Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's My Birthday - Here's Your Present!

I made it!

Today I turn sixty years old. I find that a bit hard to believe - often I feel as though I'm still in my twenties - but there's no denying the date on my birth certificate!

Anyway, to celebrate, I have a gift for you: another free story in PDF form, complete with an original cover designed by me. 



For Blaine, stealing is the ultimate thrill—until she's caught in the act by dangerous, dominant Avram Aslanyan. The wealthy businessman has a proposition for the accomplished thief, one which she can't refuse if she wants to stay out of jail. Is Aslanyan interested purely in her illegal talents, though, or does he plan on stealing her heart?

What do you have to do to get your own copy of Thieves' Honor? Nothing at all! You can download it from my website by clicking here:

www.lisabetsarai.com/ThievesHonor_LisabetSarai.pdf

(Choose 'Save As' to copy to your own computer.)

However - if you leave a comment on this post, with your email address, I'll also enter you in my ongoing contest from my last newsletter, and you'll have the chance to win a copy of Nasty Business when I put up my next newsletter early next month.

Thank you for your loyalty and support!




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Muses are Just Plain Cool!

By Rose Anderson (Guest Blogger)

Calliope is the writer’s Muse. When I decided to write books, I chose her as mine. I figured if she inspired the likes of Homer, then maybe she’d send a little mojo my way. Calliope has been pretty good to me so far. Though they’re not all at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel just yet, she’s smiled on a total of 18 published and unpublished books that fit across genres, several magazine articles, and a few non-novel professional works. After my first release, I created a blog as most authors do. It’s a virtual temple, of sorts, fit for a Muse’s amusement. I named it CalliopesWritingTablet.

Who are these women who amuse and bemuse and inspire the arts and sciences? When Uranus the god of the vast sky melded his essence with Gaia the earth and mother of all life, the Titans were born. Sometime later, Mnemosyne, the personification of memory, lay with her nephew Zeus for nine consecutive nights and the nine Muses came out of that union.
  1. Calliope
  2. Clio
  3. Erato
  4. Euterpe
  5. Melpomene
  6. Polyhymnia
  7. Terpsichore
  8. Thalia
  9. Urania
As these nine women were long considered the source of knowledge, places dedicated to learning, were dedicated to them. Hence the name Museum. As a child growing up in Chicago, a city known world-wide for its museums, I used to stare at those Greek statues standing here and there inside the Field Museum of Natural History and outside the Museum of Science and Industry and wonder. If Zeus had only nine Muse daughters, then why did the Museum of Science and Industry have far more than nine Muses holding up the roof? Needing to know, I looked into it and discovered they weren’t Muses. These muse-mimics were architectural caryatids – decorative statues of women with the sole purpose of supporting the roof-line on their heads.


The Field Museum has the real deal. The famed nine Muses of the ancient world, statues as large as their Titaness mother, look down on the main floor. I found these statues rather curious. I couldn’t imagine what they had to do with stuffed and mounted animals, mummies, and dinosaurs. Each one held something, a clue as to who she was and what she represented. While some made perfect sense to me as a child, others were confusing. Years passed before I figured it out.

Calliope - Muse of Epic Poetry - carries a writing tablet
Clio - Muse of History - carries a scroll
Erato - Muse of Love Poetry - carries a Cithara (an early guitar)
Euterpe - Muse of Music - carries a flute
Melpomene - Muse of Tragedy - carries a Tragic mask
Polyhymnia - Muse of Hymns - carries a veil
Terpsichore - Muse of Dance - carries a lyre
Thalia - Muse of Comedy - carries a Comic mask
Urania - Muse of Astronomy - carries a globe and compass

I understand now that Muses in museums symbolically represent the very best found in the many cultures depicted in the vast museum collections. They’re ambassadors of poetry, the arts and science. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve dedicated my author’s journey to Calliope the writer’s muse. I’m not alone. For centuries writers made a habit of dedicating to the muses. I’ve found these examples:

William Shakespeare, Henry V:
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Charles Baudelaire, The Venal Muse:
O muse of my heart, lover of palaces,
Will you bring, when January lets loose its sleet
And its black evenings without solace,
An ember to warm my violet feet?

 
John Milton, Paradise Lost:
Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse

Homer’s Odyssey:
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.

Dante’s Inferno:
O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!

Emily Dickinson Awake ye muses nine:
Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,
Unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

The Aeneid by Virgil:
O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate;
What goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate;
For what offense the Queen of Heav'n began
To persecute so brave, so just a man…

Mary Darby Robinson, Ode to the Muse:
While softly o'er the pearl-deck'd plain,
Cold Dian leads the sylvan train;
In mazy dance and sportive glee,
SWEET MUSE, I'll fondly turn to thee;
And thou shalt deck my couch with flow'rs,
And wing with joy my silent hours.

William Blake, To the Muses:
Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!
How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!
The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!

Phillis Wheatley:
There shall thy tongue in heav'nly murmurs flows,
And there my muse with heav'nly transport glow:
No more to tell of Damon's tender sighs,
Or rising radiance of Aurora's eyes,
For nobler themes demand a nobler strain,
And purer language on th' ethereal plain.
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night
Now seals the fair creation from my sight.

Catullus:
And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is,
and whatever sort, oh patron Muse
let it last for more than one generation, eternally.

:) I’m in good company! Calliope had a hand in every one of these:

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo - Based upon a very real modern day sighting of the Wisconsin Wolf Man
 
What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development? His purpose of guarding his wife’s burial mound gone, Ashkewheteasu seeks to end his immortal existence. In his despair, he assumes the form of a wolf and steps in front of a moving car and into the life of Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. The veterinarian saves the animal’s life, and in the process saves the man within. Unbeknownst to Livie, the dog she’s taken into her home and grows to love is a magical being seeking to win her heart as a man. While Ash is learning a new world filled with new love, friendship, and happiness, an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; just as he had 3000 years before.  

Loving Leonardo - An unusual polyamorous Victorian love story with a touch of reader-interactive art history
 
Bound by limits dictated by society, Art Historian Nicolas Halstead lived a guarded life until a tempest in the form of Elenora Schwaab blew into his world. At first Nicolas can't decide if the audacious American is simply mad or plotting blackmail for not only does she declare knowledge of his homosexuality, she offers him a marriage proposal. After Ellie tells him of a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, a book of erotic love poems and sketches dedicated to the artist's long-time lover Salai, Nicolas joins her in a race to save the book from destruction. Along the way they encounter Historian Luca Franco and discover a comfortable compatibility that comes to redefine their long-held notions of love. The trio embarks on an adventure of sensual discovery, intrigue, and danger. Little do they know Leonardo da Vinci's book is far more than meets the eye.  

Dreamscape - A haunting, a murder, a mystery, a reader's puzzle, and a love story that transcends time

Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing -- he's a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O'Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason learns, ghost or not, he's still very much a man. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie's dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there's that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.

Hermes Online - A CataNetwork Sensual Reads Reviewer's Choice Winner 2011
 
Imagine if you will a story begun in the halls of Mount Olympus long before this modern tale was conceived. It was a time when the god Hermes flew on his winged sandals and carried messages from the gods to the mortals below. And between that time and this, couriers became postmen and handwritten letters became bytes. It is said the gods still speak to those who listen... Left bruised and brokenhearted after a cruel breakup, Vivienne Bennet finds herself mired in a world of self-doubt. To her surprise, she receives an email that challenges her to rediscover the woman she once was. Together Vivienne and the enigmatic man known only as S embark upon the world of anonymous Internet communication where suggestive emails lead to erotic chat, where cybersex leads to Skype, and C2C sends both into the arms of a love they'd believed lost forever.
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these snippets from my flights of fancy. After inspiring two more novels waiting on their covers, Calliope is currently motivating me into a new tale. For updates on new books and where she’s taking me next, stop by my blog and say hi! I just may have another ember tucked away to warm your senses.
About Rose  
Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with the characters in a romance novel that thoughts of them linger long after the last page is turned? Have you ever been so completely immersed in a love scene that you'd swear you've just been kissed or more? Meet my strong, confident heroines and compelling heroes. Come see how their lives entwine and through their stories discover love profound. From my current novels to the passionate stories that follow. I promise to sweep you away on a sensual tide of memorable story-telling.

Rose Anderson – Love Waits in Unexpected Places
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Revenge of the Mad Scientist

[Another tour post for you today, this time from Lara Nance's delicious steampunk romance, Revenge of the Mad Scientist~ Lisabet]

Blurb

When Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped, all clues point to the mysterious country of Gandiss and the world is thrown into political upheaval.

Arabella is convinced the more sinister nation of Carabarras is to blame, urged on by a mad scientist seeking revenge. So, she sets out on a perilous airship journey across a variety of exotic locales to save him, and halt the potential world war.

But airship pirates, secret assassins and slave traders aren’t her only trials. The fickle hand of fate has made the captain of the only airship available for charter, the man who left her at the altar. For eight years she's wished him dead. Now he's her only hope. 

Excerpt

Another scream sounded and then another. A group of people blocked her view and she didn’t hesitate in pushing them aside. She gasped when she reached a body sprawled on the floor and noted a trail of red blood tracking from a side room. She recognized the injured man as Conrad Bellows, her father’s assistant. Horrified, her champagne glass slipped from her fingers and shattered on the marble.

She pushed another man out of her way. What the hell was wrong with everyone standing around like statues while a man needed help? She knelt at Conrad's side. A knife protruded from his back but when she put her fingers on his neck she found him still alive, thank God. He struggled to his side and blinked as he looked up at her.

Gone,” he whispered. “So…sorry, My Lady…gone.”

Who is gone, Conrad?” She put a hand on his shoulder as panic shot through her.

You’re, fa, fa, father…they took him.”

What? Who took him?”

Ahh, all in black, don’t know…” He closed his eyes and then slumped on the floor, unconscious.

Belle sucked in a sharp breath. She jumped to her feet and spun around. “Someone call for a doctor and help Mr. Bellows. Where’s my father?”

About the Author


Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites throughout the South. She loves to write in a variety of genres, but the basis of all of her stories is a great tale that will take you on an adventure of imagination.

If you want to escape and lose yourself in a novel, you've come to the right place. Choose your genre and settle in to be entertained. From thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales, to paranormal romance and adventure, she's willing to explore a variety of compelling stories full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance.

Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.

Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.

Link to Website: www.laranance.com


Facebook page:

Buy Revenge of the Mad Scientist at Amazon! Or get your copy FREE there, tomorrow only, the 30th of January!

Lara's giving away a variety of prizes, including an autographed original map of Arabella's steampunk world to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a $50 Amazon gift card and an original steampunk necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. If people sign up for her newsletter on her website from Jan 29 - Feb 3, they will be entered for an autographed copy of her book as well as an original steampunk necklace. 

For more information on her tour, visit 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sneak Peek Snog - Rajasthani Moon


To celebrate my new contract - and whet your appetite - I've got a snog excerpt today from Rajasthani Moon. Furthermore, I'm so happy about the book I've decided to give away a $10 All Romance Ebooks gift voucher to one lucky person who comments on this post. (Please be sure to include your email as part of the comment text.)

Rajasthani Moon is a steampunk/BDSM/Bollywood/menage/Rubenesque/shapeshifter erotic romance. Really! In your comment, tell me which of these genres is your favorite.

Once you're done here, don't forget to click over to Victoria Blisse's Sunday Snog page and check out the other kisses on offer today!
 ***

Morning sun filtered through the latticed windows, the intermittent light adding new patterns to the intricately-woven carpet. Cecily stirred in the nest of cushions Amir had scattered upon the floor at the foot of his bed. She stretched her bondage-stiffened muscles, wincing as embroidered satin abraded her punished backside. The Rajah’s spanking appeared to have irritated the welts from the flogging administered by his brother. What a pair of deviants! 
 
A short chain tethered her ankle to the massive mahogany bedstead. Otherwise she appeared to be free – not counting, of course, her deadly collar. Rising to her knees, she peered at Amir, who lay careless and relaxed in sleep upon the fine linen sheets. With his eyes closed, luxurious lashes brushing his smooth cheeks and full lips slightly parted, he looked boyish, fresh and innocent. How appearances could deceive!

Was he merely feigning sleep? Cecily scrutinized his naked form, studiously ignoring the tell-tale swell below his waist. She could not detect the slightest evidence of tension. His gloriously-muscled chest rose and fell in a slow, regular rhythm. She held her palm above his luscious mouth and felt the warmth of his breath upon her skin. A faint aroma of almonds hung around him. She recalled the slippery oil with which he’d greased her rear channel and shuddered, half disgusted, half aroused.

For the moment, the Rajah appeared to be in her power. Cecily knew many techniques for quickly and efficiently terminating a man’s life, without the need for excessive force or blood. It would be quite simple to eliminate this enemy of the Empire.

The train of thought came automatically, a consequence of her training. She dismissed it as impractical. She would still be a prisoner, and a proven assassin rather than merely a seeker of intelligence. Besides, what purpose would such a murder serve? Amir was far more valuable to her alive, as a source of information.

Underneath all her rationalisation, Cecily was keenly and shamefully aware of the fact that she could never kill this man – no matter how vicious or dangerous he might be. He had a hold on her, far stronger and more difficult to escape than his silvery chains. Her quim was still tender and raw from the effects of his infernal instruments – his sparks, his clamps and his cock – but she felt herself moisten as she gazed on his slumbering beauty. In his presence, what she truly wanted was to give in, to have him use her like the helpless captive she was.

Helpless? She shook her head as if to scatter her offending thoughts. What was wrong with her? Had the Rajasthani ruler cast some sort of spell over her? She should be focusing on escape. She might not have ferreted out all the Rajah’s secrets, but already she knew much that was of value. Furthermore, if she managed to get out of the palace, she could disguise herself and engage in some additional sleuthing...

“Good morning, pet.” Amir’s piercing eyes fluttered open and pinned her gaze, while his lips curved into a self-satisfied smile. Any semblance of innocence fled. “Did you sleep well?”

“I’m not your pet. Furthermore, I scarcely had a comfortable moment all night, due to the after-effects of your tortures.”

“Tortures? Please! Based on your reactions to my little games, I don’t think ‘torture’ is exactly the appropriate term, my delectable spy.”

He reached up, grabbed her shoulders and pulled her down on top of him.

“Ow -!” Cecily began as the chain bit into her skin. His voluptuous lips sealed off any further commentary. She wanted to struggle but his arms were steel bands confining her. Her breasts mashed against his solid chest, the nipples plump and swollen as grapes, while the sweet rigidity of his cock poked into her from under the sheet.

It felt far too pleasant – outrageously so. Amir pried her mouth open and probed deep with his brazen tongue. She could not help imagining that tongue rooting in her cunny. Desire shimmered through her as she opened to him, savouring his flavour of cinnamon and fennel.

Clearly he sensed her surrender. He released his hold on her torso so that he could trace her bountiful curves, down over her hips to her buttocks. Seizing two handfuls of her opulent flesh, he ground his cock against her mound. His fingernails scored her arse and woke twinges of remembered pain that only fanned her need. Awkward due to the chains and his still-tight hold upon her, Cecily tried to spread her thighs, so that his erection would provide more direct stimulation. The sheet that separated their flesh was soaked by their pooled secretions.

She wanted to roll away, so that they could remove that barrier. Amir held her fast, determined, perhaps, to frustrate her, while he continued to ravage her mouth with astonishing ferocity. Even Cecily’s well-honed muscles were no match for his strength. She gave up, closed her eyes and allowed him do whatever he pleased. For now, at least, he was in control – and if she was honest with herself, she didn’t mind.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

From Young Adult to Erotica

By Helena Harker (Guest Blogger)

Thanks for hosting me, Lisabet! Hello, everyone! Thanks for dropping by. 
 
For many years, I wrote young adult novels. I liked the fact that it allowed me to go back in time and experience a part of life that I never really got to enjoy. When I was a teenager, I was pretty miserable. I didn’t fit in, didn’t have any close friends, and couldn’t wait to get to college. But when writing YA novels, I could be whoever I wanted to be and make my characters do whatever I wanted them to. The entire world, whether it be contemporary, or paranormal, or fantasy, was under my control. And I didn’t have to stick to reality, either. I liked to create worlds with supernatural elements and fantastical creatures that don’t exist in reality. It was all about the escapism. When I read, I don’t read about real people in real situations. That’s boring. That’s life. When I read, I want to escape.

When I started writing erotica, I naturally tended to write BDSM. Why? I think it’s all about control again, and about escapism. I often have the feeling that between my job and taking care of two kids on my own, and trying to squeeze in as much writing as I can, that everything is spinning hopelessly out of control. I’m on a treadmill and I can’t stop running, even though I’d love to jump off and take a break, just sit down with a frappuccino and chill. 
  
In my stories, women have a lot of trouble relinquishing control, or they tend to be the ones in control and they play a dominant role with respect to the men in their lives. Surrender is difficult for them, and that’s the case for Bella, a smart-ass, often bitchy girl who’s always on the defensive. She needs to learn to trust. She needs to learn that not every guy is out there to use her or hurt her. When she meets Darius, her roommate’s ex-boyfriend, who just so happens to be a whip-maker, she doesn’t think he can convince her to let go and try BDSM for the first time, even if it means getting an A on her Psych paper. If you want to know more about Bella and Darius, here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the story...


What a place to do research for a Psych paper. I hooked my thumbs into the pockets of my army camouflage pants and glanced at the huge black and red banner over my head: Welcome to Sextravaganza, your consumer sex show. Yeah, not exactly my number one place to spend the afternoon, especially since I managed to wander smack into the middle of the bondage section. Up ahead, I heard a woman advertise the benefits of the bondage bed, where you could immobilize your partner in all kinds of kinky positions. What the hell did a bondage bed look like, anyway? Did it come with its own rope and an assortment of D-rings?

I didn’t really want to know, so I hung a left down another aisle, coming face to face with a display of books about something called shibari, which was…let’s see…Japanese rope bondage. I picked up a hardcover issue and leafed through it. The models were tied with thick rope that formed complicated geometrical patterns over their bodies. I didn’t know whether I should appreciate shibari as a form of artistic expression or be disturbed at the sight of all these bound women. Flipping through a few more pages, I tried to make up my mind. The images had a haunting, sensual quality. Some of the rope patterns were exquisite. Okay, I decided, returning the book to its shelf, shibari was art.

Sighing, I readjusted my backpack over my shoulder, pulled the brim of my baseball cap lower over my eyes and scanned the crowd. People seemed pretty normal, a lot of couples strolling hand-in-hand, groups of men in their early twenties, and even a few white-haired ladies with their husbands. Before coming here, I pictured something totally different, like nymphomaniacs on the loose, women strutting around half-naked, and guys coming on to me left and right.

Not that I’d mind if guys came on to me. Sometimes it was fun to turn men down. It gave me a rush of power to grind a man’s ego under my boot. Yeah, I was a little bitter at the moment. A bad boyfriend led to a bad breakup, which led to a bad attitude. My life sucked big-time and I had three days left to hand in a five thousand word paper on the connection between the sensations of pain and pleasure. I had a title, “The Paradox of Pain,” and…absolutely nothing else. I didn’t even have an idea to start with, much less a full-fledged thesis to expand on. But I had questions, a whole lotta questions, and I planned to get some answers from my roommate’s ex-boyfriend.

Daphne dated Darius for a few months and when things got too intense, she broke up with him. What she meant by too intense, I had no idea. They were still friends, though. She said he’d be the perfect go-to guy for info about pleasure-pain dynamics, and I’d find him at “The Whipping Booth.” At first I didn’t get it until she explained what Darius made in his spare time. Whips, she said. Darius is a whip-maker. It took a while for her comment to sink in. Most men spent time in their garages tinkering with car engines, or they cruised down the highways on their motorcycles, or they went camping on the weekend. But Daphne dated a guy who had a passion for whips. I guess the only thing crazier than him making whips was the idea that people actually bought them.

Finally, after strolling past sexy latex cat suits, handcuffs with fluffy pink lining, and a stunning array of leather collars—some with wicked-looking spikes—I found a kiosk called “The Whipping Booth.” There was the man I was looking for. The whip-maker stood in front of a glass display case, feet apart like a soldier on guard, a long glossy ponytail down his back. Man, I wish my hair looked half as good. Of course my hair was cropped short, but I’d love to have the same silky-soft shine. This guy could star in his very own hair care commercial. I’d have to ask him what conditioner he used.

Damn, he must practically live at the gym to have those killer biceps. His cut-off T-shirt revealed well-defined muscle and tanned skin. He could sweep me off my feet, all one hundred and fifteen pounds of me, and do multiple sets of curls. And his chest? To die for. The T-shirt’s stretchy fabric hinted at powerful pecs and ripped abs. Sexy dark stubble covered his cheeks and his lips were full and firm, the kind of lips a girl wanted to kiss. Fuck, was I getting the hots for my best friend’s ex? No, never, not for a guy who believed sex and pain were a perfectly matched pair, like peanut butter and jam or popcorn and melted butter. Darius makes whips, remember? Stay away from him, Annabelle.

Bio

Helena Harker is a teacher by day, writer by night, a daydreamer who loves to escape to other worlds. Her fiction is populated by strong men, passionate women and lots of paranormal creatures. In her free time she enjoys photography and curling up with a good book. She is multi-published and also writes in other genres.

Twitter: @HelenaHarker


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hot Off the Presses....

I've just got to share my latest news. Rajasthani Moon has been contracted by Total-E-Bound! My multi-genre marvel (or monstrosity!) will pre-release on May 6th (available exclusively at the TEB site) and go to general release on June 3rd.

Like BDSM? You'll find it in this book.

How about steampunk? Yup!

Menage? Check!

Shapeshifters? I've got a tortured, sexy werewolf I think you'll definitely enjoy.

Like your heroines with plenty of curves? Cecily Harrowsmith is a Rubenesque Victorian lady who just happens to be a top-level secret agent for Her Majesty the Queen.

Oh, and if you're a Bollywood nut, Rajasthani Moon is set (duh!) in Rajasthan, India, and is full of colorful ceremonies, lush costumes, drumming and dancing.

I'll be sharing a kiss excerpt this Sunday - and probably doing a giveaway, too!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When a Blissful, Lusty Marriage Goes Wrong

By Nina Lane (Guest Blogger)

Lisabet, thank you so much for hosting my guest blog! I am getting back into the erotica writing game after a break of…uh, over a decade, so this is a wonderful place to start.

I love sexy, brilliant men (I still think of Indiana Jones writing on the chalkboard in front of all those female students), so when I started writing Arouse, the first book in my new Spiral of Bliss series, the character of Professor Dean West took shape quite easily. He’d be dark-haired, handsome, athletic, rugged, hot, and…oh, yeah, a renewed scholar of medieval history.

Professor West knows all sorts of esoteric, historical facts, is interested in Old Norse poetry and monastic architecture, and is very well-respected by both his colleagues and students. He’s a gentleman with a strong moral compass and a romantic streak. He’ll teach a course on medieval manuscript illumination, go off to play a rough game of football, then head home to make smokin’ hot love to his pretty wife.

So what does a man like that need emotionally from a woman? That question was less easy for me to answer. I knew my heroine, Olivia Winter, was damaged, and that Dean was the only man who could heal her. But what could she give him in return, since he already seemed to have it all? Love and great sex, yes, but it turned out that all of Dean’s success concealed a missing piece shaped like Liv.

Dean has spent his life trying to prove himself to other people, to always be the best, and Liv is the one person who doesn’t expect anything more from him. She’s the one person who accepts his flaws and failures, whose love is not based on his success. Because of that, he’s willing to wait for her, and as a result their relationship is a slow, heady burn that builds up to an intense passion.

But what happens when this overachiever conceals the biggest failure of his life from the woman who loves him unconditionally? That, I knew, would be the crux of the book’s conflict—a lusty, loving married couple rocked to their foundation by the revelation of an unexpected secret.

For all his outward success and sexiness, Professor Dean West is not perfect, and being forced to admit that to both himself and his very adoring wife starts the cracks that could break their marriage apart forever. The honeymoon is over for Liv and Dean, and now they have to fight for each other and their love all over again.

I'm giving away a copy of Arouse - print or Kindle, your choice - to one lucky person who comments on this post. Don't forget to include your email address in your comment so I can find you.

Excerpt from Arouse:

Before I can think too much, I enter the bathroom. Steam coats the air, blurring the mirror and the shower door. The outline of Dean’s body is behind the glass, his arms raised to scrub his hair.

He turns at the sound of me opening the shower door. Water cascades down his chest. My eyes follow the rivulets down to his groin. He’s already half-erect. That alone makes my heart throb. I wonder again what he’s been thinking about, standing here naked with hot water pounding over his skin.

I’m your wife, Dean.

I don’t know if the reminder is meant for me or him. Water splashes through the open door onto me, dampening my T-shirt.

Dean’s gaze goes to my breasts. My nipples harden and tent the soft cotton. My belly starts to swirl with desire, and I reach up to rub my palm across my breasts.

Dean places one hand flat against the door and pushes it fully open.

Get in here,” he orders.

The gruff tone of his voice pulses through me. I step inside. The water drenches me in seconds, plastering my shirt to my skin and outlining every curve. Dean closes the door hard enough to rattle the glass on its hinges, then he turns and hauls me against him.

I move my hand down to brush against his cock. “What were you thinking about?”

You.”

Really?”

Really.” He slides his hand around the back of my neck and pulls me to him. “Naked and moaning and creaming all over my prick.”

A shiver rocks me. The hard edge to his voice floods me with arousal.

His mouth crashes against mine, and lust surges like an ocean swell. I can feel the adrenaline from the football game still racing through him, the heat of his skin beneath the water.

He lifts his head. “You taste good.”

I had… I had some chocolate.”

Nice.”

Yeah. It was nice.

I suddenly want it rough.

Dean’s cock pushes hard against my belly, fully erect now, but when I slip my hand down to grasp him, his fingers curl around my wrist.

He twists my arm behind my back. His breath is hot against my lips. “Don’t move.”

I don’t. Except that my chest is heaving as I watch him pull back to cup my breasts, flicking the tips through the wet cotton, running his long fingers beneath them.

He turns me around so my back is to his chest, locking one arm securely around my waist. He slides his other hand over my hip and peels the shirt up to expose my white panties.

Are you hot under here?” His fingers tangle in the elastic waistband before he pushes them halfway down my thighs.

God, yes.”

I shudder, wanting to both part my legs and press them together to soothe the growing ache. Dean pushes the panties off me, then slips his fingers between my thighs and starts working me in exactly the way he knows I like, his forefinger trailing up one side and circling my clit before stroking down the other side.

In no time, I’m writhing against his hand, and moans echo off the shower stall. I’m hoping the hot water holds out because the whole thing feels so good—the steaming, pounding water, Dean’s exploring touch, his other arm tight around my waist. The T-shirt clings to me like a second skin, and I’m aroused by the sight of my full breasts draped in the wet cloth, my nipples hard as cherries.

Three more hard strokes from Dean, and I come with the force of an exploding star, quaking and tightening my legs around his hand. His chest heaves against my back, and then we’re tumbling out of the shower, dripping wet and not stopping for towels on the way to the bedroom.

***

AROUSE: A SPIRAL OF BLISS NOVEL is available now at Amazon:


Bio
Bestselling author Nina Lane writes elegant, romantic, and sometimes raunchy erotica. Her novel "The Erotic Dark" hit #1 on Amazon’s Erotica Bestseller list. Nina wrote novels for Black Lace Books, and she has published stories in anthologies such as Best Women’s Erotica and Erotic Travel Tales. Her work has been translated into both German and Japanese. She is currently working on several contemporary and historical writing projects.
Visit Nina at http://www.ninalane.com or join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NinaLaneAuthor
Write to Nina at nina  [at] ninalane.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Don't Lose Heart

You never know when you'll be inspired.

Yesterday, a brief news item in our local newspaper caught my eye. A Japanese poet named Toyo Shibata passed away at the age of 101. It was not her age that snagged my attention. One is used to reading about centenarians in Japan. The remarkable aspect of this story was the fact that Ms. Shibata published her first book of poems when she was ninety-two. Furthermore, that book, entitled Kujikenaide, sold a million and a half copies.

Yes, that's right. A million and a half copies of a poetry collection written by a ninety-two year old great grandmother.

It seems that her son encouraged her to write. How wonderful that she listened to his suggestion! At the age of ninety-two, one might think one's life was over. Certainly it seems a bit late to begin a brand new career. Fortunately, Toyo Shibata didn't believe that.

Next time I'm feeling depressed, I've got to remember "the grandmother poet" of Japan. Humans are creators. We can make beauty anytime, at any age, in any circumstances. Here I am, facing down sixty and feeling old - what nonsense! 

Here's a translation of the title poem from Kujikenaide (which means "Don't Lose Heart"):

    Don’t lose heart.

    Oh, please don’t sigh that you are unhappy.

    The sunshine and the breeze will not favour anyone.

    Dreams can be dreamed equally.

    I have seen hard times but I am glad that I am alive.



    Don’t you ever lose heart, either.


I wish I could  have met this woman. From now on, she'll be a part of me.


Monday, January 21, 2013

A World Apart

[Today I'm taking part in a virtual tour for David Brown's pirate fantasy romance, A World Apart. David will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one commenter on the tour. Enjoy! ~ Lisabet]


Blurb  

Demetrius makes his first mistake when he lets his best friend Halcyon marry Eleyna, the love of his life, without saying a word. On the day of the wedding, he walks away from the Elencheran town of Dove's Meadow and joins the army.

He makes his second mistake when the pirate Black Iris tricks him into letting dozens of men, women and children die in a fire. Demetrius is imprisoned in grief and disgrace.

But he can atone. The Black Iris is dead. The Ivory Rose has risen to the top of the pirates and is leading brutal raids on the coast. If Demetrius can capture and kill her, he'll win his pardon.

And then Demetrius discovers the Ivory Rose is Eleyna. He must decide which will be his third mistake: losing his last chance at a pardon or destroying the one woman he's ever loved.

Excerpt

Demetrius made no response, he was lost in a battle all of his own making now. The challenge of Halcyon was forgotten, he had overcome that, but he now had to succeed in a new struggle – to be a soldier. Demetrius had decided to turn his back on the shepherd life that his father desperately wanted for him in favour of following and emulating his grandfather. Deep down, Demetrius hoped that if he made his grandfather proud then Granicus would reveal the most sought after secret in all of Dove’s Meadow – why Granicus had chosen not to join the Order and bring untold fame to the town.

Demetrius heard another rumble of thunder and between the Green and Pirels Mountains he saw lightning strike briefly. His clothes were now sodden and his feet were uncomfortable in his shoes but Demetrius was beyond such constraints. Dove’s Meadow didn’t feel like it was just below him to the left. Instead, it was almost as if just the narrow walk along the perimeter wall existed and that losing his balance either way would see him fall into a void of nothingness. Everything hinged on Demetrius’ continued steps.

Granicus had once told Demetrius of one of the rebellions he had fought when he was in the army. The rebels had lined up to take on the might of the Himordian army on a sodden battlefield with rain, thunder and lightning doing nothing to turn any man or woman from the conflict. Demetrius imagined he was in that moment now, facing the same dangers that his grandfather had faced.

About the Author
-->
David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.
Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu's Epiphany and A World Apart, and the in-progress Ansel's Remorse and The Stars Beneath the Parapets combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten. David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month travelling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.
Links

Twitter - @elenchera
Facebook - davidmbrownauthor
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/R7VitO


Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Year’s Life Goals

By Juliette Springs (Guest Blogger)


I use the term “Life Goal” instead of resolution. Life goal sounds more permanent and instinctively makes a person analyze areas in which they want to make concrete life changes. There are four areas I want to make life changes in; travel, diet, writing and exercise. So here it goes….

Travel: When I was in my 20’s I traveled a lot. Every month I traveled to various cities. Now that I’m in my 30’s my feet are beginning to itch again.

Exercise: Besides not working out consistently, I also need to find some sort of regimen I can stick too. Currently I’m digging Yoga. Its focus on eliminating darkness out of one’s light and yoga takes care of a person’s mind, body and soul is appealing. 2012 was hectic.

Writing: I’ve written two books. I should have at least five books complete. There are so many stories and characters dancing in my head, it’s hard to remember where a potential story starts and ends. In 2012 I will write at least three to four times a week for an hour (minimum). The more books I have out the better and stronger my brand is.

Diet: I need to eat better. I’m not a spring chicken anymore so my diet is very important. Besides loading up on veggies I need to eliminate red meats from my diet. My ultimate goal is to become a vegetarian. One bite at a time ;^)

There also areas of my life I would like to become more adventurous in. So far I’ve been strictly Vanilla. Since I devoured the Fifty Shades of Gray collection and other BDSM books, I’ve gotten a little curious. But before I actually put new “kink” in my bedroom, I think I’ll test my comfort level and put more “kink” into my characters’ lives *wink*.

Until next time….

~ Juliette

The Karma Chronicles: Vanessa's Story by Juliette Springs
 
Blurb

Devastated after an emotional break-up, Vanessa decides to finish her fall semester and leave Bear Creek University and the town of Bear Creek forever, certain starting over in a new place will soothe her wounded heart.  Her plans are derailed when her ex-lover returns wanting another chance.  Despite the chemistry between them and their sensual history, should she risk her heart again for a man who told her she wasn’t good enough for him or his tribe?

Bowing to tribal pressure, Sean Yonah was forced to hurt his best friend and lover, the one woman he couldn’t get enough of. Now the Spirits say she may be his “other.” Sean knows what he did was deplorable, but if he doesn’t convince Vanessa to forgive him, he’ll lose a lot more than the love of his life.


Available at www.amazon.com

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JulietteSprings

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seductress - An Interview with Editor D.L. King

[Today I'm talking to D.L. King, award-winning author and editor, about her latest anthology, Seductress. The book features tales about succubi - and if you've ever read any of D.L.'s other collections, you'll know it is both fabulously written and seriously hot! ~ Lisabet]



LS: You're known to have a particular fondness for female dominant erotica. How does Seductress fit in with those preferences? Are succubi the ultimate Dommes?

DK: Succubi are indeed the ultimate dommes. It’s funny because you’re right, I do have a fondness for femdom erotica, but when I proposed the idea of an anthology of succubus erotica to my publisher, I hadn’t even considered the idea that succubi were dommes. And to be honest, I didn’t even catch on until I’d read five or six submissions. Yep, I pride myself on my intelligence but I was definitely a little slow on the uptake. Needless to say, I love this book!

LS: This is your second paranormal anthology. The first, The Sweetest Kiss, featured vampires. Compare the two.

DK: Vampires are bloodsuckers and succubi are soul suckers. That’s the most simplistic comparison, but in reality, we often think of vampires as those who steal anything from us: time vampires, happiness vampires, energy vampires, etc. In that way, a succubus is very similar to a vampire; she steals from her victim also. Succubi have been considered soul stealers or life stealers. Ancient legends have them stealing a victim’s life force, leaving him a weakened husk or leaving him a soulless shell. They were also said to suck everything from their victims, leaving behind a lifeless corpse. But that’s awfully patriarchal, don’t you think? After all, they’re just women having fun in the sack. Guys should really lighten up!

LS:You've also edited a couple of fantastic lesbian collections. Are there lesbian succubi? Any in your book?

DK: Thanks, yes, the first anthology I edited was Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica. It was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. You have a story in that one! And then 2012 saw the release of The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica, which is also nominated for a Lammy. Keep your fingers crossed on that one! Of course there are lesbian succubi! C’mon, a girl’s got to get her life force in whatever way feels best, right? And yes, there are three lesbian stories in the book.

LS: What do you particularly look for when you're editing an anthology? What aspects of a story carry the most weight in your evaluation?

DK: Initially, that’s a tough question. I think I look for a combination of good writing and good story. I know that sounds simplistic. I’ll try to break it down because each of those is really of equal importance.

First, if the story is poorly written I have to decide if it’s going to be worth my time to “rewrite” it. It would have to be a pretty amazing story to make me do that much work. So, a story being well written is the first hurdle. But the story, itself, is definitely of equal importance. It has to interest me, perhaps be unique, be hot – be a good story. But second, since this is erotica, the sex has to be believable and hot. I don’t like flowery, or purple prose; I prefer plain language and comfort with sex. By that I mean the sex shouldn’t be either euphemistic or clinical, but natural. I don’t want a blow-by-blow description of the action, but I want to know what’s going on. That means “showing” rather than “telling.” It’s very difficult to explain that concept. Perhaps the best way to explain it is, let the reader feel what’s happening, rather than describing it to her.

LS: Last year one of your books (Carnal Machines) won first prize for erotica in the Independent Publishers Awards. Has that changed your attitude toward editing? Do you feel a lot of pressure to produce another award winning book?

DK: I don’t think I feel “pressure” to produce another award-winning book, but I definitely have the fever. I suppose I got the fever when Where the Girls Are became a Lammy Finalist. My goal is to produce the best book I can. I have somewhat eclectic taste and my books are all about what I like, so they tend to be pretty eclectic too. I just hope that “what I like” is what the literary award prize folks like, too. We’ll see. Seductress is nominated this year for the same award Carnal Machines won last year!

LS: Who came up with the theme for Seductress, you or the publisher? If you were the originator, where did the idea come from?

DK: The theme was definitely my idea. I’m the one who comes up with the ideas for most of my anthologies. So far, the only exceptions have been the first one, Where the Girls Are, (my publisher, Cleis Press asked me if I’d be interested in editing that one) and the one I’ve just finished taking submissions for, Slave Girls, also for Cleis Press.

I’d just finished reading Richelle Mead’s succubus series and loved it and I was totally addicted to Lost Girl, now on the SyFy channel but originally broadcast on Canada’s Showcase network. Evan Mora, one of the authors in Seductress, introduced me to Lost Girl. (Evan knows about my totally bizarre love of Canadian television…) And I thought hey, succubus erotica, it’s a natural! Cleis Press thought so too. I really hope it takes off because I think it’s a really good book.

LS:Why do you think Succubi are erotic? Do you think the appeal is different for male versus female readers?

DK: A creature that seduces her prey into having sex with her because she needs sex to live is bound to be erotic. In the first place, she has to know exactly what she’s doing in the seduction department (since she’s been doing it for millennia). Then there’s the fact that she needs orgasms (her prey’s) to survive. That’s pretty erotic, too.

In legend, it has always been the male who has actively tried to summon the she-demon who will be wonton and sexual and do anything the man desires and then disappear when he’s finished with her. Then he could claim his behavior wasn’t his fault, that it was the succubus’s doing and he was powerless to stop her. That’s the original fantasy.

As for whether the appeal of the stories is different for males and females, I think the appeal of erotica, in general, is different for every reader. I think gender plays into it, as well as sexual preference. Gay men who like sweet erotic romance are not going to like the same thing as straight women who are into BDSM with a male dom/fem sub slant. Men who like to read about taking the submissive role may like this book very much. But men who like women to do all the work, sexually, to get their partner off will also like this book. Conversely, women who like taking control or fantasize about being the dominant and taking what they want are also going to like this book.

Blurb for Seductress

She's beautiful. She's enchanting. She's mysterious and unfathomable. She's your fondest dream and your worst nightmare. She's sweet and sublimely submissive. She's dark and fully in charge. She's flirty yet mysterious. She promises safety in her arms but there's danger in her eyes. One look, one scent, one taste, one sigh and you're rock hard or dripping wet. She's sex incarnate.

Succubi are sexual vampires, women who steal the life force from their victim, but what a way to go! Some say succubi visit their victims in dreams; others say they seduce them in the flesh. Whether your succubus is a shape shifter, has permanent bat wings or wears a mini skirt; whether her victims are taken unawares, follow her with glee or scream bloody murder as they come, these stories are hot. As hell.

***

Get your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local brick and mortar bookstore.

About the Editor

D. L. King spends an inordinate amount of time reading and writing smut in her New York City apartment and postage stamp sized garden. Seductress: Erotic Tales of Immortal Desire is her fifth anthology with Cleis Press. She is the editor of The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica, Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica, The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica and the Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica.  She is also the editor of Spank! a Logical Lust anthology, Voyeur Eyes Only for Xcite Books and Spankalicious: Erotic Adventures in Spanking for Ravenous Romance. D. L. King is the publisher and editor of 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, as well as such titles as Anything for You, Say Please, One Night Only, Power Play, Luscious, Hurts So Good, Fast Girls, Gotta Have It, and Please Ma’am, among 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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I May Be a Virgin, but Don’t Push Me

By Synithia Williams (Guest Blogger)


My current book, Worth the Wait, involves a woman who wants to lose her virginity before she turns thirty. Even though my character is innocent in the ways of the bedroom, I didn’t want her to be weak willed and easily lured by the hero of my book, a known playboy.

I’m not a fan of women in novels who are easily overpowered by men. Maybe it’s my own neck rolling tendencies, but nothing turns me off a book more than a woman with no backbone. Or an Alpha male who’s so alpha he yells at the heroine constantly. So while my heroine, Tasha, doesn’t fully grasp the ramifications of what she’s asked the hero, Jared, to do, she doesn’t let his considerable experience run their relationship. She lays down ground rules for their affair. Every time Jared makes her feel off balanced, she comes right back with something to push him off his cocky high horse.

I try to write heroines that women can relate too. Strong women that face similar situations many of us do, but handle it with self respect, strength and enough attitude for men realize they won’t be easy conquests. I want my female characters to give you at least one “girl power” moment when you’re reading. Because romance novels are not only a great escape from reality, but a way to demonstrate that when things get tough we women can be pretty damn strong.

Below is an excerpt from Worth the Wait where Tasha literally knocks Jared on his ass. Tell me what you think, and let me know how you feel about strong women in novels or extreme alpha heroes.

Excerpt

Shortly after she started a person’s shadow covered her. She spun and held her trowel out in front of her, but the sudden movement from a crouched position caused her to fall awkwardly onto her ass. The sun behind him prevented her from seeing his face, but she knew it was Jared.

“You scared the crap out of me,” she said with her hand over her pounding heart. “What are you doing here already? It’s not three.”

Jared reached down and pulled her up. A shot of electricity shot from where his hand clasped hers straight to her belly. She snatched it away and took a step back, only to step on one of her tomatoes.

If he felt it, he didn’t show. He only stood there scowling at her. “Who are you comparing me to?”

Tasha returned his scowl. “What? You came here early and scared me half to death to ask who I’m comparing you to?”

He stepped closer. “Let’s get one thing straight. You’re not to compare me to anyone. When we’re together, the only person you’re supposed to think about is me. Don’t bring up another guy’s name when we’re together.”

Anger bubbled hot in Tasha’s belly. She reached out and shoved his chest with every ounce of strength she had. Caught off balance, Jared fell backwards into a pile of weeds. She put one leg on either side of his hips, stood over him and pointed a finger in his face.

“You need to get a couple of things straight. Number one, I’m not one of your groupies, so don’t talk to me like I should be privileged to sleep with you. Half of the women in South Carolina and California have slept with you so believe me, it’s not like it’s hard to do. Number two, stop trying to take advantage of the fact that I’m a virgin. My experience with men is limited, but I know enough to see that you want me. Badly. But I’m not going to let you take control of everything and get me all mixed up. Number three, there will be no more ‘when I’m with you’ after this weekend. I need a favor from you—that’s it.”

Jared stared at her for a few seconds before shaking his head and laughing. “I can’t believe you pushed me down.”

Tasha crossed her arms and tapped her foot. “Believe it. And if you come around making demands of me, or trying to kiss me senseless again, I’m going to do more than that.”

He stopped laughing and looked at her seriously. “I’m sorry, Tasha. I didn’t mean to try and take advantage of the situation.” She raised an eyebrow, and he rubbed his jaw. “Okay, I did. You’re right. I do want you, badly. And when I want a woman I let her know.”

His voice rang with sincerity while desire crept into his dark eyes. Some of her anger subsided as her body heated in response. How did he make her go from boiling mad to lustful with just a look?

Buy Links




About the Author

Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural that she would begin penning her own romances soon after. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her publishing dreams. Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love was published in August 2012 by Crimson Romance. When she isn’t writing, this Green Queen, as dubbed by the State Newspaper, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. You can learn more about Synithia, and her novel, by visiting her website, www.synithiawilliams.com, where she blogs about writing, life and relationships.