Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Snog....from Incognito

Victoria Blisse has started a movement! Every Sunday, she's posting an excerpt featuring a kiss on her blog, then inviting the rest of us to follow suit. So here, for your reading pleasure, is a three-way kiss taken from my novel Incognito. Enjoy!

The translucent drapery fell back into place. The three of them were alone. For a long moment they stood motionless, facing each other. What am I doing? thought Miranda, wondering at the thud of her heart against her ribs and the swollen heat of her sex.

Then all her awkwardness and uncertainty dropped away. With her right hand, she reached for Marla, her fingers seeking the hard little nubs pushing through the elastic material. With her left, she drew Marcus to her, reveling in the sensation of his tumescence pressed against her thigh. Marla’s breast cupped in one hand, Marcus’ scrotum in the other, Miranda kissed them in turn.

Their mouths were surprisingly different. Marla’s kiss was soft, almost tentative, though she readily opened her ripe lips to the probing of Miranda’s tongue. She tasted faintly of cloves, sharp and sweet.

Marcus kissed with a fury that robbed Miranda of breath. At the touch of her lips, his opened, and he seemed to inhale her, sucking her tongue into his mouth and tangling it with his own. Meanwhile, his arm encircled her hip and pulled her more tightly against him. He ground his bulging crotch against her velvet-clad thigh, setting up sympathetic tremors in her sex.

If Marla’s kiss was a gentle invitation, Marcus’ was a challenge. Once again, a fleeting impression of familiarity rose in Miranda’s consciousness, then slipped away as hands and lips expanded and complicated the three-way caress.

Marla broke away first. Without speaking, she pulled the jumpsuit off her shoulders and wriggled out of it, somehow managing to look charming rather than clumsy.

Marla was slender, but far from boyish. Miranda could not take her eyes from the dusky rose nipples that pertly tipped the girl’s palm-sized breasts. Her skin was golden all over with a light tan; there were no pale patches. Marla’s hips swelled invitingly from a narrow waist, then down to firm, straight thighs. At their meeting point, her neatly trimmed triangle of brunette curls left Miranda feeling weak and confused.

I’ve never been attracted to women before, thought Miranda. What’s happening to me? Then an image from her past flooded her inner vision. High school, Rebecca – the minister’s wild daughter, long blonde locks flying, laughing as she danced at a party, while a younger Miranda watched from a corner, overwhelmed by a craving she could not name. So, thought Miranda, beginning to understand how little she knew her real self.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leodegraunce: A Dream Achieved

By Jolie du Pré (Guest Blogger)

A writer friend of mine, Sabah Karimi, wrote, "You never know how far you can go until you make success your ONLY option." I didn't know Sabah when I quit my boring day job at the end of 2007. However, I woke up every day and went to bed every night saying to myself my own version of that quote until the fateful day arrived that allowed me to clear out my desk and go home to become a full-time writer.

It was exciting. It was scary, and it worked. Now, nearly four years later, I can barely remember what it was like to have to rush to a job I hated every day.

If you can live your dreams, live them.

After I became a full-time writer, my goal was to earn enough money writing to make a part-time income. I accomplished my dream within a year.

Another dream I have is to become a novel writer. That goal is still in the works. I’m slowing getting to the day that I can say I have a novel written, and my publisher has been waiting patiently.

My third dream was to become an owner of a flash fiction site.

When I was a member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, I was introduced to flash fiction. Every Sunday, authors would post erotic flashers of 100 words or less. Later, the guidelines changed to 200 words or less.

Flash fiction, or a flasher as some writers call it, is a short-short story. It can be as long as 1,000 words or as short as 100 words, or even less. What is important to remember about flash fiction is that it is a complete story - with a beginning, middle and an end.

I love flash fiction for its brevity. I’ve always been a gal who “cuts to the chase,” and that’s a fitting metaphor for what flash fiction is. There’s no room for unnecessary words or rambling.

But there was one thing I learned about flash fiction that I didn’t like. The opportunities to get it published and paid for are slim. There are places to send your flashers, but not many sites and publishers will give you cash in return.

As my article writing became successful enough for me to earn a part-time income, I realized I had enough money to start my own site – Leodegraunce (http://www.leodegraunce.com ). It wouldn't just be a flash fiction site. It would be a place for quality flash fiction where you are paid for your work. I pay $5 per 200 words or less. As an article writer, I know that’s a pretty decent payment given the word count.

I’ve been an erotica writer since 2001, and I love erotic flashers. Here's one I wrote a few years ago:

40 Lashings

©2011 Jolie du Pre

"You spill the paint, and I'll lash your bottoms 20 times," the warden said with whip in hand. Anna liked how the warden’s red nails matched her red lips.

The women scurried to their places, trying to be as careful as possible, but within 5 minutes, to the horror of her mates, Anna had paint everywhere; she had even thrown some at the ceiling.

"Well Missy, it appears that 40 lashings will do for the likes of you."

Anna could hide the gush in her panties, but not her smile.

Although I love erotica, I wanted Leodegraunce to be more than an erotica flash fiction site. I just wanted it to be a place for flash fiction. I wanted all the offerings to be of quality and complete stories, and I hired an associate editor, Gary Russell, to make sure this happens every time.

As I said in my interview at Duotrope (http://www.duotrope.com/interview.aspx?id=5317 ), "As the founder of Leodegraunce, every flash fiction story must meet my eclectic taste and fit the theme for the month. We receive up to 70 stories a month, and I only accept 4 or 5 of them. Then they must pass through the eyes of my associate editor. If he determines that a piece I've chosen is not a complete story, I reject it and replace it with another selection. I'm good at determining if a story has a beginning, middle and an end, but it can get tricky with flash fiction. I'm not looking for poetry."

I'm extremely pleased at the enthusiasm and the number of submissions for Leodegraunce. We will also present an anthology of flash fiction that includes the stories featured on the site, plus new stories, in a book to be published in 2012 by LL Publications. I didn’t expect my site to take off as well as it did, but that’s what has happened, and I’m grateful.

If you enjoy flash fiction, whether it's erotica or not, visit Leodegraunce. We promote a theme every month, and I'd love to read your submissions based on the theme. Also, if you love vintage photos, you’ll enjoy the look of the site, which showcases black and white images mainly from the early to mid 20th century.

Lisabet, thanks for allowing me to gab at your blog!

BIO: Jolie du Pre (http://joliedupre.com) is a full-time freelance writer. She is a published author of erotica, with short stories in over 15 books, and the editor of three erotica anthologies. Jolie is an article writer who focuses on celebrity news and gossip. Many of her articles can be found at Yahoo! News, Yahoo! TV and at Yahoo! OMG! Under another name, she has written for Spinner, Asylum, Good Meals, Parent Dish, Noise Creep, Made Man, eHow, among others. In addition, she has ghostwritten thousands of articles for various clients. Jolie is a married mother of two, who loves to run up to five miles a day, read fiction and nonfiction, cook healthy meals and watch comedies, classic and contemporary. When she was active in the Erotica Readers & Writers Association she was introduced to flash fiction, and she is pleased to pursue it with Leodegraunce.

Join me at the EAA Erotica Writer's Conference this September 9 and 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada! (http://eroticauthorsassociation.com/EAA/conference/about-the-conference )

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lesbian Death Bed

By Annie Alvarez (Guest Blogger)

Lesbian in the house!

Hello everyone, It’s my first time here so I wanted to introduce myself while touching on base on something important. Oh, don’t poo-poo me off, yet. I haven’t even gotten to the good part.

I write lesbian, paranormal, erotic romance and thrillers. Yup. That’s me writing about all the wonderful, if not supernatural, ways girls have sex. Some of you might ask, how can I write that? Well, because…surprise! I’m a lesbian. Okay, maybe no surprise there if you know me. LOL

I love everything there is about being a lesbian and I love incorporating that into my books. The soft sensuality of another woman’s touch, the gentle seduction that takes place over time, the intrigue and the mystic of it all. But, if that’s not your cup of tea, don’t be dismayed. We have hot, steamy, rip our clothes off, passionate sex also. Oh, it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

I started writing paranormal erotica because honestly, I wanted a good vampire book I could curl up with late at night. I mean, eventually Edward and Bella made their appearance and everyone went goo-goo gaa-gaa over them, but who did we, the girls have? We certainly didn’t have a sexy vampire beauty falling in love with a mortal, well, in my case, a half witch. No. We had nada. So, I decided that it was time to create my own erotic, lesbian, vampire clan story and The Hightower Series was born. Yea me!

Now to reveal a secret about our lifestyle. Yes, it’s sad, but true that LDB strikes even the best of relationships. Urban Dictionary defines Lesbian Death Bed as follows: “When sexual relations between a lesbian couple have virtually ceased, yet the companionship remains.” It’s almost taboo even to mention the dreaded LDB in some communities. Hang on to your panties, there is a cure!

Even if you’re not a lesbian, you may find some of this information useful in your relationship. The best thing to do is to break out of that boring cycle. Do something spontaneous. Surprise yourself and your partner. Nothing says, “I’m ready” better than meeting your honey at the front door, naked. Trust me!

Another option are toys. Yes, adult toys. I’m not talking about a Slinky or Chutes and Ladders unless you want to make up your own rules. Oh… kinky…that could work, but I’m talking about the plethora of sex toys available for your enjoyment. Feathers to tickle your fancy. Harnesses to make your point, if you get what I mean. Handcuffs lined in pink fluffy stuff. Gags. Blindfolds. Even edible body paints in all sorts of flavors including…chocolate. Yes, chocolate. What a delectable nibble that would be. They even have pearls. Don’t worry if you’re not a back-end girl. Get creative with the pearls. I did in the first Hightower Book, For The Love of Blood.

And that brings me to yet another way of breaking free from the LDB scene. Take turns reading an erotic story to your partner. I guarantee a well-written book will give you lots of motivation. Pretty good segue into introducing my books, huh? LOL

As a first timer here, first I wanted to thank Lisabet for having me and secondly, treat you all to something special. Here’s a never before released excerpt from, For The Love of Blood. Be forewarned, it is adult content and it is certainly not appropriate for the workplace.

To help you on your way, I’ve compiled the series order for my books.

The Hightower Series

Book 1: For The Love of Blood

Book 2: Cheating Death

Book 3: Dying To Live

Book 4: Lustful Torment

Book 5: Gaia’s Lust

Book 6: New Beginnings

Carly Bright Series

Carly Bright: Sex Games

Stand Alone Books

Boi Toi

Sessions

Enjoy! For lots more information about me and my writing, visit: http://www.anniealvarez.net

And you can find me on Facebook and/or Twitter @ AnnieAlvarez

For The Love of Blood Excerpt

I held my legs as still as my restless body would allow. Meticulously, she inserted each individual pearl into my waiting cunt, teasing me as she slowly filled my emptiness. Filling me completely, my muscles stretched, taking in the last pearl. She pressed her lips on my folds and kissed me. Standing, she extended her hand and lifted me to my feet.

“Get dressed,” she said while putting on her pants.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” I snapped.

Tamara smiled. “Get dressed. And don’t put your underwear on.”

I couldn’t believe she was subjecting me to this. As I reached for my pants, the pearls inside me shifted and sent a shock wave through me. Oh God, maybe she did know what she was doing. I straightened. “Could you please?” I pointed at my jeans.

“No.” She smiled and leaned against the wall, watching me. “Get them yourself.”

Slowly, I bent down, again the pearls shifted and my cunt tightened around them. They felt so good. I slipped my hand between my legs, massaging my crotch as I grabbed the jeans off the floor. She was on me, instantly, grabbing my hand away from my own wetness.

“Don’t.” She slid her own hand between my legs. “Touch yourself.”

She helped me get into my jeans, but before she slipped them over my hips, she tugged on the string that hung out of my cunt. Slowly, she pulled out a pearl and it slid between my lips. Continuing to pull on the string, she dragged the pearl up through my wetness, blissfully tormenting me. She then pulled out another one. Following the path of the first one, the second pearl was almost my undoing. My excitement grew.

“Now.” She motioned that I pull my jeans up while she held the string between her fingers, commanding my pleasure.

I zipped my jeans and again she gently tugged at the string. Another pearl slipped out as she laid the string up and over my waistband.

“You ready?” She held out her arm, offering to escort me out.

“You’re kidding.” I snarled.

She just smiled, keeping her arm out. I took a step and the pearls came to life, teasing me and exciting me. I stopped in mid-step. The pleasure was unbearable. Reluctantly, I grabbed her arm for support. She wouldn’t allow me to take the elevator down so we ventured the stairs very slowly. The pearls took on a renewed life with every step I took. Halfway down, I stopped, the pearls threatened to dominate my orgasm. I grabbed her arm harder, balancing myself as euphoria started to take control of me. I couldn’t stop the pleasure building inside of me. I was going to cum.

“Look at me,” she ordered.

I tried, but I couldn’t focus. I gripped her arm harder as my orgasm threatened to explode.

“Do not cum.” She scorned and pinched my nipple hard.

he pain rocked my body, temporarily keeping my orgasm at bay. “Ouch! Did you have to do that?”

“You were going to cum.” She was wrapping her finger around the string hanging over my waistband.

“Don’t. Please don’t.” I stepped backward, trying to get out of her reach. She smiled and slowly tugged at the string, sliding another pearl out of me. My desires screamed as the pearl brushed against me, teasing me. My knees buckled.

“You need to get a hold of yourself or you won’t make it through the rest of the evening.”

She smiled.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Joys of Research

By Beth Wylde (Guest Blogger)

What do you do when your fantasies go beyond what people around you consider normal? Who do you turn to for information on spanking and wax play when you live in the middle of redneck hell in the dead center of the Bible belt in BFE? Questions like these are things some author’s face every day. It's hard being a writer, and even tougher when you write in genres that a lot of people still sneer at.

I know erotica is selling better now than it ever has been and GLBTQ stories are rapidly gaining in popularity and acceptance, but in my town openly admitting interest in either of these subjects is likely to get you hurt. I don’t see that attitude changing anytime soon. Knowing where to turn for those tiny details you aren’t sure of is key to writing believable and plausible stories. I’ve never been shy. (loud, hyper, sometimes annoying – those terms all fit but I’ve never once been called timid. I’m extroverted to a fault!) This is where quality research comes into play. Remember there are no stupid questions.

I know that sounds nerdy. You’re probably shaking your head already, thinking “Research, ewww. How can that be enjoyable?” Well maybe you aren’t looking in the right kinds of places to get your information. ;)

When I write a story I want my take on the topic to be as realistic as possible. Hence my first trip to a play party four years ago in DC. (probably not the gentlest introduction to the lifestyle but definitely an eye opening evening and a whole lot of fun!!) They day started off gently as a fetish flea where kink and fetish vendors filled the area to pimp their wares. Then night rolled around and the toys came out.

I’ve been interested in and a fan of BDSM stories for quite some time (long before I should have been reading that type of content) but when I finally decided I wanted to write one I had no idea who to turn to for information. I had no way to know if what I’d been reading was a true interpretation of events or a load of bullshit. I could have tried to fake my way through a story and hope for the best but I didn’t want to do that. (Posers make me ill) I wanted readers who picked up my book (kinksters or newbies alike) to not only be entertained by my writing but to also enjoy scenes that were as true to life as possible. This is where the research angle comes into play.

I started out online actually contacting some of my favorite BDSM authors and asking for advice. I figured I’d go directly to the source. The worst they could say was no or ignore me entirely. I’m no stranger to that. LOL I was super shocked when quite a few of them returned my emails and even offered links and resources to real people and groups in the know about BDSM.

I chatted with those that had direct knowledge of the lifestyle and asked for references. I found a few groups within driving range that put together monthly munches and held demos. I met a wonderful submissive who offered to critique my story for accuracy. (Dee Dee, you rock!)

Then I decided it was actually time to visit a club. At first I was nervous as hell. Worrying over what I’d find inside. Praying they’d be nothing like a night spent in a regular nightclub being manhandled and treated like a piece of meat being sold at the market. (The lack of this type of atmosphere is one reasons I love to go to the gay clubs and it was amazingly refreshing to attend and see how receptive the BDSM club is to newbies and how strict rules are in place so everyone enjoys their evening. No groping or grabbing and no drunken idiots. You can’t beat that!)

I’d rented and watched a fair amount of actual BDSM and fetish porn, even a few instructional books and videos. I attended a munch and a few demos but none of that prepared me for a party in the BIG city. There is a big difference between a small local, private club and a huge converted warehouse in the middle of downtown Washington. The equipment alone is enough to make even the staunchest fetish aficionado weep tears of joy. I saw scenes that were beyond my wildest dreams and some things I never thought would turn me on left me hotter than a fireworks display on the fourth of July.

Now I have quite a few published BDSM and fetish themed stories under my belt but that doesn’t mean the research has stopped. I love learning new things and I’m constantly finding new toys or types of play that get my motor running. Education of any type is a gift and when research is this much fun I hope to be learning new things long into the future.

You can check out several of my kink themed stories in my newest release, Women Gone Wylde. I’d love to know if all my hard work and research paid off. The book is a personal anthology of all my favorite Sapphic stories rolled into one tidy print book. The cover is also freaking HOT too! Of the nine stories in the book several carry a fetish or BDSM theme. There’s spanking, strap-ons, fantasies come to life, tattoo fetish, and phone sex, just to name a few.

Jean Roberta from Erotica Revealed gave the book two thumbs up. She wrote "This is the kind of book that makes you want to take it under the covers and read by flashlight, almost hoping to be caught in the act."

The book is available at CreateSpace as well as all your other favorite on-line bookstores. Just a reminder thatbuying direct always helps the author out more when it comes to royalties. ^_^

If you’d like a signed copy you can email me at b.wylde [at] yahoo.com

I had special www.bethwylde.com beach tote bags made up for the GCLS convention last month and still have about 10 left. If you order a copy of the antho direct from me I will include a tote bag for free. (Choice of black or bright green while supplies last but you must mention this post on Lisabet’s blog to get the free bag. I might even toss in a few extra goodies too. I love giving away free stuff!!)

Copies are $15 each and shipping in the US normally runs $5. If you want to purchase more than one copy let me know and I will combine shipping as much as possible. Books make great presents and I’ll be glad to personalize them if needed or desired.

A huge thanks to Lisabet for letting me be a guest here today. Stay Wylde everyone,

Beth

http://www.bethwylde.com

Excerpt (from "Saddle Up")

By the time I walked back behind the stadium Amanda was gone. I’m not sure what bothered me the most, the fact that she was missing or that she’d taken my favorite hat with her.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid.” I’d let my hormones get away with me. “At my age I should know better than to think with my pussy.”

I followed the path around the back towards the parking lot where my truck was parked, passing by the smaller barn where the horses and calves were housed while they awaited their turns in the ring. Now it seemed eerily quiet. Something strange caught my eye so I abandoned my intended destination and headed cautiously into the barn. What I found was infinitely more interesting then anything I could have expected.

Amanda was in the back, near where they kept all the food for the horses, laid out on a hay bale with my hat over her face and her little skirt down around her ankles. Her little white panties were caught on her knees and she had both hands between her legs, one working away on her clit as her other jammed three fingers deep inside her pussy. The sight was truly inspiring, and had me hotter than a mare in season, but it was her words that left me no doubt as to who she was fantasizing about.

“Oh shit. Please Sammy. Please fuck me! Suck my clit. Harder.”

My earlier doubts about her sexual orientation vanished completely. As I watched she spread her legs as far as the panties would allow, pinching and smacking her clit as her other hand began to pump in and out wildly. “Now Samantha, now. I’m going to come.”

It seemed cruel to make her jill off by herself when she could have the real thing. I made it to the back of the barn faster than I’d taken down the calf earlier, pulling my Stetson off her face so I could look her in the eyes. The minute we made eye contact she fell over the edge, screaming and creaming her satisfaction. I gave her a minute to regain her wits before starting up a conversation by taking a second to put my hat back on. It smelled like vanilla and wildflowers, a scent I knew I’d associate with Amanda from now on.

“Looks like you took real good care of my hat for me. Maybe I should thank you properly."

Bio: Author Beth Wylde writes what she likes to read, which includes a little bit of everything. Her books range in theme from paranormal to contemporary and in pairings from lesbian erotica to straight m/f as well as menage and beyond.

When she isn’t writing she can still be found in front of her computer either plotting, chatting or working on promo. Her first story was published in 2006 and her reviews have been top notch, including a FAR recommended read in October of 08.

Some of her most recent awards include, The Romance Erotica Connection (REC) 2007 & 2008 F/F Author of the Year, REC’s Best Gay short story of 2008 (co written with Cassandra Gold) and she is up for the GLBT author of 2008 award from Love Romances Cafe (LRC) as well as several nominations in the P&E polls.

Beth loves to chat online and can be reached via IM or email at b.wylde [at] yahoo.com. You can also find examples of her work at her website www.bethwylde.com or join her busy yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bethwylde/

She also runs a yahoo group for published and aspiring authors of lesbian stories and works hard to maintain her les-lit database. For info on either of these projects email Beth directly.

The database and author website can be found at: http://sapphicplanet.tripod.com/ and http://www.sapphicplanet.com.

Keep an eye out for more new releases plus news of signings and appearances by Beth in the near future.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cover for Wild About That Thing

Greetings! Just popping in to share my latest cover from Total-E-Bound.

Ta da!

Wild About That Thing is a M/F/M ménage story set in a New York City blues club. Two things are important to Ruby Jones: her teenage son and her struggling club, the Crossroads Blues Bar. Her love life comes as a distant third, despite the efforts of Zeke Chambers to convince her otherwise. Zeke's the lead singer in her house band, a devoted friend, and an occasional lover. He can drive her wild with desire, but can't get her to make a commitment. Deserted by her cheating ex-husband, Ruby's determined she's going to make it on her own. She's hot-blooded like her bluesman daddy, happy to satisfy her physical cravings, but she's not about to let any man into her heart.

The stranger who takes the stage on the Crossroads open mike night upsets the delicate balance in Ruby's world. Remy Saint-Michel inspires irrational, irresistible lust as well as inexplicable sympathy. Overwhelmed, confused, guilty and worried about her prized independence, Ruby decides that the only way to deal with her two lovers is to push them both away. Zeke and Remy, though, have other ideas.

Wild About That Thing will be released as part of the Treble anthology in September, and as a stand-alone title soon after. Want an excerpt? Just click here!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Love of a Lifetime

By Lynne Connolly (Guest Blogger)

Coffee and tea and even hot chocolate are so ubiquitous to our world that we hardly think about it. But it wasn’t always that way.

Coffee and tea were introduced into England in the mid seventeenth century. Legend has it that it was popularised by the queen of Charles II, Catherine of Braganza, who brought her tea drinking ways from her native Portugal. Whatever, it soon became extremely popular and it’s never lost its appeal.

But they didn’t just take to it because it was “nice.” It was a welcome way of imbibing water safely. We tend to forget that until mid Victorian times, it just wasn’t safe to drink water. It carried bacteria, and while our ancestors didn’t know about them, they knew the results. Drinking water made you ill. There were two main ways of making it safe. You could boil it or you could brew, distill or use it in the fermentation process. That explains why wells containing safe water were so precious and carefully guarded, too.

Boiled water tastes horrible. There’s no way anyone would want to live on that, and the flavouring doesn’t really help a lot. So most people, men, women and children, drank beer. The usual everyday beer, known as “small beer” wasn’t very alcoholic, but was an acceptable drink. In the West country, they liked cider. In Scotland, they made beer from barley. Whatever was available. Strictly ale, because beer has to have hops in it, but it wasn’t very long before the hop industry got under way and oast houses were opening hither and yon. Distilled water, plus a few extra ingredients led to spirits, brandy and gin for the most part (whisky came in later, in the Victorian age), and fortified wine like port and sherry.

But isn’t it nice to sit with a hot drink on a cold day? Our ancestors, for the most part, didn’t do this. That is, until coffee, tea and chocolate (as a drink) came in. Coffee houses soon sprang up around the culture. Men only establishments, apart from the women who might serve in them, they were open to anyone who looked respectable. They opened in major cities in competition with the inns, and soon started to specialise, especially in London. They became places of business, and soon men engaged in certain aspects of business congregated in specific coffee houses. Lloyds was for shipping and insurance. The Cocoa-Tree was popular with Tories and Jacobites (later it became a private gambling club). Will’s Coffee house on the corner of Bow Street collected writers. Dryden’s chair was kept there.

At home, women took to tea drinking. Tea sets were delicate, precious objects, and until the late eighteenth century, teacups, or tea-dishes, as they were known, didn’t have handles. They were held by their broad bases instead. Porcelain was delicate and precious, and it was a measure of your gentility as to whether you dared to pour in the hot tea before you added the milk, because the porcelain cracked and broke. If you could afford to, you would put the tea in first.

As the dinner hour was pushed back and the gap between breakfast and dinner became wider, the need for a mid-afternoon snack increased, and so ladies would hold salons where they served tea and delicacies. Some of these became the centre of literary and even political excellence, with famous hostesses like Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu presiding over a distinguished group of poets, playwrights and novelists.

Later, tea and coffee became important weapons in the armoury of the nonconformist teetotaller. It became possible to eschew alcohol altogether, and some of the most famous coffee and tea companies in the world were begun by Quakers or nonconformists who wanted to either limit the amount of alcohol imbibed, especially by the lower classes, or cut it out altogether. Out of this came one of the most important developments womankind has ever known: chocolate bars. First produced by Fry, they were seen as an interesting addition to the drinking sort chocolate. The company, founded by a particularly prominent Quaker family from the Shoreditch Community, also saw the bars as a good way of keeping chocolate in less than hygienic situations. By this time, the first half of the nineteenth century, tea and coffee were seen as part of everyday life, no longer luxuries, and had supplanted small beer as the usual drink of all classes, from the cobbler to the King.

And for me, coffee and tea led to the longest love affair of my life. When I was nine years old, we did a project on coffee and tea. It included production and manufacture. We started with a slide show, always a treat in our school, and I watched, enraptured, when they put up a print of a coffee house, the one I’ve put above. Right then and there I saw the place of my dreams, I saw a world I wanted to enter and I was desperate to know more about it, experience it, be part of it. I wanted a time machine, and I knew I’d been born in the wrong century.

Later, I learned better. I could live in the eighteenth century, but there are some things I’d find it very hard to live without. The vote, for instance. Still, at that exact moment, I fell deeply and irrevocably in love with the eighteenth century. Later, when I went to university, I deliberately chose Tudor history, not Georgian, because I didn’t want the magic to die. It was my secret. But the passion never died, never went away and today it’s as strong as ever. So strong that I write books set in the middle of that glorious time, and every time a new book comes out about that era, I buy it. I’m more passionate about the mid Georgian period, the 1750’s, than I am about the Regency, so I write books set then.

I can’t see it ever stopping.

Bio: Lynne Connolly lives in England with her family and her mews, a cat called Jack. She spends her time writing and filling her collection of doll’s houses. After acceptance by her first publisher she hasn’t looked back. She has over 40 books out, and plans for more. She writes in the paranormal romance, contemporary romance and historical romance genres and she likes to add a lot of steam!

She writes for Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Loose-Id Publishing, Total E-bound, Champagne Publishing, Uncial Press and Awe-Struck Books.

Where you can find Lynne:

Newsletter group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lynneconnolly/join

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lynneconnolly

Email: lynneconnollyuk [at] yahoo.co.uk

Website: http://lynneconnolly.com

Blogs:

http://goodbadandunread.com

http://historicalromanceuk.blogspot.com

Publishers:

Total-E-Bound: http://www.total-e-bound.com/authordetail.asp?A_ID=146

Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/m-332-lynne-connolly.aspx

Samhain Publishing: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/lynne-connolly-pa-79.html

Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/Our-Authors/Lynne-Connolly/

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cat Shifters and Sunbathers - My July Newsletter!

Sunbathing guy

Welcome! Thanks for taking time off from your sun-bathing, swimming, barbecues and other summer fun to check out my latest news. With free reads, contests and lots more, I hope you'll find it's worth a few minutes.

New and Upcoming Releases

No new releases this month, but I've gotten word that Total-E-Bound has accepted my paranormal novella Hot Spell for release in November. By that time, we'll need a sizzling story set during a heat wave! I'll be posting a blurb and excerpt soon.

Probably my biggest news this month is the fact that my extra-terrestrial ménage tale, Bodies of Light got a five cherryreview from Whipped Cream and then was voted Book of the Week. Part of the prize was a free book video from GoddessFish Promotions. Check it out! I really love the music.

In her review, Clematis wrote:

What a wonderfully refreshing and original sci-fi erotic romance. My only complaint would be that I finished it -- I wanted to keep on reading!...New to Lisabet Sarai's work, I was pleasantly surprised and am full of nothing but praise for Bodies of Light.

You can read the whole review here

I've been working on the edits for my novella Wild About That Thing, which will be released in September as part of the Treble anthology. This is a realistic contemporary tale about a single mother struggling against the odds to fulfill her dream. Have you read the excerpt yet? The story's full of my favorite blues tunes -- not to mention some of my favorite sexual fantasies.

Last, but hardly least, I recently learned that my story "Clean Slate" will be included in the anthology Best Lesbian Romance 2012, put together by awarding winning author and editor Radclyffe. I think this will be coming out in November of 2011.

Other News

I'm blogging on July 20th at K.D. Grace's place, talking about "the story behind the story" of my BDSM romance The Understudy. It's not exactly a true tale, but it borrows a good deal from my own history. I'm also blogging today as usual at Hitting the Hot Spot on the topic of naked recreation. Seems like a good topic for summer! Drop by and say hello!

I've put my article from Savvy Authors up in the For Authors section of my website. If you missed my essay "What Comes Next? Building Suspense and Avoiding Predictability", you can find it here.

Your wish is my command. Last month, in an entry to my "Story Suggestions" contest, one reader asked for a cat shifter story. You'll find the result, "Cat Toy", up on my free reads page. This is the first chapter of what will probably be a longer work. I hope you like it. I'm centering my contest this month on the story. You have a chance to win your own toy - or something else sexy and sensual!

"Quarantine" is up to about 35K. Unfortunately, my evil day job has been stealing a lot of my writing time. Actually, that's not fair - I love my day job. But I am getting a bit frustrated that it's taking me so long to tell Dylan's and Rafe's story.

Contests!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Bodies contest. Most respondents had fairly specific preferences when it came to male characters, but quite a few told me that the body type of the female character didn't matter nearly as much. One person wrote "It's refreshing to read of women who are curvy". Another commented "The women I'm not as picky about because I usually replace her with myself anyway in my mind." "Variety" and "please, not perfect" were other common sentiments. Since I rarely write unbelievably gorgeous characters, I was reassured!

Congratulations to Melissa, who was my randomly selected winner! She won a copy of my "Best Book of the Week" Bodies of Light.

My contest this month is a bit different. The prize is a $25 gift certificate from sex toy emporium EdenFantasys. If you're not into sex toys, EdenFantasys also sells lingerie, videos and DVDs, and lots of sexy books, including many of written by or including stories by me.

Kayla from EdenFantasys contacted me a few weeks ago, offering to sponsor my monthly contest, if I'd say a few words about their site. When I asked Kayla what she wanted me to write, she left that totally up to me. So I spent some time browsing around - more time than I'd planned, in fact, because, to be honest, I was having a great time.

I discovered that EdenFantasys is not just a woman-friendly, sex-positive adult products vendor. It seems to be a true community. They have an active set of forums (I had to tear myself away from the BDSM topics!), reviews by real people offering honest opinions, member workshops (I saw one listed on cake-decorating!), an interactive book club (who just happened to be discussing a book that includes one of my stories - obviously they have excellent taste!), and much more. My sampling suggested that the community is large, active, knowledgeable and generally articulate. After half an hour or so exploring, my reaction was, "Wow! A place to connect with kindred spirits. I've got to join!" My second reaction was, "Oh no, another Internet venue to suck up my scarce time!"

I decided to join anyway.

So - what do you need to do in order to win this gift certificate? First, read my new story, "Cat Toy". Then send me an email, to contest [at] lisabetsarai.com, with the subject line "Toys". In your email, tell me what you think should happen in the next chapter. That's all there is to it! Around August 15th, I'll randomly pick one email to receive the prize. And a hearty thanks to EdenFantasys for their generosity!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Lisabet's Pick of the Month

My Pick for July is Amy Valenti's blog. Amy's newly pubbed with Total-E-Bound, and judging by her fast but frequent posts, seems to have boundless energy. Check out her bizarre burlesque image posted a few days ago!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Islands, Waterfalls, and Hot Men from Down Under

By Cassandre Dayne (Guest Blogger)

What is it about the water, whether it’s the ocean, a lake or a crisp cool swimming pool that is such a delicious aphrodisiac? I don’t know about you but I love seeing sun-kissed men lounging on a towel, their carved bodies kissed by the sun. Yummy. Doesn’t the thought of slipping behind a waterfall into a hidden cove and stripping down naked turn you on? One of my greatest fantasies is having a ménage with two hot men that have nothing on their minds but pleasuring me in a tropical location.

What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done with a lover during an island vacation? Have you have snuck into the pool very late at night and allowed him to tease you relentlessly with his naked body? Can you imagine lying on a soft towel, your legs curled up as he licks your heated skin with his tongue, tracing lazy circles up and down the length of your tummy as you gaze into the star lit sky? How about trying the hot tub, slipping inside naked to ride him hard and fast against the tile wall?

This has to give you some wicked ideas about your next vacation. Now imagine if there was a little game involved in which you and a girlfriend decided to kick up the heat and seduce not one but two men in a very safe club where you don’t have to worry about holding anything back. Would you allow a naughty little taste and throw all your inhibitions to the wind? Come on ladies, imagine the first stunning blond with shoulder length hair and light blue eyes and the dimple in his chin and the first taste as you brush your lips across his. Close your eyes and imagine the second yummy man. He’s six foot something and a half with broad shoulders and long raven hair. Reach out and touch them. Do you feel how hard their thick shafts are, throbbing in hunger for you? Hmmm…

Now imagine for just a minute that you are on vacation with a girlfriend soothing a broken heart and she decides to kick up the heat suggesting a very wicked game of tasting not just one but two men at the same time and the first girl that can achieve the naughty prize has all her expenses paid by the other? No worries – this secluded island hot spot requires health tests so you can play all you want. What kind of flavor would you select if you had your choice? I’m a woman that craves all flavors from French vanilla to chocolate and everything in between and for me, add a snazzy and very sexy accent and I am drooling. Particular for me I love the men from down under. I was lucky enough to have a muse for my upcoming release, Taming Paradise. He’s from New Zealand and not only helped me understand the HUGE difference in men from Australia and from New Zealand but took the time to teach me the absolutely gorgeous Maori language which I sparkled throughout the naughty piece.

By the way, these types of clubs truly exist and I have used the concept of Hedonism – probably the most famous club in several stories. I think we all love a heated fantasy and perhaps something we may never have the nerve to try but the thought is tasty indeed. Think about it, a hot island club with perfect cerulean waters, a crisp sky two sexy men from down under and you throwing your inhibitions aside. Could you do it? I think it’s something we all crave – men and women alike.

Thought I’d give you a naughty taste of my upcoming release in which that very game is played in an effort to sooth a broken heart. Taming Paradise is a HOT summer read with two hot men with wicked New Zealand accents, one island destination and a woman that is determined to find her way. And trust me ladies…she finds ore than that. Take a taste.

Would running away to a lush island soothe your broken heart?

BLURB

Shannon Myers had it with men. Finding her fiancé, Randolph, in bed with a naughty blond vixen half her age did little for her self-esteem and despair settled in. Incensed, her best friend, Amy, whisked her way to a Caribbean island and a well known Hedonistic spot so that she could recover while convincing her to have a wicked fling of her own. Developing a naughty game titled Taming Paradise, the first one that bedded not one but two stunning hunks would win. Her spirit crushed, Shannon refused until she took one look at New Zealanders, Brandon and his rough-hewn friend Kyle and knew that two young studs just might be her ticket to a slice of happiness. Instantly the nights turned saucy as Brandon introduced her to a very kinky society, where all things scandalous were on the menu.

Shannon found herself falling hard, until she realized that he was none other than Randolph’s son and she was embroiled in a ruse that included releasing her inner most secret and very erotic cravings they had shared together years before. Racing back to the states, she was determined to put the experience behind her. However Brandon wasn’t playing a game. He had been in love with her for years and the moment he found out about his father’s behavior, he was determined to win her heart. It took nefarious planning, a surprise visit from Randolph and a series of truths to finally convince her to take a chance with a young man that stilled her heart and filled her every desire.

EXCERPT

Shannon frowned and glanced across the shimmering pool, reflecting the iridescent gold of the late morning sun. Several of the young male guests preened and obviously hungered for company. Somehow the vision curled Shannon’s stomach, yet she had to admit, the yummies were hot and she was in need. These boys are half your age. Shivering, Shannon envisioned their naked bodies. As she licked her lips, her pussy tingled from the lascivious thoughts. Chastising herself, she growled remembering she came to the gorgeous island for respite and recovery, not fresh prey.

They are half our age to be exact and who the hell cares?” Amy said as if reading Shannon’s thoughts. “My God Shannon, we came down here for sun, drinks, relaxation and some kinky sex and not necessarily in that order. Come on girl.”

Correction, you ran away with me to the Caymans as my best friend to help me wallow in my misery.“

Oh Christ woman. You need to get laid! You need wild steamy sex with not just one but two hunky males and I think I know how to make that happen.”

Please say that a little louder so everyone at the pool can hear you!” Granted, Shannon hadn’t had sex since she found out Randolph had cheated on her with a water nymph or so she liked to call the twenty something spicy bottled blonde with fake boobs. She remembered seeing the vixen riding her man like a stallion in heat, naked except for a dangling gold necklace. The woman, hell the girl was half her age and the damning event refused to leave her mind. That had been almost six months ago.

Amy glanced over at her as she swirled her drink. “All right, I’ve had enough of this pouting shit. We’re in a place that could only be described as a slice of heaven and you’ve done nothing but think about that freaking asshole you dated for far too long. I’m taking matters into my own hands, and girlfriend, you will not say no to me or I’ll find a way to make you suffer.”

Shannon grimaced and shook her head. Amy might be right but Shannon still stung from being pushed aside for a younger version. She glanced at her finger, rubbed a thin line where the engagement ring used to be and watched Amy saunter toward the bar. If anyone could get her out of her ridiculous doldrums, Amy, the buxom redhead who had been her best friend for years just might be able to. There was no doubt Shannon wanted to live again, but the thought of having sex with a stranger was sinful. Salacious. But the shameless thought did indeed sizzle her cunt.

Here we go. You’re going to love this.” Amy handed her a pineapple filed with vibrantly colored straws.

What is this?” Shannon asked as she raised her eyebrow.

This is a naughty girl game called Taming Paradise and it’s one I won’t take no for an answer.”

Taming Paradise? That sounds like something I wouldn’t do and you know it.”

Amy grinned and suckled her finger. “Well, how about this, you play lest I publish your diary over the internet.”

You wouldn’t!”

Amy cocked her hip, tipped her glasses and gave Shannon a saucy grin. “Try me.”

Shannon growled and climbed out of the lounge chair. “What do you want me to do?”

Short straws. The one that picks the shortest straw has to select not one but two of these fine hunky stud muffins. The fun part is you have to seduce both of the breathtaking hunks at the same time or face spending the remainder of the trip inside the hotel room. Of course you can do the nasty in the pool this afternoon for an appetizer and we’ll allow that to count as points.”

What? Are you insane?” Shannon crossed her arms under her breasts and stared at her friend.

You heard me, girl. Two men, at least one wild night of erotic sex and um…oh yes, the selection has to be made in the next fifteen minutes.”

Are you out of your fucking mind? Ever hear of diseases and all of the rest that goes with something this crazy?” Thoughts of going home with something contagious ran through Shannon’s mind.

“’Scuse me, everyone goes through the physical screenings in order to be able to play. These delicious, horny men are completely safe.”

Tests can be wrong.”

BIO: I started writing stories and poems before I knew how to ride a bike and proceeded onto novels by age eleven. By the time I was an early teenager, I’d written fifteen novels. As early adulthood, college and life settled in; writing was placed on the back burner but never forgotten entirely. One delicious night I was suddenly awakened by the rampant fantasies and untold stories of characters that flowed through my dreams every night and filtered into my daylight hours. That was the final straw and I decided I had to write again.

I write highly erotic romance stories and novels in the contemporary, science fiction and paranormal flavors. Currently I have seven erotic romance novels published with Rebel Ink Press and several more under contract. They include, Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper, Her Sinful Long Legs, Revving Her Wild Engines, Shadows of Panic and Wicked Desire, Wicked Wager Among Friends - Tales from Lucifer’s Lair – the first in a series, Breakfast Eye Candy, and my first m/m piece just released titled Game Over. My first full two length novels will be released in August and September titled Truth, Dare or Dangerous Intent and Deception, Domination & Hunted Desire.

I also recently contracted with Naughty Nights Press and have an upcoming cougar piece this July titled Spankdown.

In addition, as my alter ego Bethany Halle, I am the host of two blog talk radio shows with Robin Falls Red River Radio. The Fire of Fantasy & Darkness airs every other month highlighting writers and other artists in the fantasy, science fiction and paranormal genres. Dare to Take the Plunge also airs every other month featuring writers, publishers, cover artists and reviewers in the erotic romance genre. I’m also is a weekly/monthly contributor to Naughty Nights Press and Queer Online Magazine.

I was a Passionate Ink finalist for their Passionate Plume contest with Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper and have received several four and five star reviews for her work.

You can reach me on my website which hosts my blog and email address at http://www.cassandredayne.com

Tell me, can you dare to take the plunge and enjoy a touch of the wicked?

Member of:

Virginia Romance Writers

Romance Writers of America

Passionate Ink

EPIC

ARRA – Australian Romance Readers Association

CONTACT ME:

http://www.cassandredayne.com

http://cassandredayne.wordpress.com/

cassandredayne [at] gmail [dot] com

http://twitter.com/bethanyhalle

FIND MY NAUGHTIES AT:

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Cassandre+Dayne

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seven Common Blogging Mistakes

Okay, I've been blogging now for - what? more than three years. In addition to Beyond Romance and my group blog Oh Get A Grip, I do guest appearances on quite a few other blogs. I also make a point of visiting and commenting on blogs created by fellow authors, whenever I have the time.

Blogging is a powerful marketing tool (as well as a lot of fun). However, I've seen a number of authors who shoot themselves in the metaphorical foot with their blogs.

Here are the top seven blogging mistakes that I've observed (in no particular order). As usual, this should be viewed only as my opinion. "Your mileage may vary".

1. Failing to put your name in your blog header: A headline on a recent list post drew me over to an author's blog. The blog owner wasn't someone I knew well. I wanted to address her personally in my comment, but when I looked around on her blog, I couldn't find her name! If you view your blog as a marketing tool, get your name up there, front and center, where readers can't miss it!

2. Not updating regularly: You don't have to have a new post every day. In fact, I think it's more effective to leave each post up for a couple of days, to give people a chance to see it. However, if readers hop over to your blog and discover the same top post as you had two weeks ago, they aren't going to come back.

3. Overloading your blog with promo: Clearly you want to use your blog as a marketing medium, to announce releases, awards, contests, etc., and to whet your readers' appetites. However, readers aren't likely to interact much if you serve up a steady diet of nothing but blurbs and excerpts. The strength of a blog is the readers' ability to talk back - to be able to start a conversation with your readers and help them get to know you. Thus, posts about a variety of topics, topics that really engage readers, work better than straight promo.

4. Using your blog like Twitter: I recently visited a blog where each post was no more than a short paragraph, an announcement of some event or a link to some other location. Personally, I don't think this sort of post is effective. You have the space to expound a bit on subjects near and dear to your heart. Use it!

5. Loading your blog page down with multimedia: I'm sure not everyone will agree with me about this, but I avoid blogs where sidebars are full of videos, animation, slide shows, dozens of images, and so on. I have an old computer and a less-than-lightning-speed Internet connection. Busy pages like that slow my browser to a crawl. It's frustrating and unpleasant. It's great that we can include images and even video in blog posts, but I at least consider a blog to be primarily a written medium. Just my opinion.

6. Making graphical design choices that reduce readability: I've seen blogs that use 8 point fonts and others that use 20 point fonts. Both make reading really difficult. I've seen black backgrounds with gray text, and pink backgrounds with neon orange text. Oh, my head aches just from the memory! Remember, too, that not everyone will access your blog on a big screen. My laptop has 1024 pixel resolution. Lots of blogs I visit use more than this space and don't adjust gracefully to a smaller screen. As a result, I see garbled layouts or some of the content gets cut off. Lest you think that I'm just an old fogey still in the dark ages (though I may be), I should mention that many of my readers have commented on their slow (dial-up!) Internet or old computers.

7. Posting entries with spelling, grammar or formatting errors: Oh, my! What does it say about you as an author, if your posts are riddled with errors? Obviously we all depend on our editors to find those nasty typos and grammaticos in our books, but still, your blog is an advertisement for your writing skill. If you're dyslexic, or you know you're weak in spelling or grammar, have someone proofread your articles before you put them online. When I read a post by an author who punctuates incorrectly, misspells common words, uses sentence fragments, and so on, I tend to mentally cross that author off my "to read" list.

Formatting can be a problem, at least with some blogging platforms. Blogger lets you preview your post, but the final result does not necessarily look identical to what you see when you're doing the writing. The only solution I've found is to check each post after it actually appears on the blog, looking out for things like breaks in the middle of paragraphs, garbage characters, unexpected changes in font, and so on.

I've found that blogging serves as an excellent marketing activity. However, if you make the mistakes above, I think you are undermining your own efforts. I might not be typical. Some readers might not pay attention to these problems. But I wouldn't bet on it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Richelle Mead's Got Nothin' on Me: Succubus Erotica

By D.L. King (Guest Blogger)

I collect authors. When I find a good one, (or sometimes a good writing team, like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child) I tend to read their entire backlist, everything I can get my hands on. In the recent past, I discovered Richelle Meade.

First, I read her Vampire Academy series—ate it like candy. I was absolutely astonished by her non-conformist plot lines and outcomes. Because, you see, the Vampire Academy books are really romances, but they’re unlike any romance I’ve come across. I can’t tell you why, in case you haven’t read them—wouldn’t want to spoil anything. And if you have read them, you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I finished the VA series and turned my eye to the Georgina Kincaid succubus series. I read all the available books and am currently awaiting the next book, due out next month. I’m also reading her Storm Born series and enjoying it very much. Now, why am I going off on such a tangent? Because of my newest anthology: I’m taking submissions now for an anthology of erotic succubus stories and the reason I’m doing a succubus book is directly related to my love for Richelle Mead’s succubus books.

I mean really, what lends itself better to erotica than a succubus? After all, this is a creature who has sex to live, right, a creature who steals her victims’ life force, if not their lives by fucking them. (Oh, but what a way to go, right boys?) I’m really looking forward to reading all the submissions. I’d like to follow the success of Carnal Machines with something equally as cool and I’m thinking this may just be it!

I thought you might like to know a little about the way I come up with a completed manuscript for a new anthology. (If you’re not interested in this part, just skip down to the last paragraph for upcoming release news…) When I get an idea for a new anthology, I run it by my publisher to see if they’re interested. Generally, that’s Cleis Press, although I did edit an anthology of spanking erotica for Logical Lust. If they like the idea, they send me a contract and I put out a call for submissions and wait for the stories to roll in.

I always wait until after the deadline to begin reading. I know some editors read as they get submissions and accept stories on a rolling basis, but I want to make my decisions from the whole—so I wait, sometimes quite impatiently. When I finally get the opportunity to begin reading, I do it with my trusty red gel pen. It isn’t that I’m a frustrated English teacher, but red shows up really well, and I need to see what I’ve done.

I actually edit the story as I read it through the first time. If it isn’t up to my standards within a page or two, I will put a “No” on it and move on to the next one. Sometimes, a story needs a lot of work but has so much potential I’m willing to put in the time. If that’s the case, I may work with the author to polish it. I might either put a “Maybe” on it or a “Yes.” Those are my three possibilities. Sometimes I write a note to myself on top of the story, to remind myself what I liked about it or the sexuality perspective; maybe a brief two sentences about the plot.

Unfortunately, I usually get more Yeses than I can use and so I never get to revisit the Maybes. I can only use 15 to 20 stories, depending on the length (my publisher has a very strict page limit) and sometimes some amazing stories don’t make it into a book. The decision process is always really hard.

I take all the Yeses and line them up in a grid on the floor and start putting them in order. When a story doesn’t seem to fit with the emerging theme of the book, I have to take it out. I keep doing that until I have the correct number of stories and then I begin putting them in the order I want them to appear. I stick numbers on them and keep moving them around to get the order just right.

I like to start off with something that will invite readers to continue with the book; something that sets the general tone and makes them want to keep reading. From there, I try to keep a flow going, letting the mood rise and fall from active to passive or sweet to dirty, finally ending with another strong story that will, hopefully, make the reader think, “Damn, that was a hell of a book,” or something to that effect.

All in all, it takes me about six months to put an anthology together from call to completed manuscript. I send it to the publisher and wait for the final decision and then notify the authors. There’s a little more to the process, but that’s it, in a nutshell. So now you know more than you ever wanted to know about D. L. King’s editing process… Like I said, you could have skipped down to the following paragraph.

The succubus book will be called Seductress: Succubi Erotica and is scheduled for a Halloween 2012 release. I know, it’s really far in the future. Don’t worry, I’ll remind everyone when we get a little closer! But before then, Daddy’s Little Girl: Butch/Femme Erotica will be coming out, although I’m not sure what the release date will be; this winter, maybe. There may also be a fem dom anthology in my future…

Bio: D. L. King spends an inordinate amount of time reading and writing smut in her New York City apartment and postage stamp sized garden. She is the editor of Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica, The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica, Spank! and the Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica. She publishes and edits the erotica review site, Erotica Revealed, which has been referred to as the New York Times Book Review of Erotica. The author of dozens of short stories, her work can be found in various editions of Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, among many others. She is the author of two novels of female domination and male submission, The Melinoe Project and The Art of Melinoe. Find out more at dlkingerotica.blogspot.com and dlkingerotica.com.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Writing from a Man's Point of View

By Minnette Meador (Guest Blogger)

Here is what this amazing blog asked me to write about:

“It sounds from the blurb like GHOST OF A CHANCE is a M/F story told primarily from the point of view of the hero. If this is true, it's unusual in the romance world (I applaud that!). So what made you choose this point of view? Are you at all worried that romance readers will find it strange or be put off by it?”

I LOVE this question, mostly because it addresses something near and dear to my heart; how point of view changes the timbre of a book and introduces a whole new element into a story.

I come into romance from a very different platform; I began my career writing epic fantasy. In that genre I had to write from several different POVs (point of views), including men, women, mythical creatures, and powerful gods. I sharpened my writing chops by imagining what it would be like to be a non-human creature. It was very difficult, but very educational as well.

Here’s the interesting thing: The first time I wrote my fantasy book twenty years ago, I put in a gnarly old wizard, with long white hair and beard; you know, your stereotypical Gandalf character. When I came back twenty years later to re-write the book for publication, I did something outrageous; I turned the wizard into a wickedly cantankerous, wonderfully alive, beautiful older woman. It changed the book completely, gave it heart and warmth, opened up amazing angles from a romantic side, from a compassionate side, and made my other characters react completely differently. The book turned from a meager copy-cat fantasy into something really special. That’s what I hope I’ve done with A Ghost of a Chance.

I have five boys and one husband and most of my young life I had men friends instead of women friends. It’s given me a unique perspective, I think. That coupled with the fact that I like to write a bit outside the box, it just seemed natural to have this first book in the series from Keenan’s POV. During long conversations with my husband and a dear friend who happens to be a very good male romance writer, I struggled with the concept of the male mind. But after long cups of coffee at Starbucks, I think I finally got it; men are every bit as complicated as women, they just don’t show it as quickly. Add an elevated libido (compared to women) and it made it much easier to write from Keenan’s POV. Of course, I had to run everything through my male critique partners, but the experience was amazing. For you writers out there, try writing a scene with two or three males at a bar just talking about anything, then take it to your husband, your male friends, your grown up boys and ask them to read it, then ask these questions: Would you say something like that? What would you say instead? What goes through your mind when he say this? And so on. Your eyes will pop wide open.

So, to all my men friends out there that may be reading this, I thank the whole lot of you for making this woman’s life a little more interesting. I hope you will read A Ghost of a Chance; even those of you who do not read “romance.” This might surprise you.

I hope my lady readers won’t be put off by this departure from the norm; for me personally, I love stories that push the envelope and experiment with new ideas. But if you love your tried and true books, I respect that; I have stayed myself with a certain formula in mystery books that I deeply love, only because those books are like coming home to an old friend. Because of that, it is difficult for me to take up new mystery writers.

I do hope you’ll at least try A Ghost of a Chance. There should be enough tickles and tears for everyone. :o)

Blurb

Keenan Swanson is your typical, everyday graphic designer. Well, except for the hundreds of pesky, prank-loving poltergeists that make his life interesting (in a Chinese curse sort of way). He finds his situation precarious yet manageable—until witty, smoking-hot coworker Isabella enters the scene and Keenan decides he wants her all for himself. With a horny succubus who has other ideas, a burly city cop determined to lock Keenan away, and an evil entity who’s hell-bent on using Keenan’s seed to create a living demon, the reluctant psychic realizes he just might not come out of this alive—or with heart intact.

CHAPTER ONE – LIVING WITH STRANGERS

“Isabella, isn’t it?” Keenan hadn’t seen a ring on her finger, around her neck, or a Love John Forever tattoo any place noticeable, so he assumed she was available.

“Right. You’re Keenan. We met the other day.”

“Right.”

Usually he didn’t have problems talking to girls, but now it was harder than it had ever been. A hundred witty comebacks crowded his brain for attention, but not one of them could make it past the lump in his throat. His growing cock wasn’t going to be much help either; all it wanted him to do was blurt out, “Ya wanna?”

Bracing himself against possible rejection, and telling his cock to shut the fuck up, Keenan gathered his courage and charged into the fray. “Say listen, if you’re not…”

The elevator jarred to a halt and the doors burst open in front of them. At least fifteen people piled into the box, disregarding the “maximum occupancy” sign.

Keenan hit his back hard against the railing and suddenly found his arms full of warm, healthy girl.

The sounds around him came to a crashing halt when he fixated on those gorgeous almond eyes and full red lips. The urge to devour that mouth was irresistible. He felt like he was home. Her balmy scent marinated his brain, clouding out everything else. The velvet skin of her naked arms made his palms tingle.

A sudden terror seized him when he realized his rod stood at full attention, shouting, “Yippee!” Since the crowd had crushed Isabella against him, she must have felt it jumping like an excited dog against her stomach. To Keenan’s amazement, she didn’t say a word and smiled sweetly up at him. Her expression was almost pleased. It boggled his mind.

“Sorry,” he managed after a few precious seconds.

He let go and fully expected her to scrunch as far away from him as possible, a murmured “pervert” escaping her lips. Instead, she slid up next to him and stayed attached to his shoulder, turning her lovely breasts to the doors.

Keenan had a hard time keeping his eyes off them, noting with interest that both nipples were little rocks against the black fabric. He forced himself to focus on the bald spot on the head of the guy in front of him. He hoped to God the man wasn’t pushed back; in Keenan’s current state, it might be difficult to explain what rested against the man’s ass.

**********

Come hang out with Minette at www.minnettemeador.com and http://minnettemeador.blogspot.com

Get your own copy of A Ghost of a Chance at Respendence Publishing or Amazon.

NOTE FROM LISABET: Minnette will be giving away a Kindle at the end of her promotions campaign and anyone who comments on her tour, or on her blog, will be entered into that drawing. One randomly drawn commenter from the tour itself, as well as the tour host with the most comments, will-- in addition-- win a $100 Amazon gift certificate. So please, please, please - leave your comments, not only here but at each stop on Minnette's tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/05/virtual-book-tour-ghost-of-chance-by.html.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Last Flight

A few days ago the space shuttle blasted off for what would be its final flight. From now on, we'll rely on the Russians to get us to the International Space Station. There's no new project on the horizon - no trips to the Moon or Mars. To be honest, I'm in a state of mourning. What will happen to us, now that our dreams of space have been allowed to die?

The space age and I were born almost at the same time. I was four when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. I was eight when Alan Shepard piloted his Freedom-7 capsule into the stratosphere, becoming the first American, and the second human, in space. I vividly recall sitting on the floor in our crowded school cafeteria, watching the flight on the black and white television hung up near the ceiling. I couldn't take my eyes off the grainy images. It was the one of the most exciting moments of my young life.

That was the moment when I decided that I wanted to be an astronaut. I was already reading science fiction; I knew the path I'd chosen would require intelligence, courage, determination and a spirit of adventure. Certainly I could offer all those qualities. What I didn't have, I later learned, was the perfect eyesight needed for a career in space flight. (My uncorrected vision is so bad that in some states I'd be legally blind.) I decided to become a scientist instead, but I never lost my fascination with the stars.

A month or so ago, I finally published my first science fiction work, an erotic romance novella entitled "Bodies of Light". I poured a lot of my self into this story. I was there with my heroine Christine when she awakened in deep space, to discover that she alone, of all the crew of her interstellar ship, had survived. I sucked in my breath along with her as she opened the viewport on the bridge and was confronted for the first time with the vast emptiness of space. When she donned her pressure suit and exited the air lock to repair a breach in the hull, I floated weightless by her side, tethered to the ship and to life by a single fragile cable. I gave to Christine's grandmother my own memories of Alan Shepard's triumphant ride into the unknown.

Yes, "Bodies of Light" is a highly personal story, in a different sense than much of my other work. It's pretty common for me to use some erotic experience or relationship of my own as a starting point in my romances. Not this story. The romantic aspects are completely fantasy, though I hope they're convincing. The setting, though - the billions of miles of near-vacuum stretching between the stars - the claustrophobic confines of a starship - these are places I've visited many times in my imagination.

I'm fifty eight now. Space tourism is on the horizon, but I realize that I may never the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dreams of the stars. That's okay. Now that I'm a writer, I have the ability to make them real in a different way - for myself and for my readers.

Still I feel a sense of grief as the shuttle program winds down - or sputters out. We've lost something important, I believe. A sense of adventure, of possibility. Is it just me? Am I being silly, impractical? Politicians these days we tell us we can't afford to have a space program. Personally, I think we can't afford not to.