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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


This post is part of a Virtual Blog Tour organized by the publisher. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour. At the end of the tour, two random commenters will have their names selected and they will receive Dark Soul swag packs, which will include cover flats signed by Aleks. If your contact information is not on your profile, please leave it in your comment so we can contact you if you are a winner.

How much kink is too much?

It’s no secret that Dark Soul started as a bit of a dare. One publisher put call out for gun kink stories and people started elbowing me online, saying “Hey, that’s YOUR call.” (Or, as a friend said: “They are playing your song!”)

My first response was a scoff. Yeah, right. Guns terrify me. I was born in Germany, where you can’t just walk into a shop and buy a high-powered hunting rifle, never mind own one without a ton of licenses, training, and an armoured weapons locker. I’m based in the UK, where just carrying a knife can get you imprisoned (as far as I know—not that I’ve ever carried anything more dangerous than a fencing sword to fencing class).

But when the call came out, my mood was one of “I’m awesome!” (I cycle through this pattern of total megalomania and abject horror at the idea that anybody could hate my stuff…)

In the megalomaniac phases, I firmly believe I can write whatever the hell I put my mind to, and dares are almost irresistible. So I held the idea of a gun as an erotic implement in my head for a while and went through a list of my characters. My characters mostly ran in horror. The soldiers told me guns are NOT sexy; they kill people. My civilians gave me the wide-eyed stare of “Are you kidding?”

But one character stood there and told me he’d be game for it. Now, that was Silvio, who appeared in my brain twenty years ago and who refused to go away (I killed him a few times, and he kept coming back). I needed a partner for him, and decided that using a gun clearly is an act of repression, and it’s also very macho. Stefano Marino was born—repressed, bisexual, and acting macho because that’s the way a “real man” acts. I wrote Dark Soul, the first story, in two days or thereabouts, as the characters kept hitting sparks off each other. The actual gun scene turned out way hot. I don’t have to be into it when my characters are, and they both were.

Silvio’s always been an adventurous sort. In all stories I wrote about him, he was very close to his brother Franco. Even twenty or fifteen years ago, way before I really understood “kink”, people told me there was an “incest vibe” going on. I decided to let Silvio have some play, and he did, in the end, seduce his brother—but in an attempt to fix him by connecting with him. Silvio believes that sex fixes a great many things—in any case, it’s his way to connect to people, because he does have problems expressing his emotions otherwise.

Other stories in Dark Soul are very much about exploring Silvio’s other kinks and issues as a sexual being. When we meet him, he’s the partner of a much older man (Dark Secret). His gender is somewhat fluid (Dark Lady I&II). In the end, there’s even a threesome between Silvio, Stefano, and Stefano’s wife Donata. That’s plenty of kink for one short series, especially as the series also contains phone sex and plenty of power exchange and D/s dynamics, and we understand that Silvio gets off on pain. Even he calls himself a “sick puppy”.

What makes him so erotic is that he embraces all of those motions. Also, he doesn’t actually harm anybody (granted, the Russian mobsters are the exception, but that’s only well-deserved payback). The push and pull happens between characters who know what they are doing, and it’s clear that even when Silvio submits, that even when Franco gets seduced, they are making choices as consenting adults.

To come back to the main question, personally, I write kink when my characters are into it. Some are, some aren’t. The one thing that I almost always bring to the table is what the leather crowd calls “power exchange”. People negotiating power dynamics, sometimes in words, and often not. It’s the one constant in my work, and I’ve done it in everything I’ve written. That’s my personal button, though.

I think kink becomes gratuitous when it’s clear that the author is only doing it to cash in on the hot genre BDSM (and it is hot). I bet you’ve read those books: it’s a normal romance progressing normally, and suddenly, just as things are starting to get a little bit routine and boring, out come the blindfolds, restraints, and floggers for no reason whatsoever. Never did the characters even hint at needing that, but in the next chapter, they call each other “Master” and “pet”, or similar.
For me, the characters have to be into it, and what exactly they are into is determined by who they are and nothing else. People are more than the list of their kinks. On the other hand, well-developed, complex characters, who have certain kinks can go pretty much anywhere in erotic fiction (within the usual limits).

If the author can show me the stakes that a character has, the deeper need behind what he or she needs from sex, all kink is good, but that requires a strong writer with insight into their characters.

And I do believe in staying true to those deeper needs of the character, even if that meant that ARe removed Dark Soul #3 without warning from its catalogue (because of the brother-incest scene), and PayPal, for a time, looked like it might shut down Riptide’s account (yes, Dark Soul was the only story containing the “forbidden content”), and that was really scary; first time I’ve run afoul of the morality police in twenty years of publishing.

At the end of the day, if a writer makes me believe in the deep needs driving a character, I’m ready to read just about anything. If my characters are kinky and need kink in their sex lives, fine, I’ll explore this just like their other traits and attitudes.

But it’s much like in real life; kink comes from a very deep layer of the person, and a writer needs the insight into their characters to show those layers. But then, a good writer can make me believe just about anything.

Aleks can be found at any of these places:

Email address:



Twitter: @vashtan


Goodreads Page

Goodreads Group


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A Name is more than just a Name

Beverley Oakley

Imagine if Scarlett O’Hara had been named Susan. Would the famous, feisty heroine of Margaret Mitchell’s Epic Civil War romance Gone with the Wind have had quite such allure? For readers or for Rhett Butler?

Of course, there's nothing wrong with the name Susan. I even know some fabulous Susans. My point is that the name we bestow upon our hero or heroine invests that character with something more than just a convenient moniker. A dashing rake named Humphrey – no matter how gorgeous - has less chance of sweeping a divine damsel off her feet than one called Deveril.

In my opinion, anyway.

I write under two names because each one reflects a different side of my personality. There’s Beverley Eikli (a Norwegian surname that rhymes with ‘likely’) who loves to write traditional Regency Romances laced with lots of intrigue. I then created Beverley Oakley for my erotic Regency Romances.

In my first novel, Lady Sarah’s Redemption, the dead wife of my first hero was called Venetia. She was a dangerously alluring woman with serious addictions to lovers and gambling. My practical heroine was called Sarah.

Would my story have worked as well if the names of the alluring schemer Venetia and the practical, though feisty Sarah, were switched?

I personally don’t think so.

Names are a big driver in a story and their influence can go beyond what we might expect.

When I lived in the Solomon Islands a few years ago I started my third novel A Little Deception - recently nominated for an ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Award) for Favourite Historical in 2011 – with a heroine called Rose.

At about Chapter Three I interviewed two local girls in order to choose one to work with me in the house. One had a name I couldn’t pronounce while the other was called Rose. No surprise which girl I chose. It was fate.

Fanny Brightwell is the name of the heroine of my most recent Total-e-Bound release, Rake’s Honour – the first book written under my pseudonym Beverley Oakley.

Fanny was the common shortened form of Frances, popular in England until not too long ago, but I’m told Fanny is not a name Americans call their children. Fanny was also the name of one of my favourite Enid Blyton characters whom I was sad to discover was renamed Franny in the new edition of The Magic Faraway Tree I recently read to my daughters.

Again, it reinforced the power of a name. It was difficult to re-imagine the politically or politely-correct ‘Franny’ as it seemed like some of the magic of my childhood had been sanitized to pander to someone else’s value judgments as to what is acceptable in a name, today.

If William Thackeray’s Becky Sharp (who inspired my Fanny Brightwell heroine) was renamed Bessie because there was some modern connotation with Becky, the book would feel completely different.

So a name is more than just a name. It's a whole bundle of perceptions and memories and preconceived ideas, depending on how you approach it.

And my Fanny Brightwell could not have been the same feisty Regency wench if she'd been called Franny.

Below is the blurb for Rake's Honour.

Miss Fanny Brightwell has just two weeks to find a husband that will fulfil her mama's marital criteria or she'll be forced to marry the loathsome libertine, Lord Slyther.

That means two weeks to convince dashing Viscount Fenton she's his perfect bride.

Battling spurned suitors, jealous debutantes and a peagoose of a sister on the verge of destroying the Brightwell reputation, Fanny has little time to make her handsome lover her slave in passion...

So he'll make her his wife.
You can read more about Rake’s Honour by visiting my website: or buy the book at

About the Author:
Beverley Oakley (aka Beverley Eikli) wrote her first romance novel when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.

Throwing in her secure job on a metropolitan daily four years later, she travelled to Botswana to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta. There she met a handsome Norwegian bush pilot.

Beverley resumed her romance writing career in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the aforementioned handsome Norwegian bush pilot (who is still just as handsome) and once again called Africa home.

Seventeen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s during low-level survey sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap (part of the only husband/wife team in the business), Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne.

She writes traditional Regency Romance as Beverley Eikli and sensual historical romance as Beverley Oakley. Her next release, Lady Lovett's Little Dilemma is due out on July 2, while an erotic English-Civil War romance is due out as part of an anthology on July 16.


Friday, March 23, 2012


Hello! My name is Kelly Gendron, a debut author and as a newbie, I'm still getting used to people looking at me with surprised eyes when they hear that I write Erotic Romance. When I first started writing, I planned to write romances with sweet kisses and soft words. But as my stories came to life, I quickly realized that I was definitely meant to be an Erotic Romance writer. No matter what I did, my men, those bad boys all grown, refused to be tamed. Once I accepted my fate, the possibilities of what my men could do, and what they could get away with, became riveting. I am forever in search of that ultimate alpha male, that dominant stud with a body that makes you want to drop to your knees. And, Tantum Maddox, the all grown up bad boy in my first book, he was the perfect start in my relentless search.

Be careful what you write... this advice was given to me when I wrote my second book that introduces the misbehaving, all grown up bad boy, Jed Kane.

See, I have a confidante—my go-to-gal—who I like to run my stories by before I crack open the laptop and put those characters that are in my head (keeping me up all night) into their imaginary rightful place. But when I told my confidante about The Forbidden Claim, her face scrunched up, she winced, and said, “Ow... You better be careful; writing about human trafficking is difficult, and it can be even more dangerous when it’s in a romance novel!”

I thought about what she’d said and I agreed. But after hearing ‘difficult’ and ‘dangerous’, the writer in me was definitely up for the challenge. Besides, human trafficking may be a touchy subject but it certainly exists. I felt strongly the story needed to be told, and with characters like Jinx Collins and Jed Kane the story was told in a way that ended up working. Well... at least the jury is out for my ‘go-to-gal’ and Red Sage Publishing. Check out The Forbidden Claim and let me know what you think? Thanks for joining me today, and thank you, Long and Short Reviews, for inviting me to be a guest blogger on your site!

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of The Forbidden Claim.

Ownership of another human being is forbidden. No one knows this better then Jed Kane. He’s worked undercover in the Human Trafficking ring for years. So what is Jed to do when he’s overcome by a disobedient desire to possess and stake an irrefutable claim upon the carefree and risky Jinx Collins?
About the Author:
Kelly has been faithfully writing for three years but did write her first book ten years ago. She put it down to raise her son as a single mom and then picked it back up when she finally found her "just right" guy. That's when she settled into her new life and started to seriously write again. She's dabbled with paranormal stories, but recently she's been on a Romantic Suspense kick. The recipe for the men in her stories: dark and mysterious, strong and confident and, of course, besides magnificent bodies, and shameless aptitudes, they must have a heart you want to rip out of the pages (or your e-Reader) and take to bed with you at night.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012


When Real Life Heroes Help Tell the Story

Like many authors I have a day job. I still need it to cover the extras and because of the health insurance. Fortunately for me I not only like the day job, but like what I do and really enjoy the people I do it with. They are intelligent, creative, caring and just awesome to be around. They make getting up at 5:00 a.m. to go do the job so much easier. Even in the tough times over the past few years I’ve looked forward to what the day will hold.

One particular person who makes it so worthwhile is, well we’ll call him Richard cause he’s really quite shy. Richard is a former police sergeant from one of the tougher cities around here. He’s not only got some great stories to tell, some of them pretty intense, he’s willing to sit down and give some solid advice and practical guidance which goes a long way to helping flesh out a story. He’s also provided me with some terrific written material to use as a resource. Richard is the kind of guy you count yourself lucky to have as a friend – and trust me, some of the things he’s done in his career are definitely hero worthy.

Physically, well, he’s 6’3” with blond hair and incredible blue eyes. He’s got a killer smile and the whole package along with his prior career makes for some great material for a romance author. How could I not draw on some of his characteristics and stories of past events for my romantic suspense books? More than simply drawing on them he’s spent hours going over fine details with me on elements such as just what does the air smell like after a gun is fired? His response? What kind of gun? How many bullets fired? How far away is the person from the shooter? He makes sure you’ve got it right.

So when I began writing World in Her Hands, my recent release with eXtasy Books he was my first research stop. It was Richard, in fact, who gave me the name of the bad guy in the story. Drawing on his own experiences he talked with me about some of the cases he worked, the investigations he undertook and shyly mentioned his own part in solving some of those crimes.

Will you see Richard in future stories? Maybe. At least there will be elements of his personality in them and I personally can’t resist a 6’3”, blond haired, blue eyed, good guy.

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a copy of World In Her Hands.

About the Author:
From earliest childhood Regan was an avid reader and upon discovering Alexander Dumas and Charles Dickens she was hooked on books that carried the reader away to a different time and place. Preferring the quiet of her room and a good book to spending time with people she traveled far beyond those four walls.

It was while working as a police dispatcher, first for the California Highway Patrol and then her local police department, she began to write fiction, primarily time travels and romantic suspense. In the spring of 2009 she returned to the day job she always liked best, working as a legal secretary. Although, curled up in her bunny slippers with her furfaced children, Mel, Missy and Bogie, while writing is one of her most favorite things to do.

The World can be a mere rainbow away.

Following a successful event, party planner Sarah Dinetti meets Detective Frank Turner and feels an instant connection. A faithful and loyal friend and lover, she tries to ignore her feelings about Frank but when her current boyfriend begins to engage in some highly suspicious activities, Sarah turns to the handsome and oh so hot detective for help. But can he protect her from herself?


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Foreshock -- Why the Trevor Project?

My daughter, who is attending a local college before moving on to a bigger school next year, came home late from class last fall, right about the time I was finishing the bones of the story that became Foreshock. Late? Try two a.m. 'what were you thinking?' late. I was relieved, of course, quickly followed by irate -- was she transported to an alternate reality in which telephones don't exist?!? -- but I wasn't aggravated long. You see, my daughter had been helping two of her friends. The couple had only moved into their first apartment the week before, but one of their neighbors (also a college student) had already threatened to hurt them if they didn't get out. Immediately. Because they're gay. Those kids were scared. And distraught. Their whole group of friends were. My daughter and the other LGBTQ kids from the college stayed to help those kids and give them whatever emotional support they could.

A lot of kids don't have that support when the bullying starts, though. They feel alone, isolated, helpless. Hopeless. We see reports on the news of despondent kids taking their lives because of bullying, so often it's heart-wrenching. My daughter's friends had the emotional support from each other, but also from their families. What about the kids who don't? What about kids who need a little more help and care?

That's when I decided to walk the talk and donate my royalties from Foreshock to the Trevor Project -- the only national charity that offers 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis intervention counseling to LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project has fielded over 200,000 calls. That's 200,000+ cries for help that were answered. The Trevor Project is making a difference. That's something I can stand behind. That's worth putting my money where my mouth is.

Sometimes the earth really does move.

Kyle Armentrout is every gay man’s fantasy in a tool belt, but he can’t even change a light bulb without injuring himself. Twice divorced and not long from the closet, he’s found his way into a fulfilling relationship at last, but he can’t quite escape the sense that he’s left his manhood behind in the process.

When Kyle’s latest DIY project slides into predictable disaster, his lover, Eric Mulholland, wants him to retire his Allen wrench and accept that he isn’t less of a man for loving Eric.
Then the fault lines of their relationship meet the fault lines of the 2011 Northeast earthquake, and the two lovers learn not just to stay on their feet when the ground shakes, but to actually treasure the tremble.

Kyle Armentrout is a guy who struggled to accept who he is, what he wants and who he loves. He's fun. And funny. He's still on shaky ground, though, and that makes Foreshock the right story to raise money for the Trevor Project. Kyle and Eric's story is for everyone trying to find their feet.

If you think Foreshock sounds cool and the idea of sending a little coin to the Trevor Project floats your boat, PLEASE consider ordering through Riptide Publishing. The simple fact is the Trevor Project will receive 49 cents per copy from sales of the story from Riptide, while the donation will be substantially lower (on the order of 15 cents per copy) if purchased through vendors like Amazon or ARe. Please help me maximize the donation to the Trevor Project by ordering through Riptide.

Though my daughter has gotten a little better about getting word to me that listening to the police scanner need not occupy my o'dark thirty hours, the Princess still sucks at remembering to take (or recharge) her phone when she leaves the house. And God knows it's a big bad world out there, especially for LGBTQ kids & young adults. So...who has ideas on how I can convince the girl to phone home? Brainwashing-by-ET-movie-marathon? Heinously pelt her with Reese's Pieces when she's late?

Comment below with your email address and your bit of parental guidance -- or a THANK YOU to the Trevor Project for helping LGBTQ youth -- to be entered into a random drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Kari Gregg lives in the mountains of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia with her Wonderful husband and three very Wild children. Once Kari discovered the fabulous play land of erotic romances at RWA’s National Conference in 2009, the die was cast. Finally! A market for the smoking hot stories she loves!

When Kari’s not writing, she enjoys reading, coffee, zombie flicks, coffee, naked mud-wrestling (not really), and . . . coffee!

If you would like to catch up with Kari, caffeinate yourself and head on over to

You can also find Kari...
on Goodreads

on Facebook

on Twitter


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky commenter will win a $25 Amazon GC. Click on the banner above to see her other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment the better your chances.

Ten Things You Wouldn’t Guess About Me

Or…How Louisa Kelley tries to live up to the bumper sticker: “Keep Portland Weird”

1. I’ve been a vegetarian all of my adult life.

2. I am obsessed with dragons (okay maybe you guessed that one).

3. I wake up at 5am every morning. Mostly without an alarm clock.

4. I dance to music in the house and can be found prancing about in my socks from one end of the house to the other.

5. I am a romance junkie and movies and books must have a happily-ever-after. Or I’m bummed. And maybe pissed.

6. I fast forward DVD’s and recorded shows any time I get bored, which means I frequently watch only half of a show. Or less. (Surprising how little that matters to the plot as far as television goes).

7. I’m a professional Office Manager by day and an erotic romance writer by night. And weekend. It’s like having a secret identity, kind of cool.

8. I can’t stand mushrooms. I know, a vegetarian who doesn’t like mushrooms- weird, right?

9. My favorite season is summer. Especially since I moved to Portland where it rains like nine months of the year.

10. Paranormal creatures actually live in Portland. They’ve been talking to me and insisting I tell their stories. See, what did I tell you? Doing my best to keep Portland weird.

About the Author:
Romance and science fiction took hold of Louisa Kelley at age nine, when she read Little Women and the Narnia series. She is convinced that the genre paranormal romance, which developed years later, was purely for her benefit. After all, it’s what’s been in her heart all these years. She resides in Portland Oregon where, in a strangely perfect combination of rainy winters and urban skyline, her writing inspiration abounds.
Meet the sexy world that’s been evolving in her fevered brain…she’d love you to join her in some over the top erotic adventures with the Draca; dragon shape-shifters of a very different kind.

Find her online at:

Louisa Kelley Author@ Facebook
Lydia has no idea why an entire race of shape-shifters is lusting after her. They tell her there's something special about her blood and they want it for themselves... but they don't actually want her blood. No, they want much, much more. And they want it delivered fresh, hot and as fast as possible.

Science fiction geek Lydia Neal is just recovering from her latest relationship burnout. When she wakes up in a glowing cave surrounded by enormous dragons she's pretty sure she's having a sci-fi themed nightmare. Then she meets the smoking hot Draca Eremon and suddenly things aren't quite so scary. Especially when Eremon shows her the very special kind of ecstasy a Draca male can offer her...whether on the ground or in the skies.

Something powerful is waking up inside Lydia, something triggered during her capture by these primal, gorgeous creatures. Whatever the sexy, obsessed Draca want from her, she's ready to find out... She agrees to go along with a series of fantastical and erotic "tests" and discovers she's signed on for the wildest, hottest ride of her life.
Cara is haunted by recent memories of a warehouse explosion that took the life of her best friend and caught her in the blast. Desperate for a way to cover the burns scars on her shoulder, Cara heads for the mysterious tattoo shop in Portland everyone is talking about.

Aedhan, the gorgeous tattoo master, leaves her senses reeling and her knees weak. Just the touch of his talented hands brings welcome relief and a sense of release from her emotional pain. His charming, eccentric ways combined with his tangerine hair and odd accent create an intoxicating mix. To her delight, the incredible tattoo he expertly lays over her scar hides everything-- and makes her long for more of his healing touch.

Soon Cara is pulled into an erotic journey of unimagined delight, terror and transformation. Dragons? In Portland? Magical and sexy beyond belief? Yet, something isn’t quite adding up. Is Aedhan really telling her the truth about what he’s doing in that shop? But she's so crazy in lust and wonder, it's hard to care.

Dragon shape-shifter Aedhan fully intends to follow the rules of his secret mission, number one being no sex with the human women in Portland. Then Cara shows up at his shop and her sweetness and delightful freckles almost stops his heart. When he perceives the sorrow in her life, he is consumed with the need to know more. Who has hurt her? After he gets a taste of her blood on his tattoo needles and discovers the extra special something in her fluids, he decides he must see Cara again, even if it means breaking the rules. And that's when things start to go terribly wrong...or perfectly right.


Thursday, March 8, 2012


This is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
A comment enters you in a drawing for a $25 Amazon GC.

Office Fantasies, a hot and steamy collection of erotic stories between two attractive coworkers, Marcus & Sydney. Marcus “the cute new guy” whom recently moved to Miami seems to be the shy, quiet, mystery guy. Little does Sydney know, she has an insatiable, passionate, sexual terrorist in her presence.

In the first episode of Office Fantasies "Cover Blown", the obvious attraction between Marcus and Sydney has become the talk of the office. Every day the two of them flirt and tease each other, until the sexual tension finally explodes into the Perfect Chemistry. Parking decks, office bathrooms and building elevators. This fantasy turned reality contains all the elements that make for a once in a lifetime sexual adventure for two.

Sydney & Marcus’s encounters will leave you breathless, wanting to know increasingly juicy details of their explosive sexual relationship in and outside of the office. Are you sleeping with your office fantasy?

Symphony is a closet freak whom lives his fantasies through his many alter ego's in this case the character of Marcus. Shy to the eye with a sexual appetite for two or even three. Symphony is passionate in all that he does, priding himself on serving his woman with the ultimate experience of endless orgasmic pleasure. A sexual crusader if you will, on a journey to give the experience of a lifetime to the few unknowing women whom fall to his baby face and shy demeanor.

Symphony carries himself as a passive and shy gentlemen. Giving women a false sense of security in the bedroom, of you know the conversation ladies "Don’t hurt-em girl".

Currently residing in Atlanta, GA, Symphony writes his own experiences coupled with fantasies of his just nasty mind. In the first installment of Office Fantasies "Cover Blown" Symphony’s stories will take you on a journey of sexual chemistry at its very best.