Saturday, June 30, 2012

Naughty Nights Blog Hop-Win Prizes

Happy Anniversary Naughty Nights Publishing!!!

Thanks for letting me celebrate with you. Before I get into my post here are the prizes being given away by myself and by Naughty Nights.

NNP are giving away 13 prizes, comprising of a Grand Prize 1 x Kindle Touch plus 2 ebooks from our Amazon back-list. We are also giving away 12 Second place prizes of a randomly chosen ebook from our Amazon back-list. Go to their blog to enter to win these awesome prizes.

From myself- I am giving away a $10 All romance Ebook store gift card to one lucky reader who leaves a comment with an email address (so I can contact you in regards to your prize if you win) on my post during the blog hop. I will announce the winner on July 2nd on my blog & facebook wall.

Now onto my blog post.....

What makes a good book?

I love to read. You never find me without a book (print) or my Nook Reader that has so far 28 pages of books in my library there. I never stopped loving reading. There was something about books that took my imagination to places I never would imagine seeing or believing in. Authors are very special people to me. They let the voices in their heads out to the public in stories that can completely captivate you or make you want to scream in frustration.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of really, really good books out there, waiting for readers to explore their pages but then there are those 1% that feel like they were cookie cutter stories. Same type of characters, similar stories just different cities, states, places, etc and if I happen to pick up one of those stories, they are put down in a heartbeat. After reading and reviewing now for several years, I learned what I enjoy and what I don’t. Here are a few items that guarantee an author a reader for life:

1)       Make me love your characters as much as you do (hate, pity, want to murder, etc). To me that is the best part of a story-where I can invest myself in with characters and find myself wondering in the end if this author is going to write sequels or a free story.

2)       PLEASE don’t make the characters act all stupid. *sighs heavily* ‘Too Stupid To Live’ characters will make me put the book down and never pick it up again. Give them some layers, make them act all bitchy or arrogant but also make me care about them. Please don’t make them act one way then half way through the book then turn around and act someway else. Drives me batty.

3)       Please for the love of the goddess- do NOT give me sex just because you think it helps the story. If I wanted to read about countless sex acts, I would read porn or watch it. What I want is a story that shows me the emotional connection between the main characters that is what has me sighing in happiness. Definitely not sex three pages in and then no plot.

4)       I love a good hook in a book. Give me something to sink my teeth into, to care about, and to jump my honey with later on (giggles).

For me, a good book is a combination of all of these or most of them. Yes I will give new authors a try, especially if their book sounds like my cup of tea. Give me something I can escape into after a hectic day filled with day jobs, kids and my honey man, who can drive me bonkers some nights. I love a good book and if you hook me with your work, then you got a reader for life. J

Dawn Roberto is the owner of the LR Café yahoo loop and enjoys a good book or two on her downtime, what little there is. Dawn enjoys giving support to all authors the chance to get their books out to readers and enjoys pimping her favorites to friends. J

You can find her at the following places:
Dawn’s Reading Nook Blog:
Senior Reviewer at Love Romances & More Reviews:
Dawn loves to hear from readers and you can contact her at

Friday, June 29, 2012

Welcome Ike Rose Today

Please give a warm welcome to Ike Rose, one of the contributing authors to the Hot Summer Fun Anthology.

The most common question asked of writers is: Where do you get your ideas from?. We all have different answers. Often, the origin of my stories comes from a friend sharing his sexual fantasies or adventures, and sometimes it's triggered by something I read in the news or history. However, my primary source of inspiration is my own life. My stories tend to be romances leading to long term committed relationships, because I've been in love with the same man for the thirty-one years we've been in a monogamous relationship. My main characters tend to be blue collar men struggling with coming out in the 1960's and 1970's because that was my personal experience, finally bursting out of the closet in my mid-twenties.

This may sound like there was little time for me to have exciting sexual adventures, but in one week, I'll be sixty-two, so I had a bit of time between coming out and getting married. The theme for the Hot Summer Fun anthology triggered some memories which lead to the settings of my story, A Midsummer's Night Pick-Up.
The romance begins with cruising for casual sex in The Rambles in Central Park here in New York, a notorious cruising and man-sex area for decades. When I was coming out, I lived a few blocks from the Rambles and spent quite a few hot summer nights seeking a reasonable facsimile to true love in the bushes and paths. My young man, Hans Rath, after meeting a hot Pappa Bear who looks like a rough working class man in a clearing, agrees to go home with him.

The next part of my story was based on one of my funnier sexual misadventures. In 1980, we had a big transit strike in New York City, shutting down all public transportation. The company for which I worked then put it's employees in hotels near our work sites. I shared a room with two men I barely knew, who unfortunately worked a totally different schedule than mine. They were usually asleep by the time I returned to the room, so I couldn't relax there. One night, I decided to go to a nearby gay bar after work. I met a man who closely met my description of Teddy: a mature-looking bearded man with longish hair stood, legs spread, wearing a leather vest on his wide chest (with) scruffy jeans. Being the early spring, he was wearing a biker-style leather jacket. He invited me to his place, and I was concerned when he hailed a cab that I'd end up paying for it. To my surprise, we we ended up at an elegant building on Park Avenue with a doorman, taking a small private elevator up to a penthouse with a magnificent view.

In my story, Hans' host turns out to be a world-famous playwright, Theodore Behr. I discovered that my host was a celebrity, too. I'll be a gentleman and not name him, due to how our encounter ended. After making passionate and imaginative love on top of a fur bedspread, we were working our way towards a second round as I began to have a fantasy of spending many nights with this hot man, in the lap of luxury. Then the apartment door slammed, which was when he informed me that he was in a relationship which was not officially open, and begged me to sneak out as he distracted his lover. So I did I had no wish to get attacked by his young lover, who was supposed to be out of town.

It was a pretty rotten thing to do, so I simply rewrote history, giving the story a better ending a better sex. After all, there is such a thing as true love I live it.

A Midsummer's Night Pick-up by Ike Rose -Hans Rotmusen is a twenty-five-year-old blond whose socially prominent family kicked him out when they discovered that he was gay after he fell in love with a fellow actor, Jonathan. Living in a small apartment with his lover was great, until Jonathan decided that he needed to marry a woman to hide his gay past. Hans, refusing to continue on the down-low, kicked him out. After two years alone, he's horny as hell, so he decides to go cruising in Central Park on Midsummer's Night of 1978. Under the magical moonlight, Goldilocks encounters Pappa Bear, a hot older bearded man, deep in the woods. Following the most passionate kiss of his young life, Hans is helplessly attracted to the gruff, rugged stud, but when they get to Pappa Bear's Den, he discovers a big surprise. Will Pappa Bear be Goldilocks' true love, or just a Midsummer’s Night Pickup?

Buy Hot Summer Fun at the following places:


Thursday, June 28, 2012



There is something about evil that draws me into its labyrinth of dark heinousness. There is mystery in the pain of it, there is temptation in the promise of decadent pleasure, there is that longing to surrender without thought or restrain to the unknown and sometimes to the very well known, things one dappled with and found irresistibly wondrous. There it is, my secret. I adore evil. To clarify, I adore writing about it. I have a healthy respect for the muse and movement of it in the undercurrent and the potency it provides a story.

Plotinus in 200 AD wrote, "To deny evil a place among realities is necessarily to deny a way with the good as well." I am certain you often heard that evil cannot exist without good. For certain how can white exist without the contrast of black. The clench and chills of the reader is heightened when there are sharp defined lines between an honorable character facing a foe of a merciless horrendous nature. Though we might surrender to providing a singular redeeming quality to a foe, it is often over-shadowed by their true fully-unredeemable evil.

Yet, what does one do when faced with multiple evils. There are times a hero/shero must make a choice and according to Thomas à Kempis, "Of two evils always choose the lesser." As a writer with the power, we say bull-bleep that, destroy both, or maybe allow one to decimate the other. There are infinite options that makes our job utterly delightful.

Sometimes, though, as I or we joyfully enter the mind of the monster, as I tweak and twitter among his/her psychosis, maniacal obsessions and infinite delusions, I feel like a co-conspirator, for to quote Martin Luther King, Jr. "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it." And, in the sense of the literary voyeurs that is exactly what we are doing. We are allowing it to thrive and grow, to play with the good people of that particular universe, torment them, hurt them and all without an ounce of remorse. Is that terribly heinous of us? Does that make us monsters as well? I sometimes wonder what is so twisted inside me that makes this such fun, for in truth, I take to the villain(s) much more easily than Zi does. Should I be concerned for my mental health?

Franz Kafka wrote, "What we call evil is only a necessary moment in our endless development." Hence, the answer. I know the effect evil has on the reader. And I want that terror to dip deeply into their primal fear until every bump and squeak has paralyzed their need to scream, battered pulses to quickening, and have their breaths shorten and raspy. That is how I see my/our writing endeavors when it comes to devising the most beastly of all scoundrels, our work is growing into the perfect piece to scare the beejees out of our readers. So, if it takes Angelica and/or Zi to be a bit evil hungry in the sense of respecting it as a fabulous plot device then so be it.

In reality, we both hate evil, hate the clawing and degenerate nature of its makeup, hate the existence of those that hurt others for hurt's sake or even worse for their own demented pleasure. The truth is that the joy of allowing the monsters their day of victory resides in the outcome of each story. In thawing their evilness, rubbing their self-satisfied smugness into the realization of their inability to succeed, the evidence of their cowardliness and the actuality of their failure is what, we believe, gives the reader the greatest pleasure, and it is they that we so humbly serve.


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog - in subject line) 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 ~

Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane STEEL EMBRACE


Goddess Fish VBT~Marie Astor/Contest

Marie's Blog Tour Contest: Marie will be giving away three prizes of custom made jewelry to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (Continental US only).:  Prize #1: Coral necklace sterling silver chandelier coral earrings set, Prize #2 Blue opal sterling silver plated necklace and Prize #3 Sterling silver chandelier earrings with green aventurine, rose quartz and amethyst .

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

This Tangled Thing Called Love by Marie Astor

Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career at New York’s top architectural firm, and an engagement ring from one of New York’s most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream, but when Alec Brunell, a sexy tango dancer, moves into the apartment one floor above from Claire’s, he unwittingly awakens Claire’s old insecurities, making her question her life choices. Will Claire brave her fears and allow herself to take a chance on Alec, or will she continue to play it safe?

In order to secure his place as his father’s successor, thirty-three-year-old David Lawson must settle down with a wife befitting the future head of Lawson Enterprises - and who could fit the prerequisite better than the stunningly beautiful and incredibly bright Claire Chatfield? There is just one glitch – David Lawson is in love with another woman – a Hollywood Legend Claudia Block.

A successful tango instructor, Alec Brunell has never lacked for women’s attention, but he finds himself at a loss when faced with his downstairs neighbor, Claire Chatfield. Upon hearing of his occupation, most women swoon with desire, but Claire runs for the door. Still, her iciness only adds fuel to his fire, as Alec is determined to change Claire’s view of him.

This Tangled Thing Called Love is a love story about finding one’s perfect match - sometimes following one’s heart is as convoluted as learning the steps of tango.

Teaser Excerpt:  

“By the way, I missed you at the Metro opening.” Lindsay remarked after the waitress had taken their orders.
“Yeah, sorry about that – David wanted to leave early.”
“Too bad – it would have been nice to get a picture of the two of you and maybe a couple of quotes from David Lawson.” When pronouncing David’s name, Lindsay titled back her head and pushed up her nose.
“Knock it off – David is not like that at all.”
“Fine, maybe he’s not, but I wouldn’t know since Mr. Lawson never seems to have time for your friends.”
Claire shrugged. “He’s been working so much lately – he really wants to prove himself at the office.”
“Oh, please! Give me a break – he is the owner’s son. I’d say he’s got the way pretty much paved for him.”
“David wants everyone to know that he’d earned his position.” Claire sighed. “You don’t really like David, do you?”
“It’s irrelevant whether I like him or not – I’m not the one dating him.”
“But you’re my best friend – your opinion is important to me.”
“Mine, not Amber’s?”
“You’re both my best friends.” Claire sighed with exasperation – ever since middle school, they had been an inseparable trio: Amber, Lindsay and Claire, and the silent rivalry between Amber and Lindsay dated equally far back. Amber was outgoing and bossy, Lindsay was witty and practical, and Claire was thoughtful and caring - the balance between the two. It was hard to say just what exactly united the three friends: maybe it was that each had the qualities the other one lacked, but suffice it to say, their friendship had taken them through childhood, adolescence and college to the world of adulthood.
“Yeah, I know. I just don’t trust Amber’s choice of men for you, that’s all. After all, she’s the one who set you up with David, right?”
“She introduced us, yes. David is her client.”
“Exactly, and Amber could make one believe that the devil is a saint if she were his PR agent.”
“David is not a devil – he is sweet and charming.”
“Hey, I’m not the one you need to convince of your boyfriend’s virtues. Like I said, if you’re happy, I’m happy for you. But something is telling me there’s trouble in paradise.”

About the Author:
Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre. Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window.

If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by her website: to sign up for book release updates and events or visit her on Facebook:

Books by Marie Astor:

This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true match.

Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.

On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @marieastor

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Author Day with W. Lynn Chantale

Welcome to Dawn’s Reading Nook, W. Lynn Chantale. Please let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink and make yourself at home. Comfortable? Great…now let’s get down to business.

So tell us about yourself. What got you interested in writing? Who are your publisher(s)?

Hi Dawn, thank you so much for inviting me here today. Oh I just love the cabana boys. So yummy and muscular.

Now let's see you asked a question and I got distracted by all this…oh there's one of the security guards…Right back to the interview. I've always liked writing and did a lot of the creative stuff in school. Hated writing in journals, though. The teachers would give us some of the silliest first sentences. Anyway I started writing mystery stories with a preschool heroine. I didn't get interested in writing romance until maybe middle school/high school. As for who I write for now, Whispers Publishing, Breathless Press, Wild Rose Press, Still Moments and most recent. Evernight Publishing.

How did you start your writing career?

My career began with a couple of disastrous self-publishing attempts. They were lessons in what not to do. I took some time off, joined a couple of writing groups, found a great critique partner and the rest they say is history.

Tell us about your favorite character(s) from your books.
It seems no matter how many characters I write, Trisha and Zach remain my favorites. Their story is in Lust & Bound soon to be released by Evernight Publishing. A close second would be Symmone and Leo from The Pick-Up Wife published with Whispers.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
To pinpoint one location just wouldn't do. I love to travel and see new things. So, for now, let's say I'd love to travel all 50 states by RV so I can see all the places I've read about in books. Then travel to Europe and grab some amazing shoes and chocolate and perfume. Omigosh, maybe I should backpack across Europe 'cause I'd try to eat everything. Especially bread. Mmm, love fresh baked bread.

Tell us about your current/upcoming release. What inspired it?
Lust & Bound is my upcoming release from Evernight. The inspiration for it came from wanting to show what could happen when a woman lets her guard down and explores her innermost desires.

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
My CPs (critique partners) are invaluable and what I find most interesting is that most of them are editors. Who better to whip a manuscript into place than an editor.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?
I have a bunch of fave authors. Mari Carr, Ann Mayburn, Tara Chevrestt, AJ Nuest, and Shyla Colt, to name a few.

What was your first sale as an author?
My first sale was Seducing His Wife to Whispers Publishing. I got the acceptance email a day before my 18th wedding anniversary. If I hadn't been in a hotel room I'd have run around screaming.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day? I write in the mornings and often into the late evenings or all night when the hubby isn't home.
If you could visit any time and place, where and when would it be and why? I've always wanted to visit England at the height of the Season. It would be great fun to go to a party and create a scandal.
If you could be any shape shifter, what form would you take and why? I had a Wonder Twins moment there. Hmm, I never thought about shapeshifting. Oh, I know. A dragon. Dragons are way cool. They breathe fire and can fly. I've always wanted to fly.
What else would you like readers to know about you or your work? I'm an App! Readers can download me right to their Android or IPhone. Everything is in one convenient location, including excerpts, buy links and appearances.
Don't have an Android or Apple device you can still learn more about me and my work at any of my cyber homes.
            Website Website:
Oh and I'm writing inspirational/Christian romance too.
Who's more fun to write: bad boys or perfect gentlemen and why?
I think my heroes are a combination of both. I love the gentleman because he's thoughtful and considerate, but the bad boy breaks the rules.

If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and what would you do together? 
Hmm, a fictional character. Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolfe series. I think it would be enough to go to a movie or have dinner with him.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
The Pick-Up Wife is the closest to my heart. There's something about the struggle this couple goes through that isn't quite the same in my other books.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
Goodness, that's a hard one. I used to say Trisha, but now I'm not so sure. There are definitely pieces of my personality in all my heroines.

Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks so much for inviting me here today, Dawn, I've had a blast.

The Pick-Up Wife blurb/excerpt

Leo Shepard has few regrets, but leaving his wife Symmone to pursue his career was a catastrophic mistake. Now that he’s achieved his every dream and is about to make partner at Greene and Banks Architects, he lacks one thing, a wife. But Leo doesn’t want just any wife, he wants the woman he left behind.
From the moment she laid eyes on Leo, Symmone knew she would have her happily ever after. The last thing she expected was a divorce and a broken heart. Devastated by the end of her marriage, she has no choice but to quit school and pick up the pieces of her life.
Working two jobs to support herself and her children, Symmone has little room in her life for romance and even less for her pulsating attraction to her ex-husband. When Leo strolls into the cafe where she works, bent on reconciliation, the chemistry between them is more powerful than ever. Yet she won't give in to his soft words and expensive gifts. More than just her heart is at stake, her children are, as well.

Her footsteps slowed as she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the windowpane. She paused long enough to straighten her dark ponytail. With a huff of disgust she dropped her hand from her ebony tresses and shook her head. She couldn’t believe she was primping for her ex. Primping!
She set the glass on the table with a thump. He looked up with a tentative smile, and she was lost. She opened her mouth to speak and not a single word came out. God, he was even more handsome than the last time she’d seen him. Gone was the youthful softness of his face. Now he had a man’s face, a jaw that spoke of strength and maturity. His brown eyes, while bright and intelligent, seemed to hold a tinge of sadness, but what drew her attention most was his mouth. How many hours had she fantasized about the taste and shape of his mouth, about the firm press of his lips against hers or the butterfly kisses he used to flutter over her skin.
His smile widened. “You’re speechless.”
The warm rasp of his rich baritone danced over her, opening wounds she thought long since healed and igniting a desire she’d hoped long dead. He couldn’t come in here, to her place of employment, and upset everything she’d ever worked for with just two words.
Everything came back in an aching, throbbing fireball, and she clenched her hands at her sides.
“What do you want?” She didn’t bother to hide the annoyance or anger in her voice.
He blinked, and his smile drooped a bit, but he managed to maintain it. “I came to see you.”
“You haven’t given a damn about me in ten years. What’s so special about now? Are you dying? Or have you come to assuage some misplaced sense of guilt? Either way, the café has very good takeout I believe you would enjoy.”
He chuckled, and it produced an ache in areas she didn’t want to acknowledge. “I suppose I deserve that, but you’re wrong, Symmone. I’ve never stopped thinking about you.” His quiet admission stayed her irritation. “And I was wrong to do what I did.”

New Dreamspinner Press Releases this week to enjoy

Inside the Beltway by Ellen Holiday
Contemporary Novel
Buy in e-book & print

Senator Davis Hudson has a silver tongue that has so far kept the stress off those lesser political organs, the heart and the brain. But he’s just made a political speech that will transform him from a Senate back-bencher to a public figure and presidential contender—whether he’s ready or not—and suddenly he wants his words and actions to mean something. It’s a crucial time in his political career, and Davis needs all the publicity he can get. He just doesn’t expect the highlight of his first CNN interview to be the conversation he has with makeup artist Kurt Lamb.

Kurt is smart, politically savvy, and uninterested in being part of a congressional sex scandal, which is why he tolerates being Davis’s dirty little secret. Despite the poor timing, Davis falls for him hard.

But Kurt isn’t the only skeleton in Davis’s closet. Davis’s ex-wife isn’t happy that he’s pursuing the presidency now, after all her years of hard work, and he has at least one more enemy on the Hill. Between them, they have all the tools they need to ruin a presidential candidate—and maybe his shot at happiness too.

The Prince & the Program by Aldous Mercer
Series: The Mordred Saga, Book 1
 Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Humor Novel

Buy in e-book & print

Mordred Pendragon, the Bastard Prince, has done a Bad Thing—again. Exiled to Canada for seven years, he has to find a job to pay his bills. For reasons he refuses to reveal, Mordred decides “Software Engineer” has a nice ring to it. And though experience with “killing the Once and Future King, my father” and “that time in feudal Japan” makes for a poor résumé, he is hired by a small tech startup in Toronto.

In the midst of dealing with a crippling caffeine addiction and learning C++, Mordred thinks he has finally found someone to anchor him to the world of the living: Alan, the company’s offsite lead developer. Except that Alan might not be a "living" entity at all—he may, in fact, be the world's first strong AI. Or a demon that mistook a Windows install for the highway to Hell. Or, just maybe, the ghost of Alan Turing, currently inhabiting a laptop.

Mordred's attempts to figure out his love life are hampered by constant interference from the Inquisitors of the Securitates Arcanarum, corporate espionage, real espionage, a sysadmin bent on enslaving the world, and Marketing's demands that Mordred ship software to the Russian Federation. Then Alan gets himself kidnapped. To save him, Mordred must ally himself with the company’s CEO, who will stop at nothing to rescue her lead developer so he can get back to work. But the Prince doesn’t just want to rescue Alan, he wants a Happily Ever After—and he will travel beyond Death itself to get one.

Too bad Alan is perfectly happy as a computer.

Beholding Beauty by Sam Singer
Contemporary Novella
Buy in e-book only

Craig Ryan’s modeling dreams crashed and burned on the streets of LA. Still, a man has to eat, and the escort biz pays well, and the sex isn’t bad. Actually, Craig enjoys his new job and benefits. That is, until a client called Dee hires him. Dee is a mystery. He keeps his face hidden and prohibits touching, even when touching his mouthwatering body becomes Craig’s fantasy.

Falling for a customer was never in Craig’s plans. But wrapped inside Dee’s peculiar requirements, there’s a sense of loneliness and pain that strikes deep within Craig, awakening his own need for something more—something with a future beyond one-night stands.

Bishie Sparkles by Karenna Colcroft
Contemporary Novella
Buy in e-book only

Long-time yaoi fan Grant didn't expect to be so attracted to the main character of his latest purchase—and he definitely didn't expect to wake up next to him one morning. But that’s what happened. Even the sparkles, hearts, and small animals from the manga follow Teruo around Grant’s apartment. If Grant weren’t so distracted by lust, he’d find it really annoying.

When Teruo announces that he intends to stay with Grant because he has nowhere else to go, Grant is both pleased and terrified. Grant has been alone too long, and even with the sparkles, Teruo has made his way into Grant's heart. But if Grant can’t find the words to tell Teruo how he feels, Teruo  might vanish as suddenly as he appeared.

Love Means...Renewal by Andrew Grey
Series: Love Means..., book 8
Western Novella
Buy in e-book only

Eli Henninger is stretched a little thin.  He teaches riding classes, conducts therapy sessions, takes care of his son, and helps manage the family farm. He’s tired and overworked, especially because lately, no one else seems to do anything right.  He and his partner, Geoff, haven’t have time together in so long, he’s beginning to forget what his longtime love feels like.

Geoff is just as busy with the farm, the business, and working through a complicated land purchase. He and Eli labor from sunup to sundown and then some. He knows taking care of their responsibilities is preventing them from taking care of each other, but he doesn’t see anything he can do about it. To make matters worse, they’re accused of behaving improperly toward some of the children in their riding programs. 

Then Eli becomes ill and the investigators suspect foul play, forcing Geoff to reevaluate his priorities and hope fate will give them another chance.

Sidecar by Amy Lane
Contemporary Novel
Buy in e-book & print

The year is 1987.  The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities.  A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley.

But that's just the beginning of their story.

Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Then Joe's life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can't conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. 

Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them.  As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.

The Isle of Where? by Sue Brown
Contemporary Novel
Buy in e-book & print

When Liam Marshall’s best friend, Alex, loses his fight with colon cancer, he leaves Liam one final request: buy a ticket to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and scatter Alex’s ashes off the pier. Liam is tired, worn out, and in desperate need of a vacation, but instead of sun, sea, sand, and hot cabana boys, he gets a rickety old train, revolting kids, and no Ewan MacGregor.

Liam would have done anything for his friend, but fulfilling Alex’s final wish means letting go off the only family Liam had left. Lost, he freezes on the pier… until Sam Owens comes to his rescue.

 Sam’s family has vacationed on the Isle of Wight every year for as long as he can remember, but he’s never met anyone like Liam. Determined to make Liam’s vacation one to remember, Sam looks after him—in and out of the bedroom. He even introduces Liam to his entire family. But as Sam helps Liam let go, he’s forced to admit that he wants Liam to hang on—not to his old life, but to Sam and what they have together.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome Guest Author Liv Rancourt today

Keeping It Real: Sex Scenes

Thanks so much, Dawn, for having me as a guest on the Reading Nook. I really appreciate the chance to connect with your readers.

Complaint of the day: I hate it when writers create love scenes that COULDN’T happen in real life. Like, I get that in reality, no super-sexy Johnny Depp lookalike is going to come running for my 50-year-old form, so when I read a romance, there’s an element of suspended disbelief from the very start.  What I object to (and I’m not directing my criticism at any particular person here) are phrases like, “he slid my jeans off in one smooth motion”
I mean, really? One SMOOTH motion?
Unless you are under the age of 22 and wear pants that ride so low on your hips they threaten to slide off with every step, there is nothing smooth about a pair of jeans. In a real-life romantic moment, there’s some tugging involved. Or maybe some pulling. And there’s probably at least one awkward “ah, you’re lying on my hair”, if not an actual “ouch”.

I’m also not crazy about variations of “he parted my lips with his tongue”, because I never found that “he” needed to work that hard. My lips were already…okay, TMI, sorry. But you know what I mean? Unless you’re trying to foreshadow the taking of a character’s virginity through tongue games, I don’t find this particular detail all that necessary.

And then there are the writers who get confused about whether they’re writing a sex scene or giving an anatomy lesson. Like, call me old-school, but I NEVER want to read the word “labia” in a romance novel. Even for a ‘70s feminist like myself, words that you find in a textbook are too clinical and pull me out of the story.

So what’s a writer to do?

Well, a little real-life experience never hurt anybody. I’m going to guess that most every one of you reading this has some of that to draw on. I’d much rather read a scene that weaves in a thread of truth, even if it’s a little awkward, than a scene that reads like a mash-up of the last ten romances that crossed my Kindle. It’s harder to do but I think the pay-off is worth is. Maybe work in a little laughter or pulled hair or jeans that get stuck, if you know what I mean.

While in my own writing I tend to close the door when my characters end up in bed, I know that many of you are a lot bolder than that. Thank goodness! I may not be comfortable writing more than a strong PG rating, but I LOVE reading it. I think the emotional connections between characters are the fresh-baked bread of reading, and the physical connections are the yummy garlic-butter spread. Now let’s pour another glass of vino and turn on our Kindles, okay?

A Vampire's Deadly Delight by Liv Rancourt

She’s a quiet, unassuming bookstore owner by day, but by

Kristen has a deadly secret—when she smells a vampire, she
turns into Jai, a beauti-licious babe who makes vamps
permanently dead. To a vamp, Jai is like ambrosia. They can’t
resist her. She uses this attraction, plus her super strength and
her trusty blade, Mr. Sticky, to end their undead lives. The thrill
of wearing miniskirts without worrying about cellulite stifles
any qualms Kristen might have about killing the undead. Being
Jai is the most fun she has ever had—until they come up
against the one vampire Jai can’t kill. If he and Jai have a history,
as he claims, Jai can’t remember it...or him.

But when her work catches the attention of some old
enemies—who won’t hesitate to destroy Kristen if it also
means the end of Jai—this vampire may be their only hope.
Can Kristen and Jai learn to tell the difference between good
and evil in time to defeat Jai’s ancient nemesis? Or will being
Jai’s hostess cost Kristen more than just her beauty sleep?

Teaser Excerpt:

Oops. This one was a just little more than I could handle...

I wasn’t alone. Vampire. Raw. Maybe a wild one. I looked up, nerves tingling because of the quick change to Kristen and back again. Saw him standing at one end of the alley, head turned to the side. Shakespeare’s profile, with the firm brow and the long straight nose. Streetlights glistened on his curls.

Very close, but not Shakespeare.

“I could tear your head off and let your blood mix with the bile and garbage and mud.” His voice was Shakespeare’s, too, but not quite. He moved enough to show the silhouette of the sword he was carrying.

I stood straighter, opened my arms a little. “Bring it.”

“Bitch.” He came at me too fast to see and smacked me across the face. My head hit the dumpster with a ringing crash.

I landed on one knee, grateful I was in boots. Upright, Mr. Sticky and I had a chance. If he got me on the ground, I was done.

His shadow towered over me. “The moon’s light begs mercy. She tells me to save you now that we might savor you together.”

“So much like him, but not Shakespeare.”

“Not Chaucer or Oscar Wilde, either, though they were both good men. I am Sir Hugh Robartes. You are nothing. You are dirt. You are dead.”

“You’re John’s brother.”

“Don’t say that name.”

His fist found my face again, knocking me back into the brick. I felt Mr. Sticky fly off into the shadows—then I was out.

About the Author:
Liv Rancourt writes paranormal and romance, often at the same time. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and one wayward puppy. She likes to create stories that have happy endings, and finds it is a good way to balance her other job in the neonatal intensive care unit. Liv can be found on-line at her website (, her blog (, on Facebook (, or on Twitter (