Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

Leap Year might be the perfect time to take a chance or try something daring. Fate seems to be with us.

Happy Leap Year! So far everything about 2012 has been exceptional and the inclusion of a Leap Year in the calendar is just another one of those things. If you were born on February 29th, Happy Birthday! Don’t forget to pace yourself, and don’t over do it. It must be a little odd to have a birthday only once every four years.

This is a busy week. I’m working on edits for the Something Wicked This Way Comes anthology Volume 2 and really enjoying it. I'm trying to make one of those leaps and try something new.

Yesterday, eight other authors and I turned in a proposal packet for a new book series. I really love this series. I can’t wait to see how it is received, and I can’t wait to talk about it. This project is with a new editor and whole new group of authors. Nothing is certain but it feels so good to take a challenge and leap into something new.

Today’s a short blog because I need to be working on those edits, but I wish everyone a wonderful week!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Well, It's Saturday Again...

I've been so totally bummed out lately that I have not been able to force myself to write much.  The first review came out for Uncertainly wasn't was a four out of five...but then a dear friend also mentioned that it certainly was not of the same calibre as my previous books.  I took that more to heart than most reviews I read.  

I have been in a writer's funk for over a year as it is, so that left me feeling even more uncertain of my skills as an author.  I supposed that nobody liked my latest book, especially since very few people have let me know they liked it.  Sigh...rather pathetic, huh?

So imagine my shock when I finally managed to get a download of Just Erotic Romance Reviews' latest newsletter and reviews, and found this:

Title: Uncertainly Yours

Author: Fran Lee

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing

Reviewer: Barbara McCormick

Rating: 5 Stars

Heat Level: O  (orgasmic)

Jacqueline O’Halleran’s Uncle Frank left her his ranch in Wyoming and a mountain of debt. Feeling terribly alone, she returns to her childhood home and starts selling off horses and other assets to pay off what he owed. She plans to sell the ranch, until the man who rejected her as a teenager explains that she can’t because her uncle didn’t own it. Lance Blackfeather has loved Jacqueline since childhood, but had to turn her away when she was sixteen because she was too young. He knows she can’t possibly love him, but the attraction between them is volcanic. Maybe he can trick her into staying with him anyway.

I love Western romances! Uncertainly Yours comes complete with rich descriptions of Wyoming ranchland, fine characters, and a love story spiced with some really hot sex. It’s a lovely combination. Jack’s anguish at losing her only relative is palpable, as is her certainty that Lance could never love her. Lance, on the other hand, is so desirable and so ready for another chance with Jack, even though he knows he’s killed any chance of her love. Even as they each think they are deceiving the other about their feelings, their smoking sensuality and steamy bedroom scenes will have you heading for multiple cold showers. 

Ms. Lee offers just enough of the main characters’ history to flesh them out and lead us to their current dilemma. When they finally start communicating their love for each other, it’s delightful. Uncertainly Yours is a wonderful, sexy Western romance to start the year.

Well, that sort of kicked my self-pitying ass. And I was SOO enjoying wallowing around in my sadness.  I guess I have no further excuse for not getting my fanny in gear and working on my wips.  Somebody out there loved my book. LOL!


Fran Lee

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Timeless Forbidden Passion from Afton Locke

Please welcome my special guest, Afton Locke!!

Plucking the Pearl
By: Afton Locke
Genre: interracial historical erotic romance
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Release Date: 17 February 2012
eBook ISBN #: ISBN: 978-14199-38993
Buy Link:
Video Trailer: Coming Soon!


When Pearl's sheltered life shatters in the 1930s when her mother dies, her only option is to move in with poor family relations and shuck oysters in the local plant on Oyster Island, Maryland.

Determined to live a morally proper life, the last thing she wants is an affair with a white man, but Caleb, the plant owner, knows a pearl when he sees one. The successful widower is the “oyster king” of the island, but his intense desire for his forbidden new employee, a woman of color, threatens everything he’s built.

What begins as a private sexual liaison flowers into strong feelings that don't fit the social mores of the island. When their secret is discovered, they risk losing everything. They dared to pluck the pearl, but will their love be strong enough to keep it forever?


Copyright © AFTON LOCKE, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“You’re standing awfully close,” she whispered.

“I am, aren’t I?” he whispered back. “Do you want me to move?”

Yes! No! Oh Lord, help me. I’ve never felt so weak.

“Show me the next step—with the oyster, that is,” she said quickly.

“Certainly.” He gripped her hand around the knife again and made deft movements to cut the meat from the shell. “Cut here and there. That’s all there is to it.”

“You make it look so simple,” she said, realizing he could pull her out of her shell just as easily.

When he stepped away from her, her legs nearly gave out. It was as if the hardness that had been nestled against her was the only thing that had been keeping her standing upright in front of the table.

He stepped beside her and she watched, fascinated, as he tipped the oyster half with the meat on it to his mouth. Watching the wet creature slide past the dark hairs of his moustache intrigued her in a way she couldn’t explain.

When he bent forward to kiss her, she was too aroused to refuse. His pale blue eyes came closer than they ever had and all she could do was stare helplessly into them. It was as if she floated higher and higher into the sky, never to set foot on firm earth again.

She felt his moustache first, hot and coarse, and then his lips, cooler and wetter. As his mouth worked over hers, something pushed between her lips. His tongue? She met it with hers, stroking with an abandon she refused to acknowledge as her own.

He tasted of the sea. No, not just one tongue. Two? She was too distracted by the heat boiling through her belly to care. When he removed his mouth, she realized he’d put the oyster inside her mouth.

Without thinking, she spit it out and it landed on the floor.

Caleb tipped his head back and laughed. It was a beautiful man’s laugh, musical and deep. Unfortunately she didn’t feel very amused.

“Now Ernie would have a fit if he saw you messed up his clean floor,” he said. “I take it you don’t care for oysters.”

She crossed her arms. “No, I don’t. I thought you had swallowed it. And you shouldn’t have kissed me.”

He wiped his hand on one of the clean rags nearby and she did the same. Then he leaned an elbow against the table and looked at her.

“Why not, honey? We’re not married.”

“In case you haven’t noticed,” she said, “we’re not the same color—or social class, for that matter. You’re the owner of this establishment and I’m just a poor—”

He put two fingers to her lips to quiet her. The lingering scent of oysters drifted from them, making her breathe faster. She was beginning to like oysters…

Afton Locke
Unlock your fantasies…

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dena Garson gets "Down To Business"

It’s my pleasure today to introduce a new Ellora’s Cave author and very sweet person to work with—Dena Garson.

Dena’s making her author debut in Ellora’s Cave steamy “Branded” Line.

Haven’t read a story from the “Branded Line”? You’re missing a lot of fun! Branded books are sexy stories about couples in committed relationships. If you enjoy erotic adventure after the knot is tied, you must sample the Branded Line and Dena Garson’s “Down To Business” is a great place to start.

I asked Dena what inspired her to write “Down To Business” and she said:

“I love romance - I love reading it and I love writing it. It's a form of escape and without it, I would probably be too cranky to deal with. LOL. By day, I am a Business Process Consultant (which means I help departments figure out what they're doing and how they might do it better). By night, I struggle to keep up with two rowdy boys and make sure the house doesn't implode from their antics.”

Obviously, Dena’s been “Branded” and knows all about the challenges of balancing career, family and keeping the torch lit. Good for her and fun for us!

Blurb: "Down To Business"
Leigh and John Templeton have plans for the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, looming deadlines may prevent John from being able to get away. In particular, one very long and dull contract review.

When Leigh delivers dinner to John at his office, she makes him a deal to spice up the contract review process—for every page he completes, she’ll remove an item of clothing until she’s naked and waiting for him to claim his reward…

(That ought to speed work along! Lol)

“Down To Business” is available Wednesday February 22nd from Jasmine Jade/ Ellora’s Cave.

Have a wonderful week. Treat yourselves to a new author and you might discover a real gem.


Monday, February 20, 2012

procrastination as fear

Another procrastination job: do new promo!
Yep. As a died in the wool Obsessive Worker, I hardly ever suffer Procrastination Blues.
Not my style. Learned long ago to just put my a$$ in the chair and work it, baby!
BUT lately I have a tough time. I am doing that nut ball thing, questioning myself.
I would rather:

  • go the gym (now you KNOW this is a bad case of put-it-off!)
  • wash dishes (huh?)
  • finish the novel I am currently reading which would make that a reward for playing hooky—and how could I possibly reward myself for not working? *headtodesk*
  • think up a new series which, I must add, I have NO clue when I can write it given that I am up to that same a$$ in other stuff. (YES, you can see how I am constantly doing more than my 24 hours worth.)

IN fact, years ago, make that over 15 years ago, I had to promise hubby and the family that I would stop work at 5 the latest 6 and not go back. Not Go Back.
I have kept to that.
But you know at night, I usually feel my fingertips itching for the keyboard.
So, is my procrastination really fear? Fear of Failure? Yes, might be.  BUT see me, hear me do this mantra now, I know that this too shall pass.
I have been here before.
Worked myself out of it.
Worked the work until it was great. (or in my estimation so it was. I have put 2 kids through college with my earnings so it does get me enough $$$ to verify me.)
So I guess this means that now that I have dumped my bucket on you, I will crack my knuckles and, for godsakes, Cerise, stop bellyaching and get back to work!
Thank you for listening. That

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Whoever said that writing wasn't a "real" job?

 Well...they were wrong!  It is a real job...and sometimes, it's a real pain...

 Look at all the stuff a writer has to go through to put out a book...

 It can be such a hassle...having to work out different plots and story lines...

And when you get through all the edits and the angst...and your book is out there...

Then you wait for the reviews...the scary ones that you hope aren't going to tear your book to pieces and tell the world that it sucked royally...

Then you have to figure out a totally new and different plot line for your next book...even though some fans get angry that your next book isn't the same as the first because they loved it so much they never wanted it to end...

And then you deal with it all over again...

Honestly some of my books just seem to bleed into one another, and I find my plots getting too mixed up with prior ones.  It makes me think I am running some sort of series, when I' m not! LOL!

I have been reading through all my old books and shaking my head.  Sigh.  It's truly hard to think up new stories and new heroes and heroines when you really loved the ones you finished.  Maybe it's a bad thing to read your backlist.  You can never recapture the flow of those books...the stories seem to etch themselves into your mind, and you stare at your new wip and wonder, "How am I gonna ever do that again?"

Ever had that happen to you?



Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Even Though"

What with Valentine's Day happening this week and being bombarded with all things hearts and flowers, I find it extremely humorous that recently many of the 'loves' of my life are not filling me with the warm and fuzzies!!!

1.   I love being an author even though it causes me fits when I'm unproductive.

2.   I love my puppy, Butch, even though his newest behavioral quirk is attempting to dig to the center of the Earth throughout my back yard.

3.  I love being a wife even though hubby sometimes bugs the crap out of me.

4.  I love being a mom even though my offspring go out of their way to not hear the miraculous pearls of wisdom I impart.

5.  I love my day job even though I'm ultra-stressed by new responsibilities.

Love is not always a splendored thing!! It takes work, is unpredictable, and damn difficult!

I was watching the movie Parenthood (a favorite of mine) the other night. Close to the end, the grandmother tells a wonderful story about comparing the thrills and chills of a roller coaster to the safety and boring-ness of a merry-go-round. That scene never ceases to bring me to tears.

I love the character of Karen Buchman (Mary Steenburgen). "Life is messy", and "I happen to LIKE the roller coaster." are quotes that play through my mind on a regular basis.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Do Women Want?

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and I didn't get the chance to share my Valentine with you, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

I think we need more official "love holiday's" on our calendar.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Hi Everyone...I hope your Valentine's Day is super romantic. Today I want to share with you my friend Marie Rose Dufour's new release. Her first book Fated Mates was released from Secret Cravings a few months ago and I have to say it's a must read.
I planned to read Irish Rising yesterday and well, my life was turned upside down. So hopefully today.

Please enjoy the blurb and excerpt and oh, the yummy cover.  Buy link.

Book Blurb:
Famous romance writer, Kim Green went to Ireland with her two cousins to research the setting of her new book and have some quality girl bonding fun. She’s in the business of writing about love. She didn’t expect it find her on the street in a sleep Irish town with a sexy, “I want to drown in your chocolate eyes” pub owner.
Duncan Murphy never believed in the old family legend. The idea a trapped mermaid granted his family the ability to recognize their one true love was absurd to him until he spots a sexy American across the street from his pub. Something deep within him recognized her as his other half
They’re drawn together in an explosive first encounter. Life is blissful until a misunderstanding threatens to tear them apart. Is their fragile newfound romance something legends are made of or the misguided belief in an ancient fantasy?

Kim walked and walked taking in all the local scenery. The sculpted hedgerows infused with red and white flowers. The shopkeepers sweeping the sidewalks in front of their stores, they were always quick with a greeting and even quicker with a smile. As she walked, she talked into her mini-recorder trying to capture as many details as possible. When she got back to her room later, she would transcribe her notes to be used later in her manuscript. Every once in a while she would stop to take some pictures since Kim found it helpful to surround herself with images that help her describe things in her stories.

Her walking slowed to a complete stop when she noticed a house for sale. As she peered through the gate in the hedges, she saw a wonderful stone house that was so typical in Ireland. Some people would say that the house needed a lot of work, but Kim only saw the possibilities. A cobblestone walkway led from the iron gate over an expansive front lawn, ending at an enormous wooden front door. Attached to each window were empty flowerboxes she could imagine them overflowing with a riot of colors. Kim checked the gate to try and get a closer look but it was locked. Too bad, she wanted to explore more of the grounds for her research. Maybe she’ll call the realtor and set up a viewing while she was still in the country.

“You’re not lost now, are you, luv?” A gravely voice startled her out of her revelry.

She turned around to see whom the voice belonged to when across the road she saw the hottest man she had seen in her entire life. He was lazily leaning in the doorway of the pub across the street. He had a white apron tied around his waist that tapered down from wide shoulders. In his hands he was drying a glass while he stared at her from a distance. His brown hair curled over the collar of his black shirt that was pulled taunt over the muscles of his chest. Peaking out from underneath one of the sleeves was a Celtic band tattoo. Kim whistled to herself. She was a sucker for a man with band tattoos. She wondered if he had any more hidden by his clothes.

Kim flashed him her sexiest smile. “No, not lost. Just dreaming.”

He slowly unfurled himself from the doorway and walked across the street toward her. He had the walk of a man totally comfortable in his own skin. A loose-legged swagger that made Kim’s insides do a nervous tap dance. Up close, he was much taller than he appeared from across the street. Kim needed to tilt her head back to look into his dreamy chocolate brown eyes. She was short, her license said that she was five-three, but she was probably closer to five-two in her stocking feet. He towered over her by at least a foot.

“Dreaming, huh?” He lifted her chin to stare deeply into her eyes. “Yes, I can see it. You have the eyes of a dreamer. You wouldn’t happen to be a dream fairy who has come along to invade all of my dreams, would you?”

Between his intense gaze and the hand gently touching her chin, he mesmerized her. “No, just a dreamer. I’m not here to invade anyone’s dreams.”

Something flared hotly in his eyes before he moved away from her. “Well now, that remains to be seen.”

The distance between them broke the spell and brought Kim back to her senses. She thrust out her hand to introduce herself. “Hi, I’m Kim.”

He took her hand within his large one, but didn’t shake it. He simply held her hand within his own, renewing the connection that flared between them when they touched before. His gaze heated as he scanned her face and returned to her eyes. The heat and intensity caused Kim to gasp out loud. No man ever looked at her like this before. Not thinking it possible, his gaze burned brighter after hearing her gasp.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stealing 3,000 times!

Appalled at these criminals who steal from authors, I post here a few statistics that represent my own financial losses at ONE file sharing, i.e. PIRATE site.
This site has 23 of my works. On average, each work has been downloaded over 3,000 times. So...let's see, if each work costs on average $4.00 of which I get 40%, that equals $1.60.
$1.60 x 3000 = $4,800.00
Let's say it's $5000 for the sake of easy math. 23 works x 5000 = $115,000.00
Color me sick.
Is it that important to read something free that a thief deprives the creator of their earnings.
I send out pirate notices. It takes time. A lot of it. And my writing time is diminished because of it.
But these thieves are voracious, tricky, and criminal!
Despite all the cons to the last SOPA bill, I know we missed a great opportunity to begin the process of catching these thieves.
But Google, Yahoo and Facebook and so many others acted against authors' interests and promoted their own. Yes, I use all three providers, but boys, you did us no service to lobby against this bill.
FYI: to those of you who have never worked on legislation (and I have), once a bill is withdrawn it is DEAD, BABY, DEAD. Not to be taken up again for YEARS. So those of you who were persuaded that the SOPA bill was unfair, too restrictive, I will say here, why did you not ask that the bill be re-written?
With the death of that bill, we all missed a great chance to start to catch pirates.
I am still losing money because of these criminals.
And I bet you are too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last couple of days to win Fran Lee's Valentine's Day Gift Basket!

Some lucky person is going to win a lot of goodies...
Of course, the gift bag (inside a gift box) will arrive a day or so after Valentine's Day, but the contents will still be edible, readable, and fun.  But then, if you already have tons of T-shirts, tote bags, boxes of candy, print books, etc. and you don't really want any more, it's totally okay if you choose not to enter.  I fully understand.  Sigh...
Hope you all have a marvelous weekend.
Fran Lee

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Peek into Getting Down to Business

Mariel doesn’t take risks. Even though her promotion now has her on equal footing with Tadd, the star of her fantasies, a failed office romance has “disaster” written all over it; personally and professionally. Having him as a buddy during the day and an insatiable lover in the safety of her dreams at night, is definitely the way to go.

On a snowy, icy, Friday night, car problems and a tiny bit of intervention from Mari’s best friend provide Tadd with the opportunity he’s been waiting six long months for. He and Mariel will finally get down to business.

Getting Down To Business
copyright Tessie Bradford 2012

“Dating could mess up our friendship and our careers, Tadd.”

“That’s not going to happen, Mari. We’ve already got something real special going on, and it’s way past time for us to see what the future holds.”

There was no warning before the left front tire got snagged in a pot hole, sending the SUV careening sideways. “Hold on, sweetheart,” Tadd warned as he navigated what he suspected wasn’t going to be their only three-sixty spin. There was no hope to gain traction under these conditions. His only option was to maintain as much of a controlled slide as possible. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her brace her hands on the dashboard, but she didn’t cry out or visibly panic.

Carefully adjusting the steering wheel to stay with the spin and allowing the antilock brakes to do their job, Tadd finally brought the SUV to a stop about ten feet off the edge of the road. Amazingly, they only grazed one of the many trees with the back bumper.

“That was entertaining,” Mari whispered.

Tadd unhooked his seatbelt and reached over to ease Mari’s hands off the dash. Her fingers wrapped tightly around his, and he felt her tremble. He leaned forward and brushed her lips with his, intending the kiss to be one of comfort, but the moment their mouths touched, he was lost.

Tadd let go of her hands and gathered her as close as possible in the awkward space. She wrapped her arms around his waist. He cradled the back of her head, tasting and teasing her lips before coaxing them open and deepening the kiss. His cock flared to life at the first stroke of her tongue along his. She whimpered then proceeded to return the kiss with such enthusiasm Tadd was sure he’d died and gone straight to heaven. This was the Mariel he’d been dreaming of for years; hot, horny and all his.

“Hell, yes,” he exclaimed when he reluctantly ended the kiss so they could get some much needed air. “God, you’re incredible, Mari. I’m going to make love to you until we both can’t stand up straight.”

Mari struggled to get her racing heartbeat under control as desire pulsed through her like wildfire. She’d never been so turned on in her entire life. “I’m game for hopping over into the seat,” she suggested, kissing across his cheek to his chin. Tadd’s deep, sexy laugh reverberated all the way to her clit.

“I promise we’ll have car sex in the spring, sweetheart.” He captured her mouth in another searing, albeit brief, kiss. “But the first order of business is us getting out of this storm. How far of a walk do we have?”

“I’m not sure, but it’s not short. Mine’s the third driveway up there, and my house is way back off the road.”

“Well, the faster we get moving, the sooner we can get down to some serious loving.”

GDTB releases March 14, 2012!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Valentine's Day~

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February is short but busy.

It’s been another busy week and next week gets busier.

This week I’m finishing a spin-off story from “Sugar Roux Voodoo” and really enjoying it.

Next week I’m submitting a book series idea along a few other authors and I’m very excited about that project and hope it gets accepted and goes with ease.

After that I get to do edits with Kelli for my Something Wicked This Way Comes Volume 2, story, which will be released later this spring. I’m really looking forward to working with Kelli.

I have yet to self-edit and submit the two books I finished last month. I just couldn’t bear to work on them anymore! Lol I had to put them away for a few weeks. I hope a little break from them will help me do a better job with the edits and fine details before a professional sees them…

I wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and hope a little extra love and fun come your way this week.


PS. Ellora’s Cave anthology “Something Wicked This Way Comes Volume 1” is available today in trade paperback. Check it out.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

LOL! I Guess I'll Have To Take Up Spamming...

Because no one is entering my Fran Lee's Valentine's Day Contest!

Sigh.  I swore that I would NOT SPAM and pester all my friends when I offered a contest, but it appears that one notice on every loop or blog is just not enough.  Of course, that must thrill the few who have entered, because they have a one-in-five chance of winning a HUGE Valentine's Day Gift Basket!

Most of us are on daily digest, and if you are like me, you scan over the digest or don't bother to scan at all if you have 150 e-mails in your inbox's.  My contest has been running since February 1st, and only five people have entered.  That means that the rest of my 4500-plus loop pals will miss out on a chance to win over $100 worth of great goodies!

Oh, well. It saves me loads of reading and reviewing loads of entries so I shouldn't gripe, I guess.  :P

'Nuff said about contests...I should now ask for your help with a big decision I need to make.  I am strongly considering self-publishing the books I recently got my rights back on.  One of them is my full-length novel, Dictated by Fate.  I shopped around for covers, have been reformatting them to fit a number of reader formats, etc. 

Now I need some reader feedback, since many of my wonderful author pals helped me think about the joys of self-publishing.  (LOL)

If you purchased my book, Dictated by Fate, or if you have seen the cover on the published book, please e-mail me at  and tell me what you thought of the cover/book.  I need honest feedback from readers.  Is the book worth re-releasing?  What did you love/hate about the book/cover?   The same goes for my other full-length novel, A Brief Moment of Pleasure.  I am looking for a great cover for that one, as well.  If any of you have purchased or have seen the cover on that one, I need your feedback.

The reviewers loved the books, but I want to hear from others.  So please let me know?


Fran Lee

PS...if you want to enter for my Valentine's Day Contest Gift Basket, it's over on my blog.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Almost Groundhog's Day!

This week has been great. I got lots of writing done and I’m close to finishing my second book this year. So far, I love the positive changes 2012 has brought my way.

Next week I have to start doing what Amber is doing today. I have to edit and it’s not my strong point. I have to dig into a 64k paranormal I finished several weeks ago and start polishing it up. After that I have to reopen and finish a 46k contemporary and edit and polish that one as well. I have to get these “finished” manuscripts actually finished and into someone else’s hands. If it were left to me I’d sit on a manuscript forever and nitpick over it.

I can’t wait to sub these books and start being able to talk about them. I’m dying to share them!

Does anyone else have a difficult time finishing work?