia," in the Crestwood Journal. Very thrilled about discovering my new talent, I went ahead during college, writing for the Emory University journal The Phoenix.

After my American experience, I moved back to Rome, but still kept living from time to time abroad, spending several months in Mumbay, India, a country I always felt very close to in more ways than one.

My writing hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I’ve had long periods off and on, living life rather than writing about it. Eventually though, a personal experience that couldn’t rest forced me to give it voice so I had to write Piccolo Crocevia A Cinque (loosely translated Little Five Points). This set me back on the writing track, but it didn’t turn into a career until recently I discovered my insatiable curiosity about people and their relations that steered me into writing again, particularly in a genre I wasn’t very familiar with, erotica. Today, I write both in Italian and English, mostly fiction of various genres, from fantasy erotica, to mysteries, to plain ordinary life stories.

The world is full of hunters and their prey. But some prey can become hunters themselves while others have hidden claws. And surrender isn’t necessarily the loser’s choice. Surprisingly, it can turn out to create new connections or balance pre-existing ones.

So will Sean accept anything for another taste of Leon?

R-M/F EXCERPT: Where Leon teases "Kitty", his nickname for Janet.

Leon pulled back and smiled, his fingers never easing their slow torture. “Seems like you want something more, Kitty, am I wrong?”

Too excited to speak, she shook her head.

He grinned, but instead of opening the car like she expected, bent down and his tongue replaced his fingers, always keeping outside the panties. She felt the unbearable heat from the combined effects of his tongue and breath, her clit doubling its size to draw his attention further, her slit throbbing so furiously she feared it would jump out and take his cock on its own. Ashamed yet incredibly aroused, she spread her legs to invite him to reach more wet skin, leaning as far back as she could. But his tongue only teased her, darting on the sensitive skin still covered by the annoying underwear, never lingering long enough to allow her to get lost in pleasure. Frustrated, she raised her legs over his back, her elbows digging the car’s top, raising both hips and ass closer to his mouth. He gave her one last lick, then straitened, taking her legs with him. “Well, Kitty, it seems you’ve found an excellent position.”

He removed her shoes and pants, freeing her legs while playing some more with the wet panties before taking them off, too. His touch on her naked skin made her jump, pleasure threatening to drown her in a matter of seconds. He wet his fingers and pressed them on the sticky flesh, his thumb and forefinger narrowing on the anxious clit, stroking it in forceful sweeps that made Janet lose all residual control. With a loud moan, she leaned all the way back, her legs wrapping tightly around his waist.

At the new invitation, he pulled out a condom, took out his hard dick and dressed it quickly. She squirmed, anticipating his entrance with seductive hip movements that made him hurry through the process. Finally straightening his shoulders, he pulled her to him and with a forceful shove he was inside her wet, silky trap.

For a moment, neither one moved. Janet had not seen him, only felt his shape through the trousers. Inside her, it filled the entire space, straining for more as if it were not enough. Accordingly, her flesh enlarged to accommodate both the thickness and the long length. But in a matter of moments, she clung to him like a second skin, her trap sticking to every inch of him, squeezing it as he slid in, then out in an increasing tempo. She liked the feelings associated with the sensual dance, the ins and outs sending small sparks through her body, but to her utter shame, it was also the part she least enjoyed because at this point, the man would usually leave her behind, hurrying to the finish line alone.

She was slow. She knew it, although there was not much she could do to speed up her complicated process. Her hand ran to her clit, trying to stimulate it fast, but the ploy did not always work. Actually, it usually worked in one position and—

“Kitty, what’s wrong?”

The words caught her off guard. Raising her head, she met his dazzling green gaze searching her face. “Nothing,” she lied, trying to hide her frustration.

“Don’t lie, Kitty. What’s wrong? Is it me? Or the position?”

Wondering how the hell he could possibly know, she turned red and shook her head. “No, really, I—”

He bent all the way down on her, his mouth close to her ear. “Listen, Kitty, for some strange reason, I want you to come.” He breathed the words huskily, tickling her ear. “And not leave me alone to rush to the finishing line. I know your body likes it, but not enough apparently. Do you want to try another position?”

She nodded slowly.

He slid out and made her stand. Unlocking the car, he opened the door for her and smiled mischievously. “How do you want me?”

“I…well, there is one position I prefer above others, but if you don’t like it—”

“Just tell me how, Kitty.”

“I’ll show you.” She crawled inside the car, fumbling with the seat. Understanding her need, he bent down and flipped the back to a horizontal position. Janet lay on her stomach, pushing up her ass to show him what she liked.

He licked his lips. “This looks like an open invitation to a whole different place.”

Again feeling very hot on her face, Janet protested vigorously. “I didn’t mean—”

“What would be wrong with that?” He got in behind her, sitting on his knees, then closed the car. His hands immediately played with the round, firm buns offered up to him, squeezing them tightly, nibbling the taut skin. “Has anyone ever told you what a magnificent ass you have?”

Janet turned to glance behind her shoulders. “Plenty have, but I didn’t particularly relish their attentions.”

He kissed her buns, his tongue trailing seductively down the cleft. “That’s because they were probably incompetent fools.” Leon continued his finger tease. “I think you’d love it, if you let someone with experience take care of it.”

To be honest, his tantalizing trail was stirring a new sensation, one that her ass enjoyed particularly. She stretched luxuriously, raising her ass. “It would probably take too long and I’m not sure we’re in a comfortable position at all.”

“I could do it anywhere.” He grinned seductively. “And your ass is really one of the most tempting I’ve seen in a very long time.”

“I thought you went out with women to try something different.” Breathing heavily, she hoped sarcasm would get him back on the right track.

As if he had not even heard, his fingers slipped inside the tight hole and she tensed. “All right.” He got up to lie on her back. “I’ll leave your tempting ass alone…” With a forceful shove, his rigid cock penetrated all the way to the hilt inside her clammy slit. “For today. But next time, it’ll be mine.”

Laura Tolomei

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Monday, May 3, 2010


I’m a real estate appraiser by day, romance writer every other second I can squeeze in. I never considered the two had anything in common until recently. Someone recently made a comment about having a light bulb moment while judging a contest. About the same time, I was doing a “Review Appraisal”. They’re not my favorite things in the world, just like I know judging writing contest isn’t a favorite for many of us. But sometimes it’s doing things that take us a little out of our comfort zone that we need to do most. Yes – sometimes what takes us out of our comfort zone is we need the most.

Why? Am I into self-torture? No. Let me try to explain. What I have discovered both by judging contest and by doing review appraisals is sometimes it is so much easier to see a flaw in someone’s work. It’s easy to pick out things we might be guilty of in our own work.

I truly believe it is next to impossible to see and recognize certain things in our own writing…at times. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say - I know what it’s supposed to say. I know what it’s supposed to accomplish. I know why the scene is here and what it is supposed to do for the plot or pace. Do I see what I actually wrote? That I used the word ‘said’ or ‘that’ twenty times? In a word – no.

But give me a contest entry that tells instead of showing? Wham, I’m all over it. Used ‘that’ twelve times in two pages? Got that too. Sharp change of pace/or scene? I’m giving them hell (well in my head I am). And the list could go on.

But let me read the same three pages I wrote twenty times - can I ‘see’ or ‘hear’ (if I am reading out loud) where I’m telling and not showing? No, sadly I can’t. It’s hard for me to catch. But at times I can see flaws in my writing much more clearly after judging a contest or doing a critique.

Which brings me to – What hat am I wearing? This where Appraising and Writing turn similar for me. Doing a Review Appraisal is a whole like editing my writing. A few things they have in common…

Watch what you say and how you say it - In appraising there are words we don’t use and there are words we do use. Appear is a word we like. The storage shed can appear to be approximately 12x12. NOT, The storage shed is 12x12. In writing there are certain words considered to be ‘junk’ words (and boy do I love them!). So I keep a list and look out for my junk words.

Was the best _______ used? In appraising it has to do with data/comparables/etc. In writing it has to do with everything. If you’ve judged a contest think of the things you look for while reading the entries and keep it in mind as you go over your own writing. Try to look at your work from a distance, try to become detached. This is what I do when I do “review appraisals” and now I can see it is what I need to do when “editing”.

Disclosure? In appraising it’s a big deal. In writing think of things like– did I get my point across? Did I show enough emotion? Did this move the plot forward?

Know your market! In Appraising it’s a must. I could not pick and go out of town and do the same job I do in my immediate market – where I work in daily. In writing we’ve all heard KNOW YOUR MARKET! It’s imperative to know where your writing fits. You must know what genre(s) you are writing and what publishers accept those genres and/or what agents to query.

And the list could go on, but I’m wrapping it up.

Keeping this in mind, I plan to read my work wearing a different hat from now on. And in a way it’s a lot like what I do in my day job. I step away from each appraisal and go back over it before it goes out. Distance is the key. In our rushed society we sometimes don’t have the time to give ourselves the distance we might need.

So in closing, I say put when you sit down to work on your manuscript, know which hat you need to pull out. Wear your creative writing hat when you open your file to write. Wear your editor/judge hat when you edit. And I wish you the best no matter which hat you choose.

Tara wanted one night, but now must choose between a wild ride and a hot rod.

It's Tara Wilde's birthday, and all she wants is a one-night man. Tucker Carson is just the ticket. But they have more in common than they realize, starting with a shared fetish for hot cars.When Tucker returns home, he can't forget the woman who gave him a false name and toyed with his heart.

When chance brings Tucker back to Tara's home town she thinks he's there for a temporary visit, and makes up for lost time. But when he steals her car and gets it into a wreck, she finds out she cares more about the man who lied to her than her beloved vehicle.

With lies and the ghosts of her past in the way, will Tara keep her heart safe, or be driven on the road to passion?

You can find the book here:
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- Rhonda Leah
My contemporary romances range from sweet and sassy to sensually erotic, covering just about everything in between. My stories will always have a Happily Ever After, because nothing makes me want to scream more than a cheerless ending.