Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome Tara Lain today with Contest

 Yikes! I’ve Been Branded by Tara Lain

Recently, an online conversation with a group of authors and editors turned into a discussion of an author’s brand, and my brand in particular. For those who find the word mystifying (most of us!  LOL), I define a brand as a promise that lives in the heart and mind of the reader. When you pick up a certain author’s book, what are you expecting? Why did you choose the book? What has to be there for you to be satisfied?
You may know that I haven’t been writing fiction for long. My new release, Golden Dancer, is just my fourth published book. I have two more coming out this year, plus one book submitted and one in progress. If you look at all the books, you’ll see that three make up a ménage contemporary series (M/M/F), one is a contemporary M/M/M ménage, one is a quirky, slightly paranormal holiday story with M/M, M/F and M/M/F romances (and a little BDSM), one is contemporary M/M paranormal and Golden Dancer is a M/M/M romantic suspense. So we’ve got a mix. Yes, I write a lot of ménages but some are all guys and some are two men and a woman. I do contemporary pretty consistently, but chances are that’s not why someone reads my books. I know many of my readers love scifi and paranormal and fantasy as much or more than they like contemporary. So what is the brand? If you’ve read some of my books, I would love to know what you think the Tara Lain brand is. Before you read on, please close your eyes and think of what you expect when you pick up my books. What is the promise I make to you?

One of the editors put forth that my brand involves slightly over-the-top, larger than life characters. I don’t write everyman. I like supermodels and scientists and soccer stars and billionaires and ballet dancers. But I try to put these large characters in real emotional situations so the feelings ring true and relatable. Even though the reader may not be a billionaire art collector, she/he can still believe the emotions and know that this could happen to anyone.  This last idea came from another author who reads my books. She doesn’t read much M/M but says she likes the emotional scenes.  I try to write in deep point-of-view which contributes to the depth of the emotion. I imagine that is part of the brand as well.

Some people mention dialogue and a bit of humor as the things they like and expect in my books. 

So, larger than life characters in deeply relatable emotional situations with real-sounding dialogue and a touch of humor? Is that the Tara Lain brand? Or is it something else?  What are the brands of your favorite authors? Share? 

Would you like to WIN a copy of my new release, Golden Dancer, or my last release, Volley Balls? Just leave a comment HERE and I’ll enter you in the drawing On Oct 1. But there are many other ways to earn entries and have more chances to win. Go over to http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com and leave a comment and follow the Blog. That will earn you entries in 3 drawings. And there are lots more chances to WIN! It’s all in the blog. But first, leave me a comment here to get started.  And my special thanks to Dawn for being such a wonderful host. I love visiting the Nook!


Golden Dancer by Tara Lain
Loose Id Publishing
MMM Contemporary Romantic Suspense Menage
Buy HERE
Available on September 27th, 2011

Golden Dancer is the first book in which Tara Lain has woven true suspense elements -- nasty sons-of-Nazi villains, a kidnapping, and a mysterious art collector who may or may not have stolen a priceless statue called The Golden Dancer. But, of course, the book is still an erotic romance bringing together Mac, a lanky, news reporter who thinks of himself as straight, Daniel, the billionaire art collector, and the beautiful Russian ballet dancer,Trelain, in a passionate menage. The story not only pits Mac's drive for his story against his desire for the two men, it also pits his curiosity and ambition against his conscience and honor.

Golden Dancer takes readers from the beautiful spring sunshine of Laguna Beach, California to the ballet studios and waterfront warehouses of New York. It's a fun ride.
A reporter and the thief he’s investigating fall for a golden dancer forging a ménage of love and lies that could send one to prison and one to the morgue. Uncovering secrets requires baring more than just the soul.

The butler carefully locked the door behind them while visions of slipping him a sleeping pill and stealing the key wafted through Mac’s head. Okay, this really wasn’t Mickey Spillane. They walked back to the great room, and Mac saw a crowd out on the terrace. Not huge, maybe thirty or so people. As he got closer, he revised that statement. Thirty or so men.
“Have a good evening, sir.” The butler walked back toward the entry.
“Uh, thanks.” Well, what the fuck?
He walked closer to the open terrace doors. Music was playing from a small band, and a number of couples were dancing. Male couples. Maybe he should get the hell out of here.
“Mac!”
He looked up to see Trelain slipping through the crowd toward him. The man’s eyes shone, and he was smiling. When he got to Mac, he grabbed his hand. “I’m so glad you could come. Daniel told me you would, but I truly didn’t believe him.” He looked a little embarrassed at his own enthusiasm. “It’s just that you left today before I could say good-bye, and I wanted to thank you.”
“Thank me?”
“Yes, for your brilliant review. Everyone in the company was thrilled with your intelligent comments and informed praise. I told them about your parents.”
The warmth of Trelain’s hand went straight to his balls. Shit. Get a grip. “Glad you like it. It was all true.”
“Come, get a drink.”
Mac let himself be led across the slate terrace to a bar that was obviously popular. When Trelain came up, a few of the men in line stepped aside, letting the beautiful dancer go first. He smiled, but clearly didn’t find the gesture inappropriate. Mac figured he was used to being spoiled, and who wouldn’t want to spoil him?
When Trelain turned back to him, he had two glasses of champagne in his hands. He handed one to Mac. “I hope you don’t mind, but I just feel like celebrating.” He clinked his glass with Mac’s and took a sip.
Mac sipped too. “So, what are we celebrating?”
His eyes glistened. “Oh, I don’t know. Just the fact that you’re here, I guess.”
Jesus. He felt both flattered and frightened. He didn’t really want the responsibility for making Trelain happy. Did he?
A warm hand clasped his shoulder, and he looked up into the blue-black eyes.
“Hi, Mac. Really glad you could make it.”
He so wanted to hate this man, but the guy was kind of nice, to say nothing of ridiculously handsome. Not that he cared about that. And nobody ever said a fucking thief couldn’t be handsome. “Thanks.”
Daniel took one arm and Trelain the other. They walked over to a group of men who were chatting and sipping on the corner of the patio. His host introduced him to the group and slipped away with Trelain. At first Mac felt self-conscious, but the guys turned out to be great. Pretty quickly, he was embroiled in a discussion of local politics and how to keep Laguna from going the way of the rest of conservative Orange County. The men were all residents of the city, and they were all gay, but Mac found he was thoroughly enjoying himself. “So why don’t one of you run for City Council?”
The tall blond named Roger laughed. “Too much work; sadly I already put in a sixty-hour week at the firm.” He snuggled the cute, geeky-looking man next to him. “My honey doesn’t want me spending any more time away from him.”
His “honey,” the quiet one of the group, kissed Roger’s nose but didn’t comment.
Mac felt an arm twine through his. He looked down into that beautiful, sculptured face. “Hi.”
“Hi, Mac.” The group became very quiet at the dancer’s arrival. The turquoise eyes gazed up at him, a little glassy. Maybe a few champagnes? “Would you dance with me?”
Mac quelled the “hell, no” that tried to escape. This was the guest of honor. He looked up at all the men dancing. He’d be more conspicuous if he said no than if he just gave in. “I’ve never danced with a man before.”
He got the soft dimples in the carved cheeks. “It’s just the same. Come on.”
They walked the few steps onto the center of the terrace where the dancers were moving to a simple, slow beat. Good. Nothing tricky. Trelain raised his arms as a woman would, and Mac slipped his around the man.
He immediately learned two things. First, dancing with a man, at least this man, was nothing like dancing with a woman. Trelain’s back was hard and oh so warm. His long-fingered hands, while smaller than Mac’s, were still not feminine, and the silky hair smelled like…what? A man. Soap and a hint of a musky aftershave.
Trelain snuggled tight against him, resting his head in the crook of Mac’s shoulder, and that was when Mac learned the second thing. Women did not provide a hard cock to rub against him. Holy crap, he needed to back away. But his half-hard cock was rubbing against Trelain’s flat belly, and it felt so good. Way too good.
Trelain gave a little humming sound that might have been a moan, and though he could claim they were “just dancing,” his partner’s cock moved with mind-searing precision, up, down, a bit to the side. Mac’s cock was so huge, it hurt. Jesus, the thought of this man tortured him. The reality was more than he could stand. He had to get the hell out of here.
He ripped himself out of the dancer’s arms. “Sorry, gotta go.” Slouching a little in hopes that the bagginess of his cargoes would cover his throbbing erection, he headed through the open doors and across the great room. There were far fewer people to observe his humiliation in here. Goal: get to the door.
“Mac, don’t go.”
He glanced over his shoulder at Trelain and almost stopped. Hell, no. He had to go now. He almost made it to the front door when a big solid body stepped in front of him. “Mac, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Get out of my way, Terrebone.”
“Hell, no. Come with me.” The big man grabbed and pulled him into the hall that led toward the back of the house. Mac started to pull back when he was spun and pushed hard against the wall.
“Daniel. What are you doing? Don’t hurt him.” Trelain’s voice sounded distraught.
Terrebone pushed his face into Mac’s. “I’m not hurting him, darling. He’s hurting himself. This man has got to realize that he wants you and you want him and, for that matter, he probably wants me.”


E-mail:                   tara@taralain.com
Website:              http://www.taralain.com
Author blog:       http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog:           http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com
Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain




Thursday, September 29, 2011

WRITERS WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FUED



INTERVIEWING OURSELVES

How long have you been writing?

A: I believe it all started when I began drawing stick-figure stories on cave walls. Yes, I am that old, at least I believe my soul has roamed this universe since forever. However, seriously, it began when word processing came with just a spell check and cut and paste was awesome.

Z: It dates back to when I first started dating and recognized that sharing written thoughts—enhanced opportunity . As time passed and the poems transmorphed from roses are red to my heart hugs, I recognized the empowerment words held. How many years is that? Let’s say forever.

What, or who, inspired you to write?

A: Rosemary Rogers…ah yes, the original Bodice Ripper queen. The heat! The tension! The muscles! Oh yeah, no more sweet kisses, there was tongue! That was what I wanted to write. Also, William Shakespeare. I mean, he was cutting edge in his time, full of drama. I adore drama.

Z: Dyslexia, the hundreds of books read via candlelight, and high testosterone.

Do you find a difference in writing erotic books than just regular romance or romantic suspense books?

A: You have to think a whole lot more. Always asking ourselves, is that even possible? Sooo, where are the Barbie and G. I. Joe dolls? Get them in the assumed position, I’ll tell Zane. He’ll come back with, but they’re too stiff. And we go on in that vein for awhile, and then comes the, what are they thinking? I tell Zane, Barbie is considering what outfit to wear at her Malibu beach house. At that point, Zane starts banging his head against the wall.

Z: The serious answer would be we respect readers of every genre and owe them a responsibility to create the best product. But the irreverent response would be that writing erotic literature is one hootenanny of a good time. We are less encumbered by language, imagery and can allow ourselves the freedom to imagine every naughty what-if. And what is so bewitching is the endless numbers of what-ifs.

With a busy life, how do you stay focused or grounded?

A: Chocolate. Put a box a chocolate next to the computer and it keeps me right on top of our project. Yup, carrot and stick always works for me.

Z: The question answers itself. Since retired, the busy is oft the by-product of being focused and grounded on our literary projects. We just adore the dynamic of creating, sharing, editing and finalizing. Discipline is not always a naughty word.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

A and Z: As a guy, our physiology is a serial deadline, the man is always under some kind of pressure. Guys always want to knock off a piece -- I would provide an abstract wink icon but -- Vixen and I have discovered that storytelling was inoculated upon our soul, and it is so easy. Neither one of us have ever experienced writer’s block and we type fast.

Do you do your own ‘personal’ research for the various sexual positions/interludes, etc. that are in your books?

A: See Barbie and G.I. Joe reference.
Z: Are you questioning the number of video tapes I own? I man who is as old as dirt has a dirthy mind, a dirthy list of experiences, and is just dirthy and old.

Does your family encourage you to write?

A and Z: Absolutely!! My original editor is family, and there you go.

Do you plot or are you a pantser?

A and Z: We absolutely plot being a pantser. One of us outlines, plans, details, foreshadows as the other totally ignores. It is that synergy that provides the unexpected twists and turns.

What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you have ever had?

Z: Watching two snakes mate.

A: The irreverence of Johnny Carson when he told Arnold Palmer’s wife when she said to him I kiss my husband’s balls for luck, and Johnny responded I bet that made his putter stand up, I discovered the irreverence could be intriguing and funny.

What is your creative process like?

A and Z: We have coffee, we have tea, we have donuts, we have five dogs, reams and reams of paper, broken pencils, random musings and in between all of that, we laugh and whine and moan and cry and at the end of all that, we think we found a tale to share.

Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?

A and Z: Obviously, with each other but there are others that have seen many first drafts, including family members, long time college friends, confidantes and our hair stylist of which we hold her opinion the highest.

Are their subgenres of romance you don’t read?

A and Z: Let us respond, there is nothing we won’t read including cereal boxes.

Do you think that there is a “too far” that authors can go in erotic fiction? (Besides the obvious such as bestiality and pedophile)

Z and A: We consider ourselves very open-minded as well as the sum of all of our experiences because of that by definition there are limitations. As partners, we balance between those limitations so that the product is credible to our knowledge and passion to share. We certainly understand that within this genre there are so many more knowledgeable sages and if we wish to appear viable we can’t be a posers.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

A: Eat and read. Ummm--if forced take long walks.

Z: Manstuff.

ABOUT AUTHORS

Angelica Hart and Zi are with Champagne Books and also write as Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane with Carnal Passion and as Dona Pena Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash who are with Champagne Books and have a number of titles.

Their combined accomplishments include book publications in print and/or electronic versions of thirty-seven titles, twenty plus romance specific, EPPIE finalist for three books, Cecil Whig award, Hob-Nob Reader's Choice Award, Champagne Books Novel of the Year Nominee, Champagne Books Author of the Year Nominee. Plus, they have written over 500 shorts with numerous published in both nationwide and small press magazines, articles published in various local, city and statewide newspapers, including four as a Guest Columnist in addition to trade articles. Both are members of various writing groups

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~ CHASING YESTERDAY ~ CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL coming soon
www.champagnebooks.com

Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
STEEL EMBRACE http://www.carnalpassions.com/


THE FABLE OF SIN-SIN CINDERELLA Series
angelicahartandzi.com

TheWritersVineyard.com (monthly piece)
www.champagnebooks.blogspot.com(monthly piece)
Dawn's Reading Nook (Thursday's piece)
lovesbooksandmore.blogspot.com/



Welcome to Josephine Myles




How long have you been writing? What got you in to writing?

I took a few classes in creative writing at university, but I managed to scare myself off by setting my standards way too high. I thought that if I wrote a novel, it would have to be a profound work of literary genius that would change people's lives. Eight years later I discovered the joys of slash fanfiction and realised I could write fun, sexy, romantic stories simply because I enjoyed doing it.

Where do you get your ideas for your stories, characters?

Anywhere and everywhere. Stories accumulate details over time and I'm usually planning them in my head for at least six months before I start writing. I tend to mine my memory for characters because I've known so many unusual and interesting people over the years - that's one of the good points about having moved house and changed jobs so many times!

Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?

I use a very rough outline - maybe a line per scene - and then I proceed to ignore it as the first draft will come out the way it needs to. I've discovered there's no point in planning in detail as my characters keep surprising me while I write.

Tell us all about your latest or upcoming release. What inspired it?

Barging In was inspired by my two years living on a narrowboat on the canal near Bath. The experience was a real eye-opener about all the things we take for granted when living in bricks and mortar houses, like mains water, electricity and sewerage. It was also an initiation into a society of outsiders, and there was a definite "us against them" mentality among many of the boaters. I always knew I wanted to use that setting for a novel one day - I just had no idea it would be a gay romance!

If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?

I want to fly! I remember running around with wings made of branches when I was a small child, convinced that if I just flapped hard enough I'd eventually manage to take off. When I have flying dreams, which isn't nearly often enough, I can swoop effortlessly through the air. It's such a rush.

What genre haven’t you tried yet but want to in the future?

I'm drawn to steampunk style. I love the combination of brown leather, those fabulous tailored clothes, and the crazy brass clockwork machinery. I have a vague idea for a madcap steampunk adventure story I'd like to write one day, but it's fairly far down the queue of novel ideas at the moment.

What is one thing readers might be surprised to know about you?

I couldn't ride a bike until the age of twenty-six, when I moved onto the boat and needed a way of getting into work. There's nothing like learning to ride a bike right next to a cold, murky canal for focusing your mind on staying upright!

If we asked your muse to describe you in three words, what do you think they might say?

He'd say I was stubborn, opinionated and perfectionist. I'd say the same about him, of course!

What authors can be found in your library of books?

Within the m/m genre, I'm a particular fan of K.A. Mitchell, Jordan Castillo Price and Josh Lanyon. As far as wider reading goes, I love Terry Pratchett dearly, and also adore Margaret Atwood, but you'll find many different contemporary authors on my shelves.


Have any guilty pleasures you want to share with us?

I don't feel guilty about indulging in any form of pleasure, except perhaps smoking the odd cigarette when out drinking with friends. I do have a love affair with dark chocolate, cake and ice-cream, but that's something I celebrate (in moderation)

Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?

I've been publishing Boats in the Night as a freebie on my blog, and have nearly finished the novella. It's an m/m romance and features a fire-juggling, free-spirited traveller named Smutty whose boat breaks down at the bottom of Giles' garden. Giles is an uptight, upper-middle class man who's just been through a bad break-up. They shouldn't go so well together, but for some reason they do.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, you can check it out on my website here, or wait until I've had it properly edited and self-published as an ebook (hopefully before Christmas)

When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

I don't generally use pictures of actors or models, but I always have a strong idea of what characters look like. I prefer to either base their looks on real people I've known or come up with something entirely of my own creation. While I get a bit sick of reading about unfeasibly good-looking men with washboard abs, I do reserve the right for all my male heroes to have attractively pert arses.

If you could be an immortal, what would you want to be? Why?

A Greek God - they had the most fun! The company of other immortals would be a must, as I couldn't stand watching human friends and lovers die while I went on living.

What is the hardest/the easiest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is making myself carry on writing even when beset by doubts about the project and tempted by a new and shiny idea. The easiest part is coming up with new ideas and characters. As you can probably tell, these two elements are related…

Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

They definitely control me and downright refuse to do what I ask them to. This is good, though. I trust them to know how they would react in the scene I've set up for them. However, it does mean that sometimes I think I'm writing an argument and it ends up as a sex scene, or vice versa!

Please tell us where we can find you on the web.

My website and blog are over at http://josephinemyles.com/  You can also find me over on Goodreads and Facebook, and I expect I'll get dragged kicking and screaming onto Twitter one day…

Thanks for popping by and I wish you continued success in your writing career.


 
COMMENT TO WIN: All comments during the Barging In blog tour will be entered into a prize draw for a 10x7 signed and mounted print of my photograph of the Kennet and Avon canal, near Bath – as used on the cover of Barging In! What’s more, the stretch of canal shown here is the very part where Dan first crashes into Robin – ah, happy memories!

The more comments you leave, the more chances to win. Please remember to leave your email address in the body of the comment so I can get in touch with you. I’ll make the draw on 2nd October, 9pm GMT, so you have until then to leave your comments :)


Sneak peek into Barging In by Josephine Miles


When the boat’s a rockin’, don’t come knockin’!

Out-and-proud travel writer Dan Taylor can’t steer a boat to save his life, but that doesn’t stop him from accepting an assignment to write up a narrowboat holiday. Instead of a change of pace from city life, though, the canal seems dull as ditchwater. Until he crashes into the boat of a half-naked, tattooed, pierced man whose rugged, penniless appearance is at odds with a posh accent.

Still smarting from past betrayal, Robin Hamilton’s “closet” is his narrowboat, his refuge from outrageous, provocative men like Dan. Yet he can’t seem to stop himself from rescuing the hopelessly out-of-place city boy from one scrape after another. Until he finds himself giving in to reluctant attraction, even considering a brief, harmless fling.

After all, in less than a week, Dan’s going back to his London diet of casual hook-ups and friends with benefits.

Determined not to fall in love, both men dive into one week of indulgence…only to find themselves drawn deep into an undertow of escalating intimacy and emotional intensity. Troubled waters neither of them expected…or wanted.

Product Warnings:

Contains one lovable tart, one posh boy gone feral, rough sex, alfresco sex, vile strawberry flavoured condoms, intimate body piercings, red thermal long-johns, erotic woodchopping, an errant cat, a few colourful characters you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole, and plenty of messing about on the river.

Excerpt:

Getting the front end against the bank was fairly straightforward, even if it did make contact with an ominous grating sound. But then there was the back to steer in, and everything he tried seemed to make it swing out farther. Not willing to concede defeat, Dan crunched away at the gears, swung the tiller arm around and churned up the canal into a muddy soup.

And then he’d gone and done it. Got the boat wedged in diagonally so that he was nearly caught up in the branches of an overhanging tree on the wild side of the bank, while the front end was where he wanted to be—the towpath side.

“Jesus, not again,” someone called behind him.

Dan whirled around and his stomach did a nauseating little flip. Sodding perfect! It was Tattoo-guy again, standing astride a beat-up old bicycle with one of his trademark glowers directed Dan’s way. Okay, so he was wearing a T-shirt this time, but there was no mistaking that piercing gaze and air of contempt.

“Uh, I don’t suppose you could help me out, could you? I seem to be stuck.” Dan gave what he hoped was an ingratiating smile.

Tattoo-guy stared at him for a long moment, then shook his head, dismounted and chucked the bike against the fence. He strode over to the front end of the Faerie Queen and hopped on deck, making his way down the side of the boat like a monkey. Watching him move along the sticking-out shelf—the gunwales, that’s what it was called—Dan couldn’t help but admire the economy of his movements. For a big bloke, he was remarkably agile.

Within moments he fetched up on the back deck and loomed over Dan, radiating annoyance. “And what exactly were you trying to do this time? It’s not wide enough to turn here. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see that.”

Dan bristled. “I’m not an idiot! I was trying to moor up where you told me to, on the tourist moorings.” He gestured at the sign, nearly clipping Tattoo-guy’s arm. “The stupid bloody thing wouldn’t go in the right direction, and then I got stuck on something. Shit, are we going to have to get someone to tow me off it?”

Tattoo-guy raised his eyebrows. “What you’ve somehow managed to do is get stuck on the shelf. You can’t see it, but it runs along under the water to protect the wildlife on the bank.” He stared pointedly at the bank behind him, and Dan coloured.

“Oh, bugger. Sorry ’bout that. It was the first time I’ve had to moor up, and I couldn’t work out how to get the back of the boat to go the right way. These crazy things steer all back to front.”

Those dark blue eyes gave Dan a look of utter disbelief. “How long did they spend teaching you how to steer? All of five minutes?”


Buy Link: Amazon, Samhain



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sneak Peek into Snowdrop by Augusta Li

Sneak peek into Snowdrop by Augusta Li

Snowdrop is a long (50K) novella set in the same universe as Boots for the Gentleman, and will be available from Dreamspinner Press on September 19th!

Buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2532


When pickpocket Robin Pastorious comes across some graphic photographs of a young man suffering in bondage, he knows he has to liberate the victim—even after seeing the long, distinctive ears that mark the subject as a faerie, creatures Robin has been taught to hate and fear. Robin finds that the fey Snowdrop is afflicted with somewhat loose morals, a desire to be restrained, and a learned fear of reprimands, so naturally his ensuing encounters with Robin are both blistering and sporadic. But the faerie’s distant, fickle nature eats away at Robin’s sanity, and Robin ends the relationship.

That’s when the village comes under attack by the fey and Robin is captured and put on a train with the very man who tortured Snow. Will Snowdrop mount a rescue and find a way to convince Robin of his sincerity? Or will the pain of their shared past darken any possible future?

Here's an excerpt (not safe for work). Please enjoy!

“Don’t go,” the fey asked gently.
“Will you try to stop me?”
“No, but I’m asking you to stay. I won’t hurt you. I was just angry. Come. Have some more wine. Sit with me and enjoy the rain. Please.”
Gingerly Robin crossed the room and moved his chair to face the window. He still felt jumpy, and stole a glance at Snow from the corner of his eye. The fey looked completely relaxed with his forearm resting on the windowsill and his wine in his other hand. He inhaled deeply and said, “How I’ve missed the sweet scent of the summer rain. Smell it, Robin. Close your eyes.”
Robin did. The rain intensified the smells of the soil, the ferns, the trees, flowers, and wild berries. Robin recognized the aroma of wet stone, of pine needles, mushrooms, and the herbs growing in the inn’s little garden. He almost thought he detected the musk of the small red deer grazing on wild thyme and rye grass. The two men sat in silence for a long time. Robin heard Snow’s breath slow and wondered if he’d fallen asleep. When he opened his eyes to check, he found the fey studying him intently.
“What is it?” Robin asked, unnerved.
Snow reached out and stroked a lock of hair above Robin’s ear. His hand trailed down Robin’s chin and neck, coming to rest on Robin’s collarbone. “You’re very beautiful,” Snow said slowly. “Would you like to make love?”
“I beg your pardon!” Robin pulled away from the other man’s hands, got to his feet, and hurried to stand behind his chair. He couldn’t imagine Snow would crave the act of love after his abuse, or that he could sense Robin’s predilections so soon. While Robin took a carefree view of physical companionship, he didn’t trust this faerie that he’d known for only a few hours. Before meeting Snow, speaking with him, Robin had considered fey cursed creatures worse than beasts. Now he found them, or at least this one, moody to a point almost approaching madness.
“You’ve been admiring me,” Snow persisted, standing to unbutton the large shirt that hung like a sack over his lean frame.
“Yes, but—”
“And I admire you.” He slipped the shirt over his shoulders and off. His pale, shapely body looked blurry and soft in the low mix of gas and firelight. His glorious hair glowed almost like a halo, and his eyes seemed lit from within, firefly green. “We admire each other, so why should we not enjoy one another?”
“You’re weak, unwell,” Robin argued feebly as he tried to ignore the heating of his face and the tightness in his pants. “You mustn’t exert yourself.”
“Nonsense,” Snow said, moving a few inches closer so that his chest bumped into Robin’s. Nipples like little pearls brushed against Robin’s shirt. “Good, natural things will help me to recover. Things like fresh air and rain. This.” He placed his hands on Robin’s cheeks and pulled their faces together.
At first, shock prevented Robin from acting; he stood stiff and stone-still as Snow’s lips pressed against and glided over his own. Snow’s fingers wriggled into Robin’s hair and closed around his locks, pulling Robin nearer as his tongue swiped across Robin’s teeth. The wine couldn’t cover Snow’s natural, clover-honey taste. His skin smelled of the grass and petals Robin had crushed beneath his boot before finding him. His bare body was silky and warm beneath Robin’s hands as they glided over Snow’s waist. Robin’s mouth parted slightly, and the tip of his tongue met the faerie’s tongue. He pressed against it, afraid too much insistence might spook the vulnerable fey. But Snow’s lips dropped open, and his head fell back, inviting Robin to explore the sweetness of his palate. His waist bowed forward against Robin, and he held tighter to Robin’s hair. Robin kissed him hard, his hands moving around his back to pull him closer. When his fingers met the first of the many raised welts, though, he stopped and moved away from Snow.
“This isn’t right,” he said.
Snow looked down and away. “I’m damaged,” he muttered. “You find me deformed and disgusting.”
“No,” Robin said quickly. He wrapped his arms around Snow’s neck and drew his face to his shoulder. Petting the hair away from Snow’s long, pointed ear, Robin said, “I find you magical and exquisite. I find you very desirable.” He guided Snow’s hand to the swell in his pants as proof. “We’ve only just met, though. You know, you don’t need to pay me back. I don’t expect anything.”
Snow lifted his head and looked at Robin, his eyes reminding Robin of yellow flowers with black centers amidst a field of green. “My people attach none of the regulations to lovemaking that yours impose. It’s just something to enjoy. I want you, Robin.”
“Snow, I—”
“Am I hideous? Please tell me.”
“No. Dear God, no.” Robin spread his fingers over Snow’s face and used them to comb the thick hair away. He held his white tresses as he kissed across his brow, kissed his eyelids, pale lashes, high cheeks, delicate nose, lips, and chin. Robin’s mouth moved across Snow’s jaw as the faerie tugged at the thief’s belt. He found the sharp spike of Snow’s ear and explored its ridges and interior whorls with his tongue. Snow moaned with appreciation and circled his undeniable erection against Robin’s own.
“Your ears are so alluring,” Robin panted, giving the tip of one a playful nip, earning a small, delighted sound from the faerie. He ran his tongue over the entire edge of the narrow triangle before grasping Snow’s tiny waist and gently spinning him around. He lifted the silvery curtain of hair that fell almost to the fey’s hips. At first Snow took his wrist and tried to stop him, but Robin broke away and said, “Everything about you is alluring. You’re wonderful.”
Snow choked back a sound that might have been a sob before brushing his hair over his shoulder and offering Robin a view of his scarred back. As Robin kissed across his shoulders, Snow knit his fingers into Robin’s and guided one of Robin’s hands to his straining erection. He brought the other to his mouth and sucked Robin’s fingers one at a time, the tip of his tongue pressing against the tips of Robin’s fingers. His cock pushed against Robin’s palm as Robin’s lips explored the ridges of raised flesh that striped his back. Soon, Robin felt a circle of moisture against his skin. It dampened a circle of Snowdrop’s stolen pants, and Robin smiled. He wrapped his fingers around the thick base of Snowdrop’s shaft and squeezed.
“You’re so excited—”
“Robin, I want you to take me. I want you inside me.”
“Snow.” Robin didn’t know what to say as he stepped back to undo his belt and trouser flap. He’d been envisioning things the other way around, with himself taking the bottom as he usually did.
“Robin?” Snow faced him as he slowly removed his shoes and pants. As soon as he was naked, the faerie dropped down to sit on his heels with the backs of his hands on his thighs, as Robin had seen him do in the washroom. The thief understood that the faerie had spent so much time bound in that position that he assumed it automatically. Perhaps it granted him some unfathomable comfort. Once he’d finished undressing, Robin sat in the same fashion, his kneecaps flush with Snow’s. He draped his hands over the insides of the faerie’s wrists and gave the thin bones a slight squeeze. Snow nodded, confirming Robin’s hunch.
“Look at me,” Robin said. Snowdrop lifted his chin. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” He picked up Robin’s discarded tie and placed it in Robin’s hand. Then he lifted his arms and presented his pressed-together wrists. “Please.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Welcome Selena Illyria to my Lair

To Standalone or to Series
By Selena Illyria

I got this quote from Eonline:
"I don't plan franchises until the audience says they want one," Spielberg said. "It's bad luck. You don't want to franchise yourself into a corner."- Steven Speilberg


After reading that it occurred to me, and not for the first time, that I lean towards writing a series rather than stand alone books. For me, it’s really hard not to write the other characters that jump out at me. And I’m finding the characters that I love aren’t getting much love but characters that I think I’m done with are, which surprises me and makes me sad. It makes me wonder if the series that I love to write have failed somehow, that perhaps certain characters just don’t appeal. But at the same time while I’m taking that quote from Steven Speilberg, it also puts writing in a new perspective. It makes me wonder if I should really write any books as a standalone rather than a fluid timeline. Sort of like Veronica Mars, you have the mystery of the week and then you have the one over arcing story. 

This makes me look at how I’m approaching writing my next few books, especially my Ringed City Tales books. I know what I want and I know what the mystery should be but should I put it in there? Should I really make it a series, or just take it one book at a time? How do I quell the characters that want their own story? Do I wait for the demand or just go for it? I can see the advantages for both, but should I write for myself or wait for the readers to follow? If I had approached things the way Speilberg does and go for a standalone rather than a series, would certain series have been better or would that put undue pressure on me? The questions roll around and don’t seem to have a definitive answer. So here’s my question to be readers and authors:

Authors:
Do you approach a book as a standalone and wait for the reader feedback or just go for it with your chips all in?

Readers:
Do you prefer the standalone or do you want the series so you know that the characters you love could possibly get their own book?

 Fallen Lovers 1: Roman!
Genre: Paranormal, Interracial
ISBN: 9781936751099
Novella
Blurb:
Can a mere woman heal a fallen angel’s wounds?
Author Tristina Deveroux has been dreaming of a man—a tall, dark, sexy man whose nightly visits bring her to a fever pitch. But come morning, she always awakens agitated and unsatisfied—and alone. When her agent suggests a writer’s getaway in Scotland, Tristina can’t resist the chance to gain a little distance, hoping a change of scene will help her escape the dreams...

Buy Link:
ARe:


Blood Claim: Trapped
Excerpt (R), Feeding
Genre: Paranormal, Interracial
ISBN: 978-1-59632-851-8
Novella
Blurb:
Kit has never forgotten the cruel way Rysen rejected her as a possible consort over a hundred years ago. She's striven to get stronger, pushing her attraction to him down and using her anger as fuel.

Rysen has always regretted the way he rejected Kit. As much as he loved her, Rysen despised the way her clan tried to use her as a political gambit for power and protection. But he never stopped wanting Kit, trying to make her his in every way possible.

When enemies attack, they use old magic to seal themselves off and stay safe. But now they find themselves trapped with a century of hunger rising between them....

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, domination.
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Out Now!
Strange Hollow: Seducing a Wallflower
Excerpt Rating (PG-13): The Big Three-Oh
Genre: Paranormal
ISBN: 978-1-59578-681-4
Novella
Blurb:
All Nia Reynolds has known is being seen and not heard. Being the only one in her family to not have magical ability is hard. On her thirtieth birthday, all Nia wants is to do something different. When she enters Sensual Were on a dare from Jacinda, she doesn't expect the instant attraction to sexy store manager Bishop Steward.
Bishop has had his eye on the sweet and innocent Nia since he first came to Strange Hollow. After being publicly shunned by his pack and his mate, he came to Strange Hollow to recuperate and be among outcasts like himself. Now that his heart is mended, he wants to go after love again and has Nia in his sights. This wallflower doesn’t stand a chance against his onslaught. So what if he insists of public displays of a sexual nature, can’t stop whispering sweet, dirty nothings in her ear, and gives her a birthday to remember? It’s only for a night, right? A sexy werewolf like him wouldn’t want a shy girl like her? Right? Wrong--and he's got a lot of tricks up his sleeve to convince her she’s just what he wants.
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Publisher Link:
ARe:



Bio:
Selena Illyria

Interracial author Selena Illyria was born with an overactive imagination. With great curiosity and a love of writing that pushes her imagination there are many worlds she'd love to explore, from paranormal to sci-fi from cyberpunk and beyond.
Are you willing, dear reader, to step into her worlds? If you do feel free to poke around. Mind the pixies. They can be very um... excitable by newcomers. *wink*




New Dreamspinner Press Releases Week September 26th, 2011

Bulletproof by Mary Calmes
Sequel to A Matter of Time I & II
Contemporary/Novel
Buy E-Book HERE
Buy Print HERE


Jory Harcourt doesn't have to go looking for trouble. Wherever he goes, it seems to find him—particularly when his partner, Sam Kage, is working undercover on a federal task force.

After the recession forces him to close his business, Jory goes to work as a matchmaker and event planner. From there, it's only a matter of time before his big mouth and up-front attitude make him the rope in a tug-of-war between a trust fund baby and a drug-smuggling criminal. Then, as if that situation weren't delicate enough, Jory's undercover lover shows up working for the smuggler.

Between the men who want him and the men who just want him dead, Chicago is getting a little crowded for Jory, so on the advice of his brother, his boyfriend, and the FBI task force, he heads for Hawaii... where a serious accident threatens his quality of life. Can Sam and Jory keep the faith and prove that their relationship really is bulletproof?

The Dream of a Thousand Nights by Shira Anthony
Fantasy/Paranormal, Novella
Buy E-Book HERE

Neriah, the crown prince of Tazier, escapes his father’s deadly wrath with the help of a Jinn named Tamir. Knowing that the other Jinn would find and punish him for falling in love with a human, Tamir takes Neriah’s memories of their brief time together and leaves him with only a jade pendant as a token of his love. Tamir is then stripped of his powers and imprisoned for his crime.

Ten years later, Neriah is still on the run from the King’s assassins, but each night he dreams of a lover whose face he cannot see and whose name he does not know, but who fills his heart with peace. Tamir, freed at last from his prison cell, poses as a pleasure slave and offers to serve the prince. Although Neriah does not recognize Tamir, he falls in love with the powerless Jinn. But just when Tamir has earned Neriah’s trust, he is forced to betray it. There may be no hope of mending their broken relationship, but Tamir is determined to see Neriah on his rightful throne—even if it costs the Jinn his life.

Angel by Laura Lee
Itineris Press, the best in quality GLBT faith-based fiction, is proud to offer Angel by Laura Lee.
Faith Based Fiction
Buy Print HERE
Buy E-Book HERE


Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his religious duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind, breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so moved by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees and pray.

Even after he regains his focus and realizes he simply met a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction for the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through this vision, and Paul must determine what God is calling him to do.

Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul’s ministry but put him at odds with his church as he is forced to examine his deeply held beliefs and assumptions about himself, his community, and the nature of love.

To Fly Again by Rosina Scott
Contemporary, Novella
Buy E-Book HERE

Hoping to reinvigorate his acting career, Lucas Meyer’s agent arranges a sexy photo shoot to prove Lucas still has what it takes to be a leading man. Lucas agrees—but only if he gets to choose the man behind the camera, and he chooses fetish photographer Matt Silver.

The attraction between the two men is immediate, but Matt has demons in his past that prevent him from giving in to Lucas’s allure and Lucas isn’t without his own problems to overcome. Trust doesn’t come easily to either man, but only opening up to each other will offer them the chance to fly again.

A Modest Proposal by Felicitas Ivey
Science Fiction, Novella
Buy E-Book HERE

Hagar is the captain of the cargo ship Midgard Serpent. Most of his shipments are legal, but he has a reputation for being an honest smuggler—a reputation that lands him some troublesome cargo. Shibito, an exiled member of the Nipponese imperial family, meets Hagar on Dunmore Station. Keeping his true identity secret, Shibito tells Hagar he'll do anything to get out of there. Never one to turn down an offer like that, Hagar accepts.

But Shibito doesn't have just any destination in mind, and Hagar is furious when he discovers that his mysterious passenger has altered their course without telling him. With no way to change course a second time, Hagar has no choice but to trust—and face the temptation of Shibito’s request for some rough handling, a proposal Hagar isn’t sure he can resist.

Las Sirenas by Bell Ellis
Fantasy/Paranormal, Novella
Buy E-Book HERE

Andrew’s lived all his nineteen years on the Pacific coast, working odd jobs and spending his free time in and on the water. Maybe he’s drifting through life, but it’s been enough, until the day a sudden surge knocks him off his friends’ boat and something—or someone—tosses him back. Now Andrew spends all his free time searching the water for a dream, and to keep it, he's willing to give up everything.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Chasing Seth by JR Loveless
Fantasy/Paranormal, Novel
Buy E-Book HERE
Buy Print HERE

Veterinarian Seth Davies comes to Senaka, Wyoming, looking for peace and anonymity, trying to escape his past. He’s always been a target for trouble and pain, and Seth has had more than his share of both. Kasey Whitedove takes one look at Seth and assumes the worst. No white man could love animals the way the mostly Cheyenne population expects, and Kasey makes Seth’s first days in Senaka more than unpleasant.

Then an accident puts Kasey in the uncomfortable position of eating crow—and helplessly desiring Seth—despite the danger of Kasey’s life as a werewolf and Seth’s stressful secrets. Chasing Seth down and keeping him safe from his past has just become Kasey's most important job.

Another Way by Anna Martin
BDSM/Kink, Novel
Buy E-Book HERE
Buy Print HERE

On the surface, Jesse Ross is an average guy in an average relationship with his college sweetheart, Adele. But what his girlfriend doesn’t know is that he’s having an affair—with a man—and exploring his sexuality in ways she never could imagine. His compartmentalized life suits Jesse just fine, and he has no intention of coming out of the closet either as a bisexual or as a submissive.

However, Jesse takes a tumble when his Master, Will, admits to wanting more, wanting Jesse as his partner, not just his submissive. Suddenly Jesse's conveniently pieced-together life isn’t quite so comfortable. In the end, Jesse has to lay it all on the line—for his girlfriend, for his lover, and for himself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sneak Peek into Cynthia Arsuaga's Born To Play

Born to Play by Cynthia Arsuaga
Secret Cravings Publishing
Paranormal/Contemporary
Buy HERE

ONE VAMPIRE, ONE WOMAN, ONE CONTRACT, ONE WEEK TO PLAY.

Candi Hartz, is a romance author in a loveless marriage. One fateful night, she follows the cheating husband to the local vampire sex club and meets the vamp owner. Her life takes a drastic turn when with one kiss she enters the world she only read about.Gregori Van Zant is a dangerous vampire. As the head of the Mid-Atlantic Blood Family of vampires, he can have any vamp or human woman at his disposal. One night, a captivating woman walks into his club and he devises a plan.
The two lovers come together and sign a contract—an exchange of sex for research. Candi is born to play and Gregori is anxious to show her. An old enemy of Gregori’s arrives unexpectedly and disrupts their plans. With a final battle looming on the horizon, will the two fated lovers find love eternal or will death play a part?

Adult Excerpt:
He captured her mouth, hard and passionately, like he’d kissed and savored the taste of her lips for the first time. Their tongues fluttered and surged one against the other. She struggled to free her hands, only she couldn’t, he tightened his grip preventing any movement. With the heat of her arousal tugging at his own, he tapped into her mind. The thoughts of shock from his restraint overwhelmed her, confused by the desire to continue. His mouth moved down the side of her neck, teeth scraping gently on the skin at the pulse point, giving her goose bumps. Oh, the call of her hot blood burns in my veins. Such a delicate morsel, this one is.
Again, she tried to move. And again, his fingers held her in place. The scent of her arousal enticed his nostrils. Sliding his free hand down her abdomen to her thigh, her body twitched. When he reached the mound between her legs, she gasped in his ear. The flood of her juices confirmed all the evidence of the depth of her arousal as her scent enveloped his senses. As he guided her back onto the bed, he lifted her onto the soft mattress. Her breathing quickened as she came to rest at the edge. Raising her hips, he slipped the tiny thong down her legs and tossed it aside. Standing straight, he pulled the black turtleneck sweater over his head, and revealed a broad, muscled chest, tapering down to the corrugated leanness of his flat abdomen. Realizing her thoughts were still confused despite her body’s arousal, he slowed the pace. “Katje, first of all, this time between us is for pleasure. I may be your master tonight, but trust me to know how to give you the pleasure you deserve. Can you do that?” His eyes were intent, knowing they glowed red in the semi-blackness of the room.
She nodded. “You won’t spank me…or take my blood…or anything that hurts, right?”
“No, Katje.” He stroked a finger down her cheek. “Any physical punishment I hand out will be for another time, but only if you disobey. I take no pleasure in hurting you. I will tell you this, the pain enhances the pleasure.”
Her muscles relaxed beneath his hold. “Okay, you’re saying I’d ask you to punish me for my pleasure?”
“Yes, pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin.”
“I-I can’t believe they’re the same.”
“You’ll come to learn, mijn schat. Pain sometimes is necessary to free you from the chains you put on yourself. Tonight is purely for pleasure, forget everything else. Your body will yield to me and your surge in desire will come around to wanting more. But if you become too frightened or are somehow in unbearable pain, you say the safe word…Pink.” He shook his head, and continued, “If you use your word, everything between us will stop, so don’t use it unless you need to quit our play. I will be exploring your limits. You have to trust, I will keep you safe.”

Want more on Cynthia's books? Check her out at these places:
http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com
http://romanticwordsbycynthia.blogspot.com

Book Spotlight~ NJ Walters' Eternal Brothers

Eternal Brothers Dalakis Passion, Book 4 Paranormal Romance (vampire) Beyond the Page Publishing BLURB: When an anonymous l...