Saturday, June 30, 2012

Genre and Border Crossings

By Catherine Lundoff (Guest Blogger)


Just the notion of crossing genre borders calls up an image of barricades and guards, armed perhaps with the latest sales figures from Amazon or the NYT Bestseller list: “If you don’t always write in the same genre, you should at least use a pseudonym. Otherwise, your readers will get confused,” they admonish the foolish writer. “You can’t build a readership that way!”

There is, of course, ample evidence to the contrary, ranging from Edgar Allan Poe (mysteries and horror) to Joyce Carol Oates (a book or story in nearly every genre) to M. Christian, Thomas Roche, Nicola Griffith and countless other authors who successfully mix science fiction, romance, erotica, horror, mysteries or points beyond while writing under the same name.

Which brings me around to my new novel, not necessarily to be compared to the works of the other authors noted above (but a gal can dream). I’ve been writing fiction of various flavors for about sixteen years now. For a number of years, I primarily wrote erotic lesbian short stories, most of them collected in Night’s Kiss (Lethe Press, 2009) and Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing (Lethe Press, 2007), with occasional forays into gay, bi and heterosexual lust and longing. And it was fun! I wrote about aliens and vampires and office workers and park rangers and Elvis impersonators and enjoyed myself immensely.

Except, because there is always an exception, I also wrote some nonerotic science fiction and fantasy and dabbled in romance. These were the stories I kept returning to, playing with the themes and the plots, waiting to see what would pop up from the murky depths of my imagination. Why I kept working on these when my erotic fiction was more immediately successful is a bit complicated. I think it can be boiled down to wanting to explore more story structures, different worlds and more characters than I could pack into short erotic fiction. I also wanted to experiment with creating a story that had a different affect on the reader than what I had been writing.

When I write erotica, I want to get a reaction from my reader. I want them interested and if possible, aroused in whatever way they are comfortable with. I like to begin with setting the scene and the characters, creating the ambiance and setting the stage for the sex, which is often an end in itself. I engage in verbal foreplay, if you will. And in the end, the act of sex in my stories may or may not be transformative (i.e. you’re not necessarily a vampire or an Elvis impersonator afterward. But you could be).

My new fantasy novel, Silver Moon (Lethe Press, 2012) began in a very different place. Several years ago, I was asked to write a werewolf novella for an anthology of lesbian werewolf novellas that would eventually be published as Bitten by Moonlight (Zumaya Press, 2011). There aren’t a lot of female werewolf narratives to begin with, and even fewer outside paranormal fiction and erotica. Of those, the vast majority deal with young women becoming werewolves, often with the plot device of a menstrual cycle triggering a werewolf attack.

I also wanted to read more fantasy with older female protagonists and I just wasn’t finding it. Nor was I writing much of it, at least not until I ran across a description of the physical changes brought on by menopause that reminded me of lycanthropy. Well, I thought, if at one phase of life, why not another? And thus, I came to write a novella about a woman who becomes a werewolf just as she enters menopause.

I finished the novella and thought I was done. But the characters weren’t ready to let go of me yet and I wanted to see more of them and their lives. The novella grew into a novel over the course of the next two and half years, turning into a story of change and transformation, monsters and magic. And there is not a single sex scene in it, somewhat to the dismay of some of my readers.

It was not done with malice aforethought. Truthfully, when I started the novel, I did think that at some point my protagonist would get together with the woman she had a crush on, but it kept not happening. For one thing, it wasn’t what the story demanded. And for another, I wanted a situation that would be somewhat relatable and I just couldn’t see a divorced middle-aged woman who was newly out as a werewolf, and was teetering on the edge of coming out as a lesbian or bi woman being immediately ready to hop into bed with another woman. It felt rushed to me.

Ultimately, I wanted my protagonist to get comfortable with who she was becoming, to embrace her transformations. But she’s not a trusting woman in some respects; she’s been burned before and she doesn’t want it happening again. I like my characters too much to rush them into an intimacy that seems false at this stage in their relationship.

Book 2 (there is a sequel in progress) will probably be a different story, or at least a more romantic one. I think I’ll be using my smut-writing background to give them some hot and happy middle-aged werewolf sex. And I haven’t abandoned my roots: I’m also working on an erotic science fiction novel. And a fantasy novel set in an entirely different universe. When it comes to the genre guards at the border, I “aim to misbehave,” to borrow a phrase from another genre crosser (thank you, Mr. Whedon) and I hope you’ll join me on my adventures.


Excerpt from Silver Moon:

Shelly cleared her throat and said, “I think we’re ready to begin. The moon is starting to rise and we’ll need to be ready. Thank you all for coming to welcome our member Becca Thornton as she enters the Change that has taken each of us in our time. Let us help Becca embrace her own transformation and join with us to make the Pack stronger.” She waved the candle in a strange pattern and sprinkled some substance on the floor as she walked forward and circled Becca’s chair.

What the hell was this? What was “the Pack?” Becca’s thoughts were frantic now, her skin burning. She could feel the sweat trickling down her back and sides under her shirt, her heart racing so fast that she trembled with each beat. Her whole body felt odd, out of place, as if it belonged to someone else. Everything was too long, too short, too stretched. Too furry. Furry?

That was the realization that put her over the edge. She closed her eyes against the sudden wrenching pain that shot through her, starting at her feet and working its way up. It was like being pulled in fifteen directions and unable to respond to any of them. Her hair was standing on end and she felt her hands tighten on the chair. From somewhere close by, there was the sound of tearing and rending, of wood snapping. Something very scary was going on.

The thought drove her to her feet, eyes open now, and body tensed to flee. Her movement showed in the mirror and she glanced at it, then froze. Her face was long, her eyes golden. Her hair seemed to be working its way down her forehead in a “V.” She was crouched over, huge and menacing. Her hands were far longer than they should have been, with fingers whose nails looked like claws. They were also covered with a light brown fuzz. The arms of the chair she’d been sitting in were matchsticks now, the stuffing trickling down to mound on the floor.

Becca Thornton opened her mouth to scream, but what came out was more like a cross between a howl and a yelp. She jumped forward, trying to get away from the monster in the mirror and found herself bouncing back from the surrounding air as if she’d hit a wall. She spun around the chair searching for a way out, clawing at nothing with hands that were no longer hers.


Bio: Catherine Lundoff is the two-time Goldie Award-winning author of Night’s Kiss (Lethe Press, 2009) and Crave (Lethe Press, 2007) as well as A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories (Lethe Press, 2011) and Silver Moon: A Women of Wolf’s Point Novel (Lethe Press, 2012). She is the editor of Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories (Lethe Press, 2008) and the co-editor, with JoSelle Vanderhooft, of Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic (Lethe Press, 2011). www.catherinelundoff.com

Silver Moon is available from Lethe Press, Amazon, and all other major print and ebook outlets.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Matter of Lust

[Today I'm sharing a sneak peek at Lisa Fox's new paranormal erotic romance, A Matter of Lust. Sounds like fun to me... ~ Lisabet]

Blurb
Trask is a lust demon on the hunt for a playmate, a human exceptional enough to sate some of his ravenous hunger. When he finds Rena, he knows that she is the one he must have. He makes it his business to seduce her.
Rena is immediately drawn to Trask. She could easily fall for the dangerously sexy bad boy who makes her scream every time he makes her come, but the problem with bad boys is that they’re actually bad. They break girls’ hearts and hers has been broken too many times already. One more crack might shatter it forever.

Trask claims Rena for his own, but she needs more than just sizzling sex. She wants to trust him, but can they ever share anything more than lust?

Excerpt
The deep, melodic trance music vibrated through Trask’s body as he prowled the crowded dance floor. He was hungry, so very, very hungry, and the time had come for him to find a willing partner for the night. Any one of the mortals undulating around him would have sufficed, but so far none of them appealed to him. The need gnawed at his insides, but he waited, searching for the one. Over his long years among the humans, he’d learned that it always paid to be a little bit discriminating. It made the feast so much more gratifying.
He sidestepped around a young woman, his shoulder accidentally brushing against hers. He felt her body temperature rise as he passed, the lust that had been simmering just below the surface swelling to a fevered pitch within her. She grabbed her companion and kissed him ferociously, shamelessly rubbing herself against him. She wasn’t the only one affected by his presence either. Potent waves of raw sexual energy radiated from him, infecting the air around him, threatening to turn the club into one giant orgy. Trask smiled at the thought.
He cruised the dance floor, reveling in the exquisite thrill of his hunt. Human lust was such a decadent treat, so very different from the desperate lust of the damned in hell, and it filled this ordinarily dull world with brilliant light and added depth to the darkest shadows. He could feel it oozing from the dancers, the men and the women, sweating and panting, touching and grinding, their bodies writhing in time with the music. Tension built in his groin and he welcomed the pure, straining delight.
He stopped suddenly, the prickling at the base of his spine alerting him to the presence of another demon nearby. Not a lust demon like himself, but something similar. Pride maybe, or perhaps wrath? He couldn’t quite get a fix on it. He waited, wondering if it was going to make contact. Often other demons haunting and hunting the human realm wanted to meet, to plot and plan and scheme, to “raise some hell” or whatever, but he got the impression that it was occupied with something else entirely. Which was just fine with him. He’d never been the social sort.
The music changed and a thumping bass beat poured out of the speakers. Trask shook off the psychic residue of the other and worked his way toward the bar. He ordered a bourbon on the rocks and leaned back, happily absorbing the intoxicating atmosphere while scanning the crowd for his potential playmate.
His gaze fell upon a woman on the edge of the dance floor in a short, black dress that hugged every curve of her luscious body. Her violently dyed red hair was piled high on her head and sexy tendrils escaped to frame her heart-shaped face. There was a hint of rosy flush on her smooth, round cheeks and the way her hips swayed to the music made his cock stir.
Trask placed his drink aside and unconsciously ran his tongue over his teeth as he glided toward her. She was tall, probably close to six feet in her heels, but he still had to lean down to whisper close to her ear. “Hello,” he purred, breathing in her clean scent of shampoo and roses and woman.
She turned slowly toward him, her gaze roaming over his face, his body, and he got the distinct impression that she was mentally undressing him. He certainly hoped she was. She obviously liked what she saw because a smile blossomed on her glossy, pink lips. “Hi.”
The instant, piercing sexual tension between them made his blood surge. He reached out with a fine strand of psychic energy and lightly dipped into her primal core. Trask hissed as desire coiled in his groin. She was sweet ambrosia, a succulent feast just waiting to happen and his cock ached to sink inside her, to make her come again and again while he fed on all that glorious lust. “You are very beautiful,” he said, savoring the tiny taste of her fire.
Uh-huh,” she said, mischief and humor making her eyes sparkle. “Tell me something I don’t know.”
Trask laughed. He liked this woman. “I think I might be in love with you,” he said, beginning the game. It was a line that had worked many times before—the humans always seemed enchanted and amused by the concept, but it was a hollow sentiment, something meant to elicit a grin and nothing more. But as the words left his mouth, they felt different this time, almost as if they had…weight.
Are you sure it’s love you feel?” she asked, a smile dancing along the corners of her mouth. Her eyes flicked down to his crotch. “Or something else entirely?”
Now I know I’m in love,” he replied, the lust coursing through his veins. She was perfect. Fun. Bold. Smoking hot. And she was going to be his. All night long. He reached out and traced the curve of her cheek with his index finger. Her skin was flawless, warm and silky. “What’s your name?”
She paused and an odd, little smile formed on her lips. “Does it matter?”
Normally it wouldn’t matter—in fact, there was no reason why it should matter, but for some reason it did matter. It mattered a lot. “Yes.”
Her smile changed, softened, and Trask was awestruck by just how simply beautiful she was. “Rena. My name is Rena.”
Rena.” He liked the way it rolled off his tongue.
And what about you?” she asked, leaning closer to him. He looked straight down into her very ample cleavage and took his time enjoying that magnificent view. His fingers itched to caress that soft skin, to feel the weight of her full, round breasts in his hands. “Do you have a name? Or should I just call you the sexy Darkman of my dreams?”
I do like the sound of that.” He wondered if his presence was affecting her, making her more daring than she’d normally be or if this was just her nature. He had the power to inspire humans to say and do outrageous things simply by standing beside them. His gaze touched on her flamboyant red hair and he thought—hoped—that it was her and not a consequence of his influence. “But Trask is so much shorter and to the point.”
Trask,” she said, and he had to admit, he liked the way his name sounded on her lips. He couldn’t wait to hear her scream it. Her eyes trailed over him, her gaze a provocative caress that sent hot, tingling ripples down his spine. “So, now that you’ve declared your love, what happens next?”
Oh, you know, the usual.” He caught hold of a loose strand of her hair and twined it around his fingers. The tension between them rocketed up a few notches and he inhaled the essence of her arousal, breathing it deep into his body, relishing the flavor of her. “A whirlwind romance, storybook marriage, honeymoon in Paris.”
Followed swiftly by a quickie divorce in Mexico, right?”
Her voice was tinged with unmistakable venom and the bitterness sliced through the hazy, plush cloud of their lust. Startled by the mental slap in the face, Trask dropped his hand back to his side. Darkness deepened around him as anger settled in. He did not like this turn of events at all. “What makes you think I’d do anything quick with you?”
I see,” she said, and he watched her features soften as her mood shifted. Humans were so extraordinarily complex. He didn’t think he’d ever understand their ability to feel so much, so quickly and thoroughly, even when those emotions were completely contradictory. Demons were defined by their desires, embodiments of the thing they hungered after. There was never a reason for a demon to feel anything more than his driving need. Everything else just got in the way of the goal.
Her bitterness ebbed away, gone almost as quickly as it had come, and she favored him with a dazzling, flirtatious smile. “You’re a slow-and-steady kind of guy then?”
Oh yes,” he said, returning her grin. “And I always win in the end.”
She laughed, a lovely, musical sound that tugged at his insides. She leaned into him, a whisper of space between them and he could feel the heat of her body on his skin. “Hmm,” she said, and bit down on her lower lip. Her fingers flitted over his collarbone. “I do like confidence.”
He caught her hand and brought it to his lips. “Then you’re definitely going to like me.”

About the Author:
World-renowned neurosurgeon, jet fighter pilot, secret member of American royalty, seducer of legions of beautiful, outrageously sexy angels and demons and vampires and werewolves and the occasional pirate, Lisa Fox has done it all…in her own mind. In reality, she can generally be found at her desk with a cup of coffee close at hand. Or maybe a martini. It really depends on the day.

Feedback, comments, opinions, words of wisdom, chocolate cake and the addresses of super hot men are always appreciated and encouraged. Please feel free to contact Lisa any time.

Twitter: @LisaFoxRomance


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Dark Trip into the Future

Just got my trailer for Quarantine up on YouTube. I hope you'll take a minute (well a minute and twelve seconds, to be exact!) and go take a look. I feel like Goddessfish, the company who made the video for me, really caught the feeling of the book. (If you'd rather watch the video on YouTube, just click here.)





The book will be released on the 9th of July. My super-hot blog tour starts on the 6th, with a post at Victoria Blisse's place. Every stop will feature a different excerpt. I'll be giving away an ebook at each stop, too, in addition to the $50 book gift certificate that will be the grand prize.


Oh, and all comments here at Beyond Romance during the tour (July 6-24) will count as entries toward that giveaway, too!


Stay tuned! I'll be posting the full tour schedule during the first few days of July.


Of course, if you just can't wait - you can pre-order Quarantine from Total-E-Bound right now!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Turning the Tables on History

By Wendy Laharnar (Guest Blogger)


The one subject I failed at school was History. This proved to be a huge mistake because now I am obsessed with it. I can’t get enough historical novels and research to fill that void. Novels by Antonia Fraser and Sharon Penman, for example, easily transport me to the time periods they write about. Imagining the people who went before makes me wonder how future historical novelists will portray us and how our history will impact on readers in the future.

While ‘studying’ the French Revolution at school, I wish I’d discovered Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (1859) set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, or Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905) set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution,. I would have been more able to understand the animosity of the populous against the nobility and form sympathies with parties on both sides. Maybe I wouldn’t have mixed up the National Convention and the National Assembly in the exam which, in spite of my ‘brilliant’ essay on the wrong one, earned me 0/20.

Historical novels and Shakespeare’s plays breathe life into History. There is a framework of circumstances already in place, but with the fictional characters and situations the author invents inside a community, relative to the times, the past is visible and has meaning. These novels educate and entertain me in a way history texts couldn’t do.

This obsession is probably why I write Historical Fiction, now. I haven’t tackled the French Revolution period yet. I prefer to stay in the Middle Ages for a while because I want to experience this era for myself. I never could grasp all those dates and battles and why they made homework assignments such a misery.

Since I can’t write realistic Romance, and I didn’t have the historical knowledge needed to be a person born into the medieval scene when I began writing The Unhewn Stone, I decided to turn the tables on history. I’d take my modern day Stefan, a disfigured innkeeper’s son, on a swashbuckling adventure by placing him inside the Wilhelm Tell Legend (Switzerland, 1307AD) and confine us to a small space in history, so I thought. Stefan would have ancestors who belonged to the wrong side, the tyrant’s side, the one Wilhelm Tell killed. As his main goal, I sent Stefan to prevent that legend from happening and save his ancestor’s life. That way, together, my hero and I could discover what life was really like back then, especially for an outsider, or tourist, in a time where Hospitality was paramount to an honourable man and peasants needed a Cause.

Researching the Tell Legend wasn’t difficult. There’s plenty of information about the hero Tell, and I read Schiller’s famous play. I gathered as much information as possible, not only from books but also from the Tell Museum in B├╝rglen, Switzerland, the birth place of Wilhelm Tell. While there, surrounded by the magnificent Swiss Alps, with my husband and granddaughters -- on two separate occasions -- I visited the relevant places around Lake Luzern, talking to the people, taking photos and soaking up the scenery for my setting.
The real research, however, began in earnest when my medieval characters appeared in my manuscript. There were peasants loyal to Tell, and yeomen who revered their lord, Stefan’s ‘uncle’. There were the nobles, Stefan’s ancestors, who distrusted him; some were charmed, but others considered him a fool. There were monks with strange attitudes about religion, and the alchemist’s science clashed with his catholic brother’s spirituality. An innkeeper did his best to keep the peace with a corrupt soldier and an ancient sibyl mistook Stefan for the alchemist. Stefan’s encounters challenged his (and my) concept of friendship, mercy, honour, faith, courage, pride and humility.

If I’d known how tough the times would be for Stefan, caught in the middle of this legend, messing everything up with his superior knowledge, I would have let him join Tell’s Cause instead. But how could I, when my purpose was to show there’s a thin line between Freedom Fighters and Terrorists in any age?

Anyway, I had no choice. I had to turn to the internet and the historical textbooks I once scorned. I collected information about the medieval people: their daily lives and attitudes, costumes, weaponry, castles, monasteries, taverns, forests and herbs, everything, even their horses. The monastery and town square were different to the ones on Stefan's side of time. Months of research turned into years. Medieval science led me to alchemy, the alchemist’s lab and the idea of changing base metal into gold. I researched the deeper philosophic layers trying to decide what I believed in. Was there really any difference between alchemy, religion, science, myth and magic? The more Stefan discovered about himself and his identity, the more I learnt about me and I came to the conclusion that Stefan and I now think pretty much alike.

If I could, I would write a modern day novel in which my contemporaries lived out their lives and loves and chased their goals. Then I would be providing a historical record of the early 21st century for those who come after. Fortunately, skilled writers are already doing this while I remain back in time, swamped in books and files of historical research. While I scan the pages of ‘Medicine in the Middle Ages’ I have to wonder, did I turn the tables on History or did History turn the tables on me?

Thank goodness I didn’t fail Maths.

Bio: An Australian, born in the city and raised in the country, Wendy worked in hospitals as a registered nurse and later raised beef cattle on her property in the Southern Highlands, NSW. She graduated from the University of New England with a BA in English Literature and Classical Literature in translation.
A mother of two, Wendy lives by the sea with her husband, Teobald, and enjoys long walks on the beach with Spitzli, their Mini Schnauzer. When she's not writing, Wendy likes reading, dressmaking and travel. Her trips to Wilhem Tell's birthplace in Switzerland sparked her interest in the legend.
If you want to know more about Wendy and her obsession with history, visit her website http://wendylaharnar.weebly.com/ .

You can buy The Unhewn Stone directly from Muse It Up Publishing, from Amazon, or almost any other online book purveyor!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Snog: On the Beach


When Victoria announced her upcoming "Blisse Kiss by the Sea" event, I was frantic. I ran over all my stories in my mind. I have a few that include some scenes by the ocean, but I couldn't think of a single kiss by the seaside.

Then I remembered I was scheduled to write the free Hot Shot short story for the Total-E-Bound August newsletter. So I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? I sat down and penned a very naughty tale entitled "On the Beach", and I was sure to include a tasty snog.

When Isabella’s husband and master decides to share her with his closest friend, the couple’s kinky games take on a whole new dimension. Greg has always inflicted his delicious torments in the privacy of their home. Then his college roommate and best man James suggests that the threesome visit a nude beach, and to Isabella’s surprise and consternation, Greg agrees. A willing slave, she can hardly refuse, even though the outing will expose the marks from her recent punishment. But shame and humiliation are not the only tests that await Isabella on the beach. 

All of the authors participating in Victoria's seaside snogging extravaganza are giving away a prize, and I'm no exception. One lucky person who leaves a comment will receive a copy of Truce of Trust, my M/F/M polyamory story. Part of that novella does in fact take place at a seaside resort on the coast of Maine, so I figured it was appropriate. Just leave me a comment (don't forget to include your email address!) and you might be my winner. 

And if you want to read the rest of  "On the Beach", you'll have the opportunity around the beginning of August.

*******
I scan the currently empty beach. The walkers have rounded the promontory that delineates the cove to the north. The sea thunders, leaving foamy filigree upon the slate-hued sand. A pelican swoops over the waves, then wheels out of sight.

“Turn around,” James orders. I glance at Greg. He nods. I understand that I am to obey them both today. 

My husband’s friend traces one of the stripes on my shoulder, then slips down to fondle another welt on my ass. His touch, though gentle, wakes new pain in my battered flesh. I wince and he lands a sudden slap on my punished butt. I don’t mind. I feel myself moistening, melting, yielding as always to the intoxicating combination of tenderness and power.

“We really did a job on you.” His voice is gruff with lust, but I also hear something like awe. “Sorry...” He draws my hair aside to nuzzle at my nape.

“Don’t apologise to the slave, James.” Greg steps in front of me. His cock is now fully engorged. It sways as he steps closer to tweak my nipples. Lightning sizzles down to my clit. His cock bats against my thigh. I lower my gaze, as I’ve been taught. “The slave exists to serve us. If we want to beat her, we beat her. She’s happy to beaten, as long as it pleases us.”

He sounds like some Dom in a cheesy romance novel. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. With his finger and thumb, he tips my chin up so that our eyes meet. A wild light burns in his, fierce and proud and full of love. Joy balloons in my chest, ready to burst.

When his mouth descends to mine, I open immediately to his probing tongue. I want him to take everything he can. He tastes of espresso and maple syrup, from the decadent brunch James cooked for us. His familiar scent fills my nostrils, like sun-warmed earth. His vacation stubble grazes my cheek. Every sensation is welcome, glorious. His lips seal themselves to mine, drinking in my devotion. This is my husband, my lover, my master.  I deny him nothing.

Releasing my chin, he moulds my breasts, squeezing the soft flesh, dragging his thumbs over the rigid tips, making my poor, soaked pussy ache for his hardness.  His sharp teeth nip the corner of my mouth and I gasp at the sudden pain. My clit throbs in the aftermath.

“Isabella,” he murmurs, delving deeper, taking more. Delicious weakness seizes me, but James is behind me, hands encircling my waist, simultaneously caressing and supporting me. My husband’s friend licks his way down my spine, leaving a wet trail that cools in the sea breeze. Then suddenly he parts my rear cheeks and sweeps his tongue across my rear hole, still loose and sensitised from last night's invasions.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Visit to Lido Key

By Tim Smith (Guest Blogger)


I’m pleased to announce the release of my new romantic mystery, Lido Key, from eXtasy Books. This is the second in the Vic Fallon series I started a year ago with The Bundle, but it isn’t a sequel or follow-up. This is a stand alone entry in the series, and it evokes the pulp fiction style of Chandler, Spillane and Westlake. All of the elements are here – tough romantic hero, sexy heroine who’s hard as brass on the outside but soft in the middle, vivid atmosphere, a supporting cast of shady characters and liberal doses of hot sex.

Vic Fallon has worked on some strange cases since he left the police force to become a Private Investigator, but when a former lover asks him to look into a bizarre blackmail demand, it’s one for his memoirs. Vic hasn’t spoken to Ariel Weston since his last trip to Siesta Key, Florida three years earlier. The end of their affair wasn’t amicable, and Vic swore that the next time he saw Ariel he’d drown her with the nearest Pina Colada. When Ariel gets caught up in a potentially embarrassing sex scandal, she appeals to him for help. Vic reluctantly agrees but finds himself in a real quandary when he realizes they still have feelings for each other.

The case pulls Vic out of his northern Ohio comfort zone to the Sunshine State, where he crosses paths with a corrupt local cop, a famous writer with a taste for booze and women, and a sleazy strip club owner who knows more than he’s letting on. Throw in one very cute Latina who develops a crush on him, and the puzzle gets more complex. Can Vic solve Ariel’s problem before the blackmailer ruins her life? Will Ariel succeed in convincing Vic to give their failed relationship another chance?

To prepare for this I watched a lot of film noir crime capers from the forties and fifties. Quirky characters, moody atmosphere and witty dialogue laden with double entendres are part of the charm and I wanted to recreate that in a modern setting. Here’s an example, where Vic has a flashback of meeting Ariel for the first time:

Their initial meeting had happened on his first night in town, at a place called The Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Key Village. Vic hadn’t been actively looking for a hook-up when he went there after a day of beachcombing, but when he locked eyes with Ariel Weston from across the bar there was no escape. 


* * * *

Vic moved to the stool next to hers, drawn in like a marlin hooked by a determined fisherman. “Excuse me, Miss, but I’m new in town. Could you please direct me to your house?”

She began with a chuckle that escalated into full-blown laughter, then she playfully smacked Vic’s forearm. “That’s so lame, it’s cute!”

“Thank you.”

Her eyes scanned him up and down. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before, have I?” she asked in a low, smoky voice.

“No. Do I need a reservation to sit here?”

She laughed again. “A smart-ass. I like that quality in a man. Where are you from, smart-ass?”

“A whole other world. Would you like me to provide references before we go any further?”

She placed her hand on his on top of the bar and drilled his eyes with hers. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary, but since we’re going to be friends I think I should call you something more formal than smart-ass.”

“Are we going to be friends?”

“Unless you think you already have enough of them.”

“You can never have enough friends. Why don’t you call me Blake?”

“Is that your real name?”

“No, my real name is Vic. I just use Blake to fool people. What should I call you besides totally hot?”

“I like that, but let’s go with Ariel.”

“Pretty name.”

“Thank you. I’m rather attached to it.” She massaged his hand. “I should tell you something, Vic. I’m married to a rich older man, we don’t have any kids and we’ve always had separate bedrooms. He doesn’t really notice if I’m not home, since he’s only there long enough to change clothes before he meets his latest girlfriend. He doesn’t ask me any questions and I don’t grill him about where he drops his pants. Does that bother you?”

“One man’s ignorance is another man’s bliss.”

“Ooh, a clever smart-ass. That’s another quality I like.”

“And we’re just getting started.”

* * * * 

Naturally, since this is an erotic romance there has to be some steamy sex:


* * * *

Ariel cupped his face and kissed him, probing his mouth with her tongue. Vic inhaled her scent, which triggered memories of their previous encounters. He devoured her mouth and ran his palm along her smooth back. Ariel pressed closer and moved her hips against his.

She stood back, reached around to unfasten her top and shrugged it off, then wiggled out of her bikini bottom. “You don’t want to go for a swim fully dressed, do you?”

Vic quickly stripped off his clothes. He gazed lustily at Ariel’s still perfect body. Her 36C breasts were firm, her stomach was flat and there were no tan lines gracing her trim physique. The bikini wax she’d gotten earlier left her pubic patch in the shape of a heart, and trimmed close. Ariel placed her palms on her chest and slowly moved them down her body, pausing to squeeze her nipples. She continued until one hand rested on her stomach and two fingers of her other hand snaked in between her legs. She ran her middle finger along her slit while closing her eyes and purring softly.

“You still remember your moves, don’t you?” Vic asked.

“Mm-hmm. I know this always made you hot. Does it still make you hot?”

“Oh, yeah.”

She moved closer, dropped to her knees then took his cock into her mouth. She stroked him with her hand while her skilled, seductive lips worked over him. Vic closed his eyes and enjoyed what she was doing to him. Ariel’s mouth moved further along his hard cock, taking more of him until his swollen head rested at the top of her throat. She snaked her other hand in between his legs and lightly tickled his balls, which had tightened in anticipation. When she felt Vic begin to swell in her mouth she stopped sucking and stood.

“Not so fast,” she whispered.

She took his hand and led him down the steps into the pool. They stood in the shallow end and embraced. Vic kissed her while his hard-on poked her midsection. Ariel’s hands went to his shoulders, rubbing his flesh while she moved her hips against him again. Vic was getting more into her heat as a dozen lusty scenarios crowded his mind.

Ariel took a step back, grabbed his hand then led him further into the warm water. When they were several feet in she began a leisurely backstroke to the other end, then rested against the deck. Vic swam to meet her and held on to the tile. Ariel kissed him again while lightly fondling him under the water.

Vic pulled his face back and placed his free hand on her neck. “Ever kill anyone?”

“No. Why?”

“Because you’re teasing me to death.”

Ariel chuckled. “I like to make you wait for it, tease you until you can’t take it anymore, until you just have to have me.”

“I’m already there.”

* * * *

If you’re in the mood for a blast from the past with a contemporary twist, pour yourself a glass of Scotch, prop your feet on the desk, tip back your fedora and enjoy Lido Key.

It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Bio:

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author whose books range from romantic mystery/thriller to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer. When he isn’t pursuing those two passions he can often be found in The Florida Keys, doing research in between parasailing and seeking out the perfect Mojito. His website is http://www.timsmithauthor.com.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Thirty Years and Counting

Last Wednesday was a very special day. Thirty years ago, on the 20th of June, my husband and I made our marriage vows. At the time I never dreamed we'd still be together three decades later. Of course, as I think I've shared, I never expected to get married at all. I'd seen so many relationships fall apart in my own family that I couldn't see the point in making things legal and formal - it would just cause more hassle later.

My DH won me over, though. He's impressively persistent.

We had a typical hippie wedding, outdoors next to a pond in a state park. We wrote the ceremony ourselves. The "reception" was a picnic with fabulous food created by friends and family: lasagna, home baked bread, lentil soup, Indonesian beef sate (my husband's and my personal contribution), and lots of other tasty items. We used the sound system from my husband's car to provide the music. For decoration, I created banners with symbols important to us: a cat, a dragon, yin/yang and the Hebrew word ch'aim, life. 

I'd love to post some photos, but I don't want to risk having someone from the "real world" recognize me. So you'll just have to use your imagination. I can honestly say that I've never had more fun at anyone's wedding (especially if you include the co-ed stag party we had the night before!)

To celebrate thirty years, we had dinner at our favorite French restaurant, then spent the night in a luxurious five star hotel. I look back with nostalgia to our earlier, wilder days - but I enjoy spending time with my dear one so very much, I wouldn't turn back the clock. I'm looking forward to our next thirty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

By Summer Jordan (Guest Blogger)


If you love a “bad boy” hero, raise your hand.

There are limitless choices in today’s world. Paper or plastic? Ultra Soft or Ultra Strong?  Cold water wash or With bleach?  Print or electronic?  Kindle or a Nook?  Why did everything have to become so complicated?

A procrastinator has enough struggles when shopping…and while books are much more appealing, whether writing or reading fiction, there are many decisions to make.

First of course, is the genre, historical, contemporary, futuristic, romantic suspense, and on and on.  And then…characters. Plot is important but it all comes back to the hero and heroine to carry the novel.

Alpha male or beta male hero? Personally, I like a combination. In my latest book, Bad Boy, Back in Town, from Total-E-Bound, Rob Harrison gained a bad reputation in high school by screwing every girl he dated. But he wouldn’t fuck Kitt Maxwell (even though she wanted him to) because “she was a good girl” and he liked the way she looked at him like he was some sort of god; he didn’t want to lose her admiration.  Rob lived in the worst part of town and had nothing growing up except the good looks God gave him, and he used them to his advantage.

Kitt adored Rob, and why? Perhaps it was his cocky attitude, his dimpled grin, and the way he carried his cigarette pack rolled in his tee shirt sleeve right above his bulging bicep. They became friends without her parents knowing she was meeting him in a deserted barn. He sometime satisfied her sexually so she wouldn’t give in to some other guy, but they never really made out. After high school, Kitt thought she’d never see him again but always hoped she would.

Kitt, an amateur PI, is visiting her aunt while working an area case, and delighted to learn Rob is back in the Florida town he left twelve years ago. What surprises her is that he’s living high…but where is he getting his money? Kitt hopes he’s not the gigolo she’s looking to arrest, especially since he’s ready to give her what she always wanted.

I wonder if there isn’t a little of that in most women?  An attraction to the “bad boy” in town.  Decisions, decisions.  Do you want a handsome smooth-talking lover or one that swaggers and curses like a lumberjack? A gentle adept lover or one who likes it rough and exciting? 

How do you want your hero to look? This takes us to another decision. Do you like specifics on physical appearance or do you prefer to be vague so the reader can picture him in her own mind? How does he dress? Of course, the cover illustration will play into this in some ways.  In erotica, the guy could be all muscles and nearly naked and solve the problem.

Whether you’re writing a book or choosing one to read, heroines present the same decision-making. I have a three book series, Lusty Ladies, where the women are openly seeking hot men. In my three Wives-R-Us books (Let Me Entertain You, Engaging Deception, and Breaking the Rules), Lea, Margo, and Erin are more refined, with careers and deeper goals, but their desires are just as strong.

One huge decision if you read or write erotica concerns sexual orientation. So far, I have only written male/female romance. Male/male or threesomes, etcetera, are big sellers and vampires and shape shifters are too.  I like to write a full-fledged story with a little mystery and humor, and of course, a lot of sex and romance and deep emotions.

Decisions, decisions. As a reader, what genres do you prefer? Do you like to know exactly how the characters look?  What kind of hero do you prefer? Preferences in heroines?  Do you want adventure and mystery woven in with wild sex and romance?

How do you want to read?  Paperback, hardcover, or downloads on an e-reader? Have you fallen in love yet with the ease of downloading to a device you can carry in your purse or briefcase?

Writing and reading novels are all about choices, but the selections available are much more tantalizing than picking from the multitude of products on the supermarket shelves. And most of us know what turns us on.

I knew a bad boy once…head over heels for him, but he didn’t have the redeeming qualities Rob Harrison. Now, I just read and write about these sexy specimens.

Blurb

Rob Harrison was the thorn in Kitt’s side, the nightmare that woke her, and the love song that made her cry. 

Irresistible Rob Harrison, the sexy bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks that Kitt Maxwell worshiped in high school, is back in town.

Now an apparent success, Rob is hot for Kitt, her long-ago dream come true…but is he the gigolo this budding detective is looking to arrest?

Excerpt

Kitt Maxwell opened the door to an insistent pounding and a man fell into her arms. Looking down at a shaved head lodged between her breasts, her heart pounded wildly. An escaped convict? A murderer? Or maybe a rapist. She’d come to Summerville in search of a criminal but hadn’t expected one to come looking for her.

The guy hung onto the doorframe supporting part of his weight but made no effort to move his nose from the middle of her cleavage. In fact, if she wasn’t mistaken, the bum was burrowing a little deeper. He could easily turn his head and by raising it just the slightest bit latch onto one of her nipples. Her pulse quickened and perspiration beaded its way between her breasts. Could he feel it through the thin cloth of her blouse?
Would he think she was hot for him if he did?

“Thanks for the soft landing,” he said, chuckling.


That clinched it. He was incarcerated for a sex crime. Most likely rape. And she might be next. “You pervert,” she sputtered. Pulse racing, she shoved the heels of her hands into his chest and he slid to the ground.

“Whoops,” he said, grinning up at her. “I think I might have had one teensy whisky too many.”

“One…?”

He flashed twin dimples and she caught a glint of gold from a front tooth.

“Oh my God.” Heat flooded Kitt’s body and she clasped a hand to the spot where his face had recently rested. “Rob? Rob Harrison?”

His chuckle trailed off into a faint snore. Of course it was him, but she didn’t expect an answer since her one-time heartthrob was passed out on the threshold. One-time heartthrob? Who was she kidding? She’d been mad for him but he wouldn’t give her what she wanted. No one would believe her if she said Rob refused to take her cherry. But he had refused, after she’d done everything she could to make him lust after her body.

She leant forward and touched his bare head. What happened to his thick, blond hair? She loved the way it waved so tightly it felt crisp to her touch. Had he just been released from prison? Or worse, escaped? Kitt’s heart pounded and she again pressed a hand to her chest. Feeling faint, she leaned close and shouted, “Rob? Why is your head shaved?” She shook him by his shoulder. “Answer me.”

He didn’t even blink. The lower half of his body lay on the front porch, the upper part in the entryway, and he reeked of liquor. One whisky too many, indeed. One bottle, maybe. But then he hadn’t said ‘one drink’.
She stood, hands on hips, and pushed the toe of her sneaker into his ribs. He rolled over onto his side. Grinning, he blinked and his eyes lolled shut again. He wasn’t a heavy drinker as far as she knew, so why had he tied one on tonight?

She shouldn’t even try to figure it out. Nothing Rob Harrison did should surprise her, and yet, it always did. The real shock this time was that he’d shown up at Aunt Sugar’s the day after Kitt arrived for a visit. She hadn’t seen him in twelve years and had almost given up hope she ever would again. She shouldn’t want to, but she couldn’t forget Rob and the way he made her feel.

Now, here he was, close enough to touch. If he were awake and sober, she’d gladly lay down beside him. Better yet, she’d throw herself on top of him, her body against his. She used to press against him to feel his hard-on when they stood close to one another but as much as she aroused him, he’d always resisted her.

Rob Harrison was the thorn in Kitt’s side, the nightmare that woke her, and the love song that made her cry.

“Who’s that, Kitt?” her aunt called from the den where she was stretched out on the daybed, per Kitt’s instructions to rest.

Outside, a huge moon lit the sky. Shining through the open door, it cast gentle fingers of light across Rob’s wonderful face. Recalling the brilliant blue of his eyes, she wished he’d open them wide, but when he did, they’d have to talk and she didn’t know what she’d say. Nor what he’d have to tell her.

“Rob?” she said, gently. Damn, he was sexy, even in this sad state.

She’d always believed he was a good person inside but what if she’d been wrong? What if he was on the lam, either from the law or another woman he’d put under his spell? There had always been girls chasing him in high school and she was sure he’d left a trail of beautiful, heartbroken women wherever he’d been since.

Kitt ran her eyes over him. Broad shoulders, bulging abs, narrow hips. She fastened her gaze on the fly of his pants and wished she could see what lay beneath it. She’d longed to see him naked but the most he’d ever exposed to her was his muscled chest with a sprinkling of blond hair. She’d touched that soft mat but he’d always brushed away her hand before she could rub his nipples the way she intended.

Bio

Summer, aptly named, loves sunshine and water, palm trees, and fragrant tropical flowers.  So, it’s no wonder, she and her sweetheart now live in Florida—and love it.

Her favorite pursuits, other than reading and writing, are boating, shelling, and shopping—with shoes and earrings her major weaknesses.  Seafood, especially scallops and lobster, and big leafy salads are her favorite foods, but she loves finding new restaurants where she can try unusual dishes.
   
Summer has a BA and MS and has worked in sales, finance, and education but now spends her days writing and otherwise enjoying life. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raising Your Temperature (Comment and Win!)

Hello, readers! Today's the beginning of the super Hot Summer Nights blog hop. More than one hundred erotic authors are participating, each of us offering excerpts guaranteed to raise your temperature. We're giving away two grand prizes, a $100 gift certificate from Eden Fantasys adult emporium and a huge digital reading gift basket with over 40 sizzling ebooks for your summer reading pleasure. In addition, many of the participants (including me!) are offering prizes for comments on their individual posts.

In fact, I'm not a huge fan of really hot weather. This is unfortunate, since I live in a tropical climate where the mercury frequently climbs into the nineties and there are three basic seasons: hot, hotter, and unbearable. My idea of ideal weather is October in New England: cool, crisp, and bright.

Nevertheless, extreme heat can sometimes be erotic, adding to the intensity of an encounter. I recall a long ago summer, staying with my boyfriend and his family in their lake-side cottage upper Michigan. Although he and I were in our twenties, we couldn't really make love in the cabin, where we had almost no privacy. And it was blazingly, outrageously hot, day after day over a hundred degrees. Finally, we borrowed his dad's car one afternoon, drove off into the woods somewhere, and had urgent, sweaty sex in the back seat. The sun beating down on our naked skin through the open windows – the way we had to avoid the too-hot-to-touch metal door handles – the mingled smells of perspiration and musk – the sheer thrill of touching after having been deprived for days – that encounter remains one of my cherished memories, both literally and figuratively sizzling.

That's the sort of emotion that fuels my paranormal erotic novella Hot Spell. As the title suggests, the story takes place during a spring heat wave, which sends temperatures soaring. To escape the miserable weather, as well as her own loneliness, Sylvie takes advantage of a long weekend to go camping in the pine-shrouded mountains to the east. Far more at home in nature than in the city, she doesn't mind being on her own in the wilderness. However, she's not the only being haunting the glades and the trails. The sun-bronzed creature she encounters inspires her sympathy and desire, but Aidan is cursed with power he claims will destroy her if they give full rein to their passion. If Sylvie can't refrain from tempting him, she risks being being literally consumed by love.

And because Aidan, the hero, is literally a creature of fire, the flames of passion are more than a metaphor.

Here's an excerpt from the start of the story, to illustrate.

****
He came to her in dreams first, conjured by the sweltering night.

Naked, she tossed in her sweat-damp sheets, drifting in and out of uneasy slumber. The muggy air settled on her skin, a stifling blanket she couldn’t kick off. Like a physical weight, humidity pinned her to the mattress. The feeble breeze coming through the open window offered no relief. If anything, it was warmer than the air in her bedroom, carrying with it all the heat that had been trapped in the concrete and asphalt during the day.

Her limbs were leaden. A dull ache pounded behind her forehead. When sleep overtook her, she found herself wandering barefoot on empty, baking sidewalks. The sun’s relentless glare reflected down upon her from the glass-walled towers on either side. Rivulets of perspiration trickled down her spine but failed to cool her. Her skin felt scorched, ready to crack and peel.

Then the dream changed. The oppressive brightness faded to sultry shadow. Flesh, not air, weighed upon her. Smooth, hot skin, slick with sweat, slid against her own. Strong legs tangled with hers, easing her thighs apart. Fingers of fire skittered across her breasts and danced in her sex, kindling incendiary pleasure. A scalding tongue licked its way to the hollow of her throat, then returned to seal her mouth with a steamy kiss.

He tasted of mulled wine, melted chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne. A sharp tang of ozone hung around them―the smell of summer storms. Lightning crackled wherever he touched her. She ran her hands down his muscled back to his firm, full buttocks, marvelling at the power she sensed in him. Her palms tingled and stung at each contact, as though she’d been slicing chillies. The strange sensation added to the pleasure simmering in her pussy.

She pressed her fevered body against his, trapping his erect cock between them. Hard against her belly, his rigid organ felt like a bar of steel fresh from the furnace. Every searing instant made her want him more. They writhed together, sparks of scarlet and gold whirling around them. Her clit was a live ember. When he brushed his cock over the swollen nub, she burst into flames.

Climax raced through her, a conflagration of pleasure that burned but did not consume her. As she convulsed in his arms, he plunged into her depths, impaling her on a pillar of fire. Another orgasm flared―exquisite delight and unbearable heat. Then he was coming, too, in a blistering, fiery flood. She felt herself kindle, char, crumble to ash. She had no regrets.

****

Want more? Just leave a comment (please include your email address) and I'll enter you to win your very own copy of Hot Spell. Tell me about the most erotic “hot weather” experience you've ever had – or read! (You don't have to go into graphic detail – but you can if you'd like!) Make us sweat! (And if you don't want to wait - you can purchase your own copy of Hot Spell here...)

Of course, every comment you leave also qualifies as an entry for the grand prizes. The Hop runs until the 24th of June, so you have lots of time to visit and enter at each author's site. To visit the other participants, just click below.



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Snog: Ordinary Miracles (M/M)

Today's Snog comes from my short story "Ordinary Miracles". The tale features Kyle McLaughlin and Rob Murphy, the heroes from my paranormal novel Necessary Madness.

Don't forget to visit Victoria's place for snogs galore. Meanwhile, next weekend we'll be holding an extra special snog event, the Blisse Kiss by the Sea, with prizes from every author who participates!

**********************

Rob could feel Kyle's need, his excitement and his total surrender. Sexual arousal always enhanced Rob's gift of empathy. Gently, struggling against his own wild lust, he extricated his fingers from Kyle's hole and positioned his knob at the loosened entrance. "I love you, babe," he whispered, then plunged his oiled rod into Kyle's body.

"Ah...oh God!" Kyle yelled as Rob spread him wide and fucked him deep. "Oh, yeah, yeah...!" Rob's cock pistoned in and out of his lover's well-lubricated orifice. Kyle's slick, hot tunnel gripped his shaft as if to wring the cum from his balls. Rob thrust harder and faster. That was what Kyle wanted, he could tell. He felt the tension grow – he wouldn't last long – but he tried to hold back, to take Kyle to the place he needed to be.

Kyle shuddered each time Rob drove into him. He buried his face in his folded arms and spread his thighs to give Rob better access. Empath that he was, Rob could practically read Kyle's mind. All Kyle wanted was to be taken, completely and irrevocably, to give every ounce of himself to his lover.

That was all Rob wanted, too. He stopped fighting his lust. He stopped holding back. He slammed his cock into Kyle's bowels and let go.

White light flared behind his closed eyelids. An explosion of pleasure practically knocked him off his feet. Hot fluid surged up his stalk and gushed out, filling his lover's depths. Every ounce of himself he poured out into Kyle.

Then, just as the tide of pleasure began to ebb, he felt the swell of Kyle's orgasm, the jubilation and utter trust. Without any direct stimulation, Kyle spurted like a fountain, his coming triggered by Rob's. He clenched around Rob's softening cock. Echoes of ecstasy rippled through them both.

They lay quiet for long minutes afterward, Rob's body layered across Kyle's back. Kyle stirred first. Rob groaned, his muscles protesting as he stood upright once more. Kyle threw his arms around Rob's neck and drew him into a deep, wet kiss.

"That – that was amazing," he told Rob, nestling against his chest. "Some kind of miracle."

Rob ran his fingers through the younger man's tangled black hair. "Yeah, it was. Sorry, I got a bit carried away."

"Why the heck are you apologizing?" Kyle gazed up into Rob's eyes. "You knew what I wanted. You always seem to know."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Allure of the Vampire's Bite

By J.D. Brown (Guest Blogger)


Vampires might not have always sparkled and they might not have always fallen in love with human women. But their bite has always been a metaphor for lust and sin.

No matter how the vampire changes over the years – and they have changed a lot; from Dracula and Nosferatu’s horrifying undead to J.R. Ward’s living minority in the Black Dagger Brotherhood – one aspect of vampirism always remains fixed; they drink blood.

Mentions of vampires or vampire-like creatures appear long before Christianity, but it was the Christian church that first made them popular. In the old folk-lore, those who did not convert to Christianity were doomed to walk the earth forever as a vampire after their initial death because only Christians ascended to heaven. Later it was said that unbaptized infants would become vampires after they eventually died, even if they were good righteous Christians during their adult life. Later still, it was said that sinners would become vampires after they passed.

Vampires were to blame for illness, death, bad dreams, but especially erotic dreams, lust, and rape. If a woman was to engage in sexual activities before marriage, have a baby out of wedlock, or commit adultery, she could try to save some of her reputation by claiming that a vampire took her against her will.

Let’s look at the use of the bite and blood. To many, biting during sexual acts is considered erotic. The vampire’s bite is almost always some place delicate; the neck, the wrist, the inner thigh. Yes those places would be ideal because the veins are closer to the surface there, but it’s no coincidence that those areas of the body are also full of nerve endings. If the vampire really just wanted to feed, why not go for anything, like the upper arm or a foot?

Blood can seem terrifying, often the symbol of death and destruction. But just like its red color suggests, it can also signify life, birth, unity, passion, fire.

In today’s media more than ever before, the vampire represents the young hormonal predatory male. And women everywhere are still tripping over themselves to get bitten.

It’s no secret that even the youth, strength, mysteriousness, and bad-boy attitude are all part of the allegory. Those are all things that women in general swoon over. It’s all part of the same package, so to speak.

My vampires in Dark Heirloom are no exception, though they do chose to spin things in their own way. The main difference? There are no whiny girls in my books. It’s all vampires on top of vampires (no pun intended *wink*) for the true paranormal fan.

About Dark Heirloom

Title: Dark Heirloom (An Ema Marx Novel #1)
Author: J.D. Brown
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Blurb: “You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?

Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.

The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…

Praise for Dark Heirloom

J.D Brown does a wonderful job weaving of history, science and mythology together” – The Ebook Reviewers

I was impressed with the author’s fertile imagination and world building…it was simply extraordinary” – Aobibliosphere

This novel brings to life a new kind of vampire in the form of Ema Marx” – H.M. Prevost, author

Buy Links:
About the Author

J.D. Brown graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multicultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance.

J.D.’s books are available in e-book formats from Muse It Up Publishing Inc. and major e-book retailers. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her via email to DarkHeirloom@gmail.com or visit her website at http://authorjdbrown.com

Author’s Links:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bound by Lust: The Beating of Kinky Hearts

By Shanna Germain (Guest Blogger)

When I’m not writing sexy stories or getting naked with the one I love, I can usually be found playing online role-playing games (like the geek that I am). While role-playing games are a draw for me in terms of creativity and storytelling, they’re also a draw for me due to their thriving alternative community. Because online games offer a (fairly) safe and anonymous way to try out different orientations, kinks and genders, they attract huge numbers of people who want to experiment, explore and learn more about their sexualities. A lot of players create characters that are bisexual, gay, submissive, dominant, or somewhere in between. Furries and demons and tentacles abound in sexual scenarios. Some online communities even cater to the large BDSM gaming population with in-game props like paddles, whips and handcuffs.

But it isn’t just the player’s characters who are exploring their sexuality in role-playing games. Often the players behind the toons go “out of character” to talk to each other about sex. Because I play in a way that isn’t entirely anonymous (many players know that I write erotica), I often find myself fielding intimate questions about sexuality, and particularly about kinky sexuality.

Once, while talking to a younger player whose character was a slave trader known throughout the game for being a kinky dom with a penchant for bondage and pain, he mentioned something about his real-life girlfriend. During the conversation, it came to light that he was, in his words, “only dominant in-game. In real life and real love, I’m strictly vanilla.” While that didn’t entirely surprise me – gamers often play characters that don’t share our exact interests – the phrase “in real love,” wasn’t one I’d heard before. 

It was only later, during another conversation, that I gained a clearer understanding of what he’d meant. He said he was going to have to stop playing the game, because he’d asked his girlfriend to marry him and she’d said yes. I still didn’t get the connection. “Because you can’t have that kind of sex when you’re married,” he clarified. “Kinky sex is great for a girlfriend or a game, but not for love.” 

That was the first time I’d heard someone put it in those terms. At the time, I’d chalked it up to the misunderstandings of youth. Since then, however, I’ve heard a number of people of all ages lament their inability to have both kink and romance. They don’t believe it’s possible to have both in the same relationship. As I mention in the introduction to Bound by Lust, it’s a modern version of the Madonna/whore syndrome. You fuck the kinky girl, but you marry the vanilla one, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

Of course, this is a fallacy. Those who have found both – either in the same person or in an open relationship that meets their needs – know that naughty and nice are two sides of the same coin, or in this case, the same person. And it pains me to think that there are people in the world who believe the two are mutually exclusive, and are going without one of those things in order to have the other.

That conversation with my fellow player, and with other kinky friends and colleagues, was a large part of the inspiration for Bound by Lust. I wanted to create a book that, first and foremost, was incredibly sexy and dirty. But I also wanted to create a book that would give hope to kinky romantics everywhere, a book that would showcase all the ways in which dirty sex and sweet love can be true bed mates. Some of the stories in Bound by Lust highlight that tender and scary moment where a loved one comes out of the kink closet in the hopes of finding acceptance in their relationship. Others show long-term loving couples who are happiest when binding each other both physically and mentally. 

I know the feeling. Give me a paddle and a pair of cuffs and I’m happy. Give me a paddle, a pair of cuffs, and the heart of the one I love, and I’m over the moon. It took me a long time to find that perfect combination, that part is certainly true. But I’m glad I didn’t give up. 

Alison Tyler says that “Bondage With Someone You Love” should be a category of Hallmark cards, and I fully agree. Whether we want to bind and spank the love of our life, cross dress with our wife, or go down on our knees for the man who holds our heart, we can have it all.
Bound by Lust isn’t just a book title; it’s a possibility for every one of us with kinky, romantic hearts.