Spicing up the Holidays--Tis the Season for...
After enjoying delicious food on Thanksgiving, I’m more than ready for some eye candy. Okay, so I’m ready for eye candy any day, 364 days a year (with an extra yummy day each Leap Year). Face it, no calories, but a feast for the eyes. Fantasies can take flight without having to wait for boarding or suffer delays at the security-clearance areas. Here are some holiday delights of which you can have second—and third—peeks without putting on an ounce.


Santa, Baby, don’t worry about putting those presents down the chimney. Just bring yourself…I’ll take care of the midnight snack.



Eye Candy






What’s more delicious than any holiday buffet? A group of gorgeous men.


Christmas Spirit






Whisper what you really want …


Sexy Comments






I prefer this to finding any needle ….






Okay, Santa, you can leave your hat on …

GO TO FEEDINGTHEDESIRE.COM



And what did I find beneath my tree?

GO TO FEEDINGTHEDESIRE.COM



Now that you have my attention, what comes next?

GO TO FEEDINGTHEDESIRE.COM



Had to include a sexy cowboy – he’s in the spirit no matter what time of year. Horse? What horse? Grrr…..


Hot Sexy Man Comments



Wishing you happy holidays,

Shawna Moore
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED (Recommended Read) -- Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave

Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace
The Turkey Trot
Our family has a rather interesting Thanksgiving tradition - the Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is a 5K run on Thanksgiving morning. My husband has been doing this run for years, and when our boys were old enough to run a 5K we made it a family tradition. After the run, there's a big raffle - mountain bikes, gift cards to restuarants and spas, turkeys, some really neat stuff. Your raffle ticket is your runner's "bib" number. So when the race is over, our boys hang around the parking lot and ask people who are leaving for their bibs. That way, they have several numbers in the raffle.

After the race, we stop at a local restaurant for breakfast (the boys and my husband, I can't eat knowing what's to come). When we get home, I start cooking the Thanksgiving dinner and the boys might go outside to play basketball on our cul-de-sac, or we'll go outside and chat with the neighbors. If the weather's nice, which it probably will be tomorrow since it was about 70 degrees and sunny today, we might take a walk down to the beach or take our dog into the sand dunes.

We usually eat around 4:00, just the four of us, and my husband and I will have a glass of wine. Not sure what my husband will eat this year since he turned vegan last year after his angioplasty. Later we'll have pumpkin pie and the boys will use half the whipped cream on one slice of pie and spray the other half directly in their mouths, and my husband will yell at them. Then we might settle in and watch a movie.

And I won't feel too guilty since I started my day with a 3-mile Turkey Trot!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Excerpt Contest - Vote for favorite
Today we're having a mini-contest featuring short excerpts from three wonderful stories. Enjoy them all. If you'd like to choose your favorite, click on the link at the bottom to access our voting survey. Have fun!




Now that she held him between her thighs, she spread her arms wide without releasing her grip on the chain shirt. The metal mesh tore like paper, rivets popping and links flying in all directions. He laughed in delight and let his arms hang back so the sleeves fell away. The chain shirt was torn from neck nearly to the bottom edge, dangling below them, held only by a few inches of intact chain at the hem. The links were cold against her thighs.
She pulled apart the last few inches of chain mail. The shirt dropped into the clouds and vanished. His chest was muscular and hairless, his shoulders broad and his arms nearly as big around as Leah's thighs.
His skin was smooth and pebbled with the chill of high altitude, his nipples tiny but erect when she slid her fingers across them. He shivered and grinned before he pulled her into an open mouthed kiss.
She was surprised by Victor's kiss. She'd expected him to be all fierce urgency and frantic tongue action. Quite the opposite, his kiss was almost calm, his lips and tongue exploring her mouth carefully, thoroughly. It was the kiss of a man with experience, not a callow teenager.
In her experience, most men never just kissed her. They were thinking about what they were going to do next, or comparing her to other women, or otherwise weren't completely focused on the kiss. Victor wasn't like most men. He was entirely present, with nothing on his mind but enjoying this kiss, sucking all the juice from this moment.

http://gailroarke.blogspot.com/





Ryder parked the truck and turned to Callie. “If you’ve changed your mind Callie, now is the time to tell me. Because once we’re in the house, I don’t plan on stopping until I have you naked in bed.”
Callie pressed against him, her mouth assaulting his as her hand moved along his erection, her own body throbbing with need.
“Race you to the bedroom.” She whispered and jumped out the truck door.
Callie ran up the stairs. Ryder cursed behind her as he stumbled through the dark living room. She stopped at the landing, slipped her t-shirt off, and threw it to Ryder.
“I’m winning.” She taunted.
Ryder’s heavy footsteps echoed after her. Just as she reached for her bedroom door handle, Callie felt Ryder’s strong hands around her waist.
“We’ll see about that.” He spun her around so his back was against the door. Callie lost her breath as Ryder’s thumbs rubbed the underside of her breast and his teeth gently bit her earlobe. “What’s my prize for being the first one in?”
Ryder pulled her into the room. The sharp crunch of glass under his heels halted them.
“What the hell?” Ryder muttered.
Callie glanced around. Faint moon light streamed in through the room’s window, and created eerie shadows that danced across the floor and walls. Even in the limited light Callie could clearly see the room had been vandalized. Ryder flipped on the light. Above the bed in bright green paint were the words ‘Dempskey slut.

www.freewebs.com/lynceeshillard




“Don't you dare move or I'll blow your face off!” The kids’ voice raised an octave, making him sound more and more like… a girl.
Tension ran down Mace’s body as the boy started down the steps. At first he could see bare toes, then one slim calf, then another. His eyes flicked to the gun, then returned to the shapely naked thighs that couldn't belong to a kid -- especially not a boy. He certainly wasn’t into boys! Those smooth legs definitely belonged to a woman. And he couldn't wait to see the rest of her. So far, the view almost made it worth being held at gunpoint. Almost.
He was disappointed when an oversized t-shirt – was that Marmaduke on it? -- blocked his view of creamy flesh. His arms tired, his leg throbbed painfully, and his patience wore thin. But he still wasn't going to move, since he had no idea who this woman was descending the stairs. His curiosity piqued when she stepped down into the light, which reflected off her long, curly red hair and made her wide, green – glaring -- eyes sparkle and snap.
A twitch shot through his lower stomach and landed in his groin. It wasn't fear or pain that made him suck in his breath as he watched unrestricted breasts bob under the cotton shirt with each step she took. Her nipples were two beacons under the worn cotton. Jesus. He had to clear his throat twice before he could ask her, “Are you robbing this house, dressed like that?”

http://www.jeannestjames.com/






http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=EaDClQbkfALHI_2beuA6lniw_3d_3d





Thanks very much to our three fabulous participants! You all managed to intrigue me.
Carly
www.carlycarson.com
Kilted Lover Review From BookWenches

Hi, I wanted to share the great review I received recently for Kilted Lover from BookWenches.

Leslie Livingston is a fan of all things Scottish, so when she talks her boyfriend into dropping her off at the Scottish Games in Charleston while he goes golfing, she’s looking forward to a day watching the games and attending a Celtic rock concert. And if she ogles a man in a kilt or two? No harm in that, is there? She doesn’t expect to be accosted by thugs who want to steal the amulet she wears, and she certainly never anticipated being rescued from the purse-snatchers by a gorgeous and built caber-tosser dressed in workboots and a kilt. He tosses her over his shoulder as if she weighs nothing, and the chase is on. This would be exciting except that the muggers seem to be shooting at them.

Scott MacPherson is a construction contractor, not a policeman, but there is no way he is going to stand there and allow anyone to harm the red-haired freckle-faced beauty. Evading the thieves puts a bullet-hole in the dash of his truck, but he finally gets her to safety on his boat, and he plans to keep her there until he knows she’ll be safe.

Leslie’s relationship with her boyfriend is on the cool side of tepid, so she is surprised when passion flares so quickly and intensely between her and her rescuer. She finds a connection with Scott that goes beyond sexual, although the sex is certainly nothing to sniff at. Her plans to break off her relationship with her boyfriend and ride off with Scott into the sunset are foiled, however, when the thieves kidnap her boyfriend and hold him hostage in exchange for her necklace. What is it about this amulet that makes these people willing to kill for it? It’s going to take a miracle – or perhaps a bit of magic – to get them all out of this situation alive.

********

Let’s admit it, ladies…there are few things more irresistible than a strong man in a kilt. That and the promise of a little humor are certainly what inspired me to pick up Nicole North’s novella Kilted Lover. This is a light and sexy read with an element of danger to it that keeps the action moving, and I found reading it an agreeable way to spend a few hours.

In this story, Ms. North gives us a hero and a heroine who are both entertaining and sympathetic. Leslie strikes a humorous chord from the beginning with her reaction to Scott, all but drooling over him at the Scottish Games, wondering if he wears underwear under his kilt, and daydreaming about the correlation between the size of his hands and feet and that of his sexual equipment. Scott is strong and passionate and wears a kilt the traditional way, much to Leslie’s delight. And he is just plain nice as well. What else can you ask for in a man?

The love scenes between Leslie and Scott are passionate and playful. Leslie has always been a “good girl,” and Scott brings out the assertive temptress in her. He also encourages her to indulge her kinky side as they watch their exhibitionist neighbors, and they have sex on just about every surface of the boat Scott is staying on. The only thing that stands between these two is Leslie’s boyfriend Fletcher and the guilt they feel regarding him. Having been hurt in the past, Scott is reluctant to poach on what might be considered another man’s territory. He shows himself to have scruples instead of simply thinking with his little head.

Overall, I found this to be a cute and sexy story. Although the paranormal element felt like something of an afterthought, I still found reading Kilted Lover enjoyable. There is just something about a man in a kilt…too bad we don’t see many of them around these days.

--Bobby
Thanks!
And the winner is...
I betcha thought I forgot! Sorry for the delay -- I've been having scary computer problems. :(



The winner of a copy of Nameless Surrender is -- Armenia! Congrats! Your PDF copy is winging its way through cyber space to you!

I hope you enjoy it!
Kilted Lover Video in Contest
Hi, over at You Gotta Read Videos Kilted Lover is in a contest. Hope you'll watch the video and vote for it if you think it's good. It is entry #7 on the right side.
Thanks!! :)
Nicole
Giving Thanks
Time goes by so fast and life is so busy, that we often forget to thank the important people in our lives. At the risk of missing somebody (and I'm sure I will) this is my Thanksgiving week thank you post. In case I've forgotten to say it...

Thank you to my husband, who's been my biggest supporter for years before I made a sale and continues to celebrate my good news and give me hugs for the bad news, and puts up with my being holed up in my office for hours on end.

Thanks to my kids for being my loudest cheerleaders and giving me the inspiration to lead by example and show them they can achieve what they put their minds to.

I have more writing friends than I can mention and many of them have contributed to my career and my life, a few in no particular order, Juliet, Lacey, Rhonda, Mary Ann, Chell, and Tasha. I'm thankful for my local RWA chapter, Western NY Romance Writers - every one of these women has been an inspiration and I'm grateful for their support. The same with the Passionate Ink chapter, a wonderful group of women who share a love of romances that sizzle. And thank you to all the Romance Divas, a forum for romance writers that is the supportive and giving place a writer's group should be.

I'm so thankful for my editors, Laurie, Theresa, and Bree. You each have made my stories the best they can be with your comments and suggestions, your support and encouragement. I'm lucky to have each one of you. I'm grateful to write for three publishers, Samhain, Red Sage and Ellora's Cave. I hope all three will continue to keep me busy writing new stories for years to come.

And thank you to all the Fierce Romance authors. You are a wonderful group of writers and I enjoy every thoughtful, fun, and eye-catching post that runs on this blog.


I want to thank all the wonderful writers out there who wisk me away from the stresses of life and let me experience life and love along with your characters. Life would be dreary without you.

And last, but in no way least, I want to thank all the readers out there. The ones who shoot me a note letting me know you've loved my stories, and the ones who don't say a thing but continue to buy and enjoy my stories. I wouldn't be here without you.


Happy Thanksgiving!
Natasha
www.natashamoore.com
Boobies, Boobies, BOOBIES!
I had initially planned to post about the male of the species (or the male species, as some would claim), and that would have been timely, as today a copy of one of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (read about it here) was found in someone's bathroom in England. However, that post will have to wait. I decided to change things up a bit because...

A-- I need to post this fast because I want to spend time going through the books in my bathroom to see if there might be a first edition of Edgar Allan Poe or Sir Walter Scott just lying around that I can sell for a zillion dollars and...

B--(as in boobies) I had a mammogram on Friday and it got me to thinking, and you know what happens when Cameo starts thinking. Heh heh heh.


I guess in a way this does relate to my original post about men and women, since women are born with boobies and men seem to love them, even though they have a perfectly functional set of their own. The timing of my annual mam just so happened to coincide with a the announcement that a panel somewhere came to the conclusion that women don't need regular mammograms until age 50. I will not get into the politics or any of the discussions around this announcement because that's not what this post is about, but suffice it to say, I had it on my mind when I walked into the imaging center. That and how much our breasts are a part of who we are, whether they stay with us forever or not, and hence a part of who our characters are.

I've made a point to give my heroines different breast sizes and shapes (as well as body types), just as I've made it a point to give my heroes different kinds of chests, from muscular to hairy to smooth or a combination of these. Professor Rumani Gladstone's breasts are long with pointy nipples. Lilly Gillingham's are round and full with large nipples, while Gracie, my latest heroine who will join the others in January, has small breasts with more musculature because she works out.

I do this because I have learned over the course of many years that most men, though modern media may purport otherwise, simply like boobies of all kinds, not just the huge jugs of silicon our young women see held up as a standard in TV, print, and film. I'm a nudist, and we know these things (we're all just nature nymphs, don't ya know?). Also, I do my research, by which I mean I talk to men. They tell me all kinds of secrets (I feed them popcorn and beer--works every time). I also know such Man secrets like, no matter how much you weigh, even if it's seven hundred pounds, guys prefer it if you tuck your shirt so they can see your waistline, even if said waistline is virtually non-existent. It's the illusion of it that turns them on. Many of them are also turned on by women who have had mastectomies, even though their bodies may appear different. There's just something sexy about a woman strong enough to face cancer so bravely, and a strong woman can be a real turn on, especially if she believes she's sexy. But I digress.

As I floated through the whole experience, which is always sort of surreal to me (or maybe I'm just high on estrogen), I took mental notes I thought might be useful to share, especially for those who don't like getting mammograms or have never had one. In an effort to save more time (I think I might have a limited edition Charles Dickens in the downstairs bathroom, now that I think of it), I'm going to list them briefly.

Even though mammograms can pinch and pull and be generally uncomfortable, I found myself rather enjoying the experience as well as learning from it, and here's why.

1. I discovered that my breasts can be lifted and squashed into some very unusual shapes. Odd, but nice to know. This I will file away with the knowledge that if I lift my breast I can actually touch it to my lips (my husband dared me once--I won, and, yes, liquor was involved...so was a lot of laughter). BTW, this can be a fun game at wedding showers. Baby showers even more so!

2. I also discovered that you should tell your technician if your breasts/nipples itch. There's a certain kind of cancer that this can be a symptom of, so they need to know that so the doctor can discern whether you have dry skin or something else going on.

3. I was reminded that monthly self-exams are important, and also reminded that if you're a hypochondriac like me and feel upwards of 39 lumps at a go, you can have your significant other do the honors during love play, which takes the weight off your shoulders and puts it squarely in the palm of his hand. Literally.

4. I have to admit I felt the urge to laugh when the technician asked me to hold my right breast out of the way as she tried to place my left breast on the booby-holder thingy (I have no idea what it's called). It kept trying to squeeze in there with its sister, even though they sometimes have a sort of sibling rivalry due to one being slightly larger than the other (many women's breasts are like this). My breasts can be quite ornery, but that day they were rather charming to each other. It was a special moment.

5. I was overjoyed because at the end of the procedure, the technician actually complemented my musculature from what she saw on the films. I work out in a desperate effort to remain as healthy as possible, and it was nice to know that something is actually getting stronger instead of weaker. Woo-hoo!

6. I realized that I can use this to my advantage to get some sympathy. Really. When I got home, my hubby asked how it went and I sighed heavily, describing in great detail how sore my boobies were, even though the technician tried to handle them with great care. Being the great husband he is, he offered to kiss them and make them better. I gladly accepted the offer. That also became a special moment.

7. I also realized, in all seriousness and in this week of the American Thanksgiving holiday, I am truly thankful that I can get a mammogram as my doctor recommends. I promised my mother I would before she died, and it's important to keep promises, especially when they were made to save a life.

And on that note, I'm off to search for Twain in my toilet. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nameless Surrender is a Finalist! Plus a GIVEAWAY!
I'm thrilled to announce that Nameless Surrender is a finalist in the Contemporary Erotic Romance category of EPIC's 2010 E-Book Competition!


In celebration, I'll be giving away a PDF copy to one lucky commenter! It's that simple! Just leave a comment, and you'll automatically be entered to win.


I loved writing this story. When I wrote it, I was very much a newbie (still am, really!). The time frame to complete it was fairly short, just eight weeks I think it was, yet somehow I discovered my writing voice along the way. It was the first time I truly let everything go and had fun with what I was doing. You know, kind of a "To hell with what's hot right now, I'm going to write what I like to read" type thing. Besides, the idea of a woman (or a man) giving up complete control, if only for a little while, is so completely intriguing to me.

I feel so honored to be among an amazing group of finalists in the Contemporary Erotic Romance category. Congratulations to all of us!


~~~*~~~

No names. No words. Just sex.

After months of blindfolds and secrets, after countless encounters without a single word spoken, Dean Lucas knows what his mysterious partner at the adult-only club Entice wants and gives her everything she physically desires. But now he hungers for more than just her body. He craves her heart, too.

Zoe Grant has finally found a way to let go of past betrayals, a way to sate her long-hidden desires. And the fact she doesn’t know the man’s name, has never seen his face, suits her just fine.

But when the two are unknowingly brought together outside their mutual comfort zone, will Zoe be able to set aside her past and surrender her trust once again? And can Dean convince Zoe, nameless or not, that love knows no bounds?



Here's what reviewers are saying:

~~~*~~~

5 Cherries From Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews!

She wants nameless, voiceless sex. Get off and get out. He’s pleased to give her all her heart desires, until his own heart gets in the way. Now he’s finished with the Nameless Surrender and ready to find out who belongs to the body that’s haunting his dreams.

Ms. Daniels writes a compelling novella. Her characters are realistic and their actions completely believable. Even the rationales are interesting. You want the story to work out with a happy ending and are riveted until the very end.


The reader can identify with Dr. Zoe Grant’s struggle. Burned by her first husband, she’s afraid to give her heart again. To relieve her baser desires, she submits to a Dom at a local club. Nameless and voiceless. And darn sexy. Her requests, in combination with Ms. Daniel’s writing, make the love scenes more than words on the page – they become sensory overload.

Dean makes a great hero. For all his good intentions, he still proves he’s human. That draws the reader to him. You want to help him succeed. Then again, the tall, dominant feature is pretty sexy too. The reader can almost feel his wicked hands in each love scene. I rooted for him to gain his heart’s desires.

If you want a sexy short story guaranteed to warm any cool night, then this is the novella for you. I give Nameless Surrender 5 cherries.

-- Tiger Lily, Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews

~~~*~~~

4 1/2 Rating from The Romance Readers Connection

Woah, smokin’! Got your frosted mug of ice water ready? Got those asbestos gloves handy? Dean and Zoe are going to steam up your day. The fires these two create are so hot, you’d melt glass. I’ve almost always enjoyed the quality of book produced from the Red Sage publishing group and this story is no exception.

Dr. Zoe Grant has gone through a lot in the last few years of her life. Newly divorced and a doctor at a local hospital, she has enough responsibilities in her life. So when she joins an exclusive club called ENTICE, she gets what she wants sexually…lost control. No words, no relationship, just exclusive hot sex. S.W.A.T team leader Dean Lucas is a no strings attached guy. So when confronted with the opportunity to control a beautiful woman sexually, he finds it the perfect arrangement. Except that after months of sex, he cannot help but to want more with his nameless partner.

These two characters are fully developed and great to read about. In the limited space, there is a plot and relationship developed. Besides, these two are just hot! A real page turner, I was sorry to see it end. Be sure to pick this one up, just be careful and make sure you’ve got something nearby to cool you down…like a cold shower!

Sarah Silversmith, Romance Readers Connection

~~~*~~~

Winners will be announced in March, 2010 at the EPIC Convention in New Orleans. Hope to see you there! And don't forget to leave a comment to win your own copy!

1 Minute of Sexy Men
In conjunction with People's Sexiest Man Alive announcement (Johnny Depp for the second time), they also released their 100 Sexy Men in One Minute video. Wow! It's really hard to identify them all, especially the ones that flash by so quickly. Of course, up front and center we have Bradley Cooper, George Clooney (never one of my favorites), Gerard Butler, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Zac Efron, Brad Pitt (don't like him much anymore either), Colin is it Farrell?, Jake Gyllenhall, one of my personal faves David Beckham (just saw the L.A. Galaxy win the Western Regional Conference last weekend to make the MLS playoffs!), and I spotted a few Dancing With the Stars hotties - Maks C. and Mark Ballas, along with the boys from Twilight, Jason and Eric from TrueBlood, and two of my favorite country singers Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. I noticed both of the guys from Harold and Kumar - Kal Penn and...Harold. Denzel Washington was in there as well as Matt Damon, the Spanish actor, Javier Bardem, Mario Lopez (mmm), Chris Rock, Daniel Craig, Robert Downey Jr., that English actor in that movie with Keira Knightly(?), and Prince Harry (who has actually turned out much better looking than his older brother, who I used to think was better looking). I also caught sight of Adrian Granier(?) from Entourage, the guy from House (who I remember from the live-action movie 101 Dalmations), Jon Stewart (really?), Mark Wahlberg, Jamie Foxx, David Something the American Idol winner from a few years back, Demi Moore's husband, was that the Jonas Brothers? I'm sure Gilles Marini must be in there somewhere, but I can't spot him yet.

I've watched it several times to see how many I can identify. Some I recognize their faces, but I don't know who they are, especially the younger guys. I got about 35 of them or 1/3, which isn't too bad.

Anyway, take a look. Can you name any more? Who did I miss? Any obvious ones? I guess I'll just have to keep watching it over and over and over...

Guest Author: Ava Rose Johnson
Happy Wednesday everybody at the Fierce Romance blog! Today, I'm taking the reins from Anne Rainey (an oh-so-talented author) and I'll be chatting to you about a subject that has fascinated me for a long time, even before I delved into the murky, sexy, thrilling waters of writing erotic romance.

Sex with the boss.

Now I'm the first person to put my hand up and admit it - I'm attracted to a man with power. He can be the managing director of a multi-billion dollar company or he can simply be the guy down the street wielding a chain-saw. It's the girl in me, the old-fashioned lady who goes weak at the knees in the face of raw masculinity. And considering how many readers go buttery for alpha males, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone :)

But lordy, it does cause some problems, doesn't it? Especially in the work environment. I've been employed in a few offices over the years and once or twice I've been blessed (or cursed as the case may be) with a rather dashing boss.

It's silly really. But a man with a bit of power makes me blush, stutter and melt into a puddle of liquid desire (sorry, was that a little purple-prosey?) :) And if the feeling is ever reciprocated, things can get very messy. We're talking sexual tension to the highest level. It's forbidden, it's exciting and it has to be kept secret.

Anyway, the truth is that in the end all of my hunky bosses have been gay, married or horrible people so I've never had the opportunity to play out one of my oldest fantasies.

But I did get the opportunity to write it :) (see how nicely that led in? It was a coincidence, honest!!!)

Photobucket


Getting Hers, releases today from Ellora's Cave and is a hot story about two people who find love in the office. I had so much fun writing it--Parker and Melanie's chemistry sparked off the page for me.

Here's a quick blurb:

Parker Stevens has one golden rule—never mix business with pleasure. But when Melanie, his curvaceous secretary whose sultry red lips turn him to stone, announces she’s leaving him, he’s finally free to claim what he’s craved since she first sashayed into his office six years ago.

Melanie’s been in love with her charismatic boss since the beginning, and when a sudden blackout traps them in an elevator together, fantasy finally becomes reality. Parker brings her darkest desires to the fore, driving her from climax to climax. How on earth can she leave him now?


To buy/read an excerpt, visit: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-7793-50-getting-hers.aspx

And also, don't forget to enter my contest this month. For a chance to win a goodie bag, visit http://avarosejohnson.com/contest/

Thanks to the ladies of Fierce Romance for having me here today, I had a blast.

Enjoy the rest of your week!!!

Ava

http://www.avarosejohnson.com
Second Chances at Love
Recently I’ve been pondering the profound effect a loving relationship with a great guy has on a woman's life. Every day demands are aplenty, and sometimes it seems life’s pleasures are waning. But we find we can always rely on the love of our significant other to provide moments of bliss and romantic escapism. Moments on which we cannot put a price but which gain more romantic interest in our hearts with every passing minute. When we find ourselves separated from our heroes and hunks for even a day, the desire for a re-connection becomes quite intense. We miss their delicious kisses, comforting words and the role they play in planning a life together. Though we know we’ll usually see them within a span of eight or so hours, what about the times life necessitates a longer-term separation? Times when we have no choice in the matter? Our careers, family or other circumstances may find us miles away from the one with whom we’re romantically involved. When this happens, we tap into the love stored in our hearts and practice patience knowing the reconciliation will find the loving feelings stronger than ever.

The heroine in my paranormal erotica romance novella, HELLE IN HEELS, is dealt a far more devastating blow in regard to her romance. Helle Hawthorn, the Devil’s daughter, finds herself banished from Hell. Though she’s never been one to allow even Satan to dictate her path in an otherworldly life, she’s forced to use her wits and intelligence to mastermind a way out of a dismal situation. Daddy Devil threatens to unleash his ultimate wrath on Earth if she fails to meet his demand within a certain timeframe. Once she escapes Hades and emerges in Sin City, Helle is faced with many setbacks and temptations—among them handsome men. Since she’s reconciled herself to the fact she’ll never see her former lover again, she decides to bring her own brand of pleasure and a healing touch to The Strip—one man, one massage at a time. She finds herself unable to forget Menlikus, but she also knows her survival, and the survival of her friends, depends on them keeping their cover as the owners and operators of a day spa for men. Helle indulges some fantasies with a few of Las Vegas’ finest, including a sexy stranger who listens as well as he makes love. Despite being able to satisfy some carnal cravings, Helle finds it impossible to forget Menlikus, and she finds herself measuring other men’s efforts against memories of times spent with him. In the sequel, TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN, Hellé and Menlikus are reunited but I'll not divulge whether or not they overcome the obstacles placed in their paths--some of which may prove fatal.



Click here for more information

Click here for a steamy excerpt and to watch the video



Click here for more information

Click here for a steamy excerpt


Confession time, readers. If you were almost 100% certain you’d never be reunited with your significant other, the love of your life, how easily would you make the transition to romance with another? Do you believe in second chances at love?


Wishing you all many happy reading moments,



Shawna Moore
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED (Recommended Read) -- Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
Shawna's Myspace
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Angela Johnson and her Vow of Seduction

Today, we're happy to have historical romance author Angela Johnson as our guest!

Angela Johnson earned a BA degree in history from Washburn University of Topeka in 1999. Upon graduating she combined her favorite subjects—history and romance—and began crafting her first medieval romance novel. Angela then entered this work into national RWA-sponsored writing contests where she either won, or placed, in four of the contests. These achievements led to her novel being read by industry editors and she was soon offered a two-book contract with Kensington Publishing. Vow of Seduction is in bookstores now. A full-time writer, Angela lives in Kansas, with Joe, her very own hero of twenty-one years.


Please tell us about your latest release. Do you have a review you could share with us?

Nicole, thank you so much for inviting me to talk about my debut medieval romance, VOW OF SEDUCTION, which was released on October 6, 2009.

In VOW OF SEDUCTION, Sir Alex de Beaumont, loyal crusader knight of Edward I, returns home to England bent on seduction—of the wife he never wanted, but one he now desperately craves. Lady Katherine, on the other hand, has no desire to reconcile with the heartless rogue who rejected her love. But when an enemy determined to destroy them both closes in, Alex must risk everything for the one woman whose love he wants forever.

“Debut author Angela Johnson's VOW OF SEDUCTION weaves a powerful tale of lost love, betrayal, seduction and determination. Readers will be ensnared by this endearing tale of love.” Full review at Freshfiction.com: http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=24763


Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.

The heroine, Lady Katherine, or Kat as she insists, is without a doubt my favorite character. She is brazen, strong-willed and stubborn. She's also an excellent match for the hero, Alex, who is so irresistibly sexy and determined. `Tis no wonder the sparks fly almost from page one when these two reunite. Much like myself, Kat is strong in many ways, yet has hidden vulnerabilities. I can relate to her, so I guess that's the main reason why she's my favorite character.

What element of story creation is your favorite?


Okay, Mother, I apologize beforehand, in case you happen to read this, but my favorite element of story creation is writing love scenes. Though it comes more naturally than other elements, there is always the challenge in every scene of striking the right balance between sexual tension and emotion.

Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?


Yes. If you get the chance, join a local or regional writer's group. The best career decision I ever made was to join my local writer’s group....Kansas Writer's Inc....(KWI). It’s important to surround yourself with people who support, motivate, and encourage you through good times and bad; through triumphs and tribulations. Writer's groups also offer education and networking opportunities too. And, they serve as a natural resource for finding good critique partners. I doubt I would be published today, without the help of my amazingly talented and wonderfully supportive critique partners. And finally, don't forget to believe in yourself. It all starts there.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

When I was in my thirties. I'd just graduated from college with a degree in History and was trying to figure out what to do with the darn thing, when one day my husband said, “You love history and reading romance, why don't you combine the two and make a career of it?” “Write my own historical romance?” I responded, stupefied. I was skeptical because I'd never considered myself to be creative. But, once Joe planted that seed, ideas for stories began to grow until I had one that clamored to be written. So I began to write it, and VOW OF SEDUCTION is the result. Ironically, the creative aspect of writing is what I love most about my chosen career. It's a great feeling to sit back after writing a particularly satisfying scene, smile, and wonder..."Did I really write that?" Now, I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

What’s next for you?


I am in the final days of writing the sequel to VOW OF SEDUCTION, which is currently untitled, and has a release date in October 2010. Afterward, I'm going to start writing a Regency-set historical romance trilogy. This series will cover the lives of three best friends, who are all forced to marry because they are caught up in scandalous situations. I can't wait to get started.


Thanks so much for being our guest today, Angela!!
Find Angela at her website: http://www.angelajohnsonauthor.com
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Match-maker, Match-maker, Make Me a Match
...find me a find, catch me a catch! Remember that song from Fiddler on the Roof? I thought of it the other night because Hubby and I rented the movie Emma, which is based on the novel by Jane Austen and charts the misadventures of a well-intentioned, albeit misguided, rich young woman's match-making attempts that go horribly wrong at almost every turn. Though not a huge fan, I like an Austen story now and again, and, quite honestly, we were running out of decent movies to rent. Some of them are real stinkers, if you know what I mean, and we're down to the dollar racks. We watched it, or rather, I watched it while he dozed through it, and it got me to thinking about match-making. About my match-making attempts actually, and, well, yours.

Oh, what, you don't think YOU are a match-maker?

Ha HA, dear comrades in writing, guess again. We're all match-makers, if you think about it, and in more ways than one, too. We're in the business of making matches in literary heaven, and sometimes hell (at least in my latest release lol). What are your match-making stories? Come on! I know you have a few. There's a story behind every couple, or non-couple if the match doesn't work. I once heard that the original pairings planned on Friends did not include Chandler and Monica, but Monica and Joey. Apparently, Troy and Gabriella weren't supposed to end up together in High School Musical either, but with other characters.

Writers are truly a vital link the love/lust connection, especially in erotic romance and romance, where our job is to find our hero/heroine a perfect mate. I think that it's much harder than it sounds sometimes. For example, I confess that one of my greatest regrets is that I probably will never be able to create a match for Vektor Schloss, one of my favorite bad girls who makes her appearance in Disappear. Who would I match her up with? I mean, she's a cannibal, and that could make for some really awkward dinner dates (Wait, you can't eat the wai--oh, no! Now who's gonna serve my dinner?).

However, on the bright side, I helped Lilly and Beau from A Stranger's Desire get it together even though they met under most unusual circumstances--their first, um, date happened in a closet in a funeral parlor. Also, I made sure Professor Rumani Gladstone got enough quality time with hunky cowboy Randy Stide to overcome her fear of relationships (with a little passionate tango and rumba thrown in for good measure), and in my Dragon Song series, each heroine--Sahwen, Merigone, and Emerson--finds the man of her dreams...he just happens to be a dragon shifter with a secret. In my newest release, which will be out in January, a logical police detective finds her true mate in the guise of a demon she thinks is a hallucination from a head injury. They have some obstacles to overcome before the HEA takes place, but, hey, who said it would be easy?

In real life, I'm no Emma. I would never even attempt to try to match people up, but I've had a few well-meaning Emma types, including my own mother, try to help me find true love. None of their attempts worked, to say the least. As a matter of fact, a few ended in disaster (details in my tell-all memoir). I had a friend who once considered hiring a professional match-maker because her own attempts had failed for years. However, just before she put the call in to the woman, she met the man who is now her husband, and they are blissfully happy. So, are we ruining our characters' chances at happiness by introducing them? I say no. After all, who will if we don't?

So, what about it? Anyone have any interesting match-making stories to share, either from their books or real life? Please do tell!

And happy match-making!
Pretty in Comfort
We’re coming into the holiday season, and that means parties and dances and all kinds of festivities abound. Oh, what to wear, what to wear?

THAT is a question, isn't it? For both us and our characters.

I’m writing this post because I had the distinct pleasure of chaperoning a dance for teens a while back, and watching them struggle with their finery always makes me think about clothing trends and about dressing my characters. Sometimes, I think it’s easier for some writers, me included, to dress the heroine than to dress herself. One nice aspect of being a writer is that your characters can get by with outfits you never could without being arrested. For example, Lorelei, my reluctant warrior witch in Disappear, sports nothing but a strap wrapped around her thighs, torso, and chest, which leaves pretty much everything exposed. Then why wear it? Why, because she can!

I like to have fun with my characters' outfits, when they’re actually clothed. Since I’m a nudist and pretty much despise most clothing, the humans and creatures populating my stories spend as much time naked--or is it nekked?--as possible. However, I have a penchant for pretty dresses, so when the opportunity arises, my heroines get to wear dresses I can’t for various reasons. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t just use my characters as mannequins for my taffeta whims or so I can live vicariously and fashionably through them.

Sometimes I feel like a fashion designer who puts energy and effort into a fall clothing line. Hmm, let’s see...I need something functional, professional, and pretty for the police detective, something risqué and vampish for the demon’s sister, and a special blue bikini that makes men weep, or at least makes a part of their anatomy the same color as the swimsuit, for the woman trying to seduce her dead husband’s killer for revenge. Can’t forget the professor with the fine junk in her trunk—gotta give her great pants to wear—or the woman posing as a sex doll who needs something in a nice heat-resistant mesh. Oh, and what kind of wedding dress does one wear to marry a vampire king?

See what I mean? So many characters to clothe, and their clothing has to reflect their personalities. It’s quite a job, but I enjoy it, and while my preferred mode of dress is undress, I also enjoy being a girl and wearing pretty things. To dress up is to transform, and that lets me be quite creative. There is an art to it, though, as I was reminded when I watched dozens of teen girls pulling and tugging, shifting and grimacing in discomfort, removing shoes and maneuvering around in skirts too long for them. All this in the name of beauty and to the sacrifice of fun.

Yep, for me dressing up is almost a science, and I’m not talking about the kind of science used to keep the glamorous starlets looking perfect at the Oscars, like spray tans, pasties, and special girdles. I’m talking about the science of comfort. I may not be the prettiest belle at the ball, but I’m certainly the comfiest. Having attended special occasion dances for ballroom dance events for years, I’ve learned some secrets that not only make life easier, but help prevent letting the wrong attire ruin a perfectly good opportunity to enjoy good friends and good times, and a little romance. Secrets are meant to be shared, so here’s Cameo Brown’s Nudist Tips for Dressing for the Holidays:

1. Wear something you like, but only for the right reasons. Pretty dresses are like handsome men. Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you—the man or the dress. Dresses are also like perfume. You have to try them on and see how they work with your own personal uniqueness.

2. Find a dress that FITS. Not SORT OF FITS or ALMOST FITS (no, you will not lose weight before the event, so don’t even deceive yourself), but one that FITS FITS. Nothing looks more unattractive than a young lady (or old lady like me) tugging at various parts of her ensemble, and nothing is more frustrating to an escort than standing outside the bathroom all evening or sitting alone at the table while his date adjusts, readjusts, and adjusts again. Remember, while you’re trying to tuck your titties back into your top, some chick with a dress that fits may be scoping your date, or ex-date as the poor beleaguered sap may end up.

3. Another key component to picking a dress is to remember to pick one that highlights your assets. Hiding your flaws is a negative way to think, though that’s our first instinct. Gotta minimize the big butt. Gotta hide the tummy. Gotta cover the wrinkles on my neck. Gotta boost the saggy bosom. I see many larger size women dressing in blousy dresses to hide their curves, and all that does is make them look larger (I used to do this all the time, so I know that of which I speak). I also have seen really skinny women who wear skintight dresses just because they can, and that’s not a good idea either. They look like silk covered bones, because it only enhances their lack of girth. Another component of this is color--don't go with what's hot this season if it clashes with YOUR season. Are you a summer on the beauty wheel? Then go for those colors that complement the summer skin tone, even if lime green velvet is h-o-t this year. The right color can make all the difference, and let's face it, whatever color works for you is the "new black."

4. I don't want to scare anyone here, but did you know that picking the wrong dress can lead to regrettable sex? Really. If your chosen outfit forces you to wear a variety of special undergarments just to keep everything in place, it guarantees you will spend the evening thinking more about the most opportune moment to get your clothes off than anything else, and thus probably be more relieved than you should be when your date invites you to after party activities. How many women have had sex just to get out of being trussed up in an ill-fitting get-up?*raises hand and looks around sheepishly*

5. Choose your bra carefully, and don’t be afraid to consider not wearing one. Some dress styles allow it; some do not. Consider your bust size and the style of your outfit, as well as your planned activities. Also consider the several different types of brassieres on the market today (which is an entirely different post). The wrong bra can be not only uncomfortable, but bad for breast health as well. I know women who wore the wrong bra size for years, suffering terrible discomfort when they didn’t need to. Most department stores, if you inquire, will have a sales associate who can help measure your bra size, and there are numerous methods available online. Remember properly, er, wrangled titties are happy titties.

6. Shoes—these are so important! First, don’t spend money on shoes you’ll want to remove five minutes after you arrive. And if you do, resist the urge to take them off right away. Nothing screams "skank" (as the teens say) louder than a girl barefoot in a cocktail dress, especially if her top is falling down (see #2 above). Now, toward the end of the evening, losing the shoes as you romp delightfully in a fountain with your handsome date is acceptable. However, tossing the togs three minutes after setting foot in the door is a no-no. Heels don't have to be uncomfortable. Getting not only the right size, but the right height is vital to the perfect shoe. Few women can wear 3-inch heels for any length of time, and one must remember that the height of the heel changes the length of the skirt. Throwing on 3-inchers at the last minute can hike that short skirt up from "Wow!" to "Yikes!" and taking them off can drop your dress from darling to droopy.

7. Finally, if you are going for a little sexy, show some cleavage OR show your legs, but never do both at once. Every dance I go to, I decide up front--cleavage or legs. Wearing something that offers a glimpse of both can overwhelm. You're not going for shock and awe, just aaaaaah.

There are many more, but I have to sign off for now. Just had to share, and I hope you will to. Any dress-up tips out there? I'd love to hear them, especially if I can use them to doll up my characters or myself for the coming holidays.
PS Tip #8--lace and a hunk are always great accessories! See the picture at the top of this post.
Fly the Friendly Skies
I thought I'd share a few stories culled from the vast trove (which means the few I can remember) of my husband’s extensive airline travels.

Do you prefer the porn star or the threesome?

I should mention that DH frequently travels in first class due to upgrades, etc. So that’s where he sat across the aisle from an engaged couple discussing one of their wedding gifts. Hubby said the woman was a knockout blonde. Turns out she was an identical twin and the wedding gift to her fiancée was, you guessed it, a threesome with her generous sis. Yes, I do think the rich are different.

He knows people wherever he goes. But I was surprised when we flew home from London last month and he was chatting with one of the flight attendants. I asked how he knew her and he said for some reason she’s always on the flight when he travels to London. I knew he was acquainted with plenty of attendants on his regular routes in the US, but international flights as well? Good thing I trust him.

We certainly do not buy first class tickets when traveling personally. So dh was all excited a couple years ago when he went to a business dinner and won the door prize – two first class tickets on Virgin Atlantic to London. Nice prize, huh? He actually called me from the dinner to tell me about it.

The euphoria lasted until they handed him the fine print on the way out the door. We’d have to pay income taxes, both state and federal, on the prize, and Virgin Atlantic had valued the tickets at $16,000! So our “free” tickets would cost us at least $6,000 in taxes. Some deal. We never redeemed them, and I couldn’t help wondering how much free advertising Virgin Atlantic got by “donating” those tickets again and again. The only people who could use them would be people who wouldn’t owe income taxes, and how likely were they to be at a business dinner?

All three of the pictures on this blog are from the same airport. Can anyone identify it? (This photo is the airport after a blizzard.) We landed here once in a terrible blizzard. After circling forever, the plane finally hit the runway, skidded, and traveled for a looooooong time. I remember wishing it would just hit a snowbank and stop. Dumb. Luckily for me, at least I didn’t know we were traveling sideways. I saw the runway lights, but as my husband pointed out, we weren’t supposed to be facing them. A large football player with a Super Bowl ring was sitting with us and my husband said he thought the guy was going to crush the arm rest. Yeah, you could have heard a pin drop in the cabin when that plane was landing. Then a big cheer when we finally stopped. Then the pilot came on and said, “Well, after that interesting landing, they've closed this airport. So if this wasn’t your final destination, it is now.”

I did find a romance hero on an airplane flight. For some reason, the copilot was standing at the front of the cabin. He looked like Christopher Reeve back when he was Superman. Except better. So my dd, who was about 14, said to the flight attendant, "That pilot is SO hot!" The attendant walked right up to the pilot and told him. The cute part was, he turned bright red. I couldn’t believe it. He had to have women swarming him wherever he went. But it didn’t seem to have inflated his ego. Definitely romance material. And, free tip, my kids ended up with some goodies from the airline.

Writing this blog is bringing many more odd stories to mind. But let me end with this one. DH was in a very crowded airport in Florida. He said there was a porn star swanning around, with men gawking at her, asking for her autograph (huh?) and basically following her wherever she went. I wondered how he knew her “profession”. He described her (in great detail) and said it was more than obvious.

So it was lunchtime and DH sat down with a man he didn’t know at a table in a crowded restaurant and they started talking. In walks the porn star. The other man stands up and announces he’s going to invite her to lunch. He marches over to her, says a few words, and the next thing hubby knows, they are all eating lunch together. At the end of which, my husband knew her life story (or at least that’s his story and he is sticking with it).

So my first thought, of course, was how to spin a tale and here’s what I started with: While Carly Carson was driving their three kids through a raging blizzard in the mountains of Vermont, her loving husband was dining with a porn star in Orlando.

What do you think? Catchy opener? (It happens to be true.)



Highland Games
I went to a local Highland Games on Saturday and I'm sharing some of the pics.
There are always lots of great pipes and drums bands.


New this year. Highland cows!! I love them. They're so cute with the long shaggy hair.


An adorable miniature goat masquerading as a dog.


The local warriors with their swords.

Caber tossing! I must watch for research purposes. The hero of my latest release, Kilted Lover, tosses cabers as a hobby.




Thanks for checking out my pics!!

Nicole North

Clash of the Covers!!
Embrace the Shadows, a blog by authors Suzanne Rock, Barbara J. Hancock and Dawn McClure, holds a weekly Cover Clash, pitting three covers against each other to be voted on by readers. I was notified that the cover for my new release, The Better to Eat You With, is up for best cover this week!



I'm thrilled that my cover was chosen! It is an awesome cover, and my editor at Red Sage worked hard to make sure we had the best cover for the story. Red Sage's art department came up with a perfect big, bad Wolfe cover.

But, OMG! I'm up against Lauren Dane and Christine Feehan!!!!

So if you get a chance, would you go over to Embrace the Shadows and check out the three gorgeous covers chosen for the Cover Clash, and vote for The Better to Eat You With.

As a little incentive, I'll give you another excerpt:

He skimmed a finger along her ribcage and traced a circle around her breast. “We were good together, weren’t we?”

The shivers just one finger sent through her body reminded her of just how great they had been together. “Think we can still be that good?”

He raised his eyebrows and grinned the cocky smile that had hooked her the first time she’d seen it. “Are you kidding? We can be even better.”

A shiver of anticipation sent goose bumps dancing along her skin. She slid her hand into his and led him through her cozy living room and the never-used dining room, to the small bedroom in the back corner of the cottage.

Elise had indulged in her love of white lace after her husband died, covering the bed and window with yards of it. There’d never been a man in here in all that time. She thought Wolfe would look out of place here with his dark hair and faded blue jeans, but he seemed to fit right in, and in that moment she wondered if she was making a mistake.

She turned away from him and closed the door against the doubts and worries. It was too late now for second thoughts. Wolfe reached around her and turned the lock, a completely unnecessary gesture except for the symbolism. He was clearly telling her that there was no escape. Then he crossed the room to the window and closed the blinds. He’d turned her bedroom into a shadowed den. Somehow she’d lost control of the situation.

Had she ever had control?

He came up behind her and lifted her heavy hair off her neck. “Your hair is still the color of fire.” He ran his lips along the curve of her throat and she wanted to cry from the memories he brought rushing back. “Mmm,” he murmured, his breath whispering across her skin. “I always loved the way you smelled, like sunshine and lavender.”

Elise turned around and slid into his embrace. She breathed him in and tried not to listen to the charming words that rained from his mouth.

“That feels good,” she couldn’t stop from saying. “You always made me feel good.”

“I’m glad.” He ran his hands up her bare back, tracing a line of shivers along her skin. “That’s all I ever wanted to do.”

Really? Then why did you leave me with a broken heart?


Stop over at Embrace the Shadows and vote for your favorite cover!

Natasha
www.natashamoore.com
Where Do You Like To Be Touched?
First, on this fine Sunday afternoon, let me just say that I appreciate the notes of concern I've gotten about Leonidas. After PJ (Pericles, Jr.) disappeared, I wasn't sure if he'd recover, but he seems fine, for a spider. He might have even eaten PJ, but I didn't see any evidence of it in his web, because if I had, I would have definitely given him the tongue lashing of his little spider life (No eating your friends, do you hear me!?! What will the neighbors think?). I just think PJ decided to move on to bigger and better bathroom sinks. His timing sucks, though. We are now into the "plague of the ladybugs" time of year, and he's missing the opportunity of a lifetime.
Anyway, back to touching. I like it. I like it a lot, so subsequently my characters fondle, feel, caress, stroke, etc., quite a bit. However, that kind of touching is not what I'm blogging about today. No, I want to know how you like to be touched as a reader. How do you want that book you paid good money for to make you feel after you've finished it? What part of you do you want to vibrate with satisfaction?
I ask this because I've been helping a friend out reading manuscripts, and to do this, I have to be very aware of what a reader might want to get out of reading the words and what the story I'm reading actually offers. Readers read for a variety of reasons. Some read to be entertained. Some read to feel a depth of emotion. Some readers desire that cathartic experience one can only enjoy safely by living vicariously through the exploits of non-existent people. Some want a combination of these, which is why we have a variety of genres available. Sometimes readers want a writer to touch their hearts, or their minds, or their souls, or their, er, well, let's just say other body parts.I know when I am looking for a book, I search for the kind that will feed my need at the time, and that varies. For example, I've had the urge to read something in the science fiction genre--probably a hormonal thing--but I have little to no time to read, so I needed something short and powerful. I picked Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which I've read before, to satisfy the urge. So far it's doing a nice job...with benefits.The benefits are just the same as those derived from reading the manuscripts I've been assigned--I always learn something about my own writing by reading the words of others, whether published or unpublished. I've made a list below of a few things I will try to remember as I continue to write.

1. I don't ever want to put my reader in the position of reading to the end of the story just to find out how it ends, of having to plow through useless verbiage out of morbid curiosity to see how the story winds up. I want my readers to want to keep reading because they like the characters and the story, not just because they're determined to "get through" the book because they paid for it, and, darnit, they're going to finish it!

2. I want to make sure I start with something happening, even in my alternate universe-type stories. Reading paragraph after paragraph describing the liquid crystal city and the frog people who live there without some kind of conflict or action can be a turn off to the reader, and as an erotica writer, my job is to turn them on. Heh heh.

3. I want the promise I make at the beginning of the story to be the one I keep at the end. If I promise campy, vampy fun, I shouldn't change into something dramatic and literary in the middle somewhere. If I promise literary, intellectual read, I shouldn't let it turn into a melodramatic glitzy fluff, especially if it's my fault the story runs out of literary steam.

4. I don't want my sex scenes to become stale from lack of research. Um, I just put that in there in case my husband, who is currently crawling around under our house, reads this. Hint, hint. :)
I've learned much, much more, but I'd rather hear from readers. Where do you like to be touched when you read? Mind? Heart? Soul? Parts south of the waistline? All of the above? Or does it vary according to the phases of the moon? lol

Happy Reading!
NaNoWriMo
Hi. My name is Esmerelda and I’m a compulsive editor.

Confused you, didn’t I? LOL. The title and the first sentence go together, I promise.

This is my first year participating in National Novel Writing Month. In the past, I was too intimidated to try. I mean come on. 50,000 words in one month? As if! That is a huge undertaking and being a pantser, made no sense what so ever. What happened if I got blocked? I didn’t have an outline to help me through, just this vague idea of where I wanted the story to go. What if I run out of words? What if I wrote crap and ended wasting my time? So on and so on. It was thoughts like these that kept me from jumping right on in. I know. I totally over thought it. I’m known to do that.

So what prompted me to do it this year?

I want to change as a writer, which leads us back to my opening sentence:

Hi. My name is Esmerelda and I’m a compulsive editor.

I will write one chapter, then polish, polish, polish, before sending it off to my CP’s. Guess what happens? Four chapters later, something happens and then I have to go back and re-edit that same chapter I’d already labored over, then I could get even further into the story and what? DAMN! Sigh. Go back and change it again. A vicious cycle, I tell you. One I see as a flaw in myself as a writer. One I want to break away from because, click, click, the light bulb has finally turned on. I’m wasting time. I could have a story finished so much quicker, if I just wrote the blasted thing in one sitting, THEN went back and added in and EDITED.

So NaNoWriMo isn’t about me getting a 50,000 word first draft this year, (that will be next year). This year is about changing the way I write. I’m on day seven. Writing might be a little slow, I’ve written right at 7k, but I haven’t edited.

I will admit I feel like it is killing me. LOL. It is the hardest thing I have ever done to keep trucking along when I’ve hit a spot I know has affected another portion of the story. I have a nice little notebook sitting beside my laptop and jot down, ‘make sure to change the heroine’s reasoning for such and such.’ Or ‘this kiss needs to be pulled back on, because the kiss in Chapter 200 needs to be THE kiss.’ And so on.

I’m hoping by the end of the month, I’ve seen the advantages of just writing and embrace it. I guess time will tellJ

So anyone else Nanoing?

Esme
www.esmereldabishop.com
Triple Threat Winners
And the winners are...Armenia and Cathy M. Congratulations! Since you both included your email addresses in your posts, I'll go ahead and email you a copy of Triple Threat.

Thanks for dropping by, everyone! Hope you all enjoy the Three Kinds of Wicked series and follow Trey's adventures into next year.
Where in Time Is Trey? (Take him home this month)
Win a copy of my e-story, Triple Threat, by posting a comment
today.

It's my turn for Trey this month. If you haven't been following Trey's adventures in the Three Kinds of Wicked series first launched in July with Liane Gentry Skye's Wicked Temptation, you've been missing out on some deliciously sexy hot menage stories, featuring a time-traveling hunk named Trey.

For my story, Triple Threat, I stuck with my favorite genre to write--romance with a touch of intrigue and danger. All of the writers in the series contributed to Trey's physical appearance and emotional make-up. Then we just ran with our own stories to create unique situations for Trey. He's always the third wheel for a couple in each story, but what a wheel!

Today I'm posting an excerpt from Triple Threat, which was released this week from Red Sage Publishing. Enjoy and don't forget to check out the other stories in the Three Kinds of Wicked series and keep track of Trey's adventures as he travels through space and time.

And remember, one poster today will win a copy of Triple Threat.

Exerpt:

And then he came.

He rose from the shimmering highway as if ejected from the asphalt, black on black. As the Harley drew closer and the whine of its engine pierced the dense silence of the desert, goose bumps rushed along Brandy’s arms.

Agent Coltrane tensed beside her, and as the biker slowed down, Coltrane reached into the open trunk and pulled out his gun.

Brandy squinted at the stranger, his longish, dark hair blowing behind him beneath the abbreviated motorcycle helmet, his black T-shirt molded to his body by the wind. He didn’t look like one of Vinnie’s boys, but you couldn’t be too careful.
The motorcycle pulled onto the shoulder of the road, churning up sand and grit. Brandy covered her face with her hands to protect it from the particles needling her flesh.

Agent Coltrane growled beside her. “Let me handle this.”

What did Coltrane plan to do, shoot the biker and steal his motorcycle? For being one of the good guys, Agent Coltrane had a dangerous edge.

It turned her on.

He shoved his weapon in the back of his waistband and pulled his wrinkled T-shirt over his head, hiding all those rippling muscles from her greedy gaze.

She’d been happier to find him in her trunk than she’d let on. Even though she’d been making her own way in the world longer than she could remember, she welcomed the support and protection Agent Coltrane and his big gun represented in the middle of the desert. Of course, he was hardly the type to wrap her in his arms and soothe away all her fears.

She had yet to find the man capable of that.

The stranger cut the bike’s engine and slid from the Harley. The action jolted her since man and machine seemed welded together into one powerful entity.
His black motorcycle boots crunched the gravel as he ambled toward them with the grace of a jungle cat, unusual for a big man.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Coltrane widen his stance and hook one thumb in the front pocket of his jeans. The pocket closest to his weapon.

The biker stopped in front of them and dragged the helmet from his head. He shook out his hair, as blue-black as a raven’s wing, which skimmed his broad shoulders.
“Do you have a problem?”

His voice, low and as smooth as aged cognac, insinuated itself into her core, stirring up those old feelings of longing, of wanting to belong to something, to someone. She leaned in toward him to catch the last syllables from his lips.

Agent Coltrane snorted. “What was your first clue?”

Brandy drew her brows together and shot Coltrane a warning look. This man in black had the ability to help them, and Coltrane couldn’t tame his sarcastic tongue. Coltrane really had to work on his people skills.

“You look...lost.” Their savior shrugged and shoved his dark sunglasses to the top of his head, sweeping his hair from his face.

Brandy sucked in a breath and stepped back. The man’s eyes looked almost black in the fading desert light and their intensity dominated his beautiful face, all sharp angles and shadows.

She clutched her hands in front of her to quell her compulsion to run her palms across the deep lines bracketing his mouth.

Pain. His eyes and the harshness of his mouth spoke volumes of pain.

Definitely not one of Vinnie’s guys. Couldn’t Coltrane, even with his limited understanding of the human heart, understand that?

“We’re not lost. She...we ran out of gas.”

The stranger nodded as if it were the most normal thing in the world for a couple to run out of gas two hours out of Vegas.

Coltrane took charge, as usual, but at least the rod up his back seemed to bend a little. He must’ve realized the biker posed no threat to them. Despite his height and muscular build, the stranger possessed a calm gentleness.

“Could you ride over to Buzzard Flats, get us some gas, and then bring it back here? I’d pay you for our gas, your gas, and your time.”

The man’s grim mouth quirked at the corner. “There is no Buzzard Flats.”

“W-what do you mean? I saw the sign back there.” Brandy’s arms flailed at her sides. They couldn’t be on this road much longer. There were only so many roads out of Vegas, and she didn’t want anyone else following her. Coltrane represented danger, but at least he didn’t want to kill her.

“Buzzard Flats is a ghost town.”

“Shit.” Coltrane slammed his fist against the car. “Can you make it to the next town then? We’ll wait for the gas. It should be cooling off out here in a few hours.”

“You look like you’re in a hurry. It could be dangerous waiting out here.”

Brandy’s head snapped up in unison with Coltrane’s.

Agent Coltrane placed his hand behind his back again, his fingers tracing the handle of his gun. “What do you mean by that?”

The man flipped his sunglasses back over his eyes and shrugged. “The desert looks empty during the day, but it’s filled with creatures, some more dangerous than others.”

Brandy pressed her fist to her mouth as her heart skittered in her chest. Yeah, and Vinnie’s thugs were probably the most dangerous creatures of all. A cold dread seeped into her skin, and she tottered forward.

The stranger’s tattooed arm shot out, curling around her waist. His warm breath tickled her ear. “You’ll be fine.”

Closing her eyes, she leaned against his strong arm, resisting the urge to fall against his chest. Damn Coltrane. As good as it felt leaning against this hot biker for support, she wished it had been Coltrane to break her swoon.

Her eyelashes fluttered, her eyes meeting Coltrane’s, burning with a blue fire as his gaze darted between her face and the stranger’s arm around her waist.
“You’re right.” Coltrane sliced a hand through the air. “We need to get off of this highway. Now.”

“I can help.”

The dark man’s arm tightened around Brandy’s waist, and she almost fell into another swoon—one of desire not fear. His scent enveloped her, a touch of cologne, a fresh, masculine soap, and a dollop of sex. She drank deeply.

“What do you suggest?” Coltrane crossed his arms over his solid chest, making himself look large and in charge.

The stranger pointed into the dusk draping the highway and said, “There’s a small desert community off the road and off the map. Mostly artists, wanderers, gypsies. They might even have some gas.”

“Is it within walking distance?” Coltrane jerked his thumb toward the Harley. “Because that bike isn’t big enough for the three of us.”

“If you don’t trust me—” the man finally relinquished possession of Brandy’s waist “—you can take Brandy on the motorcycle, and I’ll give you directions to the camp. I’ll start walking, and you can return for me.”

Coltrane reached back and pulled out his gun. Pointing it at the stranger, he said, “Spread ‘em.”


Science Fiction - for Women?


"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home." Kenneth Olson, President and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation 1977

Be wary of predicting the future. No one can. But it’s fun to try, and that’s why science fiction is a well-loved genre in fiction. But it’s a genre that doesn’t seem to appeal too much to women. Why not?

A well known science fiction blog has been talking recently about why the phrase ‘science fiction’ seems to be such a turnoff for women readers. Some reasons given were: there’s not enough romance in the genre. Or, women still harbor the notion that science isn’t for women. (Say it isn’t so!) But when I think of well known science fiction works – they are virtually all written by men, for men, and do not explore romantic relationships in any depth.

So, a reasonable question raised in the blog is - should there be a new name for science fiction with romance? Are there enough female writers publishing stories with a strong science fiction element and a strong romance at the core?

Since I’ve recently sold a story which I’ve labeled ‘futuristic’, this question is of great interest to me. And, I must admit, I never realized there could be so much controversy over the labeling of genres.

We have several authors on this blog who write paranormal, and that genre seems to be reasonably well established as the home of all things ‘otherwordly’, involving characters and circumstances which aren’t considered factually possible in our world. The fairy I show here, for example, could easily feature in a paranormal or fantasy story, but not in science fiction.

Science fiction, mostly likely because of the word ‘science’ seems to encompass stories where the non-factual elements could realistically happen at some point, though not today. It doesn’t seem possible that men will ever really shapeshift into wolves, but it does seem possible that we will travel in space to presently unknown worlds.

"[Man will never reach the moon] regardless of all future scientific advances." Dr. Lee Forest, father of radio and the Audion tube, Feb 25, 1967

I used the phrase ‘futuristic’ to describe the genre for my story, mostly because it is set in the future. I enjoy using settings other than our own because there is so much room for plot manipulation. In different worlds, you can have different customs, and make them believable. If you’re writing in the future, you can massage some of those pesky laws of physics and other sciences through new inventions. That’s why stories set in the future generally have some element of science fiction to them. It wouldn’t seem to be “the future” if science and technology were exactly the same as it is today.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." Charles Duell, US Commissioner of Patents, 1899

Yet, I never thought of my story as falling within the science fiction genre because the romance is front and center. The ‘science fiction’ part is only as much scientific detail as I needed to support the plot.

There was some animosity on the blog towards romance in general, and alpha males and eroticism in particular. So the concept of ‘science fiction romance’ may be a hard sell. But I wouldn’t rule it out. I think you could find people fifteen years ago who said Anne Rice had covered the vampire world sufficiently well. Thousands of stories later…Never try to predict what people will like.

"[Television] won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox in 1946

So my question to you all is: Do you read science fiction? Do you care if it has a romance or not? Does the mere phrase ‘science fiction’ make you head for the hills?

But I want to end on this quote to inspire any aspiring author:

"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out." Decca Records rejecting the Beatles in 1962
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