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.