Visitors

Friday, October 29, 2010

Alpheli Solution


This post is for my author friend, Anny Cook!

She's written a smokin', brilliant, colorful, passionate vampire threesome - who knew Vampire Bootcamp could be so sexy?

I love the book. Anny is a guest blogger on my site today:
http://juliarachelbarrett.net
Please drop by and leave her a comment.
Alpheli Solution kept me up all night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Here!


Treasuring Evie received a 5 tea cup review from Happily Ever After Reviews!!

This is a very welcome surprise! The last reviewer positively hated everything about T.E. - the story, the characters, the length, my style – hell, I think she even hated the typeset!! (And no, I’m not going to post the link *wink*)


I absolutely love a recent comment posted on Amazon for Possessing Eleanor. Apparently I broke some BDSM ‘rules’. Well, handcuff me and paddle my bum, I wasn’t going for a how-to book for god’s sake! It just tickles my funny bone!


Here’s a scary Halloween-type situation for an erotic romance author –
My h/h are literally poised to begin their first sexual encounter and I’m a nervous wreck. The whole scene is perfectly drawn in my head and the hero is soooo appealing to me that I’m terrified I’m going to let him down! Great, leave it to me to come up with another level of “performance anxiety”!


Have a great weekend!

Tessie
www.tessiebradford.com



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eek an Edit! How's that for a Halloween scare?


As I’m writing this Wednesday’s blog I’m expecting edits for my holiday themed novel “Nice Package” to arrive any minute. I’m both nervous and relieved. Opening my edits always makes me a bit unsettled. I'm the type of author who really needs a good editor. Fortunately I have one. Before I open my edits I always have to get my mind right and drink a cup of coffee first. I’m also relieved because I’m hoping my story will make it into Ellora’s Cave holiday line-up and there’s a lot of great books already there.

My story is about the day after Christmas—Boxing Day, the traditional day when the hard working people got the day off and enjoyed a little bonus. My heroine, Cora is a hard-working mom who is going to get a BIG juicy bonus from the boss but it’s okay she’s married to him…

I can’t wait to get my book cover for “Nice Package”! Opening the cover art for a new book is one of the most tense and thrilling things I ever do by email. So often it’s love or shove at first sight. I’ve been pretty lucky with most of my covers and I’m looking forward to meeting and opening my heart to this one.

I got some good news this week that some of you already know. My first book, which was a novella length fantasy ménage “Blue Apples” will be going to print in the “Succulent” anthology sometime this autumn along with very talented authors Lena Mathews, Margaret L. Carter, Kim Knox and Brigit Zahara. I’m thrilled because I’m a print virgin and this is my first time having anything in print. It’s only fitting the first ménage story I ever sold would also go to print as an ménage. It’s an honor to be in such good company.

The other bit of news is my Exotika novel “Noblesword” will also be going to print in 2011 but I don’t have an exact date yet. I’m very happy about that.

I’m off to face my edits and drink my coffee or throw coffee in my face or edit my coffee I don’t know what I’m doing anymore! lol

I want to congratulation Tessie Bradford for a great 5 Tea Cup review for "Treasuring Evie" from Happily Ever After.
and Julia Rachel Barrett for having both "Beauty and the Feast" and "Captured" nominated for Eppies!
And Amber Skyze for having "Adrift" drift into Loose Id's top five!
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all get more treats than tricks.
XXOO Kat

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My NaNo Project

The Cheater’s Club
This is the tentative title for my NaNo project. I’m torn between Love’s Spy and The Cheater’s Club.
The book follows three best friends who have been cheated on at least once in their life. Harlow, the main heroine, is sick and tired of men and their cheating ways. After walking in on her boyfriend doing the nasty with his secretary on his desk, she decides to start a business to help women find out if the men in their lives are cheats. She’ll go undercover in the name of the love.
But what happens when this private investigator discovers one of her friends has turned to an illicit affair? How about when she gives her other friend bad information, which could ruin her budding relationship? Or how about when she does the one thing she swore off when opening her business – she becomes attracted to a man she’s following?
I started writing this book two years ago in December 08, but my life took an unexpected, yet happy turn. I received my first contract and rushed into edits. Things moved so quickly from there that I never got back to this story. Now, with 20k under my belt, I’ve decided to pick it back up and add at least 50k during NaNo.
Nano for those who haven’t heard of it is: National Novel Writing Month. A fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. The daily average word count is 1667. For some reason I manage this during Nano, but ONLY during Nano. Once it’s over I go back to 1k a day. It sounds crazy doesn’t it?
Anyway, my hope is to have this story ready to go by the end of the year. I’d like to sub it to agents. If I don’t have a contract by the time NEC rolls around in April, I’m going to use it for my editor/agent appointments.
So, there you have it – my Nano project. Nano begins Monday November 1st.
Are you up for the challenge? If you’re participating what are you working on?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I loved every minute!

Okay...okay...I can't pretend that I am the one on the left.  I am the old fart on the right.

My first-ever romance convention was wonderful...except for the return trip.  That was a nightmare.  I can't say that I would want to travel economy class EVER again! I will go ahead and spend the extra bucks to be COMFORTABLE and FED!  Delta's idea of "lunch" for the cheap seats was a pack of pretzels and a free soda.  Of course, the First Class section got a delicious meal.  And they had their own private lavatory. Sigh.  Ya live and ya learn...

Back to Romanticon!  I met so many fabulous online friends while I was there...and I met quite a few on my reviewer pals, as well...and did I mention that I took zillions of pictures?  Okay...okay...the above photo was one of the FEW I allowed anyone to take of yours truly with my camera.  It's always good to get a snapshot with the boss, right?  As for getting pics taken with the delicious guys, I avoided that like the plague, but I'm pretty sure others managed to get a shot or two of me and Rodney during the Sash contest at the Meet and Greet.  I figured I would look pretty damn sad next to those hot bodies.  The comparison would have been crushing to an already fragile ego.  Snort!

CJ insisted I take one with him, and so did Devin. But mostly I took pics of the Cavemen and others.  I am a fair hand with portraits and closeup photos, and I think the Cavemen were amazed that I wanted their pictures from the neck up, instead of the other photogenic areas of their anatomies.   They seemed to appreciate the fact that I wanted their gorgeous smiles on film rather than their gorgeous...um...you know.

Now, I took loads of pics of other authors with the guys, so if you see a photo you would love to have that is of you, go ahead and grab it. Just give me credit for the photo when you use it.

I am slowly but surely building my own Romanticon photo album on my website (won't be up until Monday) but you are welcome to drop by and see...

Hugs!

Fran

   

Friday, October 22, 2010

Party at my place!


I've been lucky enough to score an interview with
Sourcebooks author, Sharon Lathan.
I got to ask her about her passion for all things Austen and congratulate her on her success - she started out writing fan fiction.
Stop by and find out what makes Austen so timeless!
http://juliarachelbarrett.net

Happy Friday!
julia

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Menage or Melee?


I enjoy reading and writing ménage as a special treat and as a challenge.
Ménage can be very challenging to the reader if the writing is confusing. I once read a story by a popular author featuring multiple supernatural, male beings all with oddly forgettable names making love to one woman. I gave up trying to remember who everyone was and what color their hair was. I simply wasn’t up for it. The author hadn’t given each man a strong enough personality to stand out from the crowd. The men had gimmicks instead of personalities. The ménage simply read as “mob-rule.” I rolled all the men together in my mind because it didn’t matter at that point and finished reading the scene.

I went back later to carefully reread the scene and analyze what went wrong.

All the men were Alphas who made love the same way. All were slightly different versions of the same man, each waiting his turn to do a variation of the same thing. Worse the men didn’t relate to each other in any meaningful way that moved the plot forward and the heroine treated the men identically. It got dull fast.

This book proved that at its worse ménage becomes a mechanical, faceless endeavor that skirts the edges of slutdom or robotic customer-service and neither are any fun in an erotic-romance.  I’m glad I read it because it made me appreciate so many of the less famous authors who write wonderful ménage.

My conclusion was ménage scenes must move the plot forward. Deeper facets of each character’s personality should surface. Surprises and game-changers should occur. An author shouldn’t throw that many personalities into an intimate situation and not create an unpredictable situation on some level.

I’ve written ménage in several of my books and WIPs. Each time it’s a big learning experience and certainly one I’ve yet to master. Writing ménage can feel like a juggling act (bad pun alert) it’s hard trying to keep all those balls in the air!

Honestly, I find the emotional choreography just as challenging as the physical choreography. Sorting out the emotional choreography is the tough part.
Ideally ménage should have many layers to it. Once a writer has the characters down the choreography needs to be set. Once the physical choreography is working the emotional reactions kick in. Once the emotional reactions are firing the plot must shift gears because with erotic-romance the sexual encounters exist to move the plot forward…

Pheew! Even after all those details have been attended to, the work’s still not finished. An author has to go back to revise and revise until the scene flows and takes the reader somewhere unexpected. 

Throwing multiple partners together to get-off just isn’t enough. If the characters simply climb on each other and come in different positions it quickly becomes incredibly boring. Fiction should be dramatic.
I know this sounds crude but compared to that emotionally flat, ménage-themed book I read several years ago, I’ve seen more dynamic personalities, conflicts, desire and drama between groups of dogs mounting each other at the dog park. At least the emotional reactions at the dog park were blunt and honest and if you’re wondering what happens when too many Alphas’ gather in one spot, you can see the uneasy results first hand.

So I have several questions for both readers and writers and I would love a few comments too (please!)
Is the ménage theme a real turn on to you or a fantasy to try on just for fun?
What is it about ménage that turns you on the most?
Name the best ménage you ever read.
Is there anything about ménage that annoys you or turns you off?
What kinds of ménage would you most want to read?
Thanks for dropping by (let’s end on a group hug! lol)

Also, the book trailer for “Owned By Rome” is up for votes at “You Gotta Read Video” If you can please drop by and vote for # 18. Thank you!
http://yougottareadvideos.blogspot.com/
XXOO Kat

PS. Happy Release Day Cerise! Cerise Deland’s new Sophisticate ménage “Hat Trick” is available today from Ellora’s Cave.




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heather Peters New Release

Recently my friend Heather lost her husband. She's buried in grief and I know won't be promoting her new release, so today I'm helping her out. Please take a moment and check out this HOT author.





By Heather Peters

Length: Naughty Nibble (Short)

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance


Blurb:

Wedding planner extraordinaire Taylor Forrester is stunned when her potential clients turn out to be her ex-fiancé Caleb Bryant and his future wife. It's obvious he's moved on with his life nearly three years after Taylor abruptly broke off their engagement. But Taylor harbors a secret that led to their break up. She had to let him go, but still loves him.


Caleb Bryant's heart breaks all over again when fate brings him and Taylor together as he plans his wedding to another woman! One look at Taylor and Caleb cannot deny the love that still burns bright for his one true love. Will this chance meeting finally bring him the answers he demands? Or is it too late to mend broken fences?


Excerpt:


Taylor Forrester clutched her wedding planner like a bible, grabbed an overstuffed folder, and crammed both items into an already-crowded tote bag.
She looked around her tiny apartment to make certain she'd remembered everything. She chided herself for neglecting to do the laundry this morning, but duty called. Her boss, Jane Donnelly, had asked Taylor to fill in for a co-worker who was down with the flu. She dutifully gathered a lavender cloth bag engraved with the title, "Bridesmaid," which held everything she needed to create the perfect dream wedding.
The dream that hadn’t come to fruition for herself. She sighed, once again reminded of the old adage, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride."
She grabbed her car keys, slipped into her good Kenneth Cole heels, and took one last look around the room to make sure she had everything she needed for her meeting with the prospective couple.
Truth was, Taylor seldom forgot anything pertaining to her work. She was the ideal wedding planner, the perfect bridesmaid, the loyal maid of honor.
Big deal. She'd give it all up to be on the other side of the date book.
* * * * *
Twenty minutes later, Taylor arrived at her office, a tiny but serviceable area in a corner cubicle, and placed her valise on the floor next to her chair. Her thick binder sat unopened in the center of her pristine desk. She looked at her watch, puffing out a tiny sigh to see she had two entire minutes before meeting the couple she'd been asked to see. From habit, she touched the empty spot on her ring finger where a diamond used to sit. She gave herself a mental shake. This is no time for a pity party. Get to work.
Because today was Sunday, she was alone. She shrugged off her salmon-colored blazer, tucked her shoulder-length hair behind her ears, and opened her folder to make a mental note of the bride's name. Suzanne Dobbs was some rich society matron's daughter. The groom owned a construction company across town. Taylor was just about to read his name when she heard the ding of the elevator.
Taylor remained standing in order to greet the young couple who entered her open office doorway. She looked up and saw a stunning, tall, brunette walk toward her, with a much taller, sandy-haired man behind her.
Taylor's heart stopped.
Caleb.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nibble on my new cherry, HAT TRICK

My menage, HAT TRICK in the COUGAR CHALLENGE comes out Wednesday from http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8700-50-hat-trick.aspx and here is a treat for you!
An excerpt:

“You have children?” Trey’s brows shot up. “You don’t look old enough for that.”

“I am,” she said flatly as she whisked drops of moisture from her glass, wondering if this revelation about age and children would have both men walking out the door. “Clay is nearly twenty-four and in med school in New York. He is my husband’s and my only child. A great guy, too, I must say.” She lifted her glass in a toast. “To great men.”

“Carla tells us you were crazy about your husband,” Gage said.

“I was. Walt was a sweet man, a hard-working rancher and when he died, I thought I had lost all my passion for living.” She tried to smile and failed. “But I am still here and loving my life.”

“You never thought of leaving Winterhalter?” Trey asked.

“Never had a reason to. It’s certainly small, and I know everyone, which is good and bad. But don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, too.”

“Really?” Gage looked intrigued. “We do, too. Where do you go?”

“Every six months or so since my husband died, I pick a city in Europe and go alone for two weeks. I do the ruins and the cathedrals. I shop ’til I drop. And wow, do I eat!”

Both men grinned.

“Can’t prove it by us,” Gage praised her.

“You are one terrific-looking woman,” Trey told her, his green gaze caressing her face and drifting ever so deliberately down her throat to the vee of her white cotton blouse. “So what are you? Forty-two? Three?”

“Five. Forty-five.”

“I’m thirty-three,” Gage told her in a hushed voice.

“And I’m a year younger.”

Her lips parted. Each man sat silently looking at her, waiting for her reaction. What could she say without sounding like a predatory female? You are both stunning specimens of manhood? I want each of you? “Seems like age has nothing to do with how successful you both are.”

“It hasn’t.” Gage nodded and took in a huge breath. “The three of us went to Texas Tech together and from our folks we were each fortunate enough to inherit some money. We pooled it after we graduated, bought a ranch outside Dallas ten years ago and turned it into a shopping mall.”

“We built from there. Now, we are committed to finding a piece of land in an area where we can develop a five-star resort.” Trey finished his margarita. “We’ve done some research of this area. Jed and Gage and I think Carla’s ranch and some adjacent acreage might be the right place. But we need more help. Someone who knows the land. The ecology. The politics. The people. Gage and I hoped you would ride around with us for a few days. Show us the sights. Tell us about the town.”

Belle didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They wanted her around not for good loving, but for her knowledge? Wow, had she gotten this all wrong. She felt like a fool. Did she look like one, too?

Gage seized her hand. “Belle? Darlin’, look at me.”

She felt Trey stroke her arm.

She gulped and trained her gaze on Gage.

“We had the research planned before we came. Before we met you. Before we enjoyed being with you. And now that we have and we see how lovely you are, how sweet and smart, we want to stick around. We want to be with you.”

“Belle, cara,” Trey crooned. “We thought you’d like the idea of being with us. Helping us. But we want your company. You.”

She bristled with excitement. Beneath the table, Gage’s foot slid over to stroke hers.

Trey’s knee pressed hers. “Belle, with all your long auburn hair. And those pink lush lips. And your dreamy purple eyes. Honey, you are a vision. A ripe and delicious-looking woman who needs good company. And we want to show you how we treasure you.”

With compliments like that, what was a girl to do? Say no? Not likely. Say absolutely? Darn right! Say…

“I would love to help you. Be with you.”

“We don’t want to rush you,” Trey said. “But if you prefer one of us, the other would be disappointed, but good with that.”

If I prefer one of you? If? Her mind whirled. There was no question in her mind now about the topic they really discussed. With a few teensy issues left barring the way, she knew she was now ready to take the Challenge. “You don’t have relationships back home in Dallas with anyone who might get jealous? I wouldn’t want to damage—”

“No,” Trey replied. “I need a woman who gets in my head, first. Not any like that I’ve met in years.”

“And I meet too many women who are looking at my wallet, first,” Gage said.

“Where are their brains?” she wondered, then collected her own. “Have you both been attracted to the same woman before?”

“We have. Once.” Gage played with her fingers. “Trey and I know we have the same tastes. We don’t let jealousy become a problem. We know how to share.”

Wow. Two men who share. Had she ever dreamed of such a thing? She squeezed her thighs together. Her pussy was getting all swollen and juicy just imagining the fun she was about to have.

Trey fiddled with her wedding ring. “But the last time we shared was years ago. We haven’t found a woman in a very long time who is fascinating. And you, Belle Sterling, are one rare and exciting lady.”

The waiter appeared at Gage’s elbow. “Have you had a chance to look at the menu?”

“We certainly have,” Gage told him, checking Trey’s face and then Belle’s.

The waiter nodded in deference to Belle. “For starters, we have the soup or the salad. What would the lady like?”

She considered the possibilities. With a knowing smile at Trey and then Gage, she looked up at the waiter and told him. “Both.”

Enjoy it all Wednesday!

(Copyright 2010, Cerise DeLand. All rights reserved.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Uh-oh, me again!


I can never remember that it's Friday and blogger won't let me schedule in advance so...what are ya gonna do?

Off to speak at a conference down south - yay! My topic? Writing that first encounter. This oughta be fun - I had a dream last that only four people showed up.

Working on a contemporary and a dystopian and a new project involving Captured...more next week, if I can get my act together.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gore Wars


October is one of my favorite months because I love the cozy, transitional feeling of autumn and knowing the year is coming to a close with a flurry of great holidays. I love Halloween and really love watching all my favorite Halloween movie classics with my family.
We watch Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart in “Bell, Book and Candle” every year. I love it, especially the clothes Kim wears when she’s a gorgeous witch. I covet her witch wardrobe.
My son, who is ten, loves the Hugh Jackman version of “Van Helsing” because it’s a monster mash. Every famous monster is in it. It’s a movie theme park of monsters and nothing is taken seriously. I’m not at all opposed to watching Hugh turn into a wolf or stand around a Transylvanian castle nearly naked… Rent this movie. Do it for the kids. lol
A great ghost story that is psychology charged and creepy is Debra Kerr’s “The Innocents”. Ask three different people what they think happened at the end of the movie and you’ll hear three completely different answers. It’s a very interesting film.
Now for the Vampires…
The Vampire movies are the jewel in the crown. I absolutely love Frances Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” The look of the movie is amazing and the original film score written by Wojciech Kilar is stunningly beautiful. Does Keanu Reeves belong here? Of course not, but he’s handsome to look at in Victorian clothing so who cares? The scene between Gary Oldham and Winona Ryder in the absinthe parlor is one of my favorite movie visuals.
I love the “Underworld” series. It’s bloody and extremely violent but I love the stylishness, the art deco look of the Vampire mansion, the visual contrast of inky blue shadows and crimson blood, the dramatic flash backs, the cars, the boots, the snug leather outfits everything! Bring it on. Give me more. Luckily there are three movies in this series but the first is the best.
I saved my absolute favorites for last because they’re so close to my heart:
 The House of Hammer, Christopher Lee Dracula classics. I love them and remember watching them as a child on the odd UHF channels late at night. When you consider the tiny budgets these movies were made on and the moral atmosphere of the day, these are damn daring movies and they’re still great. I watched a few of these on AMC this month and I’m sure they’ll be replaying them.
This is a partial list of the movies we’ve already enjoyed this season. I’d love to hear about a few of your favorites.
XXOO Kat

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back to the Real World

Wow! I feel like I’ve been out of touch with the real world for a week. Oh, I have. I returned late last night from Romanticon 2010. Ellora’s Cave puts on one helluva party. I drooled all over the cavemen. LOL
When Angelo walked in to the meet and greet, my DH said, “Oh I know him, he’s plastered all over the house.”
This is true. He’s on the cover of Dante’s Desire, which I think is one hot cover. I must say, Angelo is ten times hotter in person and his accent will melt you. I know a Latin lover will show up in a future book.
I also got to meet an amazing group of authors. I formed new friendships and bonded with many I’ve known online. My hubby was a great sport about being at a conference. A few women brought their husbands.
I came home to so much good news. First Adrift received a Top Pick 5 star review from Night Owl Reviews. If you’d like to see what they had to say, check it out here:
http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Reviews/Ursshebear-reviews-Adrift-by-Amber-Skyze.aspx

Adrift was also the Fresh pick on October 9th over at Fresh Fiction. Talk about publicity. Do you know how many people they reach daily? I couldn’t ask for better promo. :0)
Lastly, I received a contract for my Christmas story – Naughty St. Nick. It will be released on December 10th from Aspen Mountain Press. They published my first Christmas story two years ago. YAY.
Today I have to spend the day getting caught up around the house and at work. I’m hoping to get some pics up from Romanticon and finish the quickie I was working on before I left.

Until next week!
PS…Anyone start planning their NaNo book yet? I’ll talk more about mine plans next week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are you a Cougar? Can you roar, HAT TRICK?

Winging my way home as you read this, from Romanticon with my buddies, Desiree Holt, Regina Carlysle and Allie Standifer. Yep, we are all on the same plane!
And for you?
A taste of my menage Cougar Challenge release out October 20, HAT TRICK.
www.jasminejade.com/ps-8700-50-hat-trick.aspx
(Copyright 2010, Cerise Deland. All rights reserved.)

“You have children?” Trey’s brows shot up. “You don’t look old enough for that.”

“I am,” she said flatly as she whisked drops of moisture from her glass, wondering if this revelation about age and children would have both men walking out the door. “Clay is nearly twenty-four and in med school in New York. He is my husband’s and my only child. A great guy, too, I must say.” She lifted her glass in a toast. “To great men.”

“Carla tells us you were crazy about your husband,” Gage said.

“I was. Walt was a sweet man, a hard-working rancher and when he died, I thought I had lost all my passion for living.” She tried to smile and failed. “But I am still here and loving my life.”

“You never thought of leaving Winterhalter?” Trey asked.

“Never had a reason to. It’s certainly small, and I know everyone, which is good and bad. But don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, too.”

“Really?” Gage looked intrigued. “We do, too. Where do you go?”

“Every six months or so since my husband died, I pick a city in Europe and go alone for two weeks. I do the ruins and the cathedrals. I shop ’til I drop. And wow, do I eat!”

Both men grinned.

“Can’t prove it by us,” Gage praised her.

“You are one terrific-looking woman,” Trey told her, his green gaze caressing her face and drifting ever so deliberately down her throat to the vee of her white cotton blouse. “So what are you? Forty-two? Three?”

“Five. Forty-five.”

“I’m thirty-three,” Gage told her in a hushed voice.

“And I’m a year younger.”

Her lips parted. Each man sat silently looking at her, waiting for her reaction. What could she say without sounding like a predatory female? You are both stunning specimens of manhood? I want each of you? “Seems like age has nothing to do with how successful you both are.”

“It hasn’t.” Gage nodded and took in a huge breath. “The three of us went to Texas Tech together and from our folks we were each fortunate enough to inherit some money. We pooled it after we graduated, bought a ranch outside Dallas ten years ago and turned it into a shopping mall.”

“We built from there. Now, we are committed to finding a piece of land in an area where we can develop a five-star resort.” Trey finished his margarita. “We’ve done some research of this area. Jed and Gage and I think Carla’s ranch and some adjacent acreage might be the right place. But we need more help. Someone who knows the land. The ecology. The politics. The people. Gage and I hoped you would ride around with us for a few days. Show us the sights. Tell us about the town.”

Belle didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They wanted her around not for good loving, but for her knowledge? Wow, had she gotten this all wrong. She felt like a fool. Did she look like one, too?

Gage seized her hand. “Belle? Darlin’, look at me.”

She felt Trey stroke her arm.

She gulped and trained her gaze on Gage.

“We had the research planned before we came. Before we met you. Before we enjoyed being with you. And now that we have and we see how lovely you are, how sweet and smart, we want to stick around. We want to be with you.”

“Belle, cara,” Trey crooned. “We thought you’d like the idea of being with us. Helping us. But we want your company. You.”

She bristled with excitement. Beneath the table, Gage’s foot slid over to stroke hers.

Trey’s knee pressed hers. “Belle, with all your long auburn hair. And those pink lush lips. And your dreamy purple eyes. Honey, you are a vision. A ripe and delicious-looking woman who needs good company. And we want to show you how we treasure you.”

With compliments like that, what was a girl to do? Say no? Not likely. Say absolutely? Darn right! Say…

“I would love to help you. Be with you.”

“We don’t want to rush you,” Trey said. “But if you prefer one of us, the other would be disappointed, but good with that.”

If I prefer one of you? If? Her mind whirled. There was no question in her mind now about the topic they really discussed. With a few teensy issues left barring the way, she knew she was now ready to take the Challenge. “You don’t have relationships back home in Dallas with anyone who might get jealous? I wouldn’t want to damage—”

“No,” Trey replied. “I need a woman who gets in my head, first. Not any like that I’ve met in years.”

“And I meet too many women who are looking at my wallet, first,” Gage said.

“Where are their brains?” she wondered, then collected her own. “Have you both been attracted to the same woman before?”

“We have. Once.” Gage played with her fingers. “Trey and I know we have the same tastes. We don’t let jealousy become a problem. We know how to share.”

Wow. Two men who share. Had she ever dreamed of such a thing? She squeezed her thighs together. Her pussy was getting all swollen and juicy just imagining the fun she was about to have.

Trey fiddled with her wedding ring. “But the last time we shared was years ago. We haven’t found a woman in a very long time who is fascinating. And you, Belle Sterling, are one rare and exciting lady.”

The waiter appeared at Gage’s elbow. “Have you had a chance to look at the menu?”

“We certainly have,” Gage told him, checking Trey’s face and then Belle’s.

The waiter nodded in deference to Belle. “For starters, we have the soup or the salad. What would the lady like?”

She considered the possibilities. With a knowing smile at Trey and then Gage, she looked up at the waiter and told him. “Both.”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Third day at Romanticon...

  The Cougars got their growl on...

The Cougar Challenge authors put together a fabulous batch of prizes and gifts for Romanticon-goers, and the grand prize (Sheba the Cougar) will go to some lucky winner on Sunday night!  

The Roaring Twenties Party was a blast, with about 3/4 of the authors and all of the EC staff showing up in hot flapper outfits or gangster suits.  There were some very impressive outfits!

Now, if Wendy is reading this, sorry we have been like passing ships...maybe tomorrow you can come to my reader workshop at 2:30 and we can talk afterward.  Amber Skyze and I are the presenters, and there will be PRIZES galore.

I have loads of great pics...will post them in a day or so.
Hugs!

Fran Lee

Friday, October 8, 2010

Late as usual!


New Book, New Cover, New Contract!
Come Back To Me

Coming in November with Evernight Publishing! Yay!
http://www.evernightpublishing.com/come-back-to-me.html
I love this cover and I can't wait for the release.

Also, my new WIP, Salvation, a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel took second place in the Paranormal category in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest hosted by the Southern Louisiana Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Sorry I'm late with the post - had a big night last night, what with the Giants winning their first game and us being there!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's Thursday Again?


Wow, are the days flying by faster than usual? It sure feels like it. My Mom used to tell me how time moves differently when you get "older".... oh crap....no, I'm not going to go down mid-life-crisis road!!!! Note to self: Stop It
Romanticon 2010 - My hubby and I had a fantastic time last year. Romance authors and readers sure know how to have a great time! Most of the seven sexy scribes are attending and I can't wait to hear stories and see pictures!!
I was searching for something to write about and found this on Wikipedia:
The modern romance genre was born in 1972 with Avon's publication of Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower, the first single-title romance novel to be published as an original paperback. The genre boomed in the 1980s, with the addition of many category romance lines and an increased number of single-title romances. Popular authors began pushing the boundaries of the genre and plots and characters began to modernize.
In North America, romance novels are the most popular genre in modern literature, comprising almost 55% of all paperback books sold in 2004. The genre is also popular in Europe and Australia, and romance novels appear in 90 languages. Most of the books, however, are written by authors from English-speaking countries, leading to an
Anglo-Saxon perspective in the fiction. Despite the popularity and widespread sales of romance novels, the genre has attracted significant derision, skepticism and criticism.

And then I found this:

Classic erotica from the Ancient World includes the Song of Songs from the Old Testament and the Roman Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter (later made into a film by Fellini).
From the medieval period we have the
Decameron (1353) by the Italian , Giovanni Boccaccio (made into a film by Pasolini) which features tales of lechery by monks and the seduction of nuns from convents. This book was banned in many countries. Even five centuries after publication copies were seized and destroyed by the authorities in the USA and the UK. For instance between 1954 and 1958 eight orders for destruction of the book were made by English magistrates.

Food for thought!

Have a fantastic week-

Tessie

www.tessiebradford.com



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is it more prestigious to kill people in print than fuck them?

Is the romance genre so low that it's considered a publishing backwater? Is the crime genre really so prestigious that it can break all the rules?
I'm wondering the same thing...
I did something extremely stupid this week that I pray I never repeat. I critiqued a friend’s writing who was entering a short fiction contest I alerted her to. The contest deadline was looming and her ms arrived in the email. I read the 5k story carefully and spent a couple of hours creating edit examples.
Guess what? She really didn’t want an edit…
My first mistake was stepping out of friend mode and viewing her ms with detached eyes. I went on autopilot and told her what I was having a problem with.
My second mistake was applying rules of erotic-romance to another genre crime-suspense, which is a genre I don’t read and know little about.
The problem was within the ms there were at least three POV’s sharing the space and often sharing internal thought, actions and dialog in the same paragraph. It shifted from (two) first person POVs to third person, to narrative, past to present and all three main POV characters often in the same paragraph.
The basic story was good and interesting to read, but I thought it was being held back by unnecessary clutter. I strongly suggested my friend choose one maybe two POV’s and revise the ms in third person. Based on the time she had left to revise and still meet the deadline I viewed that plan as the path of least resistance.
It didn’t work. My friend was very upset and insisted I knew nothing about what she was shooting for. I got flooded with pages of examples of fiction and blogs where best-selling authors, agents and publishers encouraged breaking the rules (which I agree can be done by highly skilled authors who already know the rules.)
Unfortunately, I’m not a highly skilled author and either is my friend. The argument quickly became a disaster with unwelcome results far from what I intended.
My stomach dropped when I realized she didn’t want an edit at all she wanted a thumbs-up. When she emailed the ms and said, “Look this over before I send it… She actually meant, “Look it over and tell me to send it.”
It’s too bad because I know what a sour critique feels like.
Two and a half years ago, when I was getting my first manuscripts ready to submit to publishers, I asked my sister to proof one of my ms’. My sister is an avid reader and booklover who hates the romance genre. I thought it wouldn’t matter because I needed help with grammar and story flow. What I thought would be okay became a nightmare. My sister was very uncomfortable reading my erotica and our conversation went to some awful places including her comment that I should aim higher because the erotic-romance genre was so low… I was assured I would never be published because I was starting too late, I did not have any real writing experience or a degree in literature and the craft was far beyond me. She believed publishing was only for a rarified elite and I was warned those involved were very mean people. 
She also had lots of practical advice I badly needed to take.
At the time I was so hurt and shocked I didn’t speak to my sister for months but I didn’t tune out all of what she said. 
She was wrong about a few things but I knew I had to improve my basic skills. I made it my mission to do better. I went back to the drawing board with my manuscripts, submitted them and got three book contracts almost back to back. 
Those were mentally painful, intensely focused months but I learned enough to get my foot in the door. It was a huge victory for me and it might not have happened if my sister had not pointed out a few of the areas I genuinely needed to improve. (I do love my sister we email everyday)
I hope my friend learns something useful from her uncomfortable encounter with me.
My questions today are:
1) Have you ever offered help and had it backfire?
2) Am I completely wrong about the crime-suspense genre can the POV float that randomly? I don’t read crime-fiction and I don’t know what the current trends are.
I learned a horrible lesson about not offering cross-genre advice. It doesn’t work. No one respects romance authors except other romance authors.
I wish I were going to Romanticon more than ever.
XXOO Kat

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I’m about to embark on a road trip with my DH. He’s my true life hero. He knows how much I hate to fly so he offered to drive with me. It’s a ten hour journey and I tend to get cranky when in the car for long periods of time, IF we get stuck in traffic. On our last trip in July what should’ve been a six hour trip turned into nine when we got stuck in NYC. It took us three hours to move two miles. I was driving and let me tell you it wasn’t pretty when we emerged. :o)
So where are we going? To RomantiCon, Ellora’s Cave conference for their readers, authors and aspiring writers. It runs from October 7th thru the 10th this year and I’m thrilled to be going. I’m armed with loads of giveaways. If you happen to be in the Richfield, OH area do stop in on Sunday for the Book Fair and say hello. I’ll have goodies during my book signing too.
As the time draws near I’m starting to grow nervous. It’s not shock that I’m a terribly shy person. I tend to be the one hiding in the corner afraid something stupid will come out of my mouth. I try to blend in the background taking in everything others are saying. I rarely offer an opinion on anything. This is where my husband comes in handy. He’s a social butterfly. He’ll strike up a conversation with just about anyone and offer his opinion whether or not you want it. (This is where I cringe) LOL
I know I’ll be surrounded by great friends like Regina Carlysle, Fran Lee, Cindy Spencer Pape and Anny Cook just to name a few.
For someone who suffers from stage freight as much as I do you’d think I was crazy to agree to host a reader based workshop with Fran Lee. I’ve thought about backing out many times, but I couldn’t do that to Fran. She’s such a wonderful person. I’m going to overcome my fears and move forward. BUT if you hear about a red-face blubbering idiot chances are it was me. LOL
I’ll be sure to take lots of pics to share with you. For those who adore the cavemen as much as me, I’ll be sure to get them too.


Before I forget, my October's newsletter is out and I'm giving away an autographed copy of Ignite the Flames. You must be a subscriber to get the contest details and win. You can sign up below. :0)
authoramberskyze-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Until next Tuesday!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Could these all be the same male cover model?

Did you notice?
I have noticed only lately. Within the past few months, exactly.
To be honest, I never would have known that LAID BARE had the same male model as the others (or any others for that matter) if he himself had not already told me!
Who is he?
Jimmy Thomas.
Talented. Artistic. Runs his own business and very savvy about it, too. Do go see more of his work over at www.RomanceNovelCovers.com
For the personification of heroes whom authors try to bring to life in words, he does, I think, a smashing job, never looking the same but always dashing AND enthralled!
So now I leave you to go to ROMANTICON, sponsored by EC, where I get to meet many of their male cover models!
Shall I bring one home for you?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

All packed up and ready to panic!

I feel like a teenager going to my first prom...

Except I never went to my prom...

I have lived my life out of the swim, so to speak.  I always was outside the main stream of things. In school, with hundreds of people milling around me, I lived in my own little dream world, and let very few friends inside.  Now I can live in my own little dream world and make money doing it...but that still makes it not one bit easier to face the world after hiding from it behind a photograph taken of me in 1966.

Face it...I am an old fart, with chicken skin on my neck, bags under my eyes, and eyebrows that don't match.  Snort!  I don't wear makeup. (Except brows and mascara and a touch of liner) I have a short upper lip...a non-existent lower lip...and several chins. Where on earth did that hot young spring chicken go?  She's gone where the goblins go, below, below, hi ho...  There I go singing Wizard of OZ selections once again.  Ding dong, the witch is dead...

Anyway, I feel as if I am going to die of stage fright here.  And I have NEVER felt so nervous in my life.  I have taught big tough guys how to take down an opponent and how to block a hard attack.  I have taught women how to defend themselves if attacked in an alley.  I have taught classes to high schoolers about AIDS prevention.  I have done martial arts forms competition in front of a crowd of thousands, with Chuck Norris watching me make a fool of myself.  I have judged prestigious martial arts tournaments at the World Championships level several times, defended my scores with 6'5" 260 pound fighters demanding why I called a point for the other guy.   I have given speeches to large groups, and never once felt this damn worried about how people will perceive the real Fran Lee.

Old fat ladies don't write hot romance. Right?  Well...I'm proof positive that they do...and I will go to Romanticon and act like I am having a blast, even as I wish I were fifty thousand miles away hiding under my bed.  ):P

And as for having my photo taken with a bunch of hot, 20 or 30-something males with hot bods...NO WAY in hell!  I will slink carefully away and hide so that I resemble wallpaper, and I will be happy as a clam in salt water.  I may, of course, ask if I can take a couple of pics of them...but not with me in the same frame. LOL!  I value my camera far too highly to risk it being shattered.

So...if you DON'T see me at Romanticon, it's not because I didn't come...it's because I' so damn good at hiding. LOL!
Fran Lee

Welcome fabulous DESIREE HOLT! Got lust? How about electronics?

I think we are being eaten alive by electronics. Society has taken such a shift as electronics has taken over our lives. Whatever did we do when we had a radio with two knobs and six stations and a television set where the box was bigger than the screen? How did we ever exist?
For one thing, we actually talked to each other. Real words. Now, I’m not against cell phone, I want you to understand that. I think they’re great for keeping in touch with home when you’re away from it. For contacting people lost in the same convention of more than a thousand people that you are. For checking up on kids, spouses and friends who need that contact. But now we have texting. OMG! It’s worse than drugs. Go anyplace with a teenage and they never even show their face to you. It constantly amazes me that my granddaughter can eat an entire meal without ever seeming to lift her thumbs from the little electronic unit in her hands.
My second pet electronic peeve is the automated voice response. Where have the days gone when a person actually answered the phone when you called a number and asked if they could help you? Now you have to push so many buttons before you get a live voice you might as well be practicing your texting. Sometimes I have this manic urge when I call someplace and finally get a human voiced to say, “You have reach (insert name). To continue this conversation press one. To provide information press two.”
And of course there is DirecTV. You actually have to be a technician yourself, able to fix your own television, before you can get a live person to talk to you. It’s cost effective that way, they say. Maybe, but it sure doesn’t do my blood pressure any good.
Today I had a problem with my ereader, so I called Sony. I got a very nice man who told me my ereader was frozen. Frozen? I didn’t put it in the refrigerator. Or the freezer. So how could it be frozen. He told me I can’t load more than five hundred books on its hard drive. Since I only have a hundred and sixty two I was pretty sure I was well within the safety zone.
Somehow we managed to communicate with each other enough for him to fix my problem. After that I immediately offered up every prayer I know that it wouldnl;t happen again.
And finally, my last pet peeve is the word “planned obsolescence.” Buy a telephone for sixty dollars, use it for a year. It breaks, you call the manufacturer and they say, “Sure, we’ll fix it. Just send it to us at your expense and we’ll get it taken care of for only fifty five dollars.” Are they crazy? For five dollars more I can get a new one! And the repairman tells me, “See, that’s what the company thinks, too. They want you to buy their bigger, newer, better product.” Which will be perfect…until it, too breaks.
So, how are you surviving in the world of electronics? Leave me a comment and you might win your choice of a book from my backlist.
Oh, and while you’re at it, here’s a little taste of my first Night Seekers book, Lust Unleashed. If you love alpha males and shapeshifters, meet Jonah Grey.
Blurb
Jonah Grey is driven by a lust for the blood of the legendary Chupacabra who murdered the woman he was to mate with in a horrendous manner. He jumps at the offer to leave the FBI and join Night Seekers, a group of people dedicated to hunting and killing the devil beast. When a new killing is reported, Jonah is assigned to investigate. Following a track late one night, Jonah encounters comes upon a cabin where a woman lives alone. Through the window he sees her pleasuring herself and both his wolf and human senses are fully aroused. When he goes to question her there is such explosive chemistry between them that neither can turn away from it, and the sex that follows brings them to a level of pleasure neither has ever known before. He moves into her cabin dividing his time between tracking the Chupacabra and erotic bouts of orgasmic sex with Dakota. They form a bond that goes beyond the hot tumble in the sheets. She is even accepting of him when she sees him in his wolf form. But will she agree to mate with him and accept him full into her life? Is the beast they track and kill the real Chupacabra…or a fake, leaving the real beast to search for yet another prey?

Excerpt

Jonah leaned against the headboard of the bed, pillows propped behind him, and watched as Dakota opened a bottle of wine, poured the amber liquid into two glasses and carried them to the bed. They were both still completely naked and her body was fluid motion. Graceful. Artless. If he were an artist he’d want to paint her.
Her skin was a golden color and he noticed there were no tan lines. Out here in the middle of nowhere she could sunbathe nude without fear of prying eyes. Her breasts were high and firm, tipped by dusky nipples still hard from the attention of his mouth. Her dark hair cascaded down her back, wispy bangs drifting across her forehead. Thick lashes framed eyes blacker than night and high cheekbones defined the exotic quality of her face.
Her long legs moved easily around the room, the rounded globes of her ass tempting him as she turned her back to him. His cock swelled and hardened just watching her.
A tiny frisson of guilt raced through him as he realized he had given himself to this woman as completely as he had to Jenna. Would she see it as a betrayal? No, Jenna was a person who believed in giving completely, holding nothing back. Inexplicably he’d felt her spirit encouraging him, urging him to do this. But he feared the guilt would always be there, a barrier to a new relationship, until the devil beast was finally captured and killed.
“Heavy thoughts?” Dakota was standing beside the bed.
Jonah wiped everything from his mind but her naked presence. Something was pulling them together and he wasn’t about to throw it away. Somehow he’d deal with the inner turmoil of his conflicting emotions.
“Not too bad.” He curved his lips into a smile. “Thinking about you.”
“Here.” She handed him the wine. “I don’t usually drink this early in the day but today I’m making an exception. I thought it might be more appropriate than coffee.”
Jonah grinned. “I think all things considered it’s a good exception to make.”
He shifted to make room for her next to him, holding the wine with one hand and looping his other arm across her shoulders. The press of her body against his was like a lit match to his skin. God, how could he want this woman so fiercely when he barely knew her and they’d just had off-the-charts sex?
Mate!
The word singed his brain. Forcibly he pushed it away. He was no longer in the market for a mate. Besides, he was sure if she saw him shift that would kill any relationship.
No! She believes in legends and the unusual. Don’t write this off.
He took a healthy swallow of his wine, hoping to derail his thoughts. He had a mission and he couldn’t lose sight of that, no matter how much he desired this woman or how fantastic the sex was.
“Would I sound too unsophisticated or cliché if I say I don’t usually do this?” she asked.
Jonah had to stop himself from chuckling. He was pretty sure she didn’t do this on a regular basis, considering her situation. And he was the one who practically attacked her. Shifters acted on their lust when it surged through him. He was just worried she’d think he made a regular habit of it.
“No worries.” His fingers drew circles on her shoulder. “I felt the heat between us and so did you. It’s all good.” When she didn’t say anything else, he asked, “So are you saying you don’t have any…relationships with men?”
“I’m saying I learned long ago to keep my urges to myself and live alone.”
Her voice was flat but he detected the undertone of pain. Someone had hurt her, badly. Or maybe several someones. A sense of protectiveness flared within him. Who would deliberately hurt an erotic flower like this? Who could be so cruel? But he could answer his own question. In his life, both personal and professional, he’d unfortunately seen all kinds of cruelty.
On impulse he reached for her hand and wound his fingers through hers, squeezing them gently. He was surprised when she gave him an answering compression.
She took a sip of her wine as if to distract them both from the conversation. “Tell me about the story you’re writing.”
Story? Oh, yeah. My cover.
“It’s actually a series for National Crime Magazine. My boss is fascinated by the legend of the Chupacabra. There have been so many conflicting stories. Each time a body’s discovered the interest flares up again. So I’m checking things out.”
“That’s all it is, you know. A legend. People have created this absurd story for publicity value. And to explain what they don’t have answers for.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You really think that?”
Dakota ran her fingertip around the rim of her glass. “This town’s really been crazy since the hunters’ bodies were found. Without any other resolution, it was natural for them to bring up the legend. But I don’t believe in it.”
(Copyright 2010, Desiree Holt.)