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Monday, February 27, 2012


Alien Identity
Allie Ritch

I’m so excited to be here at Long and Short Romance Reviews. Thank you for having me.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, your first question is probably, “Who are you?” I immediately answer that I’m author Allie Ritch. Of course, that doesn’t tell you much. There are plenty of authors online. A person’s identity is complex, made up of lots of different pieces. In fact, identity is an underlying theme in many of my books.

So who is Allie Ritch? First, I’m a writer—not just a job, but a calling for me. I was coming up with stories before I could even write, so my brain must be hardwired that way. (All right, cross-wired at times, but that’s another story). I write erotic sci-fi and paranormal romance, perfect genres for my imagination. Second, I’m a reader. I’m the type who downloads more e-books than I can possibly read and walks out of libraries with stacks so high you can’t see my face. Third, I’m a woman. There are some fantastic male writers out there, but I celebrate the female voice. It wasn’t that long ago when women writers had to use a male pseudonym or rely on their husbands if they wanted to get published. I try not to take modern opportunities for granted.

I first played with the issue of identity in my erotic sci-fi romance, Switching Positions (2011, Loose Id). Concentrating on gender roles, I created the planet of Pandora II, where the social norms are flipped upside down. Pandoran women are the main breadwinners while the little man keeps house, and everything from who opens the door to who sends flowers is the reverse of what we traditionally see. Even sex norms are different. On this planet, the missionary position is considered kinky!

Since I also love paranormal romance, I then wrote Love and Torment (2011, Cobblestone Press, LLC). The theme of identity was very prominent in this work. The heroine, Kira, is a vulnerable romantic who literally hides behind a mask. She wears a disguise when she dresses for her role as Dominique, a jaded seductress who uses her psychic ability to control arousal. Kira basically has a split personality. It isn’t until the hero peels back her mask and accepts her that she’s able to grow as a person.

Most recently, I’ve gone wild with the characters in my Alien Sex Ed series, published by Liquid Silver Books. Science fiction lets me create a world with different cultures and customs and, yes, alien physiologies. Nothing like adding an extra appendage to spice things up. Alien Sex 101 introduces mixed-race (as in alien race) newlyweds, Xindra and Quinn. Although they enjoy their honeymoon, Xindra and Quinn struggle with their differences and their new identity as a couple. Realizing that others on their diverse planet face similar obstacles, they start a Sex Ed class. The rest of the book and the sequel, Alien Sex 102, continue with the students finding romance and learning more about themselves and other races as they come together.

I hope everyone will give my characters a chance and get to know them better. Here’s a peek at who’s in Alien Sex 102:

As a Duosien, Katra’Ruma needs a perfectly controlled lover to hit her two T-spots and trigger her orgasm. Unfortunately, the only man she’s found who can do that is an overbearing, egotistical, irritating Brachoi male named Krux. Sure his four arms come in handy and are as arousing as his lickable cherry-toned skin, but the man drives her crazy. Out of bed, they do nothing but snipe at each other—or is that just foreplay? Used to casual sex, Whitt discovers he’s in over his head when he falls for Spri, a Litting woman who considers lovemaking a sacred rite as binding as marriage. He should be running the other way. Instead, he finds himself seeing just how far he can push things before taking that final plunge.
About the Author:
Allie Ritch spends her time wandering around in her own little world in the Southeastern United States. She has an active imagination and loves fantastical elements, including those found in sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy works. Allie enjoys entertaining others through storytelling and has fun spicing things up in erotic romance. When she’s not working, she’s appreciating the ocean and sunshine and keeping the company of a toy poodle who tries to French kiss everyone he meets.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012




Erotic Romance Vs. Erotica

Red Sage Publishing

In the writing industry, erotic romance and erotica are quickly shooting up the charts. But many authors face the cold shoulder from other industry professionals for writing P*O*R*N. We all know that when we see it, right? Here’s a quick primer on the differences.

The definition of erotic romance, according to Ginny Wiehardt on the About.Com website:

“Erotica is a genre of literature that includes sexually explicit details as a primary feature. Unlike pornography, erotica does not aim exclusively at sexual arousal.”

So what does this mean? Erotica focuses on sexually explicit details—the actions involved between the characters. The sexual journey and exploration are the key factors of this genre.

Well, what is erotic romance, then? According to the Passionate Ink chapter of the Romance Writers of America, erotic romance is defined as, “stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.”

Both genres are flying off the bookshelves. The introduction of the e-reader has allowed readers to get their hands on this material in discreet ways. We no longer have to hide our book cover while we’re sitting at soccer practice, waiting for our kids.

As a print and e-publisher, Red Sage accepts all levels of heat in erotic romance, as well as erotica with a “happily for now” ending. Each genre serves its purpose in the industry, and should be accepted for what they are—an escape for readers, and a way to empower them in their sex lives or fantasies.

We applaud the authors and readers of these genres and hope the discrimination against these hot stories ebbs away over time. The more everyone is educated about the true definitions of erotica and erotic romance, the more likely that is to happen.

Happy reading and writing!

Red Sage Publishing

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Hello, my name is Cheryl Brooks, the author of The Cat Star Chronicles: Stud. I’d like to thank you all for allowing me to visit with you here at Long and Short Erotic Romance!

If I had to choose the very best part about being a published author, it would be interacting with readers. No contest. After all, readers are the people I write for. Penning a novel and then letting it sit in your files or under your bed may be cathartic—and I’m sure some of my earlier efforts belong under the bed—but until someone else reads what you’ve written, the process is incomplete.

I’ve kept every bit of mail I’ve ever received from my readers. If you’ve written to me, your email is still in my files. When asked to write this guest blog about my favorite reader memories, I went back and reread some of those early letters. It was amazing to realize that many of those people are now Facebook friends and friends that I actually see and interact with on a regular basis.

My favorite letter of all time, however, is this one that I received in regard to my first book, Slave.

I do not usually read romance novels---EVER!!. My 78 year old mother is the same. But we grabbed this book up for her, thinking it was just a small book for her to read. WOW we're we wrong!! She called me and said, You got me a nasty book. I said what do you mean "nasty"? She said she's talking about penis'. Well then I cracked up. We did not know it was a romance book. She told me to come get it because she was finished and I just HAD to read it. She said that it was nothing like what she's ever read and wants the next in the series. I would have to agree on that one also. I am in the middle right now and can't put it down.

Just wanted to say very nicely done Cheryl.

I'm a Laurell K. Hamilton fan and never thought that I would like romance books. Thanks a million, we can't wait for the next book.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve quoted from that letter and it still makes me smile anytime I read it.

I also received a letter from another Indiana author, Judie Aitken, after she read Slave when it was in the goody bag at the RWA national conference in San Francisco. Judie told me how much she enjoyed the book and invited me to join the Indiana chapter of RWA. She has since become a good friend and I have learned so much from her and the other members of the chapter.

Some of my experiences have turned out to be very sad. Gina Scalera was the “romance person” at the Joseph-Beth Booksellers store in Lexington, Kentucky when Slave was first published. She wrote and told me about how much she enjoyed the book and was sharing it with her book club. She even made up a cookie recipe for the occasion. She asked me if I had any advance copies, and I arranged for our Sourcebooks publicist to send them to her as the subsequent books came out. I actually went to her store once when I was visiting my sister in Lexington, but she’d already gone home for the day. I heard from her several times after that, and she told me how thrilled she was to receive an ARC of Rogue and that she enjoyed it very much. The last email I have from her was in December of 2008. I figured I’d hear from her again when Outcast was released, but never did. I thought she might even have lost her job due to the economic downturn we were experiencing at the time.

Then last summer, while attending the Lori Foster Author/Reader Get Together, I met a girl from Kentucky who had a whole handful of advance copies she wanted me to sign. I spoke with her and the group she was with several times, and I wondered how she’d wound up with so many ARCs, but never asked (I was sick as a horse that weekend and my brain wasn’t exactly clicking).

Later, at the book signing another lady asked me if I remembered corresponding with Gina. I told her that, yes, I did, but that I hadn’t heard from her in some time. She then told me that Gina had died.
Needless to say, I was very saddened to hear this, but it wasn’t until the next day at breakfast that I realized that all of these ladies were members of Gina’s book club, and that the new romance department manager at the store had given them the ARCs that had been intended for Gina. They had even put together a memorial gift basket in her honor for the charity raffle. Gina had clearly touched the lives of these ladies and many other readers, and I was deeply honored to have been a part of that.

But along with the sadness, there is the crazy, silly, fun stuff. I actually have a hunky stripper in Wisconsin who wants me to autograph his buns. There are several dear friends whom I have never actually met who visit my blog every day and have become friends with each other in the process. I’ve had couples write and tell me how much they enjoy reading my books together.

Then there are what I like to call my “rock star moments.” When I attended the RWA conference in Orlando, the lady at the registration desk said “Ooh, Cheryl Brooks!” when I picked up my goody bag and touched my hand like I was someone really special. Then she did it again!

At the RT Booklover’s Convention in Columbus, I was talking with another writer who is much better known than I am, and a young woman got all excited when she realized who I was. She’d read all of my books and even asked me a few questions about them.

I have yet to be recognized on the street, and I probably never will be, but that’s okay. These are the moments I cherish. Hopefully the release of the latest book, Stud, I’ll have a few more reader memories to add to the list.


They’re galaxies apart…

Even for a Zetithian, Tarq Zulveidinoe's sexual prowess is legendary. Believing it's all he's good for, Tarq sets out to perpetuate his threatened species by offering his services to women across the galaxy...

But one force can bring them together…
Lucinda Force is the sensitive dark horse in a self-absorbed family, repeatedly told that no man will ever want such a plain woman. Lucy longs for romance, but is resigned to her loveless lot in life—until Tarq walks through the door of her father's restaurant on Talus Five...


Cheryl Brooks is a critical care nurse by night and a romance writer by day. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She is the author of The Cat Star Chronicles series and lives with her husband, two sons, five cats, five horses and one dog in Indiana. For more information, please visit or follower her on Twitter: @CherylCatMaster.

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two copies of Stud, US and Canada residents only please.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Book Ideas are a Ball!

Hi everyone. I am so happy to be visiting at Long and short Reviews, one of my favorite sites! I am celebrating the release of my new book, Fire Balls (and running a contest but more about that later). Where do the stories come from? That’s one of the questions all writers get asked a lot. I used to wonder that too. I am a non-fiction writer by profession and for years people would to say I should write a book but I couldn’t imagine what I would write about. Then I discovered erotic romance and loved it so much I was determined to write my first novel. Hmm. Where to begin? Well, erotic romance is definitely fantasy and I have lots of those so I cooked up an older woman/ younger man fantasy--always fun. But I knew I wanted to write male/male romance so, bingo, I added another man and Genetic Attraction was born --my first novel that I was honored to have recently named part of the runner up for Best Series of 2011 in the LRC Awards.

What I discovered writing that first book is that creating fiction is like sex. The more you have the more you want! Once I turned on the story spigot it just kept running and everything I see and person I meet has book potential (yes, be afraid!). For example, I live in a beautiful beach town in California. It is famous for its art festivals. Last year I was asked to write a novella about the beach. Bingo. What if my hero was one of the people who poses as a nude statue in the famous Pageant of the Masters? And what if my other hero was a hunky alpha male who is gay but in the closet. That’s the idea for the best-selling summer romance, Volley Balls.

In Volley Balls I created a memorable character named Rodney who was my hero’s best friend. An unlikely hero himself--short and flamboyant, but he wanted his own book. That’s how I get to bring you my new beach romance, Fire Balls. Actually, the title came first. People told me they loved the title Volley Balls and I was thinking of “Balls” titles. When I thought of the name Fire Balls a whole story started to form. What if my hero, Rodney, was a great artist who has a passion for a firefighter but can’t imagine that the man could ever care for him, the short and weird? So when his good friend, the handsome surfer Jerry, develops an unexpected crush on the firefighter, Rodney helps Jerry woo the guy breaking his own heart. The story is loosely based on the famous book, Cyrano de Bergerac. Very loosely!

See, stories do come from everywhere. My work-in-progress has elements of a fairy tale. My next book incorporates the passion for rebreather diving of one of my best friends. I saw a movie recently that stimulated an interest in genetic manipulation that I plan to use in a scifi novel. The other day I sat down to get a manicure and my friendly manicurist who knows I write gay romance started regaling me with a love story of two young men who grow up together in a third world country. Sounds like a new book to me!

Would you like to win a copy of Fire Balls? Enter my contest. I’m having a drawing this coming Friday. Leave a comment here with your email and you’ll be entered in that drawing. Go over to my Contest Blog and leave another comment with your email and you will be entered again. And there are more chances to win. Go to my Web Site, and look under events. It’s all there. First leave your comment here. Don’t forget your email! And thank you to Long and Short Reviews for the chance to be here and to you for coming to say hi. :)

Rodney Mansfield is tiny, flamboyant and, oh yeah, a black belt in karate. He is also one of southern California’s greatest artists. Too bad the work of art he really wants is firefighter, Hunter Fallon. But the gorgeous “straight gay” guy could never want the Runtback of Notre Dame, so when Rodney’s handsome, surfer friend, Jerry, develops an unexpected passion for the beautiful firefighter, Rodney breaks his own heart by helping Jerry land his man. And then Rod makes it worse by embarrassing Hunter when he protects him from a firehouse bully. Hunter hates gay guys like Rodney – doesn’t he? Then why can’t he get the powerful pipsqueak’s face out of his mind… and his heart? And why does he risk his job and his life to rescue Rod from a burning building? Isn’t it time for him to admit he’s not an alpha male after all and that he is the property of the artist?
About the Author:
Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote published in January of 2011. Then she capped off the year by being voted Best Author of 2011 in the LRC Awards and had her Genetic Attraction Series named runner-up for Best Series of 2011! A very good year. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.

Find Tara online at:



Author blog:

Book blog:




FB Page:

Friday, February 3, 2012


Choosing a Reputable Read

Whispers Publishing

In this age of digital publishing, there are so many options available to readers. Sometimes it can be confusing! Years ago, we went to the library and flocked to bookstores to find a new book. We stroked the spines, flipped through the pages, read the back jacket and the first two paragraphs.

Now we pull up a book on our e-readers and browse via a “Look Inside” feature. This is as good as the old-fashioned way. But there are still a ton of options out there for finding books. You can buy directly from the e-publisher or from a third-party site like Amazon or All Romance E-books. Both are great avenues. The books are displayed per genre and organized by authors, categories, and new releases.

But I’m sure we’ve all downloaded a book, read past the first few pages and discovered the story is missing a plot. Or it’s simply unreadable because of formatting errors. This can be frustrating—after all, we spent hard-earned money! So how do you choose a reputable read?

Like buying a big appliance or a car, you need to do some research. Have your friends read the author or have they made a purchase from the publisher? Are there reviews on the Amazon page, and if so, is there a balance of good ratings and so-so, or even a bad rating or two? Personally, we find a lot of five-star ratings to be a sort of red flag. Sure, it might be a terrific read and have earned five stars. But the author could also have all his friends and family logging in and giving five-star ratings. There are even reports of people writing reviews for authors for a small fee.

Also do some research on the author. Visit his/her website and browse. It will tell you a lot about the individual’s care to attention. If there are typos all over the web page, it might be a deterrent. Professionalism is key.

Do some internet searches for the author/publisher and see what sort of books they publish. You might be searching for a sweet romance, then buy one and find yourself in the middle of a scorching ménage—shocker!

In this day of multiple options, it’s important to spend your money wisely. You wouldn’t write out a check to a shoddy businessman for a car you’ve never test driven. And you shouldn’t spend money on books that aren’t a good fit for you either.

When making your next purchase, imagine yourself in the library or bookstore. Take some care to choose that perfect book so you don’t lug home a “heavy bag” filled with things you’ll later dislike. But definitely READ to explore new worlds and fantasies!

Whispers Publishing