Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kinky Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes

By Bianca Sommerland (Guest Author)

Too easy. You might have noticed, a lot of erotic authors use fairy tales for inspiration because many have built in sensuality. I had to do something on Snow White because my muse told me it was begging to be a ménage. And that’s how Rosemary Entwined was born.

But what other fairy tales could easily be kinky? Well, I saved that question for my guest post on Lisabet’s blog (as a special thank you) since she gave me the idea.

You did say no heat limits, right?

Beauty and The Beast (BDSM)

Crumpled rose petals settled in the dirt around her slippers. Beads of moisture gathered on her neck from his hot breath as he leaned over her.

Don’t look at me like that. Your father sinned, not I.” His eyes, dark as rain soaked bark, narrowed when she shook her head. “You surrendered yourself to me willingly to spare him.”

Tears spilled as Belle stared at the metal trellis in the center of the rose garden, with chains woven through it like vines and four shackles wrapped in silk and fur dyed the color of the blossoms. Her gaze dropped to her feet and she shivered, imagining those chains around her wrists and ankles, displaying her, naked and helpless before this...this...Monster.

You can’t mean for me to...”

Oh, I can.” He tilted her head back and studied her for a moment. Lips curved, he trapped her wrists in one, big hand. “But do not fear for your innocence. I would not take it from you with this animal form.” He drew her hands over her head, shackling one wrist, then the other. “But watching you writhe and enjoy the pleasure none other can give you...” His smile full of fangs seemed almost tender. “Perhaps that will be payment enough.”

Belle gritted her teeth as he crouched to shackle her ankles, tightening the chains so her legs were pulled apart. “You could never please me.”

The beast smacked her thigh. “You will not speak.” He smirked when she tugged at her restraints, hips jerking towards him and away as she fought her own reactions. The sweet essence of her arousal filled the air between them. Beast inhaled deep and straightened. “Unless the pain becomes too much or you are truly afraid. Then you may say ‘Rose’ and I will stop. Do you understand?”

No words came to her, so she simply nodded. And took the punishment, screaming and crying when the strike of the paddles or whips teetered on the edge between pain and pleasure.

But she never said ‘Rose’.


Now let’s try another.

Cinderella (foot fetish)

The glass slipper covered her toes and her sweet little heel like crystal moulded to display the perfection of her dainty, little foot. He had to take it off. He’d wanted to ever since his first glimpse of one bare when she’d lost her slipper after the ball.

Beneath them, the wagon wheels creaked and thumped on the craggy road. Cinderella reclined on the gold brocade, padded seats and crossed her ankles. His eyes leapt from her feet to her face. Her brow creased and he forced a smile to his lips.

It wouldn’t do for his new princess to think him odd.

His heart flipped and flopped up into his throat when she kicked off the slipper and wiggled her toes. The sight had him staring. He couldn’t help it.

I’ve never had a man look beyond my breasts or my ass like that.”

The prince tore his eyes from where they caressed her sleek arc, his mouth watering. “Does it bother you?”

Not at all.” She rested her foot on her knee and flexed it, gaze fixed on his crotch as his rock hard dick stirred. “Would you like to touch?”

Oh, yes.” His hands covered her foot, massaging that flesh, so soft in places, textured and rough in others. He traced each delicate bone with his fingers in an attempt to cast the wondrous image to memory.

She twisted her ankle and freed her foot.

No, not long enough!

That was...all right.” A half smile on her lips, Cinderella braced on her elbows and swung her foot under his chin. “Now how ‘bout you do that again. With your tongue.”

He groaned and caught her big toe with his mouth. His tongue circled the plump end and he sucked his way up and down. Then he released it with a plop and grinned.

Have I told you how much I love you?”


Well that was just tons of fun. Fairy tales are kinky in the most wonderful way. All it takes is a bit of imagination.

Hope you have some fun with your bedtime story tonight.

Blurb: Rosemary Entwined

One kiss might save her, but if Rosemary has to lose even one of her men, she doesn’t want a prince.

The only role of Rosemary's nest of men is to feed her insatiable hunger for lust, but that's not what she wants for them. Or what they want from her. While Rosemary presses for them to live their own lives, they each find ways to steal into her heart. With the threat of her mother's nest hanging over them, Rosemary decides to surrender to the love they offer and focus on building their combined strength to stand against the inevitable attacks.

When her control over her powers slips, another problem arises. The nest is incomplete. A prince must be chosen, and if he is not among her men, she'll be forced to let one of them go.

She once feared her heart wasn't big enough to hold them all. Now she fears she's not strong enough to release even one. Even if it costs her her life.


Bianca Sommerland was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. When not reading neurotically or writing as though the fate of the world rests on her keyboard, she is either watching hockey or teaching her daughters the beauty of a classic, steel pony while reminiscing about her days in Auto Body Mechanics.

Her time is balanced with utmost care between normal family life, and the internal paranormal realm where her characters reside. For the most part, she succeeds. She is currently working on a risqué new ménage novel called EMBRACING EVIL. You can find her at

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

By Katie Hines (Guest Blogger)

One can talk about motivation and inspiration as though they were one and the same. That, however, is far from the truth. Motivation has to do with getting up, getting something done. Inspiration, on the other hand, comes from deeper within, from the heart of the writer.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines motivation as something that causes a person to act, like a need or desire. For example, Kerry was motivated to diet when she stepped on the scales after the holiday season.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is defined as “a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicated sacred revelation” or “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.”

As one can see, there is a great difference in the two words. How does this apply to our writing? Do we see the inspiration as a divine influence? I don’t know about you, but I certainly hadn’t thought of it that way. On the other hand, there have been times that I have been writing and been “in the zone,” where the words come fast and furious and I wonder from whence they come.

One could say that inspiration causes motivation, which in turn causes action. Inspiration seems to come from the heart, while motivation is acting on the inspiration found within.

So, do you feel your writing is inspired? Should you feel your writing is inspired? Based on these two definitions, I think I’m going to aim toward the inspired part of my psyche, and let that inspiration cause me to act. To be motivated. How about you?


Katie Hines has been writing snippets here and there as long as she can remember. When in 8th grade, she wrote a short story called, "Underworld." Then, in high school, she wrote several poems that were published in an anthology.

Marriage and raising two children contributed to putting away writing for a few years, but she came back to it while in her 40s. Since that time, she has been a contributing feature writer and columnist for a local newspaper, has written several features articles for another area newspaper, and wrote religious and humor articles for an online Catholic ezine.

Since the release of "Guardian," Katie is working on another fantasy novel as well as a couple of chapter books, and is extending "My Name is Bib" into a full young adult novel.




Katie Hines

Children's Author Member, SCBWI

NOW AVAILABLE! Guardian - a middle grade urban fantasy Order from

Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect determined to claim the treasure and power themselves.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Challenge of Romance

I'm weird. Okay, that's not news to anyone who hangs around this blog. This struck me yesterday though, with particular force. Why? Because yesterday I realized that I find it much easier to write graphic erotica than to write erotic romance.

I find this odd because I've read many blog posts by my colleagues, who say that they found it tough, at least at first, to add explicit sex scenes to their romance stories. I'm just the opposite.

I spent eight days struggling to write 16K words for my most recent romance submission. Meanwhile, yesterday I banged out a 5K erotica short story in about six hours - with time off to make and eat lunch and to read the newspaper! Why was did one story go so smoothly while the other bogged me down?

Both stories are (I hope) erotic. At least, they both contain explicit sex. The romance, a ménage, is in fact more extreme and transgressive than the erotica. Both have (I hope) well-developed characters. Certainly, the erotica I write depends as much on character and plot as the romance. I find purely physical sex boring; whether I'm writing erotica or romance, I'm focused on the characters, their emotions and sensations, fantasies and fears. So where does the difference reside?

It might just be the fact that I'm more used to writing erotica. That was my primary genre before I moved into the romance world. But introspection suggests that is not the main reason.

To be honest, when I'm writing romance, I think I worry too much about whether I'm following the conventions. I wonder whether I'm doing enough to show the emotional bond between the characters. And I find myself censoring my language, concerned that my sex scenes might be too raw for romance readers. (In fact a few reviewers have faulted my sexual language for being overly "hard" or "strong" for their tastes, particularly in M/M encounters.) If I'm writing erotica, I feel like I can let go. In romance, I find myself holding back.

The tension and the self-censorship slow me down, I think. To write freely, you have to feel free, and I still don't feel that way when I'm working on romance. It does not come naturally. A good deal of the time, it's more work than it is fun.

In truth, I think my erotica is better written than my romance. This is rather discouraging, given the amount of time and effort I've invested in marketing myself as an author of erotic romance. But I'm not ready to give up yet! I do think I'm learning. And I really want to be able to write the sort of books that readers say they can't put down. So I'll grit my teeth and try to relax (!) and have fun. I'll focus on the love and let the sex fall where it may. And maybe, at some point, I'll be able to produce 5K of romance in an afternoon as easily as 5K of erotica.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Romance and E-Readers

By Anna Kathryn Lanier

Merry Christmas! I’m spending time with my in-laws and will check in from time to time, though, see what’s going on. Thanks for having me, Lisabet. First, I’m discussing the phenomenal sales of e-romances. Second, leave a comment on my topic or on my blurb and you could win a prize

I attended a conference in October 2008 where, during the question and answer panel, one of the visiting agents said that two things sell well during a bad economy – movie tickets and books, in particular, romance books. To back up this statement, The New York Times in an April 2009 article says, “While sales of adult fiction overall were basically flat last year, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks about 70 percent of retail sales, the romance category was up 7 percent [in 2008] after holding fairly steady for the previous four years.” It went on to say that Barnes and Noble reported that they expect a 4 to 6 percent decline in overall book sales for the year 2009, yet there's been an increase in romance sales since January.

Now, we have e-book readers, which has brought on a whole new playing field for readers. An area of publication that more established publishers all but sneered at has become the jewel of the industry. As The New York Times wrote on December 8, 2010 the sale of romance e-books is thriving. Matthew Shear, the executive vice president and publisher of St. Martin’s Press, says “Romance is becoming as popular in e-books as it is in print.”

The New York Times article would have us believe that this is because romance readers are ashamed of the covers on print books, embarrassed by the bare-chested men and scantily clad women that so often catch our eyes. With the advent of the ‘brown-paper bag’ for bookcovers, readers are snatching up romance books as never before, albeit as e-books. However, as the statics above show, romance has always been in the forefront of book sales. Romance has always outpaced the sales of all other genre, taking anywhere from 30-50% of the market.

According to the Romance Writers of America yearly report, romances generated $1.36 billion in sales in 2009. They made up more than fifty percent of the paperbacks sold and 25% of all books sold. In comparison, religion/inspirational books generated $770 million in sales, mystery $674 million, Sci Fi $554 and classical literary fiction $462.

Barnes and Noble, it seems, has had its head in the sand for the past two decades. According to William Lynch, the chief executive, Barnes and Noble has been a non-player in the romance field. But with the genre capturing 25% of the e-book market, it has decided to get on the romance bandwagon. Sometime next year, Lynch says he “expects the company’s e-book sales in romance to surpass its print sales.”

Even when the economy is on the down turn, romance sales bloom. When things look bleaker than bleak, people want hope, love and happiness. Romance novels give them that along with an escape from reality. And now, with e-readers, it gives it to them in a handy, take-along way. Most e-readers can hold hundreds, if not thousands of books.

Thousands of more choices, too. On average, a print romance book has a shelf life of about a month. E-books change all that. Now a book can have an unlimited life-span. Both Random House and Harlequin Enterprises are digitizing backlists of favorite authors, Harlequin to the tune of 10,000 titles dating back to 2002.

I do not believe the argument that romance is selling through the roof (a 27% increase at Sourcebooks this year) because of e-books. Romance has always sold through the roof. Romance has been the back-bone of the publishing industry for decades. Nor do I believe we buy e-books over paperbacks because we’re embarrassed to let other people know what we’re reading. I have proudly read my paperback romances in public.

No, I think the reason e-books are selling like hotcakes is due to the convenience of buying them. E-readers allow for the instant purchase of a book, no matter where the reader is. Sitting at home in one’s easy chair, at the airport waiting for a flight, at a restaurant talking with friends (“You have to get this book.” Bingo, go online and download the book then and there.). As long as wi-fi is available, a reader can instantly get a book.

Contrary to the recent snickering and whispers by the news media, the popularity of romance is nothing new. Romance novels have been at the top of the buyers’ lists for decades. It is no surprise to me at all that the genre is leading the e-book pack, too!

What’s your opinion in this argument? Do more people buy romance e-books because an e-reader hides the ‘naughty’ books they’re reading? Or are more e-romances being bought because it’s convenient?

Speaking of e-books, my latest story A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE was released on December 8, 2010 through The Wild Rose Press. It is now available for purchase for Kindle and will soon be available at Barnes and Noble for their nook.

Leave a comment and you can win a copy of A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE. I’ll draw for a winner on December 28th.


Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger. Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun. Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.

Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.

Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure?

Unedited Excerpt:

Jacob Scott raised a brow, then broke away from her hypnotic stare to glance at the shotgun pellets embedded in his wall. “You could have killed me.”

“You broke into the house in the middle of the night.”

He reached into his jeans’ pocket and pulled out his keys. “I didn’t break in. I have the damn key to my own front door.”

She put a hand on her hip and cocked her head. “And how was I to know it was you making all that noise? You’re not supposed to be here.”

Irritation boiled inside his gut. She was treating him like a criminal for entering his own home.

“Well, I am here and this is my house. And just who are you?”

She drew in a breath and glanced to her left. “Tessa Jones,” she mumbled.

The name rattled around in his brain. It was familiar. She was familiar, but he didn't think he'd actually met her before. He sure would have remembered that thick auburn hair and lush body if they'd been introduced. So, why did he know the name?

Oh, no. Not that Tessa Jones.

“Tessa Jones? The cook for Baxter’s Diner who burned down half of Spencerville after she started a kitchen fire last month?” Thrusting a hand through his hair, he shifted his weight “What are you doing in my house?”

Her face reddened as she glared at him. “I’m the cook for the cowboys here on the Triple H.”

What was Christina thinking? Hiring an arsonist as a cook?

What he thought must have shown on his face, because the hand on her hip fisted, bunching the flannel and inching it up to reveal more of her lovely thighs. Fire blazed in her eyes. “You know, things aren’t always what they appear to be.”

With that, she strode down the hallway to a bedroom and slammed the door behind her.

Also, I have a limited-edition A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE COOKBOOK. You can download the FREE pdf version of it off my website.

Anna Kathryn Lanier
More than Tumbleweeds
Heartwarming, Sensual Westerns

Friday, December 24, 2010

Review: Training the Receptionist

Training the Receptionist by Juniper Bell

Samhain Publishing 2010

Dana Arthur may be a native of Lowlife, Long Island, but she's nobody's fool. When she applies for the job of receptionist at the upscale consulting firm of Cowell & Dirk, she figures out pretty quickly that this is not your usual entry-level position. Simon Dirk, junior partner of the firm, requires more of his new employee than just answering phones and handling mail. Her new boss demands that she obey even his most outrageous commands and administers swift punishment when she errs in the slightest. Dana is surprised to discover that she's addicted to both the pleasure and the punishment Simon provides, largely because of the powerful yet sensitive man administering them.

Simon quickly comes to find his new receptionist indispensable. For a long time, he and his mentor Ethan Cowell have been seeking a worthy partner to join their kinky games. Dana's intelligence, daring and passion make her perfect for the role. As the two of them grow close, though, Simon realizes that he's not willing to share Dana, even with the man to whom he owes his life. He's ready to quit his job and abandon his commitments to Ethan, rather than be forced to let Cowell have her. Dana, however, has other ideas.

Let me get straight to the point. I loved this book! Of course, I'm a huge fan of stories with D/s themes, but I read lots of BDSM novels that do not get to me the way this one did. One reason for my enthusiasm is Ms. Bell's breezy, literate style. She gives Dana a highly distinctive voice: clever, funny, irreverent, and convincingly horny. Dana's the sort of woman I'd love to have as a friend (though she's a bit patronizing toward her best bud Brandi). You can't help but identify with her quest for an exit strategy that will get her out of her dead-end existence - as well as her constant state of arousal in the presence of her hunky, demanding boss.

The submissive secretary theme has been done a hundred times, but Juniper Bell manages to make it fresh. For one thing, Simon is ingenious and creative when it comes to the tests he sets for his trainee. Being forced to answer the phones while bound half-naked to a desk chair or having remotely-controlled vibrating balls in her sex is just the beginning. Also, Simon's approach to the trainee process makes him the perfect Dom. He always asks Dana if she's willing to comply, confident that her curiosity and desire to please will make her agree.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is the way it demolishes the notion that submissive women are wimpy, needy, cringing creatures without a will of their own. Dana Arthur proves that it takes courage and intelligence to submit - and that any dominant worth his whip will recognize that fact.

I highly recommend this sexy, tightly-written romance novella. I'm only sorry that it sat on my To-Be-Read list for such a long time. I didn't realize what I was missing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When Romance Becomes Erotica, And Why I Care

By Gianna Bruno (Guest Blogger)

First off, many thanks to Lisabet for offering me a guest spot today. I always enjoy the interesting, thoughtful posts and lively discussions, and it’s an honor to be here.

I'm known as somewhat of a cross-genre queen, and write science fiction and urban fantasy as well as spicy paranormal romance. I'm often asked why I started writing erotic romance, and with the publication of The Journey ( ) on December 7, why I chose to include BDSM and ménage in a love story with an action/adventure plot.

The answers to both questions are the same. Because the story called for it. Sure, I could have watered down the sex to be less graphic and, in fact, a few beta readers suggested that I do so.

So, why did I leave it in? Other readers felt the plot supported the scenes in question, and that they were an integral part of the story. I started out to write about a woman lost in the woods who was waylaid by fairies (that came to me in a dream). I knew from the beginning the human/fairy relationship would necessitate it be erotica. But I had no idea how far the plot would twist along a dark path until the heroine, Milena, mustered the courage to accept the challenge.

A main theme of The Journey is slavery and the slave trade just before the Civil War. Milena had to take extreme measures, including the granting of sexual favors, to find and free the hero, Thomas. And he had not been fully truthful with her about his dealings, causing great heartache and anguish. Milena's actions required the use of dark magic, which was justified to protect both herself and the escaped slaves.

I could have written The Journey as a traditional paranormal fantasy, perhaps even a sensual love story, but anything less than erotica was not sufficient to ply the dark depths of humanity and explore the misery of prejudice and violence against people because of race or religious beliefs. One contest judge commented that the BDSM in the story was "disturbing" but somehow did not find the torture and murder of innocent human beings to be at issue. I am always mystified that, in any genre, graphic violence rarely triggers the same reaction as graphic sex.

I did try and remove the erotic content from Hot Chocolate Kiss, ( a novelette published last January by Eternal Press, and the story stopped cold. I put it back in and it has garnered five star reviews even from readers who don't traditionally read erotica.

Andrew Richardson ( reviewed The Journey and commented, “The plot is well thought through, and enough to keep the reader gripped on its own,” and added it “rightly comes with a high heat rating. Gianna doesn’t pull any punches with this aspect, and writes the sex scenes with the same confidence as the story’s other elements. The erotic element is all in context, though, and fits seamlessly into the story.”

Why do I care? Because I want to tell the best story I can. Because my stories have deep, universal themes no matter if they are fantasy, science fiction, humor, romance, or erotica. Because I don't want to be typecast.

I've learned to trust my writer's instinct and stories the way they needs to be told, even if it means crossing into territory that I haven't previously explored. I’ve learned to trust my readers will “get it.”

My work in progress, a contemporary collection At Home With Peter and Sandra is highly erotic as well, though with a humorous tone. There are an awful lot of real life couples charting a new course and facing the same challenges as this fictional one in the suburbs of somewhere, and I want to craft something which brings that to life.

I'd love to have anyone who has read any of my stories share their thoughts. Haven't read any yet? Here's an excerpt an excerpt of The Journey.

Milena prepared a place on the floor, but before she could lie down, Hecabe's chanting and rocking began anew. Her eyes opened and stared into Milena's.

A male voice spoke. "Meet me in the forest. I have news of Thomas. Time grows short."

Milena's hands shook as she pulled on her boots and drew a cloak over her nightdress. Why had she not sought Hecabe's counsel sooner? She ran into the woods, fearing it might already be too late. Dead branches snapped under her feet. Clumps of wet snow fell from the pine boughs and landed with a thud on the sodden earth. A flock of bats flew overhead, headed for the safety of the thick forest growth.

Mist rose from the snow. Fairies materialized and swarmed around her; the furious beat of their wings raised a high-pitched whine.

Half as tall as she, they seemed fashioned out of silver strands of gossamer, clothed in cloaks of snowflake lace. Females, Milena surmised noting their firm, full breasts and silver haired pubes through the translucent garments.

The fairies surrounded Milena and guided her along the path for a good distance, until her feet were soaked and freezing.

A male fairy appeared, clad in the same lacy garments. Two heads taller than the females, his organ dangled nearly to his knees. A deep growl vibrated in Milena's ears raised a spiral of fear along her spine. He smacked his lips like a pig at the slop trough.

"I am Hamil, the guardian of the Forest Otherworld. Fear not, sister. I mean you no harm. You have prayed to the goddesses for news of your lost one who lives still. The creatures of the Otherworlds have conducted his pleas to you, over sands, oceans and through the woods. We can take you to him."

His was the same voice channeled through Hecabe, another sign the fairy spoke the truth. Thomas lived, and she had to find him.

There is a contest question posted on the header of my blog, ( The first reader to answer correctly HERE ON THIS SITE, wins their choice of The Journey or Hot Chocolate Kiss.

While you’re over there, scroll down to the bottom to view the trailers for both stories.

Here's wishing everyone all the greetings of the season, no matter what you celebrate!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rediscovering an Old Love

Like many authors, I started reading at an early age. I read everything - mysteries, historical novels, biographies, classics - but I especially loved science fiction. I still remember how intensely I entered the world of the Mushroom Planet. As I got a bit older, I discovered Bradbury, Asimov and Heinlein. The intellectual challenge of the Foundation Trilogy kept me up at night. Stranger in a Strange Land deeply influenced my views about sex and spirituality.

In the early nineties, I belonged to a science fiction book club started by a friend. That introduced me to new voices: Sherri Tepper, Oliva Butler, James Tiptree, Kate Wilhelm. Unfortunately, those monthly read/eat/talk orgies stopped after only a year. Since then, I haven't had the opportunity to read much scifi. For one thing, I've been busy writing my own fiction.

In the last few months, though, I've rediscovered my old love, as an author as well as a reader. One of my friends and colleagues writes fabulous scifi with an erotic slant. He has inspired me to try my own hand at the genre.

I'm now working on a near-future M/M novel about gender and politics (and love, of course). I also just finished the first draft of a novella I plan to submit to an anthology called "Seeing Stars". That story, "Bodies of Light", takes place on a star ship engaged in a mission to colonize a distant planet. Hard core scifi indeed!

I'm having a wonderful time exploring my old flame. However, I've come to realize that scifi is a particularly difficult genre to create - perhaps not as hard as historical fiction, but close. The reason? In scifi, the details really count. You're creating an alternative world, but you don't have a free hand. If you want to write realistic scifi, as opposed to fantasy, your premises must be grounded in fact and your explanations need to be consistent. I found this particularly true in writing "Bodies of Light", which as a background in quantum mechanics. (But don't worry! It's much more sexy than it is technical!)

In celebration of my rekindled interest in science fiction, I've posted a story on my website, an edited version of one of my first attempts at the genre - before Lisabet Sarai existed. You can read "The Ambassadors to G79-3" here. Compared to my current work, it's rather tame, but even back then (about twenty years ago, near as I can tell) I had erotic notions.

I haven't submitted either of my scifi works yet. I feel a bit like an amateur tackling this genre, despite my decade-plus publishing history. I don't know if I'll be successful. But I'm certainly having fun!

Calling Kate! You won!


Em Woods drew your name from Saturday's comments. Please email me at lisabet [at] so I can forward your info to her and she can send you your prize!

Thanks to all who left comments and encouragement for Em. Stay tuned for more contests here at Beyond Romance.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What I’ll Be Thinking About This Christmas

By Lucy Felthouse (Guest Blogger)

I’m not much of a Christmas person. I’m not religious, so therefore all Christmas is about for me is lots of hassle, expenditure and some time off work. With the latter being by far the best part. Oh, that and the chocolate, of course.

This year is going to be different. I’ll be safely ensconced in my warm house with my presents, nice soft bed, plenty of food, people I care about and some time to chill out. However, one of my closest friends won’t have the luxury of any of those things. My friend serves in the British Army and will be spending Christmas in Afghanistan. He’s resigned to this fate, but I can’t help thinking about how rubbish it is. I’ll be spending Christmas as I usually do, and yet my friend will be miles and miles away from home, never daring to fully relax, just in case.

My only consolation is that my friend will have some decent reading material to keep him occupied in the little downtime he gets. By then, he’ll have a copy of my latest erotic anthology on his laptop and it’ll make him smile. The title is Uniform Behaviour – Steamy Stories About Men and Women in Uniform. A percentage of the proceeds goes to UK charity Help for Heroes, a fund set up to help servicemen and women who have been wounded in current conflict. My friend has known all along that I planned to do this with the anthology and has naturally been behind me 100%. I just hope the anthology raises enough money to make a difference to the life of someone who’s put theirs on the line for their country.

So this Christmas I’ll be thinking about my friend and hoping he’s OK. I’ll also be hoping that people are loading up their brand new Kindles with copies of Uniform Behaviour and filling the charity coffers. That way, together we can help people who have served us and give something back.


Uniform Behaviour – Steamy Stories About Men and Women in Uniform

Do you get all weak-kneed at the sight of a grubby fireman or a hunky soldier? Perhaps immaculately-dressed waiting-on staff get you feeling frisky? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Uniform Behaviour contains sixteen smutty stories about firemen, soldiers, sailors, police, security guards and even waiters, priests and cleaners!

Delve into this anthology and enjoy steamy stories from established erotica authors including Justine Elyot, Craig J Sorensen, Victoria Blisse, Shermaine Williams, Elizabeth Coldwell and Lucy Felthouse. Uniform Behaviour also proudly introduces some exciting debut authors. So remember, you saw them here first!

As well as being written and compiled for your titillation, this anthology is also designed to do good. A portion of the proceeds from Uniform Behaviour will be donated to UK charity Help for Heroes, which helps those wounded in current conflict.

The stories in this anthology have been hand-picked by a uniform aficionado, so you can rest assured that only the sexiest erotic fiction lies in this eBook.

More information/buy now:


Lucy’s Bio:

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour - Steamy Stories About Men and Women in Uniform. Find out more at

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Freebies...

By Em Woods (Guest Blogger)

Wow. Coming up with a blog post this time of year that hasn’t been done over and over is just a touch bit difficult! So I pondered my situation and finally came up with an answer.

A free Christmas story…with the chance to win…a free Christmas story!

This post is the first of the two freebies…I hope you enjoy it. Now, the second comes in like this – read my story, post a comment below telling me why you liked it, and on Sunday I will draw one commenter’s name to win a free copy of my current release Christmas story, Chasing Alex from the Yule Be Mine collection at Total-e-Bound.

Sound good?

Great. Let’s get started…

Andy’s Christmas Gift by Em Woods

Andy jerked awake, his heart racing. He strained his ears, listening for what had dragged him out of his eggnog-induced sleep.

Was something coming down the chimney?

He ground his teeth together, cursing silently as his imagination ran amuck. Just when he thought he had himself under control again, every muscle in his body tensed when he heard quiet, carefully placed footsteps circling around the living room. The fine hairs on the back of his neck crept up as the creaking of the floor neared his bedroom.

His hand slid under his pillow and his fingers curled around the miniature Braves baseball bat hidden there. A guy couldn't be too careful these days. The soft slide of the wood against the cotton sheets was the only noise he made as he rolled carefully out of bed, then crept toward the door.

He rolled his head, stretching tight neck muscles. Andy had a feeling he knew who was lurking outside his door. The question was why. His eyes narrowed. He better not-

A loud crash echoed from the hallway.

-break anything.

Crap. That had to be the crystal vase he’d just put on the vanity table. Couldn’t that klutz do anything without knocking shit over?

Andy took a deep breath, blowing out slowly to ease his nerves, then tossed the bat down on the recliner chair in the corner. As he crossed back to the door, he caught a glimpse of his own lanky frame in the mirror hanging on the closet door. His hair was a disheveled blond mess and his chocolate brown eyes were highlighted with dark circles, showing his lack of sleep during the holiday season.

He opened the door just a enough to see if he was right. Resting his head on the door jam, he shook his head. Just as he’d thought, the vase was in a million pieces, scattered around the hardwood floor.

A slight movement caught his eye and left him staring, speechless. Underneath a furry Santa’s cap was a gorgeous specimen of male perfection - with wavy brown hair, green eyes, and nothing but skin- bent over cleaning up the mess, offering the smooth curves of his ass like a display at a buffet line.

And fuck if Andy didn’t want to drop to his knees and treat himself to what was hidden between those delicious cheeks. He sucked in a breath, stifling the moan that wanted to escape.

The man froze briefly at the tiny noise Andy must have made before turning rounded eyes in Andy’s direction.

The deer-in-headlight look tripped Andy’s heart and he knew he must have interrupted something. As the dread slid over his heart at his roommate possibly having a lover stashed somewhere, he pasted a smile on his lips. "Chad. Doing some late night remodeling?"

"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I didn't mean to break your... thing."

Andy felt his face heat as Chad’s eyes traveled down Andy’s bare chest and the boxers he’d chosen to sleep in.

Chad tilted his head a little, like he was trying to make out what was twitching under the thin material.

"You've destroyed every vase I’ve put there. How did you hit it this time?"

"I was distracted." Chad shrugged.

At the reminder his roommate might not be alone, Andy pulled back. "You’ve got company. I'll see you later."


Something indefinable in that one word, his name, stopped Andy from closing the door the final inch. His hands shook as he waited for whatever Chad had to say.

When it came, the tenor of Chad’s voice surprised Andy. Low, husky, and bedroom sexy. "Don't you want to see what I got you for Christmas?"

What? Chad was naked, presumably with someone waiting for him, and he wanted to exchange gifts? Andy gave himself a mental shake. "You're busy."

"Please." The pleading in Chad’s tone broke Andy’s resolve to play it safe and stay the hell out of the way.

"O-okay. What is it?" He intentionally left the door like it was. He only had so much will power, after all.

"You have to open the door, Andy."

Oh no.

Before Andy could stop him, Chad pushed the door open and leaned against the molding. Andy tried to keep his eyes locked with Chad’s, but the slight quirk of his lips said he knew Andy was struggling. “There’s no one else here, and the only company I want is right here.”

Andy flicked a glance down Chad’s body and his eyebrows shot up at the obvious interest displayed there. His mouth watered to taste the shiny bead of pre-cum sitting so pretty on the tip of Chad’s cock. Andy clenched his fists and stepped away from his friend.

It has to be the brandy we put in the eggnog. It has to be.

Where are you going, baby?”

Andy’s breath hitched in his chest and he sputtered, trying to get an answer, a protest, anything, past the lump in his throat. “Wha-what?”

Chad stepped forward, closing the distance between them, one hand sliding around Andy’s hip, the other around the nape of his neck. “I asked where you were going?”

Back to bed.”

Mmm.” Chad leaned closer, leaving only a tiny breath of air between them. “That sounds like a fabulous idea.”

Alone.” Why the hell am I protesting?

Chad’s tongue swept along Andy’s lips, then he nipped at Andy’s chin. “Can’t give you my present if you’re there alone, Andy.”

Oh, sweet God. Andy had dreamt of Chad doing precisely this for months. But now he wasn’t quite sure how to handle him now that Chad was coming on to him.

A sinful smile played at the corners of Chad’s mouth, like he knew the turmoil raging inside Andy. He dropped to his knees at Andy’s feet, slid his fingers into the gap of Andy’s boxers and pulled Andy’s cock through the opening. Slowly, maddeningly, Chad stroked the length of Andy’s erection, humming in appreciation.

Andy blindly reached for something to hold on to, but only found the smooth, steady stretch of Chad’s shoulders. Giving up on sanity and thoughts of lost friendships, Andy dug his fingers into the muscles there and arched his back, pushing his prick into the heat of Chad’s mouth.

Chad swallowed him down like he had been sucking Andy’s dick for years. His tongue swirled along the pulsing underside of Andy’s cock, dipping into the slit at the top when he pulled away.

Andy’s hands slipped from Chad’s shoulders to tangle in the dark curls on his head. He held Chad in place and drove his cock deep into Chad’s throat, earning a moan that vibrated up his shaft to pool in a tingling mass in his balls.

When Chad didn’t protest, Andy began fucking his mouth in earnest, wanting to make the most of his Christmas present, not wanting to think it would be the only time it happened.

Andy’s hips bucked when Chad curled his fingers around his balls and playfully tugged them as he slurped at Andy’s pulsing cock as it slid out of his mouth.

Chad stared up at him, questioning Andy without even saying a word.

Off the floor.” Andy waved a hand toward his king-size bed. “Hands and knees.”

Chad sprang from the floor like a cocker spaniel getting ready for a treat. Andy chuckled as the younger man landed in the center of the mattress on all fours, looking over his shoulder with hunger blazing in his emerald eyes.

Andy skimmed his hands lightly over the firm flesh displayed before him. Both men groaned, the easy touch causing both of their cocks to leak with need. Andy felt the urge to thrust into that perfect ass down to his toes, but Chad had offered himself up like a meal and Andy was going to take him up on it. Keeping his eyes locked with Chad’s, Andy leaned forward and buried his face between Chad’s cheeks, tonguing the tight pucker exposed for his play.

Chad pushed back against him, cursing and whimpering with each breach of his hole with Andy’s tongue.

Quick moments later, Andy grew impatient. He stretched to his bedside table and dug for the lube. Making fast work of it, he slicked two fingers and pressed through the clutching muscle guarding Chad’s ass.

Chad relaxed back onto Andy’s hand, fucking himself when Andy froze in wonder at the heat and constriction threatening to suck his fingers in completely.

Christ, man. Fuck me already.” Chad’s labored breathing sounded harsh in the near-silence of the room. And it served to give Andy the kick he needed. He pumped his fingers in and out of Chad’s chute, curling his fingertips to hit Chad’s gland with each withdrawal. Soon Chad was babbling, begging, for Andy’s prick inside him.

Pulling away, Andy snatched a condom from the still-open drawer and rolled it over his engorged cock. He added more lube, grabbed Chad’s hips and pushed into Chad’s hole with one smooth stroke.

Andy fell forward, breathing hard, inhaling the spicy scent of Chad’s cologne while he waited for Chad to adjust to his size. Jesus, he’s made to hold my cock. Andy pressed his forehead to Chad’s back, hiding his face from his new lover. It wouldn’t do to scare the man away with proclamations of love on their first time out of the gate.

Chad wiggled his hips, pushing back onto Andy’s dick. “Move, baby.”

And that’s what Andy did.

Picking up a fast rhythm, he pounded into Chad’s ass, twisting just a bit every so often to give a little extra stretch and burn to the already demanding pace he’d set.

Harder.” Chad seemed to struggle to get even that one word out but Andy was happy to oblige. He changed the angle of his thrusts and hit Chad’s prostate with each pass.

Chad grunted and his ass squeezed down on Andy’s cock. His head snapped back and every muscle in his compact body pulsed with the orgasm ripping though him.

Andy watched in amazement the sheer joy on Chad’s upturned face, and when Chad called his name, Andy fell over the edge, his cock throbbing with each spurt of cum filling the condom.

When his body gave back a bit of control, Andy pinched off the edge of the condom as he slid out of Chad’s body and slumped to the side. Andy rolled to the edge of the bed and dropped the spent condom in a small trashcan there. He curled back into Chad’s side, worried a bit when Chad kept his face averted.

Wow. That was some Christmas gift.” Andy kissed Chad’s neck, inhaling the musky smell of satisfied sex.

Oh, that wasn’t the present.” Chad’s breathless reply was muffled by the sheet balled in the corner of the bed.

Andy became very still. Had he read him wrong? No way.

Don’t freak out, okay?” Still muffled.

Andy licked his suddenly dry lips. “Okay.”

Chad tossed a bit on the mattress until he was facing Andy, their bodies flush against each other. “We’ve been friends for so long, Andy. I don’t even know where to start to make this be okay.”

Andy swallowed. Shit. Shit. Shit. Is he ending it already? They’d just gotten started, for fuck’s sake. He nodded, hoping the smile on his face was encouraging and not just plain scary.

Chad glanced down at where his free hand was toying with the silver chain that hung around Andy’s neck. “But…the thing is…”

He trailed off and Andy couldn’t help but feel cheated. “Just spit it out.” He snapped the words more harshly than he intended and he knew by the hurt in Chad’s gaze that he’d wounded the other man’s feelings. Andy took a deep breath. “Make it as simple as possible, and just say it. We’ll figure it out from there.”

The relief was palpable in the way Chad relaxed next to him. “Fine. I love you. I have since tenth grade when you kicked Aaron’s ass for sending me a fake rose on Valentine’s Day at school.”

Andy stared at Chad, his mind going a hundred miles an hour, but stuck on only one thing. He loves me? Oh my God. He loves me!

A shift in the mattress alerted him to Chad moving toward the end of the bed and he realized he must have stayed silent too long. Andy propped his head on one arm so he could watch Chad and gage his reaction. “Hey. Where you going?”

Chad stopped, turning his head to see Andy out of the corner of his eye. “Back to my room.”

Andy quirked one eyebrow up. “Indian-giver.”

Chad turned to face him fully now. “What are you on about now?”

You just gave me your heart, and you’re already taking it back?” Andy sniffed. “That’s hardly fair, don’t you think?”

The other man stayed silent, hope warring with fear in Chad’s face.

Andy launched himself forward to wrap an arm around Chad’s waist and pulled his friend - his lover - back up to lie down. He braced himself over Chad, their mouths inches apart. “But it’s too late. I won’t let you.”

Hope won and love shined from Chad’s eyes. “Why’s that?”

Andy lowered his mouth to settle on Chad’s, reveling in the immediate surrender as Chad parted his lips to welcome in the heated slide of his tongue against Chad’s. When they broke for air, Andy nuzzled in the crook of Chad’s neck. He took a deep breath and let the woodsy essence that was Chad wash away the doubt. “Because I love you, too. And I won’t let you go, now that you’re here.”

Chad framed Andy’s face between his palms, pressed their lips together, and whispered, "Merry Christmas, baby."

~~The End~~


Author info:

Em Woods is a working mom of two very active little boys who writes during the vampire hours. She writes gay romance for Total-E-Bound Publishing and her latest release came out on December 13th, titled: Chasing Alex.

Feel free to visit Em at her website/blog – for more information, or follow her at:,, and




Just returning from an eye-opening trip to Colorado, photographer Victor Schwartz knows planning a nature shoot in November to the Michigan Upper Peninsula is risky. However, trapping Alex Merit, his personal assistant, in a remote cabin with no one to focus on but him is exactly what Victor thinks will get the job done. He wants Alex to realize that there can be more between them than a working relationship. A lot more.

Alex can’t believe Victor is making him go on this damn trip. He has a to-do list a mile long, starting with submitting portfolios to impatient magazine editors and ending with putting a stop to lusting after his sexy boss. And that’s not to mention the snowstorm about to bury the Midwest.

Even though being stuck in a small cabin with Victor might not be at the top of Alex’s to-do list, Victor certainly stars in all of his dreams... so when dreams become reality, will they be able to get the ending right?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Happiest Day

I was happy the other day... I mean, I'm often happy, but that day I was especially conscious of the fact. I was pondering how much I love living here in my adopted country - how I enjoy my work - how my writing career is going moderately well - how I'm whittling away at the long list of things I have to do this month! Anyway, I started thinking, "I think I've been happier here that I ever was living in the States."

Then I stopped myself. I began remembering all the wonderful times I'd had, a decade ago, two decades ago. Parties. Vacations. Plain old ordinary days shared with my husband. Then I cast my mind back even further, to my graduate school days, when I was lithe and energetic, belly dancing, and hitch hiking across the country with my boyfriend, and making love...And I realized that it was a mistake to start making comparisons, to say, "This is the best time of my life."

Happiness isn't really a quantity that can be precisely measured. For one thing, there are a million shades of happy, aren't there? How do you compare the feelings you had at your wedding with those you experience when you learn that one of your students won an award - or when your best friend gets the news that she's cancer-free - or when you find a fabulous review of your latest book? Happiness is a heady blend of excitement, contentment, pride, confidence, relief, arousal, peace ... every happy experience involving different proportions.

More importantly, though, I think that the passion to measure and rank experiences robs them of their distinctiveness - and sets you up for disappointment. After a while you're not directly feeling the great things in life anymore. You're asking yourself, for example, "Is this trip to Japan as good as the last one?" "How does tonight's orgasm stack up against last night's?" "Do I love him as much as I loved X?" And if you find yourself answering in the negative, all at once your prior happiness goes sour. Yeah, it's good, sure, but it's not THAT good...

In the legend of Faust, the main character makes a pact with Mephistopheles. The devil will provide Faust with everything he desires: riches, happiness, sensual pleasure. On the day that Faust declares is his happiest day - the day he wants to never end - Faust agrees to give up his soul. I'm wondering if comparing one experience to the next on some kind of nebulous "happiness" scale is a step toward this kind of bargain, and this sort of result. When I compare one experience to another this way, I'm sucking out its soul.

My final realization (at the conclusion of all this philosophizing!) was that other kinds of comparisons are dangerous, too. For instance, when I compare my looks to other women, I'll find myself either gloating nastily about looking younger than many women my age, or feeling miserable about all my wrinkles, aches and pains. When I compare my sales, or my productivity,or my number of blog hits, to other authors, I'm likely to make myself depressed. It's difficult to write well when you're doubting your own capabilities or when you feel that you have no chance at success.

This realization is a bit of a wake-up call, and I'm planning to turn it into a New Year's resolution. In 2011 I will try not to compare intangibles - but just to enjoy the moment and be grateful.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gun Totin' Granny

By Ginger Simpson (Guest Blogger)

When my husband and I first moved to Tennessee, we lived in my son’s in-law’s house in Sparta, which is a couple of hours away from my grandson, Spencer. I was thrilled to be closer than California, and available to help with him when I could. He’s autistic in case you haven’t read any of my million posts that mention him. Still, moving here to be closer to him didn’t negate our need for income. Despite the great rental deal we were given, the outsourcing of jobs in the area had really damaged the economy there, and my husband had no luck finding employment.

He decided to try being a handyman, and he did secure a couple of jobs, but that was what most out-of-work men were doing to earn cash. Together we decided that he’d try the trucking industry, but until his earning began, I decided to look for a temporary position.

I visited the local employment office and was immediately sent to the White County Sheriff’s office for an interview. Imagine my surprise when I got there and discovered I was asking to be considered for a Correctional Officer Position in the county jail. I went through with the interview, even tried not to squirm when the Jail Administrator showed me a picture of him beat to a pulp by one of the inmates, and left certain I’d never be hired at my age with no experience at all in the field.

Shock of shocks…when I got home, I found a message on the recorder…I got the job! I showed up the next day, got my uniform pants, was informed I needed a gun and all the accessories. I made a quick trip to a uniform store in a neighboring town and bought a utility belt, holster, cuffs, pepper spray holder, stays to keep everything in place, and two black shirts that said, “Sheriff” on the back. I kept asking myself, “what are you thinking?

Anyhow to make a long story short, I worked there for a year, and I loved it. It was probably one of the most exciting positions I’ve ever held and, from that experience, I gained fodder for my recently-released novel, First Degree Innocence. The title stemmed from all the claims of innocence I heard daily. It seems no one in jail is guilty. I honestly believe that 90% of the women incarcerated are there because of their involvement with a man. Anyhow that seemed to be the case. The county facility also housed state inmates because of the over-crowding in the prison system, so we had our hands full. I was shocked that most want to go to prison because life there is simpler than in the county jail.

Of all the experiences I had, I can’t adequately explain how awesome it was to shoot a gun for the very first time and score the highest of all those qualifying at the time. That included the deputies. I sure never expected to become a gun-totin’ granny, but the experience was worth every minute of it. If I was twenty years younger, I’d go back in a hot minute.

So, I hope you’ll read the exciting story of Carrie Lang, my heroine who is wrongfully convicted for a crime she didn’t commit. Here’s the video to give you a little taste:

You can buy the book from Amazon or other outlets.

Want more? Drop by my blog for more information on me and my books - and a few laughs, too: