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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Christmas Surprises, indeed!


Strange as it may seem, my publisher, Ellora’s Cave – the world’s largest publisher of erotica, is also one of the few remaining publishers of traditional Regency novels, under its Cotillion imprint. True. I’m pleased to say they’ve so far published one full length (Bertie’s Golden Treasure) and one novella length (Wagered Kiss) books of mine. This year, again, there are four shorter than book length stories which will be published as independent e-books, and will then also be available in early December as an anthology, with the appropriate title of Christmas Surprises.

The four books and release dates are: 10/11 - The Last Surprise by Blair Bancroft (1o/11);  Christmas Bequest by Barbara Miller (10/25); Double Masquerade by Kate Fox (11/1) and Change of Address by Kate Dolan (11/8). Miller and Dolan are two of the original Regency authors with Cotillion, and have each had stories in previous anthologies.         

Blair Bancroft is one of those multi-talented individuals who says, "Sometimes I just DO something without any rhyme nor reason. I’d never written ‘short’ before last year’s anthology, but it seemed like the right thing to do at that moment.” She writes in numerous genres, including steampunk.

She adds: “Just because it’s shorter doesn’t mean it’s easier. In fact,  maybe the opposite, as there’s not so much space in which to expand  on plot or characterizations. It’s just hero, heroine, conflict, resolution."  At first, she was worried that this year’s story The Last Surprise was too dark, as the bride wears black! But there is, after all ‘the Christmas light at the end of the tunnel.’   ISBN:  9781419942280        EC price: $3.45  
                                                    
Barbara Miller lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and dogs, and she also teaches at Seton Hill University. Barb writes mysteries, young adult and historical romances. She says: “I used to write longer novels because that’s what the publishers wanted. I made many false starts
before I got a book of (the right) length since some story ideas just won’t support multiple subplots and a host of characters. I have picked up and finished many of the stories I thought were dead ends because now it’s fine to write only 12,000 or 30,000 words. I do enjoy the shorter length especially during edits. It is a relief to let a story be as long as it needs to be.”

Then she adds, “For Christmas Bequest I was trying to think of a premise that would make someone hate Christmas, and losing your brother in the war certainly did in my heroine’s Christmas spirit. Of course she doesn’t want a marriage proposal from the hero when she is grieving. But his job is to pull her back from despair and he succeeds even before the surprise ending.”    ISBN: 9781419940774    EC Price:  $1.99

 
The other two stories are:

When a young lady masquerades as a male writer, and encounters a delightful book-seller, a Double Masquerade may be needed! 
                Kate Fox lives in California. 
This is her first book for Cotillion.                                    
ISBN:  9781419943355  EC Price:  $3.45





The tale of Amanda, her sister and Mother, who do indeed
have a Change of Address that is not exactly what it might 
appear to be, when assistance comes from the landlord’s son.

             Kate Dolan lives in Maryland.                                           
ISBN:  9781419942853     EC  price: $4.20



  
The print collection which will include all four stories, will be available in early December. The e-books are available from Ellora’s Cave, and (if not already) will also be available at all the usual e-tailers. 


Whatever --  Enjoy! 

MOM, CHARACTERS AREN'T REAL!

My daughter and I actually had this argument this weekend when I was once AGAIN crying while watching Avatar for the twentieth time. The blue-alien one, not the little elemental-wizard-kid one. (Hey, I also cry at the end of Cool Runnings) Tami's a very literal, in-this-world twelve-year-old. She likes to read, but she doesn't understand how a writer--and hopefully through the writer, a reader--can become so emotionally invested in a world that is, in her opinion, FAKE.

GRRRR...

I care about my characters. I craft every word, emotion and reaction with excruciating exacting detail. I second-guess myself countless times. I HATE throwing my folks in harm's way, even when I know it's necessary for both growth and drama. I know someone's going to curse me for killing off so-and-so, no matter how noble the loss. In order for a character to be more than black-on-white on a page, they have to laugh, weep, lose, win--and love. If they don't quake with fear, if their hearts don't stutter and shatter--neither will the readers.

Writers were readers first. We've worked hard to emulate the masters we admire, and we know what is is to set a book aside that's been "meh." We shudder to think of someone doing that to our baby. And our characters ARE our babies, our creations, from nothing but dreams and hopes and imagination. We breathe life into them, we cheer them on and comfort them when everything's going wrong... "Trust me," we tell them. "I've got this handled. You WILL see each other again..."

Characters ARE real. They have lives and back stories, hopes and fears and dreams. They worry, they cry, they get sick and injured. They can die. But they also personify all that is best and pure in ourselves. They do the things we can only dream of. They win the battles we can't. They're bigger than us, greater than us. And we love them for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why is 50 SHADES so popular? Cerise DeLand states the case!


http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10414-tie-me-down.aspx
I have a few ideas.
Having been pubbed in the romance genre (in print and now digital) for more than 2 decades, I have witnessed trends. BIG ONES.
The appearance of this erotica series of 50 SHADES… on the best seller lists at numbers one through three seems unbelievable until, I think, you look at the trends in romance and in society over the years.
In the 1980s, the romance genre exploded into the marketplace. With boomer women getting college degrees and getting fabulous jobs, they wanted relaxing entertainment at night. (Yes, they needed it after all those household chores were done!)
By the 1990s, these same women had grown older, wiser and began to read more serious fiction. While these novels were female-focused, they were also relationship books which more often than not included a romance. The boomers’ younger sisters came along—and so did the boomers’ daughters—wanting to read the romances Mom and Big Sis had liked. What had begun as women reading romances that were 15% of the paperback sales, climbed steadily to more than 50%!
But in that decade of the 90s, other events occurred within the publishing industry and society as a whole.
Within the industry, costs of producing a book rose. This included the cost of paper and ink, copyediting and design. But also the venues where books were sold declined in number. With fewer places to buy books, readers had to go to Big Box stores to find them. Did they? Yes, but in fewer numbers.
This meant that back in New York Traditional Publishing Houses [NYTRPH] the accountants began to run the editorial decisions and the marketing ones, too. They told editors what they could buy and should buy. The Big Boxes added to the fray by telling publishers what sold quickest and best. Other types of books, said Big Box, will not be ordered in any great quantities.
In the offices of NYTRPH, the scissors came out. Authors who didn’t write this popular sub-genre or that one, saw their order numbers drag, their covers reduced to flowers or objects that sold few if any books. The result? These authors either conformed and wrote what “was selling” (vampires or fairies, anyone?) or the “newest trend” or died on the vine. Amid all this, if an author wrote a steamy book, she might get published, but more often than not, she was asked to temper her prose. Use euphemisms. Allude to passion in metaphors.
In society as a whole, tolerance for all types of lifestyles and parenting choices meant that readers were more open to bigger themes in novels. But were they finding those novels except in what we call literary fiction? I would answer, No.
By the turn of the century, many readers frustrated with few choices in the genre, began to ask, Is that all there is? And publishers in the U.K. and in the U.S., began to respond. Using the internet as the distribution means, publishers like Ellora’s Cave saw the way to distribute erotica in a manner that was safe, secure from prying eyes and immediate. And between the covers, readers got what they had not seen in novels. What had been verboten to them because of Big Box tactics or publishers’ demurring from printing hot sexy stories was now available.
The sales of erotica blossomed. The number of publishers did too. Most of them were on the internet using that platform to sell the books. Readers responded in the millions. While I generalize here, I will say that word-of-mouth and ease of access to the internet certainly provided the impetus for this proliferation.
Suddenly readers had erotic romances at their fingertips and with a few clicks could have instant gratification of purchase and reading!
To say that the internet and on-line publishers have changed the publishing industry is a given. To recognize that both have spawned the rise of self-publishing mechanisms is also a fact.
The 50 SHADES success story is, I am certain, built on the 3 previous decades of growth of the romance genre from Harlequin category types to single titles that have broadened women’s perspectives and their aspirations. These thousands of romances have also broadened women’s appetites to read about marvelous, intimate, mind-blowing sex.
Women not only desire to be entertained by well-written stories that help her escape to another world. They demand it. And 50 Shades is the explosive proof that erotica is not an aberration on the book shelves. It is a manifestation of readers’ growth and sophistication.
True, 50 Shades had a fabulous marketing and PR introduction. The well-oiled machine that created the series’ business plan is one we authors would love to learn more about! While we are not likely to hear those secrets, we do applaud the success.
It means women are becoming more savvy about their bodies, their communications and their intimate relationships. It also means we will see more and more erotica on the best seller lists. Already, we have seen 5-6 in the top 20. Move over 50 Shades. We’re coming through!



Friday, October 26, 2012

IT’S A BRAVE NEW WORLD

Living the life of an author is not for sissies. 

First of all you decide to put pen to paper, or at least your fingers to the keyboard and write that story that’s been bugging you since forever, characters that are screaming at you to write their story.  Mention to your friends that you have characters in your head and you’ll get strange looks at best, and worst case scenario is they’ll be making a call for the men in white coats to come and get ya.  So first lesson as a writer – keep your mouth shut when talking about your writing – especially if it’s to non-writers.
Of course your writing is going swimmingly, the words gracing the page will be the next best thing since slice bread when it comes to the publishing world.
Then you get a critique.
Now actually letting that baby out of your hands so to speak is a scary thing.  I mean, it is your creation.  What if the big bad wolf comes to its door?  What if…?
Your critique partner loves it, but, says, maybe just tweak this, and that…oh, and this. 
Devastation hits.  She doesn’t like it. It’s not perfect as it its.
Well, wakey, wakey Ms. Writer.  What did you expect?  Perfection first time.  Wake up to the real world, Madam.  The life of a writer sure isn’t like that.  It’s a hard slog and if you don’t think you’re cut out for it, then now is the time to run for the hills.
What?  You’re going to try again?   Good on you, courage under fire, that’s the way to go. 
Then someone asks if you’ve got an agent, have you submitted yet, a partial, a full, and a request.  What about Twitter, and Facebook.  Do you have a web presence, thought about branding yet?  So many questions, so much to do.  And all you thought you had to do was write.  Hah Dumbo.  This is the life of a writer.  Can’t hack the pace?  You better re think that run to the hills.
Oh, you’re staying.  Okay.  So get your butt to the chair, baby and write.
But I’ve got to clean the kitchen, the windows, cook dinner.
Let them eat cake, I say! 
So you’ve got your butt on the seat and fingers flying over the keyboard.  The book’s finished.  Yay.  Okay, so, what’s next?
Partial submitted – check
Full submitted – check
Queries to a hundred publishers – check
Queries to a hundred agents – check.
The mail arrives, inbox, outbox, letterbox – rejections by the truckload.  Wallpapering your office has taken on a new theme and maybe the mailman can deliver a truckload of chocolate while he’s at it.
A bath to wallow your self-pity in, while downing a few bottles of bubbly and eating that chocolate of course sounds rather appealing right now.  You eye that damned computer.  It beckons.  Those blasted characters are talking to you again.  Go on Mary, write about ME, ME ME.  I want to see me all over the page. 
Right about this time you’re thinking that the idea of the insane asylum and men in white coats sounds rather appealing too. 
How did it come to this?
Well, maybe you should have played ninja turtles or veged out in front of the television all those years ago instead of reading books instead of fantasizing about different characters, different worlds.   Blame it on your parents.  They made you read.   Yes, it’s always the parents’ fault.
But…well, those characters really need you.  So you continue to write, continue to submit. And continue to get rejections.
Then the world changes.  Suddenly the publishers, those big boys and girls sitting in their gilded towers are shaking in their boots a tad.  Amazon is and kindle and all those wonderfully technical gadgets and people have made those in higher ground sit up, take notice – and listen.
Yes there is a revolution.  We will not kow tow any more to the exulted, we will have some control over our careers, our work.  We can strike out on our own.  WE CAN SELF-PUBLISH.
See, writing isn’t for sissies, we have revolted. Power to the writers.
And yes dear reader and writer, the world has changed in the 12 years I’ve been writing. If someone mentioned self-publishing way back then, well, you were frowned upon, thought desperate, must be a rotten writer.  But today it’s not like that at all.  It’s simply another option to our world.   

Shirley Wine on self-publishing - …The explosion of self publishing means the glass ceiling of trad publishing is now a cement bunker as publishers retrench.  After 20 years I’d not cracked the glass ceiling and I could well be pushing up daisies, so decided to self-publish. Rewarding? The satisfaction is huge. Have I made a fortune, suppressing maniacal laughter here, writing is an expensive hobby. The down side. Among millions of books, how do you get noticed? And for some, buying a book is a licence to ridicule, so that tough hide earned by rejections is useful.
On the credit side, money trickles in, and I’m not talking 50 Shades, you have fan letters from across the globe, and you find appreciative readers like this one a few days ago.... Well worth reading. The characters were real. The plot was real! The pace was fast...It was like watching a movie. KUDOS to the writer! Buy it! I stayed up all night reading until I was finished.
 I now have six books out there with 2 more pending.  All my book links are in my signature.... and the links are on my website


Abbey MacInnis on self-publishing  - I self-publish because I love the control it allows me. There’s certainly more work involved, but I enjoy being the one who makes all the final decisions. I’m not only author, but a businesswoman acting as a publisher and publicist as well. Everything will be as I want it or the book won't go out, period.  And any consequences of those decisions are mine to bear alone. Self-publishing has exceeded my expectations, not financially yet, but more so the fact that I've learned more about how publishing works since I've started self-publishing than I did before I took the leap.



Now back to my writing life.  Have I self-published yet?  No.
Would I self publish?  Possibly
Am I a sissy?  - the vote is out on that at the moment.

Happy reading and writing
In books Author Jane Beckenham discovered dreams and hope, stories that inspired in her a love of romance and happy ever after.  Years later, after a blind date, Jane found her own true love and married him eleven months later.
Life has been a series of  ‘dreams’ for Jane.  Dreaming of learning to walk again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of course, dreaming of writing.
Writing has become Jane’s addiction - and it sure beats housework.
Visit Jane’s web site www.janebeckenham.com
Email neiljane@ihug.co.nz   
Twitter @JaneBeckenham

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Superstar

That statue in front of the water bottle is an award from Ellora's Cave. It was given to me at EC's RomantiCon in the category Sleeping with the Enemy, awarded for my romantic suspense It Takes a Thief. In addition to all that excitement, I sold 10 print books--my best at any signing so far!

The woman in black is me at the Friday night party--a sort of "end of the world" theme. I love the cover on It Takes a Thief so much that I wanted to come as my heroine. Wearing a few more clothes, of course. The lady next to me always does lavish costumes and makeup for these events. Wish I had that kind of talent! The wink I'm giving is probably due to false eyelash glue sticking my upper lashes to the lower ones.

I think the highlight of the conference was when a reader said to me, "I read you!" Things just don't get much better than that!

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tah Dah!!!! The Countdown Begins....

Introducing the OFFICIAL kick off post....the ESCALATION CLAUSE countdown to release has begun!
*insert confetti toss and fist pump, plus distinctive beer glass clink*


Escalation Clause: Stewart Realty Book 6 releases November 4, 2012 with a book signing at Nicola's Bookstore in Ann Arbor!

I am so honored to be continuing this series. There are 2 more books planned within its scope plus the off shoot Black Jack Gentlemen Series and a potential series involving The Suite in Detroit.

So here are the Need to Knows:
the cover


the blurb:
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Young love burns hot and bright. Soul mates are found, then lost in the blink of an eye. When young widow Maureen Gordon Taylor meets her daughter's sexy soccer coach, her body and heart slowly unthaw.  But will holding tight to the past cost her a future?  
A devastating blow shatters a family's fragile happiness. Rob Freitag and Lila Warren now confront life without the emotional glue that once bound them, but a shared goal brings them back together. Is it enough to make them whole again and become the family they were meant to be?
Mutual trust is hard won for the Gordons.  When tragedy strikes, Jack and Sara’s lives are sent into a tailspin.  To keep her family from falling apart, she must force Jack to admit his deepest fears. After everything they’ve been through, can they revive the spark and move to the next stage of marital fulfillment?
The sweeping saga of the Stewart Realty series continues as long-time friends learn to rely on each other, and to grab hold of happiness before it's too late. 




the excerpts (rated)
-->
PG 13 for language:

The sunlight pierced the light haze of his sleep. Brandis groaned, rolled over seeking shade and found himself hand-and-kneeing it facing the brick pavers of his parents’ patio. “Christ in a sidecar what time is it?” He mumbled, flipping around so he sat, back against the chaise lounge that must have served as his bed for the night. Not that he recalled anything after the second joint. He groaned and ran a hand down his already sweaty face.
Jack walked out the back door, Mountain Dew in hand, dressed for work at his father’s construction site for the day. Brandis blinked at his friend. “How in the hell can be so awake and non-hung over? I feel like three day old shit.”
“You look like it, too.” Jack slammed the remaining soda and threw the can into the returnables' bin. “You taking those back today? We need food at the house while you’re at it.”
Brandis flipped him off. “I look like your personal shopper?”
“No,” Jack sat, laced his work boots up then leveled a deep blue stare at him. “You look like a guy lucky enough not to have to work on the Saturday after a giant pool party.” His friend leaned forward on his knees and gave Brandis an ominous look. “You also look like the guy who could possibly be messing around with my sister. I don’t recommend you be that guy. Not at all.”
“I’m…” Brandis started to say something, but he had nothing, so he stayed quiet. Jack stared him down, turned on his heel then left, letting the gate bang loud behind him. Brandis crawled to the edge of the pool, noted all the shit he needed to clean out of it including at least two condoms, then stuck his feet into the cold water, groaning when his temples started pounding to the beat of his heart. He put his head in his hands. Mo was the first thing he saw when he closed his eyes. Her bright blue eyes snapping with laughter, anger, and…desire … God help him, he had nursed a crush on her for years.
She’d been such a tomboy, running with him and Jack, tagging along then joining in the baseball, basketball, soccer whatever they concocted, up to and including egg throwing at Halloween and more less innocent vices. Their easy camaraderie had always allowed them to wrestle, to tickle, to touch. After she’d shown up at his house last month, determined to escape her jerk-off father, he thought he could just ease back into it. But, he hadn’t seen her in over a year, and in that time, she had become a full-fledged, jaw-dropping woman. Her tall, athletic frame was lush, lovely, full-hipped and inviting. The deep blue of her eyes and inky black fall of her hair made him want to bury his hands in it, to kiss her until she begged for more.
So, it seemed, his crush had bloomed into full-blown lust. A desire she apparently matched.
 No way.
He’d heard Jack’s message loud and clear. And as much of a man-whore as Brandis was, he was a loyal friend. So, Mo was off limits. Fine. He did not need that hassle, not now, with just a month and a half before he left for Colorado.
He leaned back on his hands and willed his cock soft, but the memory of her lips, and the feel of her skin against his if just for that one moment was not something he would soon forget. When he’d fucked that girl in the basement then realized Mo had been down there, watching them, it had taken him a couple of seconds to acknowledge he’d been picturing her beneath him, her body taking his, the sounds of her climax in his ears the entire time.
What a fucking mess.
“Hey,” he nearly jumped a mile into the air at the sound of her voice. “I, um, just want to say, you know, well…” She sat a couple of feet from him and let her feet dangle in the water. “Sorry.” She looked straight ahead.
“For what?” He cleared his throat, nervous beyond belief.
“For spying on you. I mean, I wasn’t, I was getting a drink and just kind of … oh hell. You know what I mean.” She looked down into the water. “This pool is disgusting.” She shoved a greasy looking floating seat away with her foot. “Are those…” She pointed to the used rubbers on the bottom.
“Yeah,” he ran a hand down his face, then jumped up and grabbed the skimmer. He cleared the condoms, a bottle of sunscreen and three beer cans from the pool, trying to ignore her. But his baser self would not cooperate and he had to grab a towel and fasten it around his waist to hide the damn tent in his shorts. She moved all the chairs back into their usual places and cleaned off the two glass-topped tables, finding yet another rubber in the grass near the back fence.
“You guys sure do know how to throw a party.” She smiled at him, lifting his heart and making his damn cock pound in time with his headache.
“Huh,” he grunted, before turning the water on to refill the pool and taking a reading on the chemicals. Sweat dripped off his forehead, blurring his vision. Fuck it was hot out already and it was barely eight o’clock in the morning. She crouched down next to him, her arm grazing his, making him flinch. Crush, Brandis. Remember? She is a no-go zone. Don’t do it.



PG:

Sara handed Lila another tissue, but her own eyes stayed dry. Observing the slow dissolution of her brother’s remaining family hurt, but pretty much everything hurt these days.
It was just, as they say, one more thing.
She patted the woman’s shaking shoulders, listened to her rant about Rob. But she hardly heard anything. The bubble wrap that seemed to encase her had not loosened as she hoped and prayed it would. And after a year, the wall between her and Jack approached Chinese construction standards. She watched, numb, while Katie and Maddie rolled around on the floor with their little brothers.
“Sara,” Lila said.
She turned her head slowly, noted she was late for work . “Yeah, sorry.” She tried a smile, but the other woman’s face remained frowning.
“Are you okay?” Lila’s black hair was shorter these days, and framed her heart-shaped face. Sara tried to focus on anything beyond that. Katie yelled when one of the little boys bopped her on the head with a plastic toy. The dog barked, wanting food. Her head pounded, throat ached with unshed tears. People needed her. She rose, pressed her skirt down.
“Yes, no, who knows. But I am late for work. Will you be all right here with all this chaos?” She pointed to the kids on the floor. “The nanny will be here at noon. I … Jack was supposed to be home already.” she looked up, confused when she heard the door open, and the clink of keys, watch and fountain pen being deposited in their appointed spaces on the table by the front door. “He flew in on the red eye from the west coast last night,” Sara sat back down, suddenly exhausted and needing her husband’s arms around her more than her next meal.
Jack strolled in, still dressed in dark suit pants and a thoroughly travel-wrinkled white shirt. Her heart did its usual roll at the sight of him. But he didn’t look at her. More than once she’d demanded time to talk, requested his undivided attention for some serious conversation about his distance. He kept coming up with excuses to avoid her and given how chaotic their lives were with two kids, a dog and very busy careers, excuses were easy to come by. So she had held back the one thing she knew he required, telling him flat out that she would not be sleeping with him until they cleared the air with a long talk. They had not had sex, or actually exchanged words beyond the necessary logistics of work and children for seven months.
Jack smiled down at Katie who’d latched onto him, kissed her and was staring down at the two little boys. Brandis was standing up holding onto the couch, a recent trick and one Sara had dreaded since it meant mobility for a kid who was never still anyway. He made his slow way to the edge of the leather ottoman glaring at Gabriel whose bright blond hair was back lit from the sun coming through the large window. They were in a mortal battle over a single dump truck and warfare was escalating fast. Brandis had already pushed Gabe down on his butt once, but the other boy quickly recovered. In a funny toddler attempt at diversion, he’d handed Brandis a matchbox car giving Gabe enough time to grab the obnoxiously orange truck and drop to his knees to make a swift crawling getaway. Since Brandis seemed stuck hanging onto the furniture, he wailed and threw the car, hitting his sister in the temple, then dropped to all fours and chased Gabe to the kitchen. Katie followed them. “Mom!” She yelled. “They’re feeding the dog Cheerios. That okay?”
By the time Jack had arrived Brandis was in full-throated fury, just as Sara was trying to leave the house. The boy made a crawling beeline for his father, and Gabe followed. He was already pretty steady on his feet, the cheap plastic toy clutched to his chest as if it were the Hope diamond. The dog brought up the rear, lapping up the little round circles of processed sugar dropped in their wake.
“Hey sport,” Jack plucked his son from the floor, kissed him then did a double take when he saw the other boy. “Well hello there. Little Rob. Wow.”
Sara watched the scene unfold, silent, but thankful he at least acknowledged his own son. Since Brandis had such a raging temper he was usually screaming about something or throwing things or in his crib for a time out, which meant Jack could ignore him, leaving the discipline to her. Gabe stared up at Jack, thumb in his mouth, the truck still held tight.
“Pa!” Brandis glared at his father. “Mine.” He pointed down at Gabe. Brandis had developed clear speech patterns early and was on the verge of walking at a year as well. The kid was an eerie mirror image of the man holding him, Sara observed for the thousandth time. Jack bent down and put Brandis on the floor. The boy lunged for the truck but his father held him back.
“No. Share,” he said, reaching over and snagging one of the zillions of trucks scattered around the room. “Yours.” He pressed an identical cheap blue dump truck to Brandis’ small chest. The boy’s face lit up with joy and he dropped to all fours and rolled the thing back to the kitchen with Gabe tottering along behind, so they could resume kitchen demolition by cereal. The eager dog scampered after them.



XXX:
“It’s not rocket science. Neither of you guys were cut out to manage a restaurant that’s all. You wanted to manage your kitchen, Blake his brewery. And you kept hiring dumbasses to handle the front of the house for you. I’m organized and know how to deal with the staff. No big deal.” She started to sit but Rob gripped her arm.
“Please, come back home, Lila. I…I miss you, I miss us so much.”
She shivered at his words. “I don’t know, Rob. I mean, maybe you and I aren’t meant to be. Not without—”
Rob’s broad shoulders slumped and he looked so completely bereft it was almost funny, if it weren’t so shitty. She let her gaze travel down his apron-covered torso and her palm itched to untie it, to hold him and kiss him until he couldn’t stand it another minute. A bright pulse of erotic energy hit her core, making her gasp. She watched him clench and unclench his fists, then sit again, running his hand through his hair. She couldn’t resist. She touched it, ran her fingers through its silky yellow softness.
The bartenders called out and she waved to them. The main lights flickered then went off, plunging them into dark. His eyes held hers, their deep brown lit from the street. “I need you,” she whispered. Then she pulled him to his feet, wrapped herself around him. The kiss spoke words she wished she could say, and hoped he heard.
Just when he gripped her hair to hold her closer she tore herself away. “I need this,” she whispered as she untied his apron. He stayed still as it dropped to the floor and she popped the button on his jeans. “Please,” she leaned into his ear as she slid the zipper down and fisted his shaft. He groaned as she pushed him back towards the bar then went down on her knees. He tasted just like she remembered, and the tilt of hips, the sweet sound of his moans as she kept her fist moving and sucked the head of his cock between her lips were like music to her ears.
She slipped her other hand under his balls, stroked the smooth skin there. He gripped her hair. “Lila,” He grunted. “Stop.” But she didn’t.
Suddenly she was on her feet, folded into his arms and he was bending her back over the table, sending all their charts, phones and one empty beer glass to the floor. He ripped her panties off with one flick of his wrist, shoved her skirt up. “Oh, yes. Robert,” she threaded her fingers in his hair, met his lips and they cried out as one. The glorious feel of her man inside her, finally, again, made her want to cry but she didn’t. “Fuck me, hard. Now.”
“God,” He gripped her ass, thrust deep and slow then withdrew, biting down on her lower lip when she tightened herself around him. “Oh hell yes,” He moaned into her neck increasing his rhythm, pounding into her, making the table’s iron base screech against the concrete floor. She wrapped her legs around him, leaned her head back and let the orgasm lift her, take her and spin her around. “Damn, I have missed that,” He said, looking deep into her soul as she pulsed and thrummed from the climax.
She held his face in her hands, kept moving her hips. “Come now, Robert. Give it to me. Give me all of it.” He shuddered, then kissed her and did as he was told. She shivered, held him close. “I love you. But I’m not moving back in. Not yet. We have a long way to go and I want to make sure you’re sure. That you aren’t just doing this because you think you have to. Because of Gabe, or Blake’s memory or whatever.”
He withdrew from her, stood, and zipped his jeans back up. She sat on the edge of the table, terrified but certain.
“That’s fine,” he picked up the apron. “I’ll get the broom.” He started to turn but she grabbed his arm.
“Don’t shut down on me. I mean it. I want us to handle this together. To grieve together. And I want to plan a two-year memorial for him at the lake house.”
Rob shut his eyes. But she kept talking. “Listen to me, please.” He opened them, and the pain there she knew matched what she felt every damn day. “I want you, I want us to be together. I want another baby. I want to sell that house filled with everything that was Blake and buy another one. But I want something else even more. I want you to be certain you really love me.”
He sucked in a breath, let the silence spin out about a half minute too long for her taste. She let go of him. “I’ll clean it up. Go home. Gabe’s at your house this week, and we both know he won’t sleep unless you’re there.”
Rob opened his mouth, but Lila shook her head. Proud of herself but at the same time in misery for what she may still yet lose, she watched as he went out the back door of the kitchen without another word.





and........hold onto your panties kids.....the trailer!  (it rocks)


the buy links:
Stewart Realty series books 1-5 AND a pre-order link for the paperback of Escalation Clause

Pre order for Ebook of Escalation Clause (all formats)

FLOOR TIME (book one) is kick ass and taking names sales-wise!  Get started on this compelling series today!  You still have time to read the first 5.....

Click here for my favorite excerpts from the first three.


Arriba!
Liz

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Werewolves & Vampires Celtic Style by Cornelia Amiri


Happy Halloween everyone. What is Halloween without vampires and werewolves? And since most of our Halloween traditions come from the ancient Celtic fire festival of Samhain, I write my vampire and werewolf erotica/romances with a Celtic Twist.

I’m intrigued by Scottish folk tales of vampiric fey roaming the Highlands, the baobhan sith (bah'-vawn shee). These dark fey creatures are different than what we think of as vampires as they are always women and they have no fangs. Instead of teeth extending, their fingernails extend to talons. They claw the flesh of their human male victims. Also the sun will burn them to ash in the human realm so they come out after dark. Another neat piece of lore about the baobhan sith is they are known as the dancing vampires. They find a victim, dance with them, and then attack them with their talons and drink their blood They come to earth from cairns where stones have been toppled. The way to get rid of a baobhan sith is to pile the stones back on a cairn, then they are locked out of the portal. I thought what great characters the baobhan sith would make for an erotica paranormal romance quickie series for Ellora’s Cave. Dance of the Vampires, came out in March and the second, my new release, Vampire Highland Fling, launched in August. There will be five in the series all together. I just submitted, Ever So Bonnie A Vampire. I like to think of the series as 5 shades of Fey. 

Here’s a blurb of Dance of The Vampires:
One of Ian’s six brothers kicks over the stones of an ancient cairn, unknowingly freeing Sorcha and her six sisters from underhill. The seven handsome Scots are enchanted by the voluptuous temptresses until they turn on the men. Ian captures Sorcha, giving his brothers a chance to escape. With the dark fey woman still in his grasp, Ian is saved by the rising sun.

Her sisters vanish with the light of dawn and Sorcha is trapped in the mortal realm. The seductress can’t resist Ian’s attentions as he stirs throbbing urges she’s never felt before. Ian is bewitched by the wild delights offered by this vampire siren. He can’t get enough of her. Still, her wicked sisters and his highland brothers want nothing more than to attack and kill each other. Will Sorcha and Ian’s sizzling passion prove strong enough to overcome the differences between the dark fey and humans?

Four Star Review – Sensual Reads

Here’s a blurb of my new release, Vampire Highland Fling:
Murdina, a dark vampiric fey, hunts the Scottish Highlands for a man, but not for blood. Murdina wants love. She spots Cameron playing the bagpipes as he’s coming from a wedding. When a strong wind lifts his kilt, she takes a good look and decides he’s the one. When Cameron meets a beautiful, mysterious woman who dances the Highland Fling for him, his blood boils for her. Soon Murdina and Cameron are doing more than dancing. Wrapped in each other’s arms they discover true love, but their time together is limited before Murdina’s fey sisters cross the portal to steal her away and probably kill him. Is their love strong enough to overcome the threat her sisters pose to Murdina’s heart and to Cameron’s life? 

Five Angel Review – Fallen Angel Reviews 


For werewolf lovers, my paranormal/erotica/romance, The Wolf and The Druidess is a Celtic twist on a Halloween Werewolf story. Mystical and magical the story’s set at Samhain, rather than Halloween, and instead of a werewolf, the hero is the Celtic god Gwydion, a wolf is one of his shape shifting forms.

Here’s a Blurb for The Wolf and The Druidess:
A god leaves the Otherworld and even risks his life … for love.
In days of old, deep in the dark woods, Druidess Seren discovers a wolf shape shifting into the bare, muscular body of God Gwydion. Her wicked thoughts turn from the Samhain feast to feasting on Gwydion’s yummy goodies. Can their new found love survive the ultimate long-distance relationship of a god in the otherworld and a woman on earth? Is the love Seren and Gwydion share strong enough to overcome the social barrier between an immortal god and a mortal woman? Will the warning of danger from beyond the grave destroy the sensual magic brewing between the wolf and the druidess?

Reviewed by Chere Gruver with Paranormal/Romance Reviews 
“this story is filled with plenty of hot love scenes as the love between god and Druidess grows. I've always been interested in the Celts and eagerly await each and every one of Cornelia Amiri's releases, and this one is no exception to that. For a short story, this one packs a wallop.”

This Halloween, consider a Celtic twist to your paranormal romances, with the

Happy Halloween

Happy Samhain 

Happy Reading 


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Sexy Halloween Ghost Story


I've always loved ghost stories. As a child, my parents told my sister and I ghost stories by the fire, and we'd scream with terrified delight as they acted out their parts. Years later, I worked as a ghost tour guide in an historic area of a neighboring town, retelling legends about the spirits there, as we walked through the streets after dark by candlelight. 
It was inevitable I'd write a ghost story of my own one day. INTIMATE ART is one of my favorite novellas and a tale I always hope readers will love. I've posted a sample below, just in time for Halloween. Happy trick or treating!
Best~ Adele
INTIMATE ART by Adele Dubois


Paranormal Erotic Romance
 On Sale at Amazon Only $1.49!

"Ms. Dubois casts a spell that ensnares you before you're done with the first page." ~Simply Romance Reviews
"Grade A, Outstanding Read!"

Excerpt (Mature):
Legs set her coffee cup down on the desk and moved to the oak trimmed doorway of her aunt's room. Jack was pushing too hard and she was growing more defensive by the minute. "Men aren't allowed in her bedroom."
Jack's eyes narrowed. "You're really serious about her haunting the place, aren't you?" His question was heavy with controlled annoyance.
Legs nodded and folded her arms across her chest. "And she has very strong opinions about what you and I have been doing."
His smirk told her he couldn't care less. "Then we don't need to sneak around anymore, do we? She knows." He set his coffee cup on the dresser and plunked the bag on the floor. "Just because her husband ran out on her doesn't mean you shouldn't have a life. I'm not like your miserable drunk of an uncle."
He shifted his gaze around the room, a scowl forming on his handsome, angular face. Glints of gold in his long, thick hair caught the morning light, and Legs sucked in an admiring breath. His hair was combed back from his face and trailed to the center of his neck like rich butterscotch fudge glazed with real vanilla. It looked so good she almost wanted to take a bite.
She never could stay mad at him long.
The last time they made love she'd run her hands through his gorgeous hair and combed it with her fingertips. She'd reveled in the silky texture while he licked the swells of her breasts and sucked her taut nipples, groaning as his erection strained against her naked thigh. The memory of his hot skin against hers made her tremble inside.
Some of her defenses fell away.
Legs could tell Jack recognized the scent of Ada's White Diamonds perfume gaining strength in the air by the way he tilted his head as his nostrils flared. His blue eyes flashed defiance. He looked around, shouting at corners. "Do you hear me, Ada? I'm not like he was. It's time to let her go."
A cold chill swept through the room. Legs shivered against the draft and ran her hands over her arms. She stared into the sunbeams shining across the floor, trying to focus through the dust motes in the early morning sun. If she looked in just the right way, and at just the right angle, she might see glimmers of her aunt. It had happened before.
Jack turned to face her with a slow smile curving his lips. "I know how to get her out of here, darlin'". He reached out and pulled her to him. "Tough Love."
"What?"
The scents of fresh lime soap and musk aftershave filled her senses, dousing the White Diamonds. Strong arms hugged her to his muscled chest. The smell and feel of him drifted over her like a safe, sensuous blanket.
She pressed her cheek against his pectorals and rubbed her face across the nipple that had hardened beneath his black t-shirt. The fullness of her bottom lip clung to the tip and she resisted the primal urge to nip it with her teeth and poke it with her tongue through the fabric.
His voice turned gruff. "We'll fuck her out of here."

*****
Buy INTIMATE ART on Amazon Kindle
On Sale $1.49!
Buy INTIMATE ART at B&N Nook!
Buy INTIMATE ART on Smashwords!
    Read more about books by Adele Dubois on her website      www.adeledubois.com

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweet N Sexy Soulful Quotes

I'm so surprised at how quickly this year is flying by, aren't you? I feel like I've blinked and suddenly we're in October. I'm afraid if I blink again we'll be celebrating the new year.

Anyway...despite the fast approach of cold weather, I have some hot new releases to share with you for this month's segment.

The books I feature are from authors who were not afraid to be soulful, sappy, and/or suggestive when it came to their heroes. So, grab a seat, and pick up a pen and paper (or fire up your eReaders) so you can add these to your TBR collection.

Happy reading!


Duncan pressed his lips lightly to her forehead, and the soft sound of her sigh was like an answer to every prayer he’d made for the last seven years. Time held still as he leaned down closer and closer to her mouth.

Kissing her would be a mistake. It would only make him miss her worse afterward.

His heart clenched as his lips touched hers. They were as sweet as in his memories. Since she was sad and wanted his comfort, he made himself keep the kiss soft. But his heart was bleeding for her, as it always had. He would let her cut it to shreds again.

When he broke the kiss, he stared into her violet eyes and wondered what she was thinking. Probably that Duncan MacDonald was the most foolish of the many fools who had loved her.

But then she slid her hands up his chest, clasped them around his neck, and pulled him down into another kiss. Her mouth softened against his, and he died a little more inside.

For a long time, he was lost in a mindless, never-ending kiss. But when she groaned into his mouth and pressed her breasts against his chest, lust too-long denied surged through him like a roaring river. And that river of desire swept away all the barriers he had built through all the years away from her.

To have this woman, he would die a thousand deaths, face any enemy, fight the very devil himself. He could never have enough of her.

Duncan drank in her sighs and whimpers as he kissed her mouth, her arched black eyebrow, her perfect nose, her determined chin. Very, very softly, he brushed his lips over her injured jaw.

“Moira,” he said her name over and over. He ran his tongue over her, tasting her skin, as he moved down the side of her throat. Then he leaned her back onto the floor and buried his face between her breasts.

Please, God, let me have her again just this once. He had waited so long and missed her so much. Even as he pleaded with God for one more time, he knew once would never be enough.

Moira should be his. She should belong to him, now and forever.
~ Margaret Mallory, The Warrior



“I’m not going to be jealous of a dead guy, Cam,” Brad said in a low, husky voice. “I mean, I was for a little while, but I’m over it now.”

She turned to face him, wide-eyed with wonder. “You are?”

“I am.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips. “The people who touch us make us who we are, right? Our parents, our friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, or one night stands—all of them count.” Turning her hand over, he pressed his lips to the center of her palm then let his hot, moist breath wash over her skin. “I’m not saying I’m about to rush over there and thank him.”

A laugh burbled from her lips. “No, I understand.”

“But you loved him, and because you loved him you were able to fall in love with me.”

Her smile widened as she tried to dissect his convoluted reasoning. “I love the way your ego always lets you circle everything back around to you.”

Brad shrugged. “Whatever works.”

“It so works. Totally works for me.”
~ Margaret Ethridge, Inamorata





"My lord, you are like a stud, ready so quickly."

"You make me a stallion, Joan. By God, you are my one and only treasure."
~ Darby York, Passionate Exhibitions (Anthology)









Daniel’s hands raked through his hair and he bent forward to catch his breath. His fright evaporated at the sound of Marienne’s contagious giggles. Within seconds he was laughing.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” He moved toward her. She looked lovely, backlit by the glow that emanated from the house, hair loose around her shoulders, pale skin luminous in the moonlight, shoulders quivering as she tried to contain her laughter. He felt a strong impulse to kiss her, which took him totally off guard. The neighbor’s dog barked, startling them both, and stopping him from striding toward her, taking her in his arms and making what he thought would be the hugest of all possible mistakes.

“I was just having some water.” Marienne pointed to the glass on the stone ledge.

He looked at her, one eyebrow raised.

She sighed. “And I was waiting to see if you’d walk back through my yard.”

“Back through?”

“I was at the sink. I saw you walk by earlier.”

“You waited up for me?”

“Well, I was cleaning the kitchen and waiting for the dishwasher to finish.” She was a terrible liar. “Yes, I waited up. You looked upset. I wanted to make sure you were all right.” Her dark, round eyes met his.

He stepped toward her. “That was totally unnecessary. And it’s absolutely the nicest thing I can remember anyone doing for me in a very long time.” He hugged her, tentatively, gauging her response.

She lifted herself onto her toes, her small hands pressed into his back, and he relaxed in her arms. He breathed in the aroma of her hair, laced as always with her familiar scent. Eyes closed he allowed her warmth to pass through him. The desire to kiss her remained strong, all the more so now that she was pressed against him, but the need to hug her, and be hugged by her, took precedence. He held her tighter and placed a gentle kiss on the side of her head before he pulled away.
~ Karen Stivali, Meant To Be

* * *

Renee Vincent is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance.