Rosalie Stanton's Dark Solace is now available!

Are you craving a short sexy paranormal read from an extremely talented author? Then check out Rosalie Stanton's Dark Solace, available now from Noble Romance. I love the cover and can't wait to get my copy!

Here's the blurb and excerpt to whet your appetite...


Three hundred years can change many things, but love is not among them.

Forbidden to claim the woman he loves as his mate, Gabriel established a yearly meet with Jael to satisfy their hunger for one another. Time has not weathered their need, or made the pain of every other day more bearable. Christmas Eve together might not be much, but pretending for one night that they can belong together is the only way either knows how to survive.

Except this Christmas, Gabriel can't go on pretending. Living for one night is no way to live, and he is determined that he and Jael will see the new day together. The only question is, after all this time, is she prepared for the consequences of saying yes?


It was almost a testament to time how much the same tavern could flash a thousand different faces over the course of three hundred years. While the drunken barflies never seemed to leave, the atmosphere itself was on a nonstop course to full evolution. It had been a pub for half a century before it was bought and turned into a diner. There was a six month stint in which it was a ladies hat store, but the lingering scent of alcohol could not help but reemerge every three years or so.

Despite whatever facelift the tavern undertook, it was the place Jael visited every December. Every December since 1697.

Here she would wait, as she did every year on the night known commonly as Christmas Eve. She would wait until he came in, and her year met fruition.

Even in the life prior to her nocturnal rebirth, Jael could not fathom living without the thrill of the winter season pushing her through the common, twelve-month cycle of every insufferable year. Gabriel met her here every December 24, just as the old grandfather clock that had somehow survived the years struck the hour of midnight. They would spend the holiday in each other's arms, and wake up in separate beds in the morning.

As walkers of the night, they could chance nothing more. Such was the way of things between all vampire lovers. One night of the year, maybe two. No connection beyond that. Nothing that anyone in their dark existence, or the other world bathed in sunlight, would ever call a relationship.

Vampires couldn't have relationships. It was as simple as that.

Gabriel was her maker. He had been in her corner from the very beginning. Her protector since childhood. In the absence of vampiric relations, most vampires turned to humans to satisfy carnal desires. Claiming humans as mates for eternity was not taboo, not like turning to other vampires. Human mates would live for eternity, tied to the lifeline of their mate. Even still, the connection did not run as deeply. When a human female was sad, her vampire mate did not cry. When a human male was cut, his vampire mate did not bleed. They were different. Separate. One could die and the other would live.

It was not like that among connections made between walkers of the night.

Among vampires, those tied together beyond the blood of sires felt everything. Shared everything. Their fate was the same. Always the same.

Every society had their great tragedies. Romeo and Juliet. Napoleon and Josephine. Vampires had a tragedy, as well. Well known to them, a well-kept secret among the humans they protected. Unlike the tale of Dracula, the one among them that had gone bad and henceforth established the grizzly stereotype of their kind, the story of Lazarus and Anna remained shrouded from the world of humans. Remained shrouded, and a cautionary tale that kept all those who belonged to the night in line. For the sake of a species. For the sake of an entire way of life.

As with many cautionary tales, Lazarus and Anna's story had several assumed points of origin. In some tellings, they lived in Ancient Rome. Others had their first meeting documented in Greece. Jerusalem, India, even parts of North and Central America all claimed to being the homeland of vampire kind's most infamous lovers, as well as the most boasted tragedians of a culture. In any regard, wherever Lazarus and Anna had first met remained unimportant compared to their impact on their kind. The story told of a passionate love affair, during which, overcome with zeal, Lazarus and Anna sealed their lifelines together in blood. Once mated, they had but a few weeks together before angry villagers fingered Anna for the death of a beloved elderly man in their village. This was, of course, back in the day when vampires and humans lived side-by-side, when vampires were accepted as the guardians of the human race. In that time, vampires were more likely to feed from cattle to acquire what they needed, and they did so while humans rested. When the monstrosity of their dependence on blood could be hidden in the shadow of night.

They were careful, but ultimately, accidents did happen. One cow would die. Then another, then another. Respect for the Nightly Ones turned into fear. Fear turned into blame. And when the elderly man died of anemia, fear manifested fully into violence. Anna was seized from Lazarus's loving arms, imprisoned in a local church, and tortured.

At night, she was beaten for information. On occasion, she was bled and burned, and every time her skin was marred, inhuman howls ripped through the ground, shattering the quiet of night as her mate endured the agony of her pain.

Some said he died crawling in the sunlight to reach his beloved, others said the pain he suffered was too much, and he drew his last breath the second the villagers burned Anna at the stake. Others said his moniker of Lazarus guaranteed that he would return, and those who still lived in the village swore he haunted the grounds he died upon.

Granted, the tale had suffered severe revisions over the last several centuries.

The tragedy of Lazarus and Anna had established the law. Never could vampires mate. Never could vampires claim each other, if only to become subject to that sort of torment. If vampires mated, they became liabilities, even to each other. Such had been the law for centuries. Such was the reason Jael came to the same tavern every year and waited for Gabriel to arrive. Tonight was the only night they had, because they were both vampires, and that was simply the way of things.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Her death had been sudden, at a time when her town was overwhelmed by an epidemic of scarlet fever. She and Gabriel had been planning to mate for two years when she became ill, and as he sobbed over her on what she was sure would have been her last day, she had begged him to turn her.

He had. Through his tears, he had given her new life.

She hadn't known becoming what he was meant that she couldn't have the life they'd planned together. She hadn't known until she breathed life for the first time as something other than human.

Jael shuddered, her eyes falling shut. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't repress the memory of the night she had clawed to freedom. The first night she had opened her eyes and swimming in the soft glow of starlight.

Gabriel was waiting for her, his eyes heavy with sorrow, his skin bathed in the scent of tears. His soft blue eyes had found hers, and he had taken her into his arms, murmured his love, and begged her forgiveness.

Then he had told her the story. The reason vampires couldn't be together, even as casual lovers. The urge to claim one another, he said, would grow unbearable. There were several who succumbed to the temptation, and they were expelled from the vampire Order. And expulsion wasn't as nice as it sounded.

Expulsion pretty much guaranteed a death certificate. The Order would track down dissenters and destroy them. They tolerated no weakness among their kind—the survival of the race came above earthly concerns or desires. Above love altogether.

Gabriel had taught her everything about being a vampire before setting her loose into the world. They had attempted to stop seeing each other all together, but that proved disastrous. If she didn't follow him, he followed her. They would meet in a tearful passion and make love until the sun came up.

Ultimately, Gabriel suggested that this place—this tavern—would mark their reunion every Christmas Eve. They could be together the one night of the year that the world had decided loved ones should spend with each other.

One night, though. Only one.

An erotic paranormal romance

Available Monday, December 20 from Noble Romance Publishing.


Late 2010 Recap

I haven't posted in over a month, but I've had good reasons! I've been knee-deep in edits on two upcoming releases: Reveal Me, hopefully coming in early 2011 to Ellora's Cave, and Insatiable, coming to Loose Id in early 2011 as well. Both are contemporary erotic m/f. Reveal Me's short, barely 15K, while Insatiable is 60K after first round edits. First round edits are out the door on both stories so I'm hoping to have more info on release dates, etc. soon.

I've also finished a ms since I posted last. Provoke Me ended up close to 90K, but thanks to my awesome CPs' help, has already been whittled down a bit closer to 80K. I'm still polishing this one for submission to Ellora's Cave.

AND I'm working on a new story, tentatively titled Watch Me (Reveal Me, Provoke Me, and Watch Me are all part of one series which will ultimately include one more story, tentatively titled Need Me, and a free read. Or at least that's the plan right now.)

I love working on new stories. Love it! That first rush of anticipation, the possibilities, getting to know new characters, making up's just awesome. Good thing I'm so excited about the initial stages because my process slows down hugely at the end. That's my mulling time to make sure the story hangs together and I tend to mull a LOT.

In other news, we got almost 4 feet of snow here in my section of NY in under 4 days time. So it's definitely going to be a white Christmas.

One of my many goals for 2011 is to blog at least once a week. So I'm going to try to make that happen.

And did you notice my spiffy new blog design? The awesome Natalie Dae redesigned it for me...and I adore it! I went back to my original tagline "What's More Dangerous Than Falling In Love?" which makes sense as I branch out, hopefully, into new genres. Now I just need to update my website.

Happy holidays...and do what I love to do most on a cold day, go read a good book!


Look at my pretty!

What do you think? I love me some sexy man back, so no complaints here. ;) Hoping to start edits on this one soon, and then hopefully get a release date! I'm already working on two of the next three books in the series, about to complete one then move on to the last. Did that sentence even make any sense? LOL I blame NaNoWriMo, but hey, at least I've written 8400 words so far this week because of it!

Happy Friday!


Lots and Lots of Treats Hop 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween's my favorite holiday and has been since I was little. I just love everything about fall! The scents, the sights, a good classic horror movie or two. Then there's the cider and candy. Sign me up!

But that's not what YOU're here for. Click on the moon and sky graphic below to continue on to your next stop on the blog hop, but I hope you stay behind a bit longer to read a never-before shared excerpt of my recent Ellora's Cave release, Personal Research! Thanks for stopping by!

WARNING: The following material only suitable for those 18 and over!


Briefs are Elena Thomas’s life, whether they’re legal at her day job or on the men in the erotic novels she writes. She’s just fine with saving her imagination for her books until temptation appears in the form of Nunzio, the smokin’-hot office IT guy. When he discovers one of her scorching books shooting out of the printer, Elena’s not sure if he wants her because she’s inventive or because he thinks she’s desperate. That doesn’t stop her from taking advantage of his “services”.

On her desk. On the copier. And, oh yeah—in her boss’s chair.

Nunzio’s shocked to learn Elena’s wall-hugging persona hides a wildcat of a woman with delicious fantasies and an enticing wit. She’s exactly what he’s been looking for in an adventurous lover—and girlfriend. He knows she enjoys their sexual research. Now he just has to convince her that sizzling sex is only the first chapter of their blazing-hot romance.


“But I get paid for those words. I write. I’m a writer.”

There, she’d said it, and the world hadn’t fallen off its axis. Besides, she was still draped over her desk with her ass in the air. How could words on a page be that shocking?

“So you admit your friend didn’t write those words.”

She managed to stand and winced from the desk burns on her knees. She felt his gaze on her as she reached up to unbind her hair, the symbolism of the act not lost on her.

Let down your hair and come out to play, Bella.

Well, she already had. She eyed the cock he’d tucked back inside his boxers. And she wasn’t quite done yet.

“Yes.” She tossed back her long, thick curls. “It’s me. I write erotic stories for people to read in the privacy of their own homes. Or on the train to work.” She shrugged, her gaze drifting to the thick fingers he’d propped under his chin. Fingers she wanted back on her body. She could recover when she was dead. “It helps pay the bills.”

“Do you not make enough money here?”

She shrugged again. “I get by.”

Her nipples budded against her bra as he studied her, appreciation ripe in his dark eyes. “You’re cold,” he said softly, skimming a hand over her bare bottom. Even that scant touch made her shiver. One corner of his mouth slid up. “And yet I want you even more naked. Guess I’ll have to warm you up.”

Click on the cover to redirect to Ellora's Cave's site!


Radio silence...

This will come as a big shock, I know, but once again, I am behind. I have a story I need to finish and get out to my wonderful CPs and a story I need to crit for one of those wonderful CPs (waves to Lynne) along with writing a few overdue emails and trying to come up with a plan for my writing life. I've recently taken the BIG step of going part-time at my day job in the hopes of freeing up more time to write and I'm excited about that starting soon. I'm only cutting out one day of work a week, but hey, I should be able to knock off 3-5K during those eight hours with the assistance of caffeine and chocolate!

On Friday 10/8, I'll be chatting at Delilah Devlin's blog, talking about the allure of the forbidden. Would love to see you! Click HERE.

If I owe you a crit or an email or a prize or a blog comment, expect that very soon. Right now I'm heading back into my writing cave!

I'll leave you with a picture of one of my favorite pieces of man chocolate, Bradley Cooper. Bradley is also the inspiration for Justin, the hero in Melt, the manuscript I'll be returning to just as soon as I type THE END on Provoke Me.


Welcome romance author Jocelyn Modo!

I'm so excited to have fellow EC author Jocelyn Modo here today! Jocelyn's first EC release, First Heat, is out now. I love the cover! And check out Jocelyn's cute little lion adorable! First Heat is definitely going on my TBR!

1.) I've just picked up a book by Jocelyn Modo. How do you hope I feel when I'm finished reading it?

I would love for you to feel the way I felt when I finished writing it: happy, fulfilled, and most importantly, satisfied. As a bonus, I’d love for you to feel intrigued about the characters so that you go out and purchase the next books in the series when they are released.

2.) What made you want to write First Heat? Tell us a little more about the story. 

I love the fantasy genre mixed with erotic romance, and big cats, like lions, have always fascinated me. The idea for First Heat came about while researching lions. The males are so dominate but it’s the females who are the fantastic hunters. They are such graceful yet deadly creatures. They’re animals but they lions have a firm social structure that humans can relate to, even while feeling as if you are studying an alien social order.

I am a lover of poetry. The idea for my heroine, Kissa, came from the poem "Autumn Sonnet" by Baudelaire where the poet admonishes himself to not listen to his emotions but instead listen to reason. The poem made me ask: What if your heart knows better than your head? What happens when reason is unreasonable?

I answered these questions with Kissa’s motto: Never trust a cat and never trust your heart. This motto became the theme for First Heat.

Kissa is jaded. Her parents are the pride’s mane miun—head shifter lion, lioness—, and Kissa spent her childhood watching her parents literally take swipes at each other. So as she prepares for her first heat, her top priority is choosing a mate she can love and trust because once she mates with him three times, they will be bonded for life.

With his sexy French accent, Venor seems like the perfect choice: smart, honest, gorgeous, and crazy about her. But when she learns that he’s hiding things from her, she runs from him before their bond is complete only to be abducted by a rogue shifter bent on making her his. Venor must earn Kissa’s trust in order to save her life and win her heart.

3.) What or who inspires you?

I have an overblown imagination. Anything from a poem, a look from a stranger, to a song or painting generates ideas. I have scraps of paper, notebooks, files filled with ideas that I revisit when deciding on my next venture.

4.) What one piece of advice would you give to someone trying to get - or stay - published? 

Keep moving forward. When you receive a rejection, allow yourself to mourn for a day then put it away and submit your next query. I read once that the reason why the American Indian Rain Dance works is because they didn’t stop dancing until it rained. I remind myself of this whenever I become frustrated with the profession of fiction writing. Don’t stop dancing until it rains!

5.) Anything else in the works we should be on the lookout for from you? 

First Heat is the first in my Pride & Passion series. I have a Christmas quickie due out in December. Jayden and Bethany’s story is the next full-length novel in the series. I had such fun writing both stories and am excited about sending them out to the world.

6.) You're granted the ability to shift into any creature. Would you choose lions or another animal? 

Oh, lioness, definitely. My second choice would be an eagle. I would love to be able to fly, play in the clouds, perch way up high and see the bend of the world. Wings would be a dream come true.

First Heat Blurb
Shifter lion Kissa Alassane has finally gone into heat and she has never been consumed by such raging lust. Too bad her lioness is demanding she mate with Venor Brun, a tortured and deadly male with a dark past.

Too bad she can’t keep her hands, lips, or any other part of herself off him. They must mate three times to complete their bond. Just once can’t hurt, she figures, just once to soother her aching need and clear her head.

When once becomes twice, Kissa flees to Austin, Texas, hoping to lose Venor and others tracking her in the big city. But a pride of rogue shifters is killing and turning humans in Austin, and Kissa finds herself thrust into a full-scale battle for survival. And while Venor may be the only male who can save her, he might be the biggest threat to her of all… Because if there is one thing she knows, it’s never trust a cat and never trust your heart.

First Heat Excerpt 
Kissa’s dream changed to Venor smoothing his well-oiled hands down her back, fingering each knob of her spine. She stretched as if she were a cat under Re’s sun, arching up into his hot hands, keeping close to his touch, begging him with her body for more. The deep, woodsy smell of the sandalwood oil merged with Venor’s sexy scent to saturate the room with a singular bouquet that ravaged her senses. His lips brushed her skin, his tongue tracing circles in the small of her back. Her need pulsed, a growing, living thing.

Not a dream. How had Venor snuck into the temple?

Her dam. Of course Kissa’s dam would let him in. Not that it really mattered how he’d gained entrance to her room. She wanted to want him gone. He didn’t belong in her bed or her heart. Instead, she couldn’t bear the thought of him leaving.

“Venor,” she whispered his name, a prayer, a curse, she didn’t know.

He nipped at her hip then swirled his tongue over the small sting, his soft, shoulder-length hair feathering her skin, sending shivers through her body. “You are so lovely, Kissa. Je t’aime de tout mon cœur.”

She closed her eyes on her tears, wishing she could close her ears on his words. I love you with all my heart. He didn’t mean it, had never meant it when he’d told her that he loved her, but Goddess help her, it didn’t feel that way. Every part of her felt loved as he continued to worship her body with his hands and mouth.

Kneading the stiff muscles in her legs, Venor released the knots that had gathered there. He massaged her feet, paying attention to her toes as if each, individual digit warranted his consideration. Then, gliding his hands slowly up her legs, he parted them, making room to kneel between them.

Anticipation had her panting, her heart pounding out her desire in the beat of love, lust and emptiness. She felt as if she were a vacant vessel, waiting, wanting, needing to be filled by him, only by him.

At last his hands found her and he cupped her butt, kneading her flesh, positioning her so that he could prepare her body for mating. She mewled and writhed, wanting more, wanting all of him touching her, not just a single caress. But she shouldn’t want him at all.

As emotions climbed within her, she rolled onto her back. Venor was there immediately, intimately straddling her hips, pressing her back into the soft mattress. Her mie night vision allowed her to see him in the dark room. His light brown hair framed the hard planes of his face. His pupils filled his eyes so that only a thin ring of light gold iris glowed, as if they were the halos of twin angelic souls. But he was no angel, no bright knight there to rescue the silly damsel—she was better than that and he, he was a liar—there to claim her as his bonded mate so he could seize control of the Oakview Pride.

“Don’t be afraid, Kiss. I will be careful with you.” His hands found hers and he slowly brought them up over her head to wrap her fingers around the metal bed frame. “Hold on.” He licked the outer shell of her ear. “This time we will be gentle with one another.”

“Venor,” she breathed his name a second time, this time knowing she cursed him.

“Oui, ma chaton?”

She closed her eyes to block out the arousing image he presented in the dark. “I’m not your kitten. I’m not your anything.”

He pressed his soft, full lips to her neck, so soft, so tender. His kiss felt like love, blind and bewildering.

“Why would you say this?” he asked. “You are my everything.”

Kissa gripped the metal rods tighter, choking back her bitter response. What would be the use of arguing when her heart wasn’t in it? Later, when her body was replete, her mie—her lioness—satisfied, she would fortify her determination to deny Venor’s claim on her.

Much, much later.

First Heat buy link:


Shelley Munro winner is...

...Lynne Roberts! Congrats, Lynne, and enjoy your book. :)

The last week has been interesting. I've been sick for most of it and only now am I starting to get a little of my energy back. Consequently I have a lot of stuff to do this week. So if I owe you an email or anything else, it should be coming soon. Hopefully this hacking cough will disappear in a hurry.

In other news, I held a Twitter-only contest last week for a copy of Personal Research. Winners have been chosen and will be notified soon.

In the meantime, I'm visiting two awesome blogs today if you'd like another chance to win a copy. (Oh and yeah, Personal Research is out now! That's how sick I was...didn't even announce its release here...*sigh*)

On Mama Kitty's awesome blog, I'm talking about office romances...yay or nay? Click HERE to visit.

And on FictionVixen's amazing blog, I'm talking about what makes a good erotic romance...pure smex, or do you need more? Click HERE to visit.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some good writing updates and other fun stuff! In the meantime, look for fellow EC author Jocelyn Modo to visit the blog on Thursday!


Welcome romance author Shelley Munro!

I'm very excited to have romance author Shelley Munro as my guest today. Shelley's not only a friend, she writes incredible books. I've gushed to her how much I loved The Bottom Line and how I immediately added more of her books to my TBR. She's here today celebrating her latest release, The Spurned Viscountess, out now from Carina Press. I love that gorgeous cover!

But that's not all. Shelley's graciously agreed to do a giveaway! If you'd like to win one of Shelley's Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen Press backlist books, just answer the question at the bottom of the post and you're in the drawing! Here's Shelley!

1) Tell us a little about your latest release.

The Spurned Viscountess is a historical romance with gothic tones. It’s set in 1720 England, during my favorite era, Georgian England. I read a lot of Victoria Holt during my early teens and these gave me a liking for the gothic element. This definitely played a part during the plotting stage of writing The Spurned Viscountess.

The Spurned Viscountess is about a couple who have an arranged marriage. Rosalind, my heroine, is desperate for a home and family of her own. She also needs a fresh start because of the rumors of witchcraft that follow her around. Lucien, my hero, recently lost his wife—a woman he adored. He’s not interested in marriage since all he wants to do is discover the identity of his wife’s killer. At the start of the story he’s scarred in both mind and body and he doesn’t want to deal with a petite blonde and virginal wife. Circumstances force them together and they help each other along the way, familiarity gradually giving way to love.

I had fun throwing in a creepy castle, witchcraft, the second sight, smugglers and lots of danger. This book came out previously as The Second Seduction, but this version was edited again. I’ve grown as a writer since I originally wrote this, my first historical, and I think this shows in the final story, now known as The Spurned Viscountess.

Here’s the blurb:

Cursed with the sight and rumors of witchcraft, Rosalind's only chance at an ordinary life is marriage to Lucien, Viscount Hastings. She doesn't expect love, only security and children of her own. Determined to go through with the wedding, she allows nothing she encounters at the gloomy Castle St. Clare to dissuade her. 

Recently returned from the Continent, Lucien has no time for the English mouse his family has arranged for him to marry—not when he's plotting to avenge the murder of his beloved Francesca. He has no intention of bedding Rosalind, not even to sire an heir. 

Though spurned by her bridegroom, Rosalind turns to him for protection when she is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents and haunted by terrifying visions. Forced to keep Rosalind close—and tempted into passionate kisses—Lucien soon finds himself in grave danger of falling in love with his own wife...

2) You’re extremely prolific. What’s your secret? Do you work on more than one story at once or do you write only one at a time?

I’m writing full time at present, although that might change soon if I can find a job to suit. Most days I write 2000 words, which is a good pace for me. If I try to push out more than this I tend to burn out. I think writing consistently every day pays dividends. Oh, and the fact that I’m driven to write. I have three stories going at present, but I mainly concentrate on one at a time. If I’m experiencing problems—normally because I don’t plot and I haven’t nailed my conflicts properly—I’ll swap to one of my other stories while I think about the plot and characters of my problem story again. My current work in progress is giving me fits, hence the reason for the two other stories underway.

3) There are lots of “should” and “have tos” in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?

Everyone always told me to write one genre and concentrate on that. I never liked this rule and decided I’d write whatever I felt like. While this isn’t good advice for someone who wants to sell to a New York publisher, it works in the e-publishing world. There aren’t many genres I haven’t tried to write. I think it keeps me fresher as a writer since I’m constantly challenging myself. For an aspiring writer, I think it makes sense to dabble in the different genres at first to find one that feels right. Sometimes the genre that works for you as a writer isn’t the one you first picked!

4) What keeps you at the keyboard when you’re not sure if you should keep going?

To be honest, this year I’ve come close to giving up writing. I won’t give you the reasons, but I will say it’s my love of story telling and writing that kept me going. I can’t stop the stories springing into my head and, once they’re there, I need to tell them.

5) Do you have a “dream” genre or book of the heart you’d love to write?

I have a steampunk idea yammering inside my head at present, but I have several other projects lined up that I need to finish before I can even think about starting this one. I enjoy mixing my genres so steampunk is perfect for me.

6) What are you working on right now?

I have the three projects I mentioned above. I have the final story in my Middlemarch Mates series, which will be book eleven—the twins’ story. I’m writing a m/m werewolf story set in Yellowstone National Park and I’ve also started Julia’s story. She’s a secondary character in my contemporary story The Bottom Line and several readers have asked for me to hurry up. In the nicest possible way, of course!

And I’m one of those people who’d love to read Julia’s story! The Bottom Line is one of my favorite reads of the year. Thanks so much for being here today, Shelley!

Shelley's Website 
Shelley's Blog
Shelley Munro on Twitter 
Shelley Munro on Facebook 
Click here for the buy link for The Spurned Viscountess 
Click here to follow The Spurned Viscountess Tour
Want to read an excerpt of The Spurned Viscountess? Go HERE.

Time for the giveaway! Answer this question in the comments and your name will go into the drawing. Winner will be chosen Sunday evening, 9/26.

When it comes to historical romances, what time period do you prefer to read? What time period would you most like to visit and why?


1K a day...

helps Cari write a book!

That's in theory, of course. Though I agreed last week to do this with my awesome CP, Taryn, we both have yet to accomplish it for more than a few days. However this is a new week and starting tomorrow, I'm on my game. Oh yes I am. And if I'm not, I will be walking the walk of shame right here on my woefully neglected blog.

The reasons I haven't been writing as much as I should have are numerous and not very interesting (even to me.) However I have been doing various other writerly things, like setting up interviews for Personal Research's release and doing banners, etc. The one at the bottom of this post was created after a few awesome reviewers and book pals of mine, Pearl from Pearl's World of Books and the awesome Sparklybearsy, got started talking about the ever elusive and endlessly popular concept of desk sex on Twitter. Office sex in general seems to be a popular theme for me lately as my current WIP, Provoke Me, has some as well. That could be because I spend way too many hours at my day job or maybe it's that fascination I have for men in business suits. At any rate, if office shenanigans of a naked variety strum your guitar, I'm your author.

In other news, tonight I sent back my prettied up version of Reveal Me to my awesome EC editor Jillian. I expect edits and hopefully a release date on that one in not too long. Provoke Me's next in that series and I have probably another 10K or so left to write on that one. 

I also recently subbed the most recent incarnation of the first book I ever wrote to a publisher I love, so hopefully I'll hear good news on that one too. If not, I'll send it off to the next publisher on my list. It's not super hot like I normally write, more Cari Quinn lite, but it's definitely still up there. I'm not sure I know how to write with the sexy volume turned down, though I intend to try at some point. Just to see if I can.

Last but not least..Personal Research, my first release from Ellora's Cave, is out on Friday 9/17! Super excited and super nervous but hopefully people will enjoy the book. The amount of money I spend in Ellora's Cave's bookstore is just obscene so it's amazing I'm now one of their authors.

So...inquiring minds want to know. What have YOU been reading lately? I've been neck deep in historicals after getting a little burnt out on contemporaries and paranormals. I'm always on the lookout for recs, so tell me what's on your TBR and help me out.


Welcome author Kitty Thomas!

Thanks to Kitty for coming by and doing an interview today. Comfort Food is a book a lot of people will not be comfortable with but it has received many glowing reviews. As someone who has read Comfort Food, I can't say I was ever "comfortable" with the material but it definitely made me think in ways not many other books have. The psychological aspects alone are riveting and it's unlike anything else I've ever read. I won't ever forget the story. And the cover truly fits it so well. 

1) Can you give us a little insight into Comfort Food beyond the blurb? What was your initial spark that led you to write it?

It started out with a sexual fantasy. This larger-than-life guy who had this absolute kind of power, but wouldn't speak and wasn't particularly brutal. As the book developed it ended up a lot darker and also a lot less "just spank material" than it started out in my head. There were also personal things going on in my life (yes, I'm going to tease and not deliver there, LOL, I'm a bad kitty), that colored a lot of the tone of the book.

2) Comfort Food is a book a lot of people may not feel comfortable with. Who is your ideal reader for this book and for your current WIPs? Are they the same?

My ideal reader falls into one of two categories 1. Someone with an "ownership kink" who can read a rape/slave fantasy without getting super freaked and upset about it. or.. 2. Someone who isn't necessarily kinky themselves, but is very open-minded and willing to explore and read books that challenge them.

And my current WIP, Guilty Pleasures, is another noncon mind-fuck, but of a different nature with a different message/point. What I write is dark and not "safe". I made a joke a few weeks ago about "Sparkly Glitter Kink" where kinky fiction was mostly all "safe, sane,and consensual" loving BDSM fic. And what I write is more along the lines of "unsafe, inane, and nonconsensual", LOL. I don't consider most of what I write "BDSM fiction" for that reason.

3) Pushing the limits is a current trend in publishing. Do you think the public has simply become hungrier for subjects beyond the mainstream or is it that fiction is finally revealing the truth about the wide scope of what's "normal"? (Normal meaning what's normal for you, on an individual basis, rather than as dictated by society as a whole.)

I'm not really sure. When I wrote Comfort Food, I wasn't really trying to be controversial. At the same time, I think a lot of what you're seeing with limit pushing is a result of indie publishing, not traditional big publishing. Most of the larger publishers are still playing it very safe with what they publish. I think most readers have always been able to handle more than what most publishers think they can. I think though that there was a trend to be as "non-offensive and middle-of-the-road" as possible, so more books would become mass market successes. But I think after awhile, readers want to be challenged and moved beyond their comfort zones. They want to be moved, period. And the same safe stuff repackaged over and over just doesn't offer that kind of reading catharsis.

Interestingly one of the main themes of Comfort Food is about letting go of what is "normal as dictated by society" to figure out what "you" want. Not letting society be your master. So on the one level it's about this sexual and very dark/unconventional love story (some readers won't be able to handle it being called that, but it is what it is), but on another level, it's a metaphor for how one engages with society vs. their true wants and needs on every level.

4) You're an indie author who has achieved a great measure of success already. Any advice for someone who'd like to try self-publishing but doesn't know where/how to start?

Ha! That's funny, because I don't think I've been super vocal about the indie thing with the erotica. I want the work to be about the work for this and not about how it's published. I also think some people go "easier" on an indie book, when they shouldn't. If someone thinks CF is a good book, I want them to think it's a good book, period. Not "good for an indie effort."

Re: advice: Write a good book, get a good cover artist, don't be afraid to get out there and talk to people. Comfort Food has sort of taken on a life of it's own. A lot of that is luck. A group of book bloggers have been reading and reviewing it.Then their reviews instigate reading from more of their book blogger friends. I solicited reviews from very few people, a lot of it has been word-of-mouth.

I wasn't really trying to be "deep" when I wrote Comfort Food. Just honest. That honesty has connected with and attracted more people than it has repelled.

5) Tell us a little about your current project, Guilty Pleasures. Would it appeal to a fan of Comfort Food? (Any spoilers happily received, of course. ;D)

I *hope* Guilty Pleasures appeals to fans of Comfort Food. I think it will appeal to some. It won't appeal to others. I think some people pushed outside their comfort zone to read CF to begin with, so another book with noncon themes might be more than they wish to explore. Also something about the dynamic might turn them off. By contrast someone who isn't that in love with CF might like Guilty Pleasures better. Who knows? All I hope is that the quality of the writing and story can match that of Comfort Food. Being better than CF would be okay, except that adds pressure on me to keep raising the bar higher. I just am not sure I want CF to be "the best book I ever write." It's like how Stephen King is stuck in this reality where most fans think The Stand is the best thing he's ever written and it was what? Twenty or more years ago?

I can't say a lot about Guilty Pleasures yet. I don't like to spoil people at all on my own fiction. I'm a little bit superstitious about it, like I'll kill my ability to keep writing it if I let too much out of the bag. In fact I don't really know what to say about it that won't be more than I want to share right now. Probably I won't be saying very much about actual plot/situation until the book is available at least as an Ebook. But I'm hoping that'll be by Christmas. Unless I have any major editing hassles, it will be.

Also... shameless plug here... Comfort Food will be available in hardcover in October. I know some people have loved it to the point where they want a physical copy for their shelf.

6) I have to know - what's your comfort food, book-wise? What do you read when you need to go to your happy place? (I just know this answer will be one I won't expect, LOL.)

Light, fluffy Young Adult paranormals. Or things in the adult reading category like Katie MacAlister and Charlaine Harris that have a lot of humor in them. (I'm not a serious girl all the time. I promise. :P )

Kitty Thomas writes dark literary erotica, not morality plays. You can find her work at: ( ) ( )

and (multiple digital formats, good site if you aren't in the US or UK or don't have a Kindle, or just don't like Amazon, lol) ( )

You can find her at:


Lots O'News...and new contract!

And I guarantee I'm going to forget some of it, because, well, my memory ain't what it used to be!

I've been away from blogging/commenting in general for a while, mainly because I've been trying to refill the well. I was pretty exhausted and needed a little break. But I'm back! I have lots of stuff to mention then I want to get caught up with all of you.

First and foremost...the writing news! Personal Research has a release date! September 17th at Ellora's Cave.The amazing Pearl featured Personal Research as one of the books on her To Be Bought list, if you'd like to check it out here.

Not only that, I accepted a contract for a new Quickie at EC entitled Reveal Me, which is book one of a planned series of four connected stories.

Super excited about both my EC releases and about what I have in the works, which is book 2 of that series, Provoke Me, and a story I've been planning to sub to Samhain since last winter. The time has almost come! So hopefully I'll be able to say I subbed two more stories soon...along with getting back to the third and final Hunk Du Jour story at The Wild Rose Press, Giving It Up. Lots to do but it's all good.

I also got a new computer! I can't say how happy this makes me. Lovin' the 23" inch monitor and the speed. My old PC had seen better days and I finally went for a new Dell tower. So far it's been great. No uptick in my productivity as yet, but then I'm still in the courting stages with my new machine. *pets the screen*

Along with all the other stuff...I now have a website: if you'd like to check it out. I'll be changing things as I go along but at least it's a start. And it has a moon on the homepage, which is one of my symbols. Love all things moon-related.

I've gotten several really nice reviews for Ex Appeal recently but I'll save those for another post. This one's dense enough! Guess I need to stop by more frequently, huh?

I'm way behind on reading everyone else's blogs and have several projects to critique for friends, which I will be doing this week and next. I'm on vacation from the day job starting this weekend and I need that time to get caught up!

Off to see what you've all been up to since I've been away...


The Long And Short Of It's Third Anniversary Party Scavenger Hunt!

I'm so excited to announce I'm participating in LASR/WC's Third Anniversary Party Scavenger Hunt throughout the month of August!

Check out those prizes! There's amazing stuff to be had - THREE Nook e-readers, GCs, books from amazing authors (yep, including me, although I don't often refer to myself as amazing) plus Scavenger Hunts are pretty fun, as well!

Hate to post and run, but I'm having major computer problems and I'm off to buy a new machine. I can't afford to spend this much time growling, LOL. So hopefully I'll poke my head out of my cave soon once I'm up and running again. Time to get caught up with everyone!


Welcome romance author Cris Anson!

I'm so happy to have romance author Cris Anson here today! Not only do we share an EC editor, the awesome Jillian Bell, but I'm always excited to find a great new contemporary author to try.

Check out Cris on her incredible cover for What She Needs! Isn't it beautiful? And her "friend" isn't bad either. ;)

Take it away, Cris!

1) What was your inspiration for What She Needs? 
Part of the inspiration came from real life. I attended my first Romantic Times convention sporting a black eye (I really did run into a door—the cabinet door under the kitchen sink as I swooped down to catch a fumbled flashlight). Because everyone knew I wrote erotic romance, I made light of it by saying, “I didn’t say ‘Yes Master’ quick enough.” Too bad a Dom didn’t come up to me and say, “Then maybe you need a new Master” the way Kurt did to Delia in WHAT SHE NEEDS. After that, the characters started throwing sparks off each other and I just hung on for the ride.

2) Love your cover! It's gorgeous! How did you get a chance to model for it? 
Last October, at Ellora’s Cave first RomantiCon, I was approached by Art Director Syneca and asked if I’d like to do a photo shoot with hunky Angelo. (At the same shoot, Tara Nina posed with Taylor and Eve Vaughn with Rodney as well.) Only one answer there, right? So I spent 15 minutes gazing into Angelo’s eyes as cameras clicked away. Syneca’s skillful use of PhotoShop made me look thirty years younger LOL. BTW, my blog detailing this adventure will be available all this week (July 26-August 1) at Author Island

3) There are lots of "shoulds" and "have tos" in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?
I’ve heard so many times that you must sit down the same time every day. Write every day. Get into the habit every day. Well, that doesn’t work for me. I can go days (weeks?) without writing then sit down and knock back 25 pages in a weekend. You have to find what works best for you.

4) What keeps you at the keyboard when you're not sure if you should keep going?
If you find the answer to that, please let me know. I’ve spent lots of time just playing spider solitaire because I can’t get revved up to write. But eventually I get angry enough at myself for procrastinating and…see above for the 25-pages comment.

5) Do you have a "dream" genre or book of your heart you'd love to write?
I’m doing it. When I was first published, I wrote romantic suspense (under another name), but my editor kept telling me to tone down my love scenes. When I heard about Ellora’s Cave, I was ecstatic to think I could be as steamy as my muse was urging me to be. So my first book for them was DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS— in Chapter One the heroine dances the veil dance at a masquerade until she’s naked. And it gets even steamier. I love writing for them!

6) What are you working on right now?
At that same fateful RomantiCon last year, I was invited by one of the “Cougar Challenge” authors to join them. So when I was writing WHAT SHE NEEDS, I expected it to be part of that series, but my editor said it didn’t fit the guidelines and she bought it as a stand-alone book. Back to the computer I went, and I wrote a novella entitled ADDING HEAT that my editor just contracted as a Cougar Challenge book. (Check out the unique Tempt the Cougar blog, where blogs are posted by heroines in the series about their hopes and fears and the younger men they meet—and also post, um, inspirational photos of younger men.)

Now I’m getting all kinds of heat from the playboy photographer who was the hero’s best friend in WHAT SHE NEEDS, so I’ll be writing his story next. While WHAT SHE NEEDS has a steamy-hot ménage a trois, I might take the sequel a little further…depends on the characters’ wishes, of course.

By the way, here’s the blurb for WHAT SHE NEEDS:

Older widow Delia Barnes greets fellow authors before an erotic romance convention sporting a black eye, which she explains away with “I didn’t say ‘Yes, Master’ quick enough.” Sitting at the bar, burned-out ad executive and former Dom Kurt Reinhardt overhears that comment once too often and interrupts to suggest, “Maybe you need a new Master.”

Urged by her friends to accept the younger man’s invitation to learn some D/s basics—hey, an author needs to do her research, right?—Delia joins him to get first-hand experience at being submissive, starting with removing her panties in a corner booth. Later, she learns more than she bargained for when she spends a weekend at Kurt’s home with his eager business partner added to the mix.

But an innocent misstep brings Delia’s world crashing down around her. Can she trust Kurt with her heart…and her life?

You can read an excerpt of WHAT SHE NEEDS and buy the book at:

If you want to know more about RomantiCon 2010, here’s the link:

To read more about me and my books, please check out my Website:

I also have a MySpace page:

And an Amazon Profile page:

Thanks for stopping by! And thank you, Cari, for having me here.

My pleasure, Cris! Great interview and I can't wait to read What She Needs!


Welcome romance author Selena Robins!

I'm so thrilled to have Samhain author Selena Robins on the blog today. I met Selena after I read her recent release, What A Girl Wants. I might not have heard of the book if I hadn't been paying attention to the Samhain loop on WAGW's release day. Selena posted some amazing excerpts and I HAD to get the book. It was longer than I usually read on my computer (I rarely use my e-reader) but I went for it. And am I glad I did! I loved What A Girl Wants! It's funny and sexy and suspenseful and you feel the characters' emotions right along with them. It made me an insta-fan of Selena's work and whatever she writes in the future, I'll be sure to buy. And probably read on release day, just like WAGW. ;) I'm really excited she agreed to an interview!

Welcome Selena!

1. Your latest release, What A Girl Wants, is sexy, funny, exciting, and emotional and contains elements of romantic suspense. Did you intend to write such a genre-defying book?

Thank you, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the book and I love the “genre-defying” tag.

My taste for books is the same as my passion for chocolate. I like them assorted, bittersweet, sinfully sexy and with a bite of suspense—as I never look at the chocolate box guide before diving in.

When I write, I’m not conscious of any one genre as my goal is to write the best book I can and hopefully give reader a good bang (no pun intended) for their hard earned dollar.

2. What was your inspiration for What A Girl Wants?

The friends-to-lovers storyline has always been a favorite of mine. Do I think that all female/male friendships end in true love? No. However, I do believe that a strong friendship which has an underlying sexual attraction that both people ignore for whatever reason can be the foundation for a rich-long-lasting love affair (marriage). Even with all the screw-ups and internal conflicts they have to encounter along their emotional roller coaster ride. I love the idea that even with all the baggage, personal demons, careers that test their loyalty to not only their friendship but to their love, they have to work hard at recognizing their love, and maintaining the fun, chemistry, sexual tension and excitement that brought them together in the first place—a unique-bonding-friendship.

(P.S. I married my best friend, but really, I’m nothing like the heroine, as I’m much more reserved and shy.) :)

3. There are lots of "shoulds" and "have tos" in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?

“Write what you know.” I’ve read this advice for writers in a lot of places, and in my opinion, it’s one that cannot possibly be followed and can stunt a writer’s learning curve and growth.

Has anyone actually met a vampire, angel or a fairy? (Okay, I’m sure there is some society out there who claims they have, but I’m talking about the “norm”). The same goes for hero’s we love to read and write about such as police, firemen, and Navy Seals for example. We love to write about them, but most of us haven’t been in these professions. The same goes for the villains we love to hate; mobsters, high-powered cranky talk show hosts, crooked judges, etc. If we “should” only write what we know, then we couldn’t write characters with the aforementioned professions or even delve into writing about fantasy and horror.

I would tell aspiring writers to fire up their imaginations with the emotions they  have experienced in life: first crushes, heartbreak, love, even hate, losses, gains, thrill of that first job, the kick in the gut when you’ve been fired, or betrayed, the different seasons, traveling, etc. Emotion is what I believe develops great characters and we’ve all experienced one or more of the different emotions from the time we’re born. As for the plot and the technical aspects of the novel, that we have not experienced, that’s where research comes in handy. Even if a writer has never traveled outside their own city or town, and they want to write about a foreign land, then they could still do it by fictionalizing the setting. In What A Girl Wants, there is a song the heroine loves to sing, I’ve never written a song in my life, but knowing the way she thinks, and acts, helped me to create a song for her.

I’ve heard from readers who wrote to me to tell me how they related to the heroine in WAGH (Maddie) in an emotional way and wished they could have said and done some of the things she’s said and done. I haven’t known any woman who would actually do what she did, (okay maybe some of her stunts, and I will admit to nothing) but I have experienced some of her emotions, and that’s what a writer needs to draw from, emotions they recognize and then exacerbate the feelings and situations.

4. What keeps you at the keyboard when you're not sure if you should keep going?

It’s cheaper than therapy. LOL My passion and love of books keeps me at the keyboard and also, all these characters taking up space in my head who want their stories told, I need more room up there so I have to get them out.

5. Do you have a "dream" genre or book of your heart you'd love to write?

Since my creativity challenges targeting any one genre, I don’t have a “dream” genre but I do have a book of my heart that I have somewhat started. I’d love to finish writing a story based loosely on my parents journey from Italy to Canada, growing up in Little Italy and extracting the humor from the various people in my life. My parents were extremely funny people, only they didn’t realize it, and their sharp wit (something else they didn’t realize they had) makes great fodder. Not to mention, mom was about to take her vows to become a nun, until my motorcycle riding dad in a leather jacket whisked her away (there’s a story right there). I could still hear my mother blaming her overcooked lasagna noodles on the fact that she was being punished for leaving the convent and marrying a renegade agnostic (again more fodder).

6. What are you working on right now?

I'm in the middle of finishing a suspense/romance/murder mystery set in Chicago, with an alpha-hero-undercover cop, mafia princess heroine, criminal families vs police families, quirky hookers, a variety of villains and killing characters (yes, even beloved ones). It’s probably the hardest book I’m writing, mainly because there are more twists than in a bag of pretzels, and I keep adding more. Also, this is the first hard-core alpha hero I’ve ever written. My other hero’s are 50/50 alpha/beta. The plotting is tough as this book dictates a tight plot with enough mystery to keep the reader guessing, enough suspense to keep them at the edge of their seat, and mounds of sexual tension to drive the hero and heroine insane. Even with all the challenges I face with this book, I love these characters and their story. I’m also enjoying the villain in this book a little too much (something that scares my husband, which is okay, keeps him on his toes).


Her business is mischief, his is singe-the-eyebrows off a mannequin sex appeal and keeping secrets—together their businesses are booming—together they’re trouble—together they never expected their lives would spiral out of control and on a different path than they’d ever imagined.

Warning: Side effects may include but not limited to, spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter, hot flashes and dangerous chocolate cravings. Contents include: one kick-ass heroine and a sex-on-legs hero whose kiss could singe the eyebrows off a mannequin. Can be read in bed with someone special or a BOB (battery operated boyfriend). Please note: Batteries not included.

Selena Robins Website:
You Tube Video of Book Trailer:


Welcome erotic author Annabel Joseph!

I'm excited to have fellow Ellora's Cave author, Annabel Joseph, here today. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, and I think her answers are definitely thought-provoking. I'm looking forward to picking up Deep In The Woods and checking out her other work! Deep in the Woods has one gorgeous cover, don't you agree? And check out the delicious excerpt below!

1) What was your inspiration for Deep In The Woods?

I spend a lot of time on BDSM sites and forums talking to kinky people about their experiences and fantasies to get ideas for my books. But in doing so, I’ve learned a lot about the “seamy underbelly” of the BDSM scene.  Deep in the Woods was perhaps my attempt to make sense of some of the sadder situations I was learning about.

I think in BDSM romance books especially, everything always seems to work out perfectly…the Dom is always a responsible gentleman who respects limits and adores the sub. The sub is always a strong heroine with a lot of self-respect. But what I was finding was that sometimes, in reality, there are Doms are not Doms at all, but predators, and there are subs—no matter how strong—who are taken in by these types. So I suppose some part of me wanted to explore that “less perfect” side of the lifestyle. I wanted to poke a little at the controversy of limits and consent, and the growing trend in BDSM circles to “outkink” others by playing harder and doing more and more outlandish and risky things.

I also really wanted to show a person coming back from such a relationship. I wanted to write a book about a survivor. I wanted readers to have a window into what that descent into abuse feels like, but also to see the heroine overcoming her past and making more careful choices the next time. And of course, I wanted to show what a caring, responsible BDSM relationship looks like by comparison. Hopefully I accomplished all of that while also producing a really hot, sexy, and romantic book. 

2) You write contemporary BDSM. Why do you think so many readers - and writers - find BDSM such a fascinating subject?

I think when you introduce dominance and submission into a relationship, there is just that extra level of trust and passion involved. I mean, in vanilla romance, of course you have trust, love, passion, all those things. But when you are offering yourself to someone in a BDSM arrangement, all those aspects ramp up. It’s one thing to trust someone to take you out to dinner and come home and make love to you. It’s another thing altogether to trust someone to tie you up, render you powerless, and be in complete control of you. I think it just lends that extra intensity and depth that can be very thrilling if it’s done right.

I also think so many of us have fantasies of really letting go of everything and giving ourselves up to another person’s will. I think some things women would never consider appealing in a vanilla relationship suddenly become attractive when they’re ordered by their Dominant to do it. So I think a lot of readers and writers are drawn to that sort of “boundary-pushing” that takes place a lot in BDSM.

3) There are lots of "shoulds" and "have tos" in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?

Oh, what an excellent question. Being rather new to publishing, I’m finding there are a lot of “shoulds” and expectations that are not really negotiable. But one “should” I personally didn’t follow was the suggestion that you need to read widely in your genre in order to produce publishable work. I mean, I think you need to know what audiences are looking for in *general* terms, but I think the more you read others, the more danger that you will begin to write to a formula or style that is not your own.

I would advise writers to spend their efforts developing their own original style and voice and to actually try NOT to mimic the work of other writers in their genre. In the end, it’s your own originality and fresh outlook that will make a reader say, “Hmm, this is something new and exciting. I’m going to tell all my friends about this book.”

4) What keeps you at the keyboard when you're not sure if you should keep going?

For me, I think it’s the characters in my head. I fall in love with these characters I create, and their stories begin to take on such importance to me that I feel I have no choice but to see the story through to the end and share it. I’m a very character-driven writer. Once a character is in my head, it’s like I can’t silence them. Haha. That makes me sound slightly loopy.

Readers’ positive comments also keep me at the keyboard. There’s no feeling on earth like a reader telling you that your story touched them.  It’s like a high, and once you feel it, it’s something you want to keep searching for. And there’s only one way to do that—write more books!

5) Do you have a "dream" genre or book of your heart you'd love to write?

To be honest, my “dream” genre would be writing for the screen. I love the challenge and peculiarities of it. In prose, you can say exactly what you want to communicate right there on the page, more or less. You have a lot of flexibility. But in screenwriting, you have to communicate everything through outward appearances and dialogue, which takes a lot of planning and a metaphorical touch. At the same time, there are really rigid timing and story arc conventions you have to hit. It’s a deceptively complex form of writing, and it can be very addictive once you get hooked on it. I used to do a lot of screenwriting, but so much of what Hollywood is producing right now are sequels and comic book adaptations, so it began to seem fruitless. It is a great way to hone your chops as a writer though.

6) Any other upcoming releases you can tell us about? What are you working on right now?

I’m currently in the editing stages with Fortune, which is the story of Ryan, one of the secondary characters from Deep in the Woods. He’s a shibari and origami obsessed Dominant who is very methodical about everything, but then falls for a very flighty club girl. I’m always interested in bringing people together whom, on the surface, might seem a terrible match for each another. It’s just that much more satisfying when they find common ground.

Along those lines, I’m also working on a Regency-type kinky romance that brings a rich marquis into a relationship of necessity with a common flower-seller. I just love helping characters find that least likely connection and then discover that it’s what they needed and wanted all along. Isn’t that what BDSM is all about sometimes? Taking those risks and sometimes even a lot of pain—and finding you love it more than you ever knew.

Want to find out more? Buy Deep In The Woods here:
Or visit Annabel’s website:

Deep in the Woods blurb:

Sophie finally finds the courage to re-enter the Atlanta BDSM scene after extricating herself from an abusive relationship. At a local munch, she meets Dave, a funny, laid-back erotic photographer who’s new in town. When she sees him again later at the dungeon, Sophie is surprised by her strong feelings for him. Although she’s nervous about starting a new relationship, Dave takes her home and eases her fears. They embark on a sexy, thrilling D/s relationship and Sophie finds healing and fulfillment in Dave’s arms. 

But Sophie is haunted by nightmares of her past. On a dark night in the woods with Dave and his friend Ryan, frightening memories overtake Sophie. She knows she must uncover the tragedy that haunts her subconscious to move on. Her quest for answers brings her face-to-face with her old tormentor, and Sophie finds herself not just fighting for answers, but for her life. Will Sophie ever make it out of the woods and find the peace she seeks?


   He placed a fingertip against her lips. “I’m not assuming anything. I am telling you that if I kiss you…if I touch you tonight the way I want to…”

   The way he was staring at her made it impossible to concentrate on his words. Her eyes dropped to his lips, full and sensual. His bottom lip was perfection, something to lick and nibble. Before she could stop herself, she drew her tongue across her own lips. His hand cupped her chin and his gaze forced her to focus. “Listen to me. If I kiss you… Sophie…” He leaned forward and she parted her lips with a sigh.

   The moment his lips touched hers, she felt relief. She felt a peace that had eluded her for months, perhaps years. He held her face in his hands as his mouth possessed hers. The kiss quickly intensified and his tongue pushed into her mouth. He moved closer. His hands grasped her shoulders, then ran down her arms to pull her against his chest. The entire time, his lips never left hers. He tasted her eagerly, and his kiss was demanding. She felt possessed, challenged. He could master her and she knew it. He was letting her know he could master her if that was her desire.

   Oh god. One hand moved up her back to twist in her hair. He pulled hard, sending thrills of stinging pain down the back of her neck and around to her flushed face. She arched her spine and moaned against his lips. It was not in her nature to beg, although she wanted to at that moment. She wanted to plead for what she wished. She wanted to prostrate herself before him. She wanted to surrender to the intensity and fire of his touch. His touch, his touch…his fingertips were trailing back down her arms, then to the hem of her dress. She broke away and looked around. The light. Not in the light. She pushed at his hand and he stopped and pulled back.

   “What’s wrong?”

   “I…can’t we…the light is so bright and…and your dog is staring at me. It’s kind of freaking me out. Can’t we…? I’m sorry…”

   “Turn out the lights?”

   She blushed, feeling like an idiot. “Can we please?”

   “I would like to see you, Sophie. Your lovely body. Your beautiful eyes.”

   She bit her lip, hating this moment, hating everything about it. She could run. She could just run out the door and… No. She didn’t want to run. But she couldn’t show her body to him, not at this moment. Later. She would deal with it later. And if he rejected her when he saw the scars, at least then she would have had one night to be with him.

   “Please, Dave. I’m just shy. It’s been so long and…” She looked over at Cerby again, who was helping her case by gawking at them from a couple feet away. “Your dog is sweet but—”

   “You’re telling me you’re embarrassed to get naked in front of my dog.”

   “Yes.” Yes, and please believe me. Please just go along with this.

   Dave sighed. “That’s really the problem? It’s not that you don’t want to get intimate tonight? Because hey, we just met. I’m fine with waiting. Really, Sophie, I am.”

   Nooooo. “No, I want to. I’m just… I’m weird that way.” I’m weird. I’m weird. Don’t make me show you just how weird I am. “Maybe…maybe the first time would be better in the dark. So we can really feel each other. You know?”

   He nodded, his fingers caressing her hip. “Depend on our other senses?”

   “Yes, exactly.”

   “Well, you realize I’m a photographer, that I’m very visual. We can always shut Cerby out of the bedroom. In fact, it would probably be a good idea.”

   “I guess. I mean, we could. But something about me is that I really… I really like the dark. I really, really like darkness, especially when I’m feeling…”

   “Scared?” he supplied when her voice got too tight to continue. “Are you feeling scared right now, Sophie?”

   “Nervous,” she whispered. “Because I really want to be with you.”

   He looked down at her trembling hands and then back at her face, and something in her expression must have caused him to relent.

   “Okay. Only because the first time is always slightly scary. My bedroom is really dark with the lights off, you’ll like it. We can get to know each other by touch alone.”

Thanks so much for being here, Annabel!


Welcome romance author Amy Ruttan!

I'm so excited to have romance author Amy Ruttan on the blog today. In honor of her latest release, Enemy Enchantress - check out that gorgeous cover! - she was kind enough to answer a few of my burning questions. So sit back and enjoy...and when you're done reading the interview, head on over to Eternal Press to pick up Enemy Enchantress! It's available HERE.

First, the blurb and a delicious excerpt!

As she tries to hide her true self from the gentle warrior, death stalks her. The perpetrator behind a series of attacks wants more than to destroy the precarious peace—they want her powers.

To save her people, she must reveal herself and risk his love or leave him to face the challenge—alone.

Enemy Enchantress excerpt:

He couldn’t believe what had just happened. His little Mid Dividian wife was a fireball in bed. She had taken him. He had never been taken by a woman before, and male pride dictated that he should be offended, that he should have been the one to ride her. At this moment, though, he didn’t care. That was the most satisfying mating he had ever experienced, and he looked forward to the next time.

Maybe there was a benefit to being married to a pagan. He felt the skin of her forehead pressed against his chest. He felt her lips, her hot breath against his skin as she panted. He pulled off his mask and tossed it away to look down at his wife.

His heart skipped a beat as he really looked at the red golden hair hanging over her shoulders. The enchantress rose before him in his mind; she had had red golden curls.

“Aislinn,” he said, breathing heavily, “let me see your face.”

1) You write in several different genres. Which is your favorite to write?

I think my favorite to write is still historical. It is my first love, and I enjoy writing about different times. I like to take a heroine and hero who stand up to the oppositions which stand in there way during their time period. I especially like when I can add a bit of paranormal to my historical making it all the more fun.

2) What was your inspiration for Enemy Enchantress?

I was sitting alone on my first maternity leave and entrance by Lord of the Rings. The story just began to unfold there, but life gets in the way and I put a hold on the story until after my second child was born. I entered it in a contest and finalled, then I knew I had to finish it and go after my dreams. Again, Enemy Enchantress was put on hiatus, then it found a home and the doors shut … which happens. Finally it’s found another home and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

3) There are lots of "shoulds" and "have tos" in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?

Don’t lose track of your own voice. Getting critiques and read throughs by other authors are insanely valuable, especially if you form a good partnership with a critique partner, but remember reading is subjective so be true to your own voice … what someone loves, someone else may hate. You can’t please everyone.

A piece of advice authors should follow, FOLLOW THE EDITOR/AGENT’S GUIDELINES! Remember you want to get out of the slush pile, and if your writing is everything on their ‘No’ list, then it’s best to move on.

4) What keeps you at the keyboard when you're not sure if you should keep going?

Readers, I’ve gotten some lovely reader feedback. My family and friends loving support and cheers go a long way to keep me writing. This is a dream I’ve had since I was about 7-years-old, I just have to keep going. I am very thankful for all the supportive people in my life.

5) Do you have a "book of your heart" you'd love to write?

Enemy Enchantress was the book of my heart. It was the first I finished. There are books I wrote when I was a teenager which shall never see the light of day, but it was how I passed time when I was alone or bored so they hold a special place in my heart, but they will never be unleashed onto the world I’m afraid. LOL!

6) What are you working on right now? Any other upcoming releases we can look forward to?

Well, I have several things out in the stratosphere, and a couple things which I hope to market under different pen names. The second book in my Enchantress Series: Sorceress from the Sea comes out September 7, 2010 and the third book titled Healer of the Heart, I think, is coming out December 7, 2010. I’m currently writing the fourth book of this series, Enchanter’s Slave, it’s still a work in progress. As for the things out on submissions, one includes an erotic Gladiator story and that’s all I can say.


Welcome romance author Mari Carr!

Please welcome THE Mari Carr to my blog today! I'm very excited to have her here, because I've been a fan of her work for over a year now. She was actually the first erotic romance author I read when I was trying to decide if I could write erotic romance, and once I'd read one book of hers, I was hooked! That book was Tequila Truth, part of the Black & White collection at Samhain, and I think I love the cover *almost* as much as I love the story. I'm not sure which of Mari's books I picked up next, probably Samhain's Erotic Research. Loved that one too, and so I made it my mission to collect all of Mari's books. ;) She writes a LOT of them though, so my credit card's gotten quite a workout. Not only is she an amazing writer, she's a super nice person too so I'm thrilled to help her promote her latest release, Rekindled, out today from Ellora's Cave. And yes, I'll be buying my copy bright and early today!

Here's Mari...

1) You primarily write contemporary erotic romance. Any plans to branch out into other genres?

Actually, I have written two regency historical books that are currently available at Liquid Silver. The June Girls books were the first two books I ever wrote and they hold a very big piece of my heart. I love writing historical books and I hope to return to that genre somewhere down the road. I've also toyed with the idea of writing a paranormal series of shifter dogs, but I always manage to push that a little lower on my to-do list. I think I find the paranormal genre rather intimidating, but who knows! Maybe one day.

2) Your Wild Irish series is, to me, groundbreaking in erotic romance in that the backdrop of family is so richly intertwined with the love story of the hero/heroine. What inspired you to develop this series? And do you have any tips for writing connected books?

*VBG* I love the word 'groundbreaking!' Thank you. I'd written standalone stories for nearly a year and I think if we don't challenge ourselves as writers, we grow stagnant. I love series books--adore them. The Stephanie Plum series, the JD Robb books, Madison Hayes' Calendar Girls are all some of my favorites. I'd been toying with the idea for quite some time and when I mentioned the 'urge' to my Ellora's Cave editor, she was extremely supportive and encouraging. I started putting the pieces together, creating characters, making notes (lots and lots of notes) and before I knew it, the Wild Irish were born. I come from a very large family--think My Big Fat Greek Wedding without the Greek. I love large families, love that feeling of closeness and unconditional love, so I knew my series was going to involve a family. In many ways, the Collins clan is similar to me and my cousins. Lots of fun!

And advice? Well, just what I said. Keep very good notes. I have a list of names, a timeline, synopses for all seven books. I've sketched the Collins apartment, figured out the rooms, managed to create the mother Sunday through flashbacks. All of this took very careful planning. I also re-read the stories after every two or three books. In preparation to write the last book, I just spent the last four days re-reading books one through six, so that I could remember specific events and get a feeling for my characters once more. It's time-consuming, but I've loved every minute of it. I will be so sad to leave this family.

3) There are lots of "shoulds" and "have tos" in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?

Write from your heart, not based on what you think will sell or what is hot. Also, write what you enjoy reading. If shifters are all the rage, but you don't care for that genre, then don't write it. You have to love and believe in your story. It will show if you don't.

4) What keeps you at the keyboard when you're not sure if you should keep going?

Honestly, for me, it's not hard to sit in front of the computer. Writing is my passion. My problem stems from the fact there never seem to be enough hours in the day for me to write as much as I want to. I have a full-time job, so writing is something that has to happen on the weekends. As for writer's block, I've found it useful to skip around. Some books I can write from beginning to end. Others are just a bit tougher than that. It helps me to skip ahead to a scene I've plotted out in my mind, even if it's in chapter eight and I'm only on chapter two. I'm doing that right now on a book I'm writing. I was struggling with the opening, but I had a clear view of later scenes. I wrote down the scenes I could see and suddenly the opening came to me.

5) Do you have a "book of your heart" you'd love to write?

Well, it's been a very good year because I feel like I've just spent the last couple of months writing two books that have touched my heart, though both for different reasons. Oddly enough, book six in the Wild Irish series, Saturday Night Special, feels like the closest I've come to writing what I truly want to write--romantic comedy. I always joke that I want to be the dirty Evanovich, but that's actually very true. I had a blast writing Riley and Aaron's story in Saturday Night Special, creating wacky characters, a crazy Vegas adventure, and I still managed to squeeze in every member of the Collins family. It was a lot of fun and I'm really proud of how it turned out.

I recently wrote a very different story for me called Do Over. It's unique because the hero and heroine in the story are happily married and celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. It's a very romantic story that shows true love can indeed last and sex after 40 can be pretty damn hot! It's been accepted by Carina Press, which is also an exciting thing for me. I feel like I'm starting a new chapter in my publishing career and I look forward to working with the folks at Carina.

6) Tell us a bit about your upcoming releases. And what are you working on right now? (I more than welcome any sneak peeks of your future work you would like to share! LOL)

Well, as luck would have it, I have a new release TODAY! Rekindled is hitting the shelves at Ellora's Cave today. It's the standalone sequel to my cowboy quickie, Spitfire. Here. I'll share the blurb.

It’s been a year since her husband’s passing, and running the ranch is taking its toll on Claire Hutchins. Independent as the day is long, she concedes the need for help. She wants a foreman, an employee to run the day-to-day who can handle a woman calling the shots. Someone who won’t give her any trouble…

Who shows up at her door, first in line for the job? Jeb Carter. Ex-high-school sweetheart. Longtime rodeo star. And the one man capable of making Claire’s lust burn out of control…of making her surrender completely.

Trouble has finally come calling…and he’s as irresistible as ever.

Book five in the Wild Irish series, Friday I'm in Love, will also be coming out August 13. Here's a sneak peek of the story.

“Why are you tired?”

She closed her eyes and prayed for patience. This was how conversations with Ewan went. He asked a question, she answered, and then he asked more.

“I was reading a really sexy book last night and spent half the night masturbating with my vibrator. All those amazing orgasms can really take it out of you, you know?” She hoped her smartass comment would embarrass him, shut him up.

She should have known better.

“Shit, Nat. I wish you would have waited. I’m going to be downstairs from you tonight. I can fuck you a helluva lot better than a lousy piece of plastic.”

She’d been given Tristan’s old room on the third floor to sleep in while she was staying with the family, but sleep didn’t seem to be something she was going to be doing much of, especially not after the sexy seed Ewan had just planted.

“In your dreams, kiddo. I don’t play with children,” she said, although she wasn’t all that concerned that he was younger.

For one thing, he didn’t act young, but she supposed that was because he’d been responsible—along with his sister, Keira—for running the restaurant side of his family’s business since graduating from college. Teagan raved about his management abilities and smooth administration. The fun, sexually explicit banter he engaged in with Natalie seemed to be the exception, rather than the norm, and she got the feeling the rest of his family saw him as serious, responsible, staid.

“Thought you weren’t gonna play the age card again?”

“Old habits die hard.”

“You’re quiet today, distant. Why do I get the feeling it’s more than fatigue?”

“I would think you’d be glad I’m quiet. I mean, it’s not as if there’s ever been any love lost between us. You and I are like—”

He looked so genuinely shocked she stopped midsentence, the words oil and water dying on her tongue.

“No love lost? I’m crazy about you, Nat. You must know that?”

She laughed. “You really are going to have to give up this schoolboy crush. I’ve been nothing but a bitch to you since day one.”

He grasped her hand and she looked at him in surprise. “I haven’t been a boy in a long time, babydoll. And I’m more than man enough to deal with you and your so-called bitchiness.”

She wished her body hadn’t heard those words. The second he uttered more than man enough, her nipples went on red alert and she was a bit worried about the sudden dampness in her panties. She tried to tug her hand out of his grip, but he refused to relinquish it. “Listen, hotshot—”

“Save it, Nat. Why are you depressed?”

She panicked at his words. “I’m not depressed. I don’t get depressed. Ever.” Her words came out far too loud and she watched him study her face intently. She bit her lower lip, realizing Ewan Collins was far too observant when it came to her. He was also cutting too close to the core. Honesty seemed her best bet. “I’m thirty-four years old and I have fuck-all to show for my life.”

Ewan frowned. “That’s not true. You own and operate an incredibly successful photography studio in Palm Springs. You’re one of the most talented photographers I’ve ever met. Your pictures are beautiful.”

She was taken aback by his praise, surprised he’d seen enough of her work to judge. “How do you know that?”

“I check out your website on occasion, plus Teagan is always emailing us pictures you’ve taken of her and Sky. You have an amazing eye.”

“Yeah, that’s me. The queen of composition, lighting, shading. Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my entire life behind the lens of a camera.”

Ewan lightly caressed the skin on the back of her neck and she marveled at how comforting the simple gesture was. “You sound like you’re questioning your career choice.”

“Do I?” she asked. “That’s not my intention. I love my job. But sometimes I feel like that’s all there is to me. I’m defined by a freaking camera.”

“That’s not true. I know Sky and Teagan consider you their friend, not their photographer.”

“I know that. It’s just…” She paused, trying to find a way to express the dark thoughts that had been plaguing her since her birthday. “It’s just…I’m never in any of the pictures.”

His eyebrows creased and she knew he was confused by her comment. She tried to clarify. “I’m not really sure what I have to show for my life. Hell, I’m not sure I’ve lived a life. I stand on the sidelines of every event, snapping picture after picture of other people living, celebrating, doing something. God, doing anything.” Her voice betrayed her frustration and she took a breath, tried to calm down when she noticed Tris Collins glance up at her from the bar.

Ewan rubbed her hand, his other arm still draped around her, and she felt wholly surrounded by his presence. “What did you hope to have achieved by now that you haven’t?”

His question caught her off-guard. She’d spent months commiserating over her lost youth, never once thinking about what it was she was grieving. And with one simple question, Ewan had thrown her for a loop…again. “Well, I don’t know exactly. I’ve been to hundreds of weddings, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries. I’ve seen thousands of people celebrating events with loved ones. I’ve never done anything worth celebrating and even if I did, I wouldn’t have anybody to commemorate it with. I know this may come as a surprise to you, but I don’t generally have one of those personalities people flock to.”

“Prickly?” he asked, though she knew his comment wasn’t a question.

“No, not prickly. Strong-willed, self-assured, independent.” She struggled to find those three words.

“Opinionated, arrogant, bitchy. Got it.”

She opened her mouth to lambaste him and then closed it again. He was right. There was no debating the truth.

“Damn,” he muttered. “You are down and out. No snappy comeback, Nat?”

She shook her head.

“I sort of got the impression you were happy on your own. You always say people are an annoyance you don’t have time for.”

She looked around the room briefly, wondering how she always got into these conversations with Ewan. He always made her say too much, tell too many secrets she never intended to reveal. “That’s true. I guess maybe sometimes I think it might be nice to have a friend. Someone normal and not obnoxious. Someone who doesn’t get their feelings easily hurt when I tell them they suck.”

He laughed and she realized her requirements for a friend did sound pretty pathetic. “Isn’t that Sky?” he asked.

“It was—I mean, is. It’s just, he’s got Teagan now and, well…things are different.”

Ewan smiled and she felt a flash of anger spark. Here she was unloading all her misery, confessing things she’d never told another living soul, and he was giving her that stupid, annoying, lopsided grin.

She scowled. “Glad you find this all so funny. Get away from my table.”

He moved closer and she fought to hold on to her annoyance. God, men as handsome as Ewan Collins should be illegal.

“I’m not laughing at you, babydoll. I’m just glad your problem is so easily solved.”

She looked at him, confused. She’d spent months feeling sorry for herself, trying to find a way out of her funk, and nothing had presented itself. Even leaving town for a change of scenery, a change of company hadn’t helped.

She studied Ewan’s confident face and realized that if anyone could solve her problem, it was probably him. Why she felt that way, she couldn’t say. There was simply something deep inside her that said trust him.

“Show me the way.” Her request was softly spoken, but Ewan heard it.

“How long are you staying here?” he asked.

“A week.” It was Saturday afternoon and she had a flight booked to return to Palm Springs early in the morning the following Saturday.

Ewan rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Seven days. It’s a little tight, but we can manage.”

“Manage what?”

“I’m going to teach you a lesson a day. Seven lessons you can live by so you never feel this way again. You, Natalie Miller, are about to get a life.”

I also have a new book coming to Samhain in October. Happy Hour will be the fourth book in the Black & White Collection, a group of stories that involve women's wicked fantasies. Erotic Research involved role playing, Tequila Truth features a menage. In Rough Cut, BDSM is explored. Happy Hour is a cougar book with a menage mixed in for good measure!

And currently I am working on the fifth, and I'm thinking, the last book for the Black & White Collection. The tentative title is True Colors and it involves two very dominant personalities who sort of crash into each other's lives and begin to delve into each of their darkest sexual fantasies together. So far, I've touched on sex with a stranger, sex in public, bondage, spanking, exhibitionism. It's a little bit of everything!

See what I mean about prolific? The woman never stops, and I, for one, am a VERY happy reader!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Mari!

Want to find out more about Mari or her books? Check out her website or the awesome Yahoo loop she shares with a group of fantabulous authors that call themselves International Heat. You can find the Heat Wave loop here. And if you want to pick up Rekindled - which I know you do! - buy it here.