Saturday, July 31, 2010

I feel much better now...

Jillian's Job received a fabulous review from Joyfully Reviewed (Patrice F.) a while back, and I couldn't help but re-read it to pull myself out of the doldrums. It is marvelous to hear a reviewer extol your virtues and rave about your book.

Authors put so much effort and sweat and tears into the books we write, and it really is amazing how great it makes us feel to know that at least one person has just added us to their "must-buy" list.

Now, Jillian's Job sold quite well for a month or so, until it vanished into my back-list to wait for readers to wander over and find it. It is truly unfortunate how some of our best books end up languishing in the dark, hopeful for a ray of light to enter their solitude. Take, for instance, Out of Her Dreams, which garnered the highest number of five-rated reviews of all my books. it was my debut book. I waited in terror for the first review to come out, firmly believing that it was a total flop, simply because not a single review showed up the first month it was out. Then after chewing my nails to the quick, I got my first review, from JERR (Just Erotic Romance Reviews)...and I almost fell over to see that it a five-star review, with a heat rating of Orgasmic. Authors can become nervous wrecks hoping their books won't tank.

Here is the review for Jillian's Job from JR:

Jillian has had it with domineering chauvinistic boss, Mike Furie. Who cares if he is the wealthiest, sexiest man alive? He’s a jerk! As his highly paid PA, she has given up any chance of having a real life. And for what? He doesn’t even see her as a woman! Seven years of cleaning up his messes has driven her to the brink. He calls her at the last moment to fly to Aspen to run interference on a man-eating model. It’s the last straw. She’s done and plans to tell him where to stick his job. The last thing she expects is to wake up naked next to very man she hates—and who makes her crazy for him in every way.

This story made my head spin leaving in its wake a few other embarrassing reactions, which means I was nuked by a devilishly steamy read. Fran Lee, where have you been all my contemporary-romance-reading-life? After reading Jillian’s Job, it is time for me to backtrack and devour anything else Ms. Lee has published. This is a combo of Two Weeks Notice meets Sex in the City! Hmmm. Maybe we should add some extra sizzling heat to that description. Turn it up by another 100 degrees with a doubled heat index that would make a Texan wince. Jill and Mike duke it out, make-up, and get down into some heavy action that won’t quit. There’s more to this powerhouse pair than just the hot-off-the-printers-sex. Neither are just a pretty face and a fat checkbook. The character development more than makes up for the gratuitous sex scenes—ahem, you don’t see me complaining. My chief complaint is that this torrid tale was not longer. What a tease! I wanted more from this delightfully talented author with the wicked imagination. Who says contemporary romance is dead? With creative writing like Ms. Lee, I’d say it’s time for me to take a break from my paranormal sci-fi fix (like now) and catch up on the progressive goodies under this genre. Ellora’s Cave, take a bow for snatching up this gifted lady and sharing her with what I’m sure will be an ever-growing mountain of fans and readers. ...Patrice F.

Now, I have always tried not to get bent out of shape when one of my books gets a less than stellar review. Authors (most of us) tend to feel that anything less than a four-heart or four-star review means the book sucks. Au contraire, mon ami. (That's French for "no way, Jose".)

A three or better means that your book was good. Maybe not spectacular, but a good, satisfying read. And you must remember that no two reviewers will ever see your book exactly the same. Where one reviewer may give your book a good solid four rating, another may decide it was not as good as that. One reviewer gave my menage shifter a 3.5, yet she raved about how great it was. Hmmm... /:}

So just try to remember that reviews are simply one person's opinion...and if your book got less that you hoped for in ratings, don't throw the babies out with the bathwater just yet. I read a book I absolutely adored. Then saw a very poor review for the book. Huh? That review certainly didn't stop me from buying. And hopefully, my lousy low reviews won't stop you from buying, either. :)

Take care and enjoy the weekend!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Daughters of Persephone


Release day was July 21 for books one and two, and here's a sneak peak at the next cover, for books three and four - Reborn and The Red Demon - release date, September 8.

Blurb – Daughters of Persephone, Book One, Exile

Aja Bokinan, of noble blood, is the Thousand Year Empress who has grown to adulthood in exile. Throughout the Empire, women are banned from public life, have no legal rights, and they have become little better than property.

In an attempt to kill off the royal line and end all resistance, Aja is kidnapped by a General who intends to inject her with a lethal virus, hoping she will infect her family and Women of the Blood everywhere.

Kyr Aram, is a smuggler and secret Resistance fighter. He must find a way to protect Aja from both the General and a traitor on his own ship who wishes to see her dead. With the Thousand Year Empress, he gets more than he bargained for.

Blurb – Daughters of Persephone, Book Two, Return

The Lady Ennat, has been sent by her mother to Resistance Commander, Karna Aram. She is a Blood decoy, her role is to protect her sister Aja, the Thousand Year Empress, and draw the bulk of the Coalition forces away from the Resistance fighters. Knowing she may not live to see tomorrow, she gives into her growing feelings for Commander Aram.

Karna Aram wanted the woman from the moment she set foot on his supply depot, but nobody touches a Princess of the Blood. He resists his bone deep desire until Ennat challenges him to pick up a sword and spar with her. All bets are off. Karna has a different kind of sword play in mind.

When the Ennat and her sister, Aja, are reunited, they know the Coalition is coming after them. They must risk all to save their followers, and the men they love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Hear Sleigh Bells!

This week I was playing beat the clock to finish a Christmas Quickie that became a novella that became a short novel… You get the picture. It needs to come to an end and it’s not ending. The Christmas hijinks continue and I’m still trapped in a seasonal limbo world.

All through the month of July my mind has been steeped in Christmas, cranberry candles, snowfall, fires in a stone hearth and big red packages tied with satin ribbon. I got so involved in the fantasy I’ve almost convinced myself Christmas was absolutely lovely this year and I’ve nothing to worry about… As I finish this short novel, it finally occurred to me just how disoriented I’m going to feel when Christmas 2010 actually arrives and I feel like I’ve already had it! What will I do this year when my family looks at me and asks, “Are you going to decorate for Christmas this year?”

I’ll want to give them an accusing look and defend myself by saying “Don’t you remember? We just had Christmas and it was wonderful!”

This mindset reminds me of my friend’s creative but kooky mother. My friend’s mother wanted to celebrate a high school graduation by making an elegant frozen ice cream, fresh strawberry and angel food cake extravaganza. She talked about the cake constantly for a week and even drew architectural renderings of it on all the phone pads. On graduation day everyone came to the house, the freezer was opened and guess what? You’re right. She forgot to make the cake! Talking about the cake and enjoying the fantasy of its perfection had been satisfying enough… A real lesson to be learned from.

Seeing the “Christmas In July” Christmas tree on our sister blog Romance Books R-Us isn’t helping to ground me in a firmer sense of reality. The only thing that is completely real is this fun contest with a great Sony e-reader at stake is going to end on Saturday, so if you haven’t done so already please check out his blog!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Christmas In July - Last Days

Don't forget Christmas In July ends soon!
I’m participating in the Christmas In July contest over at Romance Books R Us. It’s a great contest. You can win lots of goodies including a Sony eReader. BUT…I’m offering a contest of my own too.

Two contests. Two chances to win.

Amber’s Contest – July 1st thru July 31st contest closes at midnight EST on the 31st. To win a Talk Dirty to Topaz tote bag full of prizes – hat, t-shirt, mouse pad, key chain, notebook and some other goodies you have to:
1. Follow my blog
2. Sign up for my newsletter (over to the left)
3. Send me an email telling me you’re part of both – amberskyze AT gmail DOT com
This is gift is only open to residents of the US and Canada. If a winner from somewhere else is chosen I'll offer a gift card.

Now on to the RBRU Contest!!!!!

Welcome from RBRU MEMBER AUTHORS Marianne Stephens/April Ash, Annie Alvarez, Sandy Sullivan, Paris Brandon, Tina Donahue, Claire Ashgrove, Vicky Burkholder, Linda Kage, Cindy Spencer Pape, Amber Skyze, Fran Lee, Jean Hart Stewart, Molly Daniels/Kenzie Michaels, Renee Vincent, Katalina Leon, Gina Ardito/Katherine Brandon, Donica Covey/Jinger Jackson, Cornelia Amiri/Maeve Alpin, Sandra K. Marshall, Polly McCrillis/Isabel Mere.
BIG CHRISTMAS IN JULY CONTEST! Great Prizes: a new Sony Touch eReader, hats, totes, gift cards, tee-shirts, and more!
To enter:
1. Join this yahoo group (Sorry, no authors, only READERS, WRITERS, or INDUSTRY REPS).
2. Become a Follower at our blog: Click on FOLLOW and follow directions. Problem? Contact
3. There are 20 RBRU Bloggers' Websites/Blogs listed on the right sidebar at the blog. Click on each one.
Send a list of 20 authors' names and one book title for each one to: If an author has two pen names, you only need to click on one. You'll need a total of 20 author names and 20 book titles. Contest ends midnight ET 31 July. Sorry, we only ship prizes to US and Canadian residents. Others may receive an emailed gift card/certificate. Winners announced on our Yahoo group and blog during the first week in August

Monday, July 26, 2010

HURRY! Christmas in July is Almost Over!

Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, flying reindeer, hot cocoa, snow...ah...the wonders of winter and the Christmas holiday season! Well...over at "Romance Books R Us" yahoo site and blog, the "Christmas in July" Event is coming to an end. 31 July is the last day to enter our contest to win a Sony Touch eReader...or...hats, tee-shirts, pens, tote bags, ornaments...and some other gifts we're giving away!

Call the 20 Member Authors who are sponsoring this contest crazy, but we love the holiday season and want to share our celebrating with you! We're merging our contest with a membership drive...looking for more readers, writers, and industry reps to join our Yahoo site and corresponding blog as Followers.

Of course, there are rules to follow...what great contest doesn't have them? We have three:

1. Join "Romance Books R Us" at:
Easy to do...just hit Join and your request to become a member will be sent...we're not accepting any more authors for membership at this time, and no Promo Companies.

2. Become a Follower at our blog:
Click on the Follow button on the right sidebar and follow directions.

3. While you're at the blog, look under the Followers list. You'll see a list of 20 authors and websites/blog sites. Click on each and make a list of each author and one book they've written (if an author has two pen names, you only need to do one). So, you need a list of 20 author names and 20 books. Send this list to:

And, for MORE prizes, you can check our Additional Contests for Christmas in July listed in Files at our Yahoo site. Some authors are doing their own contests so get in on the action!
Be sure to read our Home Page at our Yahoo site for more information...but hurry...the month is almost over!

Photos: Flickr: amy_b, c_chan808, and robwatting's photostreams.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What's your taste in books?

Have you thought lately about how you choose books? What you choose? When?
I recently created a list of those I had read lately and confirmed what I had known for years subconsciously: I have eclectic tastes and I want what I want when I want it.
Here is my list of books I've read lately and I loved each one! (not in order of how I loved them but chronologically of when I read them recently. #1 being April, perhaps, or in any case months ago!)
1. Acqua Alta, mystery in Venice, by Donna Leon (3rd one of hers I've read.)
2. The Historian, vampire lit, by Elizabeth Kostova (647 pp. my friends..gotta love the history of Dracula!)
3. Rodeo Heat, erotica, by Desiree Holt, from (hubba hubba!)
4. My Life in France, autobiography with her nephew, by Julia Child. So many edibles, so little time to live in Paris. sigh.
5. Half the Sky, non-fiction interviews of women in 3rd world, by Nicholas Kristof. Heart-breaking stories of women used and abused, suppressed. I could take only a few pp. at a time.
6. Belonging to Them, multiple partner romantica, (Oh, yeah!) by Brynn Paulin. ( )
7. Cleaved by she of the Julia/Julie movie, Julie Powell. Ever want to become a butcher??? Okay, then! Here's your guide.
What does your list look like? Does it tell you anything you might not have recognized about yourself?
Know one thing mine tells me? That I am eager to see ALL BOOKS in e-format because THEN an e-reader will be well worth every penny I spend on it.
So there, to the marketing boys, and the developers at Kindle, Sony and iPad!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Treasuring Evie

Treasuring Evie releases August 11, 2010.

Copyright © TESSIE BRADFORD, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.


“So let’s recap. You screwed like bunnies in the yard and then went inside to make omelets and get to know each other?”

Evelyn Ashlyn is living a life she’s struggled hard to achieve. Her business is thriving, as is her career as an artist. Success, however, always comes with a price. For Evie, the price is her personal life—and sex life. She’s not had any for two years. Dalliances with the summer tourists are against her code of ethics and the few bachelors in her small town are single for a reason.

Matt Carstead, recently retired Detroit police officer, thought his dream come true was to move up north and spend his days woodworking, fishing and relaxing. That was until he met Evie, his fantasy woman come to life. Especially when he discovers his new neighbor swims in the nude—and has a mouth like heaven on earth.

Neither of them ever imagined what was about to happen.


“I just saw that guy again,” Evelyn Ashlyn announced as she entered her store, Northern Treasures, and set her purse and a basket of raspberry muffins on the front counter.

“Tall, dark and studly?” Anne came around a shelf and made a beeline out the door. Evelyn shook her head with a laugh as she watched her best friend and business partner stand on the sidewalk with her hands on her hips and look up and down the crowded street.

“All I saw was a bunch of nondescript tourists and a few townies. Evie, are you sure?” Anne questioned on her return.

“First of all, I didn’t say where I saw him and second of all, I can’t believe you just ran out of here looking for him!”

“I think I quote you directly when I say ‘wavy black hair with a distinguished touch of grey, shoulders for miles, chiseled biceps and an ass that doesn’t quit.’ Yeah I’d like to get a look.”

“And what would your husband think of your interest, Mrs. Leonard?”

“He would be completely secure in the fact that as a sculptor, I am required to have a great appreciation of the male physique.”

“You do remember that you sculpt wildlife, right?” Evie raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Pesky details! Seriously though, where did you see him?”

“I was stopped next to him at the light on Elm Street, me in my twenty-year-old pickup and him in his black convertible with the top down.” Her heart jumped at the memory of him turning to look right at her and flashing a devilishly handsome smile before driving off.

“Oh God, please tell me that he’s not a mirrored sunglasses, leather driving gloves guy.” Anne shuddered dramatically.

“You forget the rest of my description of him, Anne. ‘Powerful, confident, alpha male goodness’. He’s not playing at being hot, he just is!” Evie patted over her heart and blew out a breath for emphasis as a group of ladies entered the store, effectively ending the conversation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chatting with Amber Skyze

Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of reading Amber Skyze’s newest offering from Ellora’s Cave “Submit With Me” and what a wild little ride I got! This is a fast paced “Quickie” and the pages just fly by. I must warn readers be prepared to be nervously concerned the first few pages but get in the elevator with Marc anyway and submit.
Blurb: “Submit With Me”.
Rena is on a quest to get laid and she’s willing to go to any length to fulfill her need.

Marc has a thirst for a submissive. He longs to find someone he can bring to the edge of ecstasy and rein back in before an orgasm. He wants to tie, tease and torture his submissive, pushing the limits of sexual awareness.

When he offers Rena five hundred dollars to be his sub for the night, he gets more than he bargained for. This spitfire is about to show him a thing or two about submitting.

Katalina Leon: Amber what specifically inspired you to write this story?

Amber Skyze: This started with a call-out for a series of Pretend. It was rejected for not being kinky enough at one publishing house. I let it sit for a while and when EC opened its doors to the “quicker” quickies, I cleaned it up and submitted it. The rest is history.
Kat: How much of your heroine Rena is in you?
AS: That smart-ass attitude is all me!

Kat: A few very interesting tools of submission are mentioned in the story, which is your favorite?

AS: The DH is always online researching and when he told me about a clit taser I just knew I had to incorporate it in a story. Can you imagine jolts of electricity zapping…oh my.

Kat: It sounds quite “shocking”! Which do you prefer a fruity rum drink or a glass of wine?

AS: I love fruity drinks, but liquor is not for me. So fruity wine ;)

Kat: A spanking or a slow tease?

AS: It depends on the mood, but a good ole spanking never hurts and it definitely warms things up.

Kat: If it’s done right a good old-fashioned spanking definitely hurts! lol Who’s your favorite bad boy?

AS: Colin Farrell

Kat: OMG! Colin is a pretty bad boy… I love Colin’s heavy black brows. He looks like a young Sean Connery. Can you imagine being spanked by him? Of course you can. Thank you Amber, I really enjoyed “Submit With Me”.

AS: I’m thrilled you enjoyed Submit With Me.

Kat: If you like a little kink in the spirit of exploration you’ll love “Submit With Me”

Submit With Me” Ellora’s Cave Taboo Line available July 21st!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Array of Information

I’m excited. Tomorrow is release day for Submit With Me. It’s a quicker quickie at Ellora’s Cave, available for the low low price of $1.49. LOL

In other news I signed a contract last week for a book called Gettin’ Lucky. It’s part of the Cougar Challenge series, also at Ellora’s Cave. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to live up to their standards, but it turns out my editor liked the book, along with the fellow cougars who read it!

Speaking of series I’ve recently had discussions with two different authors about writing two different series. I adore both authors and am excited about the prospect of writing with them. I also feel honored that THEY wanted to collaborate with me. I know vague, but until we hash out all the details that’s all I can say.

Another exciting piece of news is the release date for Adrift from Loose-Id – November 9th. Edits are finalized. Now I’m waiting anxiously for cover art.
I recently joined a group of women from my local writer’s chapter in a new blog endeavor. If you have a chance drop by and check it out – We’re an eclectic group, but there’s something for everyone. :o) I’ll be there every Tuesday too!

Until next week!

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's a DAMMIT DOLL/What Does It Have to Do With Writing?

 Dammit Dolls are running loose...and you may want one for yourself!

There are many different varieties of them, but here's one version of Dammit Doll's history according to Mid-America Romance Authors:
   "Dammit became a writer in 1967 while on leave from the KGB. He defected as a member of the St. Petersburg's Olympic noodling team. Tired of luring unsuspecting catfish in the icy arctic waters off the European coast, Dammit began his quest for publication.
    He has nine hundred twenty seven short stories published in such gloried publications as True Defector, Stories of Noodling Champions, and Poetry of the Arctic Circle.
    A true romantic at heart he published several paranormal, historical, time travel, suspense romance novels before setting out to instruct the world on the proper use of the em dash. Once he caught the writing instruction bug it took hold like a tick on a hound dog. He is embarking on his fifth annual world tour with a signing at the Moonlight Madness Mid-America Romance Authors Booth."
Here are two of Dammit Doll's books:

"Goal, Motivation, Dammit"(on left) and "Writing Action Adventure Romance" (on right).
As Dammit Doll says to encourage us:
Don't just chase your dream, catch it,
and then beat it into submission!

When your writing's not going well, you get a rejection, or anything negative about the romance industry has you stressed, here's how a Dammit Doll can help:
Just grasp it firmly by the legs
And find a place to slam it
And as you whack the stuffing out

And now, a Dammit Doll adventure:

Dammit Doll "Delusional Dandy"...better known as DD...has been very busy this month as he travels the world in search of writing ideas for his next 100 stories. But, this blog will talk about his trip to HELL...and back!

All great artists suffer as they create their masterpieces...whether it's a painting, sculpture, or romance novel...and DD is no exception. To get a true insight of what it's like to suffer pain (as in romantic rejection, separations, misunderstandings, heartbreaking partings), he braved a trip to HELL.

Heartbroken after his true love, Hoity Toity, dumped him for Prince Charming, DD's world fell apart. He couldn't eat, sleep, or write. Going to HELL seemed the perfect place for him to go and do his suffering for closure at the death of his long-time affair.

He packed a few is optional in HELL...but brought along a non-meltable laptop so he could record his woes and anguish for future use in a book. Few people spoke to him while he was there...although some insanely wild chickens crossed his path...and that suited his demeanor. He was there to get in touch with his "inner feelings" while braving the heat. And, DD observed the suffering of those around him, inspiring emotional baggage to fill his head, thoughts, and cheap suitcase for his re-entry into the "real" world.

His next masterpiece of romantic literary fiction will be titled, "Love Equals Hell", a catchy phrase sure to gain tons of reader attention and interest.

In Orlando, Dammit Dolls can be found at RWA's Moonlight Madness event on 29 July at the Mid-America Romance Authors booth. Stop by for your very own Dammit Doll!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Books you would have loved to author

There are those books that stay with me in my heart. Most are fiction, some non. But what have they given me?
Anya Seton gave me a love of well-written romance mixed with superbly wrought history. Katherine, especially, was definitive for me. I recently gave a copy of all her books to my daughter who is a devotee of all things Anne Boleyn and English queens and mistresses who conquer, mostly themselves.
Jacqueline Winspear writes a beautifully wrought series about a British nurse in World War I who becomes a detective and savant. Maisie Dobbs is every woman who survives tragedy and makes herself a better person for it. This interest in Winspear's World War I series complements my own fascination with it. Foremost among the non-fiction I prize is Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War and the memoir by VAD nurse Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth.
An author of mysteries myself, I prize those authors who give the reader the best of their talents and their research into forensics and procedurals for the period. Minette Walters, also British, writes complex mysteries. And Elizabeth George, an American who writes startlingly accurate mysteries set in Britain, always gives me a rush of excitement with her finely drawn characterizations. Do let's add Ariana Franklin, also British (am I on a kick here?) who pens a marvelous medieval mystery series set in Henry II's reign about a Spanish woman trained in medicine at Salamanca--and who becomes Henry's Mistress in the Art of Death. I am into her third in the series as I write...and applauding both women's talents!
What books do you treasure?
And why?
I would love to hear.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I have a release date for Woman On Fire!

Woman On Fire
Coming September 3, 2010

(No...this is not the cover. I will post when I have it.)

Azrael Thunder Horse never thought he would ever see another Anglo woman who could possibly knock him for a loop after leaving Hollywood. Despite the instant shot of lust he feels when he first lays eyes on his new Native American Studies teacher, he is determined to get rid of her. After all…she misled him with that damn Indian name of hers! How could he know she was not NA? But the stubborn redhead has a thing or two to say about him firing her on the spot.

Cheyenne Red Wolf has never met a more maddening… arrogant… downright irritating man. He hates her on sight. Too bad he’s the hottest thing she has ever seen…and he’s her new boss. The man tried to fire her because she wasn’t a “real” Indian. Good thing he can’t stand her, because she sure as hell couldn’t say no to all that sexy, hardheaded, Lakota masculinity. He is the man from her dream…and no matter what he thinks of her, she has it bad for the man…

An Excerpt From: WOMAN ON FIRE

Copyright © FRAN LEE, 2010

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Can I help you?” Her quickly pasted on smile was polite and pleasant. Probably a parent, checking out the new teacher. Damn. They didn’t build single males like him these days.

Night-dark eyes slid past her, wandered around the classroom slowly, and then returned to her. Eyes that would normally have set her pulse off like a shot, but these held a cold, aloof quality that let her know she was beneath his interest.

“Is Ms. Red Wolf still here?” The dark-chocolate voice held a quiet, tense note.

“I’m Cheyenne Red Wolf.” She repeated the polite smile. “How can I help you?”

The look of shock in those obsidian eyes made her bite back a grin. It wasn’t an unusual reaction to her definitely un-Indian looks attached to a very Indian name. But the desire to grin dissolved the instant those eyes turned angry.

You are Cheyenne Red Wolf? Our new Native American Studies teacher?” Every word was clipped and reflected a fury that was barely held at bay.

She moved away from the bookshelf and resisted the urge to cross her arms defensively over her chest. The animosity rolling off that man was enough to choke her. It was only through sheer willpower that she didn’t cut and run. He took a step toward her and she had to crane her neck to meet his glare. She drew herself up to her tallest possible height which wasn’t much over five foot six in shoes and lifted her chin slightly in answer to his unspoken but clearly heard challenge. Damn! She wished now that she’d worn heels.

Forcing her voice to remain softly calm wasn’t easy. “I am. And you are…?” she coached gently, refusing to retreat as he invaded her personal space with all that hulking, broad-shouldered menace he exuded.

His eyes moved from the copper-penny red hair she’d dragged back into a bun before her first class, all the way down her fuzzy blue cardigan sweater and travel-wrinkled beige linen slacks to her vintage fifties penny loafers, then back with a disbelieving insolence that was as insulting as it was scary. Every nerve in her body screamed at her to take a few steps back and get a desk between them, but she’d be damned if she’d let him intimidate her.

She had no real reason to fear him, after all—it was broad daylight and they were in a school full of—empty classrooms. Oh, shit. As the realization hit her that regular classes had let out over half an hour ago, and most of the teachers were gone for the day, she inhaled slowly and wondered if maybe it might be wiser if she turned tail and sprinted for the still open door.

But her common sense returned after one panicky moment, and she frowned at her own silliness. What the hell was he gonna do? Attack her? He was understandably shocked to find a non-Native American woman teaching a class that should by all rights be taught by a Native American. There were a lot of Native Americans who resented what she did, simply because she was not one of them. Not really. And being one in spirit didn’t quite cut the mustard.

She made a point of glancing at her watch and lifted her eyes back to his face. “I really can’t take time to go over lesson plans right now. If you’ll just tell me which student is yours, I can give you a call tomorrow—”

“There’s been a mistake, Ms. Red Wolf.” The voice was low and controlled.

“A mistake?” She had to work damn hard to keep a tremor of anger out of her own voice.

Those almost-too-damn-sexy-to-be-real lips twisted into a sneer as he seemed to loom even closer in the suddenly airless classroom. “A big one.”

Her breath caught in her throat and she hated the fact that she was shaking under his glare. “If you have a problem with me teaching this class, you’ll need to take it up with Mr. Wyatt or Ms. Running Deer of the school board. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have someone waiting.” A lie was better than letting him think she had no backup here.

“He can keep on waiting.” The clipped statement startled her, but only because it was coupled with another forward movement of that intimidating body that had somehow moved so close she could feel the heat sizzling off him through her clothes.

This guy had absolutely no friggin’ concept of personal space.

She suddenly decided that retreat was entirely acceptable under such unfriendly fire. She took a quick step backward and felt the bite of a wooden desk on the soft flesh of her fanny. The startled gasp she gave seemed to make those nearly black eyes darken even more, and she blushed hotly to have let him know he frightened her. Her temper rose.

When under attack, counter attack, Frank had always said.

“Excuse me—whoever you are—but if you have a complaint about me teaching your child, like I said, take it up with the school board and the principal, who felt I was very well qualified—”

She gave a yelp of shock as a book that had been too close to the edge of the desk she was nearly sitting on fell to the floor with a resounding smack, and she jumped away from the desk automatically, coming into full frontal contact with her tormentor. And he didn’t miss a beat as he caught her around the waist with a pair of lean, strong hands and glared down at her.

His beautiful lip curled. “Just like a woman—trying to use any weapon at hand to avoid the consequences of her actions.” His voice was scathing and she blinked up at him, not getting his meaning.

“Weapon? Consequences? What the hell are you talking about?” she gasped and shoved at his hands without much success as she twisted to try to get free.

“Those weapons.” He hissed a breath inward through his teeth as her hips twisted against his. Her movements brought her generous chest tight against his. His rasping words instantly halted her movements as she realized what he was talking about and her eyes widened in horror, then narrowed in fury. Damn, but the man was blaming her for his own actions now.

“If you will take your hands off me, I will happily remove my weapons from your vicinity,” she hissed, her temper flaring at his insinuation that she was trying to use sex to escape whatever “consequences” he imagined were due her. It didn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to get his meaning and it didn’t take much imagination to realize their confrontation had produced a hard-on from hell on his part. It was jabbing against her belly quite insistently. It had already grown even larger and more dangerous in the several seconds they’d been plastered together.

For a moment, he didn’t respond, and in that tense moment she sensed that he was considering his next response with extreme care. Her incensed glare met his and she waited with lips compressed and indignant fury in her expression. Dark eyes warred with blue. It became a battle of wills as he remained tautly silent, staring down into her furious face without any change in his expression of angry disdain. His hands remained firmly clamped around her body, making it impossible to move away without a struggle, and she’d be damned if she was going to give him his jollies by wiggling and twisting against him to try to get loose again. His hands were long and powerful. The pads of his fingertips rested firmly on the upper swell of her buttocks. The sensations running rampant inside her traitorous pussy were indescribable.

After what felt like hours of silent, glaring antagonism so thick it could easily be cut with a knife, she irritably decided the only way she was going to get him to let go of her was to say something. She slowly drew a shaky breath and spoke in a low, careful tone like one might use when talking to a suicide jumper on a ledge. “How about you and me calling a truce? You take your hands off me, and we’ll both back away. Then maybe you can calmly tell me what the hell you are so damn bent out of shape over.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

OMG! Forgot again!


That's me - what an airhead! Okay, lots to do, a little to tell. Daughters of Persephone, Exile and Return, will be released on July 21 - had in hand - if I can get the darn final edits done. Half-way there!!!

The release date for Books three and four in the series, Reborn and The Red Demon, has been pushed back to September 8.

Okay...back from Montana, which was an amazing experience as usual.

M/M - F/M/M/M/M writer Mia Watts is visiting...yay! It is so great to meet an online friend in person! Anny Cook and I met last fall and we had a blast! One day I hope to meet all my online friends! Who knows? My husband says we should set up an erotic writers' commune and just sit around typing on our laptops, which is what Mia and I are doing right now! to shower and then some wine tasting and later, oysters on the half-shell. Yum!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's A Kindle?

My daughter and I were shopping for purses a few days ago. Both she and I embrace the ‘big bag’. It has to be able house everything one might need to survive after a nuclear disaster. It has to weigh so much that we groan when hoisting it upon our shoulder. My husband takes comfort in the fact that we each carry a personal protection device – one conk on the head and any assailant would most certainly be rendered unconscious.

Anyways, we had the nicest salesperson. She noticed that we were obsessively comparing three large bags to one beautiful, albeit incredibly small one. Sarah mentioned that her Kindle wouldn’t even fit in it. Katherine (saleslady), asked, “What's a Kindle?” Of course, this caused Sarah to show hers and give a brief explanation of the e-book world. Katherine was ‘deer-in-the-headlights’, but asked a ton of questions!

This experience lead to much discussion in our house, again. Online promo is obviously very important, but on many levels, aren’t we singing to the choir? Our websites, blogs and chat groups will not bring in the readers who aren’t up to speed on this still relatively new frontier.

It may sound antiquated, but I spend more time taking my printed promo stuff to local book stores and talking to people about how to download books, how economical they are, etc. I talk to people at the grocery store, my doctor’s offices, the vet, the hair salon – anyplace I go, and to anyone who seems willing to listen. My experience has been that there are still a ton of people who don't understand what an e-book is! They are concerned about the security of going to ‘unknown’ websites and giving credit card info. They are also incredibly hesitant to do anything categorized as ‘adult’ for fear of viruses. We still have a long way to go to educate the public.

P.S. - I'll talk new release next week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Birthday "Noblesword"!

This week I’m celebrating Noblesword’s first birthday. Noblesword was released July 10 2009 under Ellora’s Cave Exotica Line and remains my most widely popular book. I always enjoy hearing from female readers but with this book I actually hear from a few rare male readers as well.

I’m a bit obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece “Vertigo”. It’s my favorite movie and after re-watching it one day I was inspired to write an obsessed character Gwen Bel Geddes and include elements of “Vertigo” in “Noblesword”. I wanted to create a fantasy realm where my characters could go for emotional healing, test their personal boundaries and flex their fantasies without judgment, guilt, harm to themselves or others and still survive the experience with their basic values intact. I wanted to put Gwen in emotional peril, bombard her with choices and see what happened. My operative thought was some of us need to be liberated from our self-inflicted limitations with a sledgehammer. Noblesword was Gwen’s sledgehammer. Not only does Gwen get a full-blown erotic experience, she also gets an education about what she really wants, does some deep self-reflection and restarts her life in a fresh direction. I won’t give away the surprises you’ll have to discover them for yourself.

As Mistress Chantal would say, “At Noblesword we know what you really want not what you say you want.”

And the only way to find out what you really want is to surrender yourself to Noblesword vineyards and be brave enough to take the ride.

Happy Birthday Noblesword!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

As usual my life is busy. I just finished edits for Spend The Night With Me. I have a release date of September 15th.
Edits for Adrift – formally titled Stranded, arrived yesterday. I really liked the title Stranded, but Loose-Id has a book with the same name already. They’re talking about an early Fall release. No date yet.
Edits for Play With Me, book three in the Freedom Fantasies should be arriving in a few weeks. In the meantime I’m working on a Christmas quickie – Naughty St. Nick.
After that I’m planning one more book before switching gears. In all reality I’ve started the switch. I’ve been editing my romantic comedy to send off. This is not erotica. I love the genre so much, but I want a change for a bit. I have two other romantic comedies that need editing and one that’s half written.
I’m sure I’ll write erotic in between. I have too many stories in my head that need to be written.
Back to edits and paperwork. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Naming Your Characters

You’ve either just started writing your next manuscript or finished your book. As you start penning page one or begin your editing process and carefully go through making corrections, please consider the names you’ve given (or are about to give) your heroes and heroines!

As a reader, I would like to see authors use real names and stop with the made-up ones. I want to read about characters I can relate to; a name that sounds normal. Yes, in other world, fantasy books, go ahead and call someone Phryanx and Xr24pq if you want. That's normal for whatever world you create.

Sure. Foreign countries, you say. Have to use foreign names. Okay. Go for it. What about Family names? Well, if it fits in your story and enhances it, then do it. Same goes for historicals. Spread them on your pages and I'll happily accept them but remember that if readers stumble over names that are foreign, family, or historically correct but hard to pronounce, they might get frustrated and not finish your masterpiece.

Your characters are your children. Would you name one of them "Zip-a-dee-do-dah"? I remember reading an article about a woman who named her child this because she so-o-o loved the song. Can you imagine an eighteen-year-old in high school with this handle? Forget that. What about elementary school? College? Business world? A well-built hunk, the hero in your book?

I once overheard a woman talking about "Perkins" and at first thought she was telling tales (no pun intended) about her dog. When she mentioned breastfeeding him I realized my mistake! Turned out Perkins was her maiden name so she gave it to her son as his first name. What would his nickname be? Perky? Can you visualize Mr. "Tall, Dark, and Handsome" being called “Perky”?

Ambivalent names. If your character's a woman, give a name recognizable as such. Remember the song, "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash? Now, if it's a western you're writing and your character's name is Sioux as in Indian, I can accept that and happily will read further into your story.

I once babysat for a darling child. Cute infant I loved taking care of. One day, the family's church called and a very embarrassed and apologetic woman said she needed to ask something for the baby's upcoming baptism. Her question? "Is Morgan Taylor (first and middle name) a boy or a girl?" Well, how would anyone know just by the name?

What do you think about the name Brooklyn? Boy or girl? Actually it's my dog's name. And, I've seen it used for both boys and girls. A teacher looking at the name on a list couldn't tell.

Naming characters after cities, states, whatever. Haven't we had enough of names like Dakota, Yuma, Jackson, Paris? Oh, don't get me started on Hollywood names! Apple? Someone named after a fruit? Do we need these names in your novels?

Please don't mix names to make them sound "prettier". Sharindalynn, Annalisajo, Marydeanne (I knew one in college) get the picture. And two-named first names like Billy Bob? Does it really fit in the culture you're creating and you just have to use it? (The tattooed name you see here is for a pet black widow spider.)
 What happened with just using names like Mike? Nancy? Greg? Katie? I know people with these names. And those are the names I'd like to read in your book!

Photos: Flickr: graphic.ward, Anne Varak, and red5standing's photostreams.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Places that wind up in my stories

Looking back at all the places I've lived and traveled, I KNOW so many of them wind up in my fiction (of course, my non-fiction, too...yep, of which there is A LOT).
(FYI: PIX here is mine taken from the corridor window of the Doge's Palace in Venice, looking across the Lagoon. Inhale. Appreciate. Dream.)
I thought for the hell of it, I'd list some of the places I've been, just for fun and reflection. Next week I am off with 2 other couples to a Shakespeare Festival in Utah (where I have never been before) and thought, hmmm.
Here's my list, if for no other reason, than my random day-dreaming and yours (not in any order, either!):
New York, Brooklyn, Long Island, Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton
Pennsylvania: Scranton and Peckville, Lancaster, Phillie, Pittsburgh
Washington and all points north and south within 100 miles radius
BALTIMORE! Hated Charm City growing up and then they CLEANED IT UP and as an adult, I adore it.
Virginia: Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia Beach
Florence, Montalcino, Montepulciano, San Guistino. CAN I LIVE HERE, please?
Venice. Live here, too, please.
Bonn, Cologne, Munich. Ja vohl, Ich bin eine Deutsche Madchen. I need to return, reconnect to my roots. In September, I think I will!
Japan: Tokyo and Okinawa. Where I taught university level Chinese and Japanese History. Yes. I did. And I taught foreign army officers how to speak jargoned English.
Boston, Cape Cod.
Maine. York Beach. wow. I wanna go eat lobster. Want to come with?
Greece, Athens and Mykonos. Athens and Mykonos. Can I go back??? Soon?
Israel. Jerusalem. Jerusalem. Jerusalem. Inhale deeply.
Hmm. There may be more.
One note: I hate tours. (THAT IS IN BOLD.) Repeat with me. Too fast, too simplistic. your life is run by guides who have their own preferences--and sometimes their own misinformation! I can speak German and Chinese, but I can get along otherwise.
Changed your life, your thinking about who you are? What you want? How you live?
Mine has.
How? I live more and more with good food, fine wine, dining with friends who have marvelous perspectives on life, an education and intriguing careers and endeavors.
I LIVE for my annual (sometimes) bi-annual now, trips to Europe. AND I AM SAVING MY SHEKELS for China. And Egypt.
Ciao, bella!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I am splitting my Saturday into two posts...

Regina Carlysle's Regency is now in PRINT!

Chasing Temptation

Regina Carlysle

Resplendence Publishing

London's Haute Ton calls her Miss Temptation. But Elizabeth Grayson can't be bothered by society's diversions while seeking justice for her murdered sister. She is a woman on a dangerous mission.

Now is not the time for mindless social engagements or courtships from men she has no intention of marrying. However, Christian Delaford is no ordinary man. He stirs her like no one she has ever met before. His eyes speak of sin and tangled sheets. Of decadent nights spent in his arms. Far too diverting for her peace of mind.

Christian Delaford, the Duke of Haverton, must be married by midnight of his birthday or forfeit his heritage to a distant relation. After years of living a hedonistic life in the Orient, the thought of binding himself forever to an insipid English Miss fairly curls his toes. London's current 'diamond of the first water', however, changes his mind. In Elizabeth, he finds a bold and daring woman who harbors a terrifying secret. He vows to chase Miss Temptation, to the ends of the earth if needs be, and save her from the forces that would tear them both apart.

One More Back List Book...

Her Own Set of Rules

The prom queen and the king of the campus gridiron, married right out of high school, and the envy of every other couple.. Right? On the surface, they are the perfect couple. She's beautiful. He's handsome and still built.

But for years now, Haley has yearned for the fire that her husband has never shown her in bed. Or course, as a virgin, she had no idea what to expect. But surely she should be able to expect an orgasm once a week?

Harry is hot and sexy. Great body. Great looking. But his idea of great sex is to get on, fuck hard for a few minutes, come, then roll over and go to sleep. And Haley seldom manages to get anything out of the deal but horny.

A visit with her best chum from high school opens her eyes wide. Krissa and her hubby of ten years are swingers. Unable to envision her husband screwing her best pal, Haley gives a flat no to the offer of a mate-swap, but is titillated by the information Krissa gives her about her little brother Josh, who has had a mad crush on Haley since school...back when he was a tall, gangly, three-year-younger kid who trailed the girls like a shadow.

Something has got to give, or Haley will go nuts! She still loves Harry, and has never considered cheating on him...until Josh comes back to town...

Bored with her sex life with a husband she still loves, but who has the Saturday-night, three-minute orgasm—his—down to a fine art, Haley takes the first step on a journey of sexual discovery when Josh, younger brother of her closest friend, expresses a decidedly carnal interest in her. The result is more than she imagined in her raunchiest fantasies.

Josh has had a crush on Haley since he was a kid, gangly and too damn tall for his weight. But he isn’t a kid anymore, and he grew into his six foot five inches, plus some. He’s come back home for one thing only—for a shot at the girl he fell for when he was too damn young to do much about it.

But Harry’s not done with his wife—not when he finds out that inside that prim, repressed shell, she’s been hiding the sexual temptress he’s always hungered for. Now all Haley has to do is ask, and two men are ready to give her everything she wants.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pondering Prequels

Over the holiday weekend, one of my cable channels ran the “Force of July” marathon. Three glorious days of all six Star Wars movies, in order, over and over again! I’ve been a fan from the moment I sat in a sold out theater, in 1977, and gasped in stunned awe at the opening scene. I was somewhat confused by people talking about how the first three films were actually episodes IV, V and VI of the story, but I didn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it.

When the Phantom Menace released in 1999, I was highly skeptical. Why was George Lucas messing with a good thing? Seeming to prove my point, I thought this movie was a bit slow and in parts confusing, but I found it interesting to learn about Anakin Skywalker as a child. Then came Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and I was in prequel heaven!! To learn the back story of beloved characters and understand better how the universe George showed us so many years before came into being answered questions I hadn’t realized I had.

I’m pondering the possibility of writing the prequel to “The Lady’s Not a Vamp”. A friend mentioned she’d like to read the story of how Tony and Rick got together. Actually, I’d like to know how they got together, too!? When these men jumped into my head, they were already a long term couple very much in love. They wanted me to tell their story of finding their blood mate and they wanted me to tell it quickly!!

I was really quite shocked to discover I’d never given any thought to the details of what came before. For the guys, my job as their author was to focus on the most wonderful event of their lives together – finding Sandy. But I now have questions! How did they meet? What trials and tribulations did they go through on the road to love? Why did they settle in the little town of Deckton, and why in the hell are there so many vampires there? I’m looking forward to spending some more quality time with Tony and Rick!

On a completely different note, I have another book coming out this summer! “Treasuring Evie” releases with Ellora’s Cave on August 11th! More on that next week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tessie Bradford's "The Lady's Not a Vamp"

The Lady's Not A Vamp

I just finished reading Tessie Bradford’s newest eBook “The Lady’s Not a Vamp” and I loved it! This is a fast paced very fun story and if you like vampires and hot ménage, look no further for sexy summer reading.

Blurb: “The Lady’s Not a Vamp”.

Sandy’s perception of reality is taking one serious ass kicking. Two stunningly handsome vampires come to her aide, boldly announce she is their blood mate and send her soaring on waves of orgasmic delight with every touch. It’s a lot for a gal to process in two days!

Tony and Rick weren’t looking for a third, but when the spunky, courageous, sexy-as-hell human woman needs blood, their bodies and souls instantly recognize Sandy as their perfect match. Now they just need to convince her to embrace all they have to offer.

Okay, let’s start with the basics. Rick Duggan is a gorgeous, green-eyed 254-year-old cop who spends his evenings protecting the innocent humans of Deckton, Michigan from being attacked by suave, wealthy Italian vampires whose bite leaves a nasty hangover—thank god he’s here.

Tony DeLucia is a sage 359 years old and he’s equally yummy, darker and gothier with long black hair, a leather duster, a sinful bod and the ability to get in your mind and ignite a rocket blast of lust—so far so good.
Cassandra Morley aka Sandy is the voluptuous, unwitting redhead who is catnip to vampires. She’s only been in Deckton several weeks and she’s already attracted the intense sexual attention of the three most interesting undead men in town—two of which are definitely keepers. The poor girl is lacking in sexual confidence but don’t feel sorry for her that situation certainly changes for the better—fast. Some girls get all the luck…

The chemistry between Sandy, Rick and Tony is blazing hot and I really enjoyed the ménage scenes but the vivid little M/M scene between Rick and Tony of a Vampiric version of a mercy fuck was scorching hot and stuck in my dirty mind like glue. Lol

There’s a lot of humor and a strong feeling of caring and sexual attraction between Sandy, Rick and Tony. There’s a lot packed into this short novel. I highly recommend, “The Lady’s Not a Vamp” be added to your summer reading list.

Tessie Bradford’s “The Lady’s Not a Vamp” Ellora’s Cave Twilight Line, available now.