Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Next Big Thing Tag Blog

The very talented Cindy Spencer Pape tagged me in her blog. If you love charming, compassionate characters and Steampunk please checkout Cindy’s work here:

I don’t know if it is the next big thing but I’m pretty excited about an upcoming new book series from Ellora’s Cave. Nine other Ellora’s Cave authors and I collaborated on what I think of as the ultimate paranormal erotic adventure. All the stories take place in an enchanted Irish castle, and let me tell you anything goes! All the stories are loosely connected but can be read as stand alones.
What is your working title of your book?
Katalina Leon: I just completed my WIP. It’s a stand alone Ellora’s Cave novel length book. My working title is “Lord Griffin’s Prize”
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Katalina Leon: All the EC authors in this series originally shared the same Irish editor for a few months. The beautiful pictures of Irish hotels she shared with us were highly inspiring. As a group we decided to create a series.
What genre does your book fall under?
Katalina Leon: Paranormal erotic-romance. We’ve got a little bit of everything from shifters to werewolves to vamps.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Katalina Leon: My dream cast would be a plumper version of Evangeline Lilly to play my heroine and Clive Owen to play my hero.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Katalina Leon: A hot shifter trapped under a curse can’t wait to fully become a man again and reclaim his long lost lover.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Katalina Leon: The series will be available from Ellora’s Cave Publishing in 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Katalina Leon: I took about five weeks to complete. Then I set it aside for a bit and spent another week or two refining it.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Katalina Leon: That’s a tricky question. I better just tell you a little about the story’s content and allow you to decide. “Lord Griffin’s Prize” has time-travel back to 1332 AD to a castle under siege, a witch’s curse, phantom lovers slipping under the sheets, crazed villains, life or death struggles, abduction and ravishment at the hands of a handsome warlord, forced marriage and true love that spans a 700 year chasm. Pheew! To think my poor heroine thought she was checking into a peaceful hotel!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Katalina Leon: The other ladies in the group were so creative and supportive and the natural enchantment of Ireland was a big inspiration too.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Katalina Leon: Do you like the idea of being captured and ravished by a handsome war chief who's had his eye on you for years?
I hope you enjoyed the blog.
I’m also hoping to finish another short novel in a week or two. This WIP also has an enchanted time travel theme. My art-loving heroine gets to go back in time to model for her favorite Bohemian artist in 1903. Again, lucky girl!

Thank you for coming by to visit today.

(Shush, it’s sort of a secret… All these talented authors have great stuff on the near horizon they’re almost ready to talk about. For sure you’ll want to check out next week’s next big thing!)
I tagged:
Amber Skyze
Susanna Stone
Liz Crowe
Rea Thomas

New Cover Art Alert

I have a new book coming 12/25 from Loose Id. It starts on Black Friday and ends on New Years Eve...with a fun stop on Christmas. ;)


Trust isn’t something Patience Middleton gives very often, especially in the bedroom. She’s been looked at as a slut for wanting more than a vanilla sex life. When she meets William LaBorde he’s offering more than she can handle. William wants to know all her deepest darkest desires in the bedroom. He’s sexy, sweet and willing to make all her fantasies come true.
Patience gives in briefly until William gives her a familiar look of what she perceives as disgust. William convinces her, his only wish is to make her happy in the bedroom, against the wall or under the Christmas tree.
Things go awry when Patience dream fantasy turns into a nightmare. Can William save the day and will she finally give herself to him; body, heart and soul?

Oh and a huge special thanks to Kat for helping me find a title!!!! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I got this wonderful pic off Facebook...

I wish I knew where I could buy one of these trees...

I think I would get one for each room of the house...bedroom included.  I think is some kind of fur tree...

I just bought several cover shots on Jimmy Thomas' 50% off Black Friday sale.  His pictures are inexpensive as usual, but who can resist 50% off?

Yesterday was the official release day for my print compilation, Broken Rules. Unfortunately, it has not yet shown up on the New Releases page. Guess it sorta slipped by with Thanksgiving and all.  I am having a contest for readers of this blog only and it will end on November 30, 2013.  Read the excerpts on the Ellora's Cave pages here:
Next, go to my website and send me an e-mail from my "contact Fran" page. The subject should be "Rules".  Tell me in the body of the e-mail what city each heroine lives in.  Then be sure to give me your full name and your mailing address. Since this is a print book, I can't go by your call sign and an e-mail addy.  LOL!

On November 30, I will toss all entries into the hat and have my grandson draw one out.  Of course, the winner will get an autographed print copy.

There will be secondary prizes of various kinds, as well.  


Fran Lee

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone an enjoyable, peaceful and safe Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for so many good things in my life. This year seems to have been extra hard on the people around me. I've watched loved ones endure trial after trial with grace. I'm so thankful for their integrity and the good example they set.
Everyone's is busy today so I'll be brief, I wish everyone a beautiful holiday and safe journey on their way. And I'm very thankful to all who stop by this blog and help make me feel like I'm part of a greater community. Your friendship and support means so much.
Thank you!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks!

With Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to take a few moments to give thanks to those who have touched my life over the last year.
To my husband, who stood by me through an excruciating year. We had our ups and downs but his unwavering love pulled me through a very dark period of my life. For those who never experienced postpartum depression, count yourself lucky…for those who have, you have my sympathy. After giving birth to five children I suffered my first and last bout with the disease with this last child. It is one of the most horrifying experiences. My thoughts were not my own. I became a stranger in my own skin. Someone I did not like, so I can only image what my husband felt.
To my writing partner, another rock in my life. Without Katalina I’d be a mess. She helped me through those ups and downs too. Her encouragement of my writing during that time was another reason I came out of the darkness. When she suggested we write a series she didn’t realize the task we were taking on, but it kept my mind off of the ugly and focused on something good.
To all the new friends I’ve made over the last year and the readers who support my writing career. It’s not a career for the faint of heart, so to the handful of people buying my books THANK YOU! :o)
I’d also like to thank Julia and Tessie. Your emails here and there just to say congrats or how are you really brighten my day. I’m blessed to have wonderful friends in this community.
I can't forget my writer friend Marie Rose Dufour. She sought me out online two years ago and I'm so glad she did. We share many common bonds and I'm glad to have a good friend in this small state. I'm also so happy for her writing career taking off.
Lastly I’m thankful for my job. It might be the cause of my current health issues, but I have a great team of doctors who will get the Crohns under control and the stress of the day job will pass. There are too many people without work, so believe me I’m thankful to have an income.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sexual fantasies...

Amber's post made me think a lot about this...

And since it raised some pretty strong feelings in this old broad about sexual fantasies, I thought I would take it a few steps further...

It isn't about the size of a man's cock. Or the stamina. Or the willingness to experiment and have fun. It's about the way he cares whether his partner feels confident. Or lovable. Or beautiful. Or desirable. Those important factors...all built of emotions and mental images...can make or break any attempt to put tab "A" into slot "B" with any real success or enjoyment for both partners. Can tilt the scale to allow both partners to enjoy orgasmic sex.

That's the very reason why I began writing romance novels. Because I knew that there were utterly millions of women who yearned for a man who cared enough to make sex a wondrous, delicious, and memorable happening. So I wrote about men who were willing to give as good as they got...or better. And I wrote heroines who learned to love all aspects of sex with their hero. Those were my fantasies. 

I became determined to create heroes who were the antithesis of the men I knew. The epitome of what I desired in a man. The luscious carrot dangling on a string in front of the hungry donkey. I created men who were strong and hard...yet flawed and vulnerable. Men who were able to step beyond their own wants and needs to make mental and physical love to the women who inspired them.

And I created women who were strong enough to accept them as they are. Help them learn about themselves. Women who gave as good as they got...or better. 

If you have read any of my books, tell me what you feel about my heroes. Do they affect others the way they affected me?


Fran Lee

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sex and the American Woman

Late the other night I was buzzing TV channels in hopes I could find something mindless that would put me to sleep. I stopped on a program about sex in America. Not only did it not help me drift off into dreamland, I watched the entire two hour program and was more than a bit crabby the next morning when my alarm clock went off!

This show was examining sexual practices, preferences, and attitudes in comparison to data collected by Kinsey in the late forties and early fifties. I found a number of things extremely fascinating. For this blog, I'm going to stick to female-centric items because, well, I feel like it!

1.  Of the numerous experts; medical doctors, therapists, educators and researchers, all but two were female. My immediate assumption was that the show itself was produced/directed by women, but the credits proved me incorrect.

2.  There was a great deal of discussion about female orgasms. I was shocked to learn that of the thousands of heterosexual women interviewed in the 40-55 age group, +30% had never experienced an orgasm except during masturbation. Sounds to me as if the problem is with the man involved!

2a. It was noted  that when three different sexual acts were indulged in during one sexual encounter, +80% of women achieved orgasm. Makes sense to me - keep trying until you find something that works!!

2b. Women were surveyed about the fantasy scenarios they use during masturbation. Almost all had Dom/sub elements, but only an extremely small percentage of the woman had shared their desires with their partners. Come on gals, speak up - give your partner a chance to fulfill your dreams!

3.   The number of women admitting to engaging in anal sex was under 10%. This surprised me greatly. The research encompassed women ages 18-70. I get how sixty years ago, even women willing to participate in bold sex studies might have shied away from discussing such a perceived taboo act, but in 2012? I'm calling bullsh*t on the participants regarding this question.

4.   An impressive number of women said they'd participated in a menage. I can't quote the percentage, my admiration and jealousy prohibited me from retaining the number.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Skyfall In Love With Bond Again

I saw the new Bond 23 “Skyfall” last Sunday and loved it!
I’d heard Skyfall was good so I wasn’t worried walking into the movie if I would enjoy it or not, which was a big relief because its predecessor Quantum Solace was so dreary and violent it’s quite possibly the only Bond movie I will never watch again.

Before we go any further I have to alert you to a couple of slight spoilers. Please stop reading if you want to enjoy a complete surprise at the movie theater.

First the flavor of Skyfall is so different I cannot compare it any other Bonds. The film’s director Sam Mendes and indeed the entire production team, work in perfect unison to take this well-explored franchise to a new level and give it a stunning rebirth. Everything in Skyfall is familiar to Bond fans, yet everything feels fresh as if we’re finally seeing the real MI6 and it’s cadre for the first time.

Daniel Craig plays this Bond as emotional and insecure in unguarded moments. He’s aging, injured and somewhat abandoned by his peers. He doesn’t hold grudges against those who have wronged him and we see fleeting but intense glimpses of a man who doesn’t care and doesn’t dare to care. He’s driven to keep going because he’s walked through the valley of death and discovered he’s not welcome there, not yet.

This movie is loaded with symbolism and Skyfall is so much the richer for it. In one of the Hong Kong scenes we see the debonair Bond wearing the classic tuxedo sailing into the mouth of a beautifully lit dragon floating in the harbor. This is the glamorous side of his profession, the gambling, the wit and the beautiful women. But beneath the floor of this glittering Hong Kong casino lurks a real and very visceral Komodo dragon waiting to snatch victims by the ankles and drag them into darkness. Metaphorically Bond gets grabbed by the ankle, dragged down and must deal with the visceral elements for the rest of the movie.

There are other interesting symbolic touches as well. The megalithic structure of the MI6 building is destroyed in a bombing and a wounded Secret Service is driven into hidden tunnels and bunkers below London and forced to prove their relevance in court. The theme of rats driven by desperation is explored and I’m sure you can guess which rat wins this battle, but it’s still thrilling to watch the action unfold.

In Skyfall youth and the latest technologies not only fail MI6, but also proves to be their greatest handicap. In the end it’s the long-timers who know how to win a dirty knife fight who survive. I’m happy to report Skyfall is nearly gadget free.
Skill, brains and heart count for everything here.

At the end of an action-packed opening sequence Bond is shot and left for dead. We’re not shown exactly how Bond cheats death, but instead are treated to a stunning reimagining of the opening title sequence. Skyfall ditches the shopworn girly silhouettes and gun barrel animations to do something far better. Instead we see Bond floating into the watery, viridian green world of his own subconscious. His symbolic life flashes before his eyes while Adele sings one of the best Bond themes ever. As Bond’s life force fades away so does the color on the screen. The sequence ends in a stark cemetery that feels centuries old. This is important because the theme of the past will rise again and again especially when Bond tells M that to save their lives they have to go back in time, and they do. MI6 adopts Winston Churchill’s old bunkers and the company car is ditched in favor of the 63’s Aston Martin. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s movie experience but Bond defeats the villain with a very ordinary object. For Bond’s 50th anniversary everything old is made new again.

The villain in Skyfall is someone truly worthy of Bond. Javier Barden plays Raoul Silva an ex-MI6 wonder boy who has an uncomfortable amount of things in common with Bond. In fact Silva is Bond’s evil twin—his dark mirror image and you can sense how badly Silva wants to seduce Bond into agreement with him. Bond and Silva behave like two brothers fighting to be recognized as the favorite son. Silva is at first almost silky in his attempt to seduce Bond to his side, but we also know Silva would be terribly disappointed to succeed. Silva wants a worthy rival to challenge him and Bond provides it.

In Skyfall there is no hokey scheme for world domination. There is threat of exposure and soul searching instead. Silva was once a valuable MI6 operative and obviously once a great favorite of M whom he feels abandoned by. Silva is vengeful and still smarting from being disowned by M. He clearly comes off as a cruel and damaged man who can’t bear another betrayal. When his gorgeous lover Severine leads Bond to his abandoned island lair, he has her tied to a statue, pours her a drink and then literally offers her a “shot”.

Skyfall feels like two movies. One is sweeping and glamorous with all the trappings you’d come to expect from a Bond film and other is intimate and personal, very personal. Bond returns under duress to a haunted place from his past where he obviously does not want to be and many personal sacrifices are made there. It is during these sequences that we feel the full strength of Bond’s mettle. He truly is a hero and survivor here.

Skyfall is exceptional for treating the female characters with respect. The women aren’t perfect and make plenty of mistakes and they come off almost as complex and troubled as Bond himself, which is saying a lot. I loved Naomie Harris’ character “Eve”; she’s smart and totally committed.

Judi Dench as M brings so much subtlety to this performance. It’s one of her best. If there is a femme fatale to be named in Skyfall it’s Judi Dench. For better or worse both Bond and Silva surrender their hearts and souls to M in exchange for cold-hearted betrayal.  Silva’s character sums it up when he says, “Mummy was very bad.”

Dench’s “M” is synonymous with the great cosmic mother who must be obeyed. A point which M herself blatantly exploits when she admits to Bond that, “Orphans always make the best recruits.”

The look of Skyfall is wonderful. The scenes filmed in Hong Kong are moving art. The stark mansion on the Scottish moor was perfect. Thomas Newman’s original soundtrack works beautifully with the movie, always enhancing but never overpowering the scene.  The humor is subtle and flows seamlessly with the action. There’s no stopping the show to offer a corny joke.

Skyfall is a perfect balance of brain and brawn. Its takes the gloves off and reminds us with both harsh and heartfelt actions why we fell in love with Bond in the first place.


New Release - M/M

Today is release day over at Loose Id and my newest is available:

Someone is killing prostitutes and Grant Wesson has been assigned to find out who the killer is. Problem is he just came out to his best friend and partner. Ralph didn't take it so well, so Grant's been reassigned to the new kid on the block, Parker Townsend.

Parker is young, sexy and very much in the closet. Grant fights the growing attraction he's feeling for his new partner, until Parker changes things up. He wants to break the rules and have sex with his new partner.

Against his better judgment, Grant agrees. It's the hottest sex either of them has ever had, but it's a distraction. The killer has Grant in his sights. Parker promises to protect him, but it's his heart that needs protecting.

Grant paced the conference room. He looked at his watch. “Where the hell are you, Ralph?”

He tugged on the collar of his button-down shirt. The tie he wore stifled him. Sweat beaded on his upper lip. Grant fought the urge to wipe it on his sleeve. The perspiration on his forehead increased as his heart raced.

Am I having a heart attack?

Grant covered his chest with his hand. He needed to calm down.

“For Christ’s sake, it’s only Ralph,” he said to the empty room. Who was he fooling? Ralph scared the shit out of him. Yes, they’d been partners for nearly ten years, but Ralph carried such a hatred for “their type.”

For years Grant had listened to Ralph talk about how much he loathed gays and how sick he was of them demanding equal rights. He recalled a conversation where Ralph pulled out his gun, an evil look in his deep brown eyes, and pointed it at an empty space. He’d pretended to pull the trigger and said if he weren’t a cop, he’d shoot a few of them just to scare them straight.

A chill passed through his body just thinking about that day.

“I’ve got to be a fucking fool.” He dragged his fingers through his hair, knowing the gelled look was ruined.

“Fool for what?”

Grant spun around, surprised to see Ralph behind him. He hadn’t heard him enter the room. How long had he been standing there? Had he said anything that would reveal what he was about to confess? The air grew heavy; the walls seemed to draw closer. Grant felt a panic attack coming on.

He walked over to the table and took a seat.

“You don’t look so good, partner. Are you sick?”

Was he sick? Possibly.

“Is it hot in here?”

Ralph shrugged. “The air seems to be working.”

Grant struggled to breathe. He slowly took a deep breath.

“Do you need me to call medical? You don’t look so hot. You’re white as a ghost.”

Somehow Grant felt that was an understatement. He felt physically ill. Nausea rolled in his stomach, threatening to charge up and out his mouth.

“I’ll be okay in a minute.” He needed water. “Just give me a sec.”

“Sure.” Ralph took a seat and tapped his hands on the table.

Grant shook his head. Ralph was always a restless person. He tapped his hands on his legs or on the dashboard if he wasn’t driving. It surprised Grant that Ralph wasn’t a beat officer. Walking the streets would give him the opportunity to get the excess energy out.

After a few deep breaths, his nerves started to subside. He had to get this off his chest and tell Ralph the truth. In the end he prayed it would be all right. They were not only partners; they were friends.

Grant slapped the table louder than he expected.

Ralph jumped.

“Shit, if you wanted my attention, you could’ve cleared your throat or something,” Ralph said.


“Now you have my full attention. What’s this meeting all about?”

The time had arrived. Grant had dreaded this moment for the last ten years but knew he couldn’t keep the information from his partner another day.

Here goes nothing.

“I’m gay,” Grant said.

“Ha-ha. What, am I being punked or something?” Ralph looked around the room as if he expected a camera crew to pop out of the corners.

He looked at Ralph, the guy who had protected him many times over the last ten years. The image of Ralph standing over him while he bled from a gunshot wound came to the forefront. Ralph had given him words of encouragement while holding the bleeding wound on Grant’s leg. Ralph had kept Grant calm through the pain, and damn it had been painful. That was the first time he’d been shot. Grant had had a few superficial wounds over the years. Par for the course when one was a police officer. Ralph, on the other hand, had always been the lucky one. He’d never experienced what it felt like to be shot.

Ralph stared at Grant. “What the fuck? Where are the cameras?”

“You’re not being punked. I’m being serious, Ralph.”

“What are you fucking talking about? Are you saying you’ve just discovered you’re gay? ’Cause if that’s what you’re trying to tell me, you’re fucking wrong. I’ve known you all these years, and you ain’t queer.”

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gotta get in gear again...

This one will be officially released November 23...

And it is the last of the five releases this year. Time to get my fanny back to work and finish up some more of my WIPs.  I have several that are finished, but in need to updating and "fixing" since they were written years ago, and need to be polished and brought up to snuff for my publisher.

I need to go through my files and find the ones that will appeal to my editor. Then I need to sit down and work. Easier said than done, since I've been a lazy woman for a couple of months.

Wish me luck. I think I'm gonna need it.


Fran Lee

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy Dancing

Hana's Handyman has earned an ARe Best Seller Silver Star after only one week!!!!

In other exciting news, I'm on the last few pages of my next book, tentatively titled Discovering Alicia.

Have a great weekend~

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Do Women Love M/M Romance?

I have to confess that if someone had told me fifteen to twenty years ago that books would go digital, vampires would remain top sellers and women would fall madly in love with male gay romance, I would have said I think you’re mistaken.

I like being surprised and those three trends have genuinely surprised me, especially the warm embrace women readers have given to male gay/ bi-sexual romance or M/M. The popularity of M/M continues to soar with new devotees joining the ranks everyday.

Who knew that would happen and why did it happen?

I’m going to throw out a few of my thoughts and opinions about the current popularity of M/M romance and I BEG YOU TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS WITH THE REST OF US IN THE COMMENTS BOX.

First, let’s state the obvious women are not the only ones reading M/M. Gay and Bi-sexual men love it too and I strongly suspect a lot of straight men sneak a peek, just because it’s nasty hot willy-spanking stuff.


Because M/M sexuality tends to be frank and to the point. There’s lust, tenderness and romance but it’s male-centric. For the most part it is free of the overwrought tropes used in old style romance novels, which for many readers translates into variety. An M/M storyline can break free of a predictable path and take the reader somewhere else.

Second: M/M romance is inherently Heroic (pun fully intended!) The lovers involved usually take great risks by simply daring to approach a desired partner. Threat of punishment, rejection or exposure is often present. That amount of sexual tension delivers the emotional drama we romance readers crave! When love is declared taboo, risks are taken, forbidden realms explored and hearts are put in harm’s way—you get great story telling that not only turns readers on, it may also leave them weeping in sympathy.

Third: We learn about our hidden selves by looking beyond ourselves. Compassion is a beautiful teacher. M/M romance acts as a mirror to the slippery forbidden realms of female sexuality. M/M often reflects a raw sexuality and makes no apology for pursuing partners who are prized purely because they thrill the heart or deliver immense physical pleasure. Female fans of M/M love seeing male characters brought to their knees, made vulnerable and their loving sides exposed. It’s a paradox but it’s often true that we never see ourselves more clearly than when we are looking at someone else and feeling compassion for them.

Forth: From a female POV men are often the mysterious other country. A million bad jokes have been made about the differences between Venus and Mars but deep down I think most women remain curious about what male sexuality would look like, if women weren’t looking. M/M romance opens that door and allows women a peek into a forbidden world that in the end may look strangely familiar. Love is love and after all is said and done, male or female, it’s still a human heart.

What do you think of M/M romance? Are you a reader, an author or even a critic of M/M, please share your opinion. I love getting comments and I will try to respond to any or all of them with a detailed answer.

Also some lucky, randomly-chosen commenter is going to get a surprise ebook emailed to them, so leave a email addy, please!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Welcome to Saturday...

Just thought I'd share Ellora's Cave's new Alpha Caveman...
Nick Soto

And he teaches Zumba!

Nick is my Saturday pinup...I'll share another one next Saturday. And another one the next Saturday...let's get our libidos going, ladies!  




Thursday, November 1, 2012

I want to thank everyone who sent release day wishes - they mean the world to me!!
A special thank you to Kat for posting such a wonderful review
and to Tina Donahue for hosting me on her blog!

From yesterday's contest, new 7SS visitor 'pc' is the winner of a copy of Emily's Destiny!

Have a wonderful weekend!