Thursday, August 30, 2012

The End and the Means

A few days ago, the New York Times featured an article about a man who made a small fortune running a business that sold positive book reviews to authors trying to promote their work. Reading it left a sour taste in my mouth and a queasy feeling in my stomach. The gentleman in question didn't see anything wrong with his business model (author pays X dollars for Y positive reviews - where X could be in the hundreds or even thousands). Neither, apparently, did the authors who utilized his services.

You've written a sensational book. However, no one will ever know if you don't get people to read the book, to talk about it and to recommend it to their friends. Rave reviews are simply one way to attract attention. And if you truly believe that your book deserves that attention, why not pay someone to help get the word out? Plugs-for-pay aren't all that different from paid advertising, right? And nobody objects to that!

Anyway, the end justifies the means, doesn't it? If you succeed in making your book a best-seller (as a few of this guy's customers apparently did), you've accomplished your objective. And your book really is wonderful... the reviews aren't lies...

Sorry. I know I'm old-fashioned, but a review is supposed to reflect the real reactions of the person who wrote it. It's worthless if it's no more than praise-for-hire. And pretending to be a sincere reviewer when you're actually employed to say nice things is just plain unethical. There's no gray area here, at least not for me.

I review for several sites. This month marks my sixtieth review for Erotica Revealed. I get the books for free (that's standard practice) and sometimes, they're written by people I know. Nevertheless, I put a lot of mental energy into being honest, even when that honesty might hurt. I'm always careful to indicate that my reviews reflect my personal opinions, but if a book disappoints me, I'll say so. (Or, occasionally, I won't review it at all.)

Still, it's naive to think that this guy outed by the Times is the only person out there making money in this way. The article estimates that at a hefty proportion of the "reader reviews" on Amazon are fake. That's so depressing!

The trouble is, although I deplore this entrepreneur's business premise, he's right. Without lots of positive buzz, your book has a vanishingly small probability of being noticed. Anyone who's honest is very likely dooming herself to literary obscurity.

I don't care that much. I'd love for my books to become best-sellers, but that's not why I write. As long as the readers who do find me enjoy my work, I'm fairly satisfied. Sure, I'd love to sell thousands of copies (I can't even imagine what it would be like to sell millions), but I'm not willing to compromise my principles for success. For me, the means matter.

It's a slippery slope, though. Every day I get emails from fellow authors asking me to "like" and "tag" books I haven't read. Is this dishonest? I've decided that it's not - exactly... I'm not claiming I've read the book, after all. It's perfectly reasonable to give a thumbs up if the cover or the blurb appeals to me (and I always do read the blurb first). Still, in our efforts to support one another, I think we authors should consider the ethical aspects.

Otherwise, it's like making a bargain with the devil.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From Writer to Author?

By H K Carlton (Guest Blogger)

I love to read. I don’t even remember the cognitive act of ‘learning’ how to read. It was just something I always knew how to do. I’ve found that most authors are voracious readers. It is a love of words and how you can string them together to paint a picture for someone else. To have your audience create in their own minds that scene you have envisioned from the beginning and to perhaps even feel the emotion those words were meant to evoke. As a writer there is no stronger praise than for your reader to feel your words.

I’ve always jotted things down but never really thought anyone else would be interested in my ramblings until this one particular idea wouldn't leave me alone. To make a long story short, (my editors would laugh at that statement, I’m kinda wordy) by the time I was finished I’d written my first historical romance. I knew this time was different. I’d really enjoyed creating and developing the characters; twisting and shaping the plot, taking it farther than I ever thought it would go. I asked my sister to read it. Which was a big step for me. I don’t think I’d allowed anyone to read my stories since creative writing class back in elementary school. But that’s something else I’ve found. Some writers are afraid of rejection, so we just don’t put ourselves out there; in the beginning, anyway. My sister liked it and she encouraged me to send it out. But she’s my sister, the one who has always had my back and encouraged me when I thought that I couldn’t do something. She’d tell me anything to make me feel good about myself. But, then again, she’d also never lied to me and she would never encourage me to do something that she knew in her heart I would fail at.

I decided to send out my first manuscript, all polished and pretty, or so I thought. I read up on the specific guidelines of potential publishers. And learned quickly that every publisher has a different set of requirements. Double-spaced or 1.5; Book Antiqua or Times New Roman font; first three chapters and final or the entire manuscript, saved as a .doc, .docx or .rtf... WTF!

And certainly always punctuated with the ever-daunting reminder that if even one of the specifications outlined are not followed, your work will be deleted without being reviewed. Then you wait. Anywhere from six weeks to ten months for a response, which can be even more unbearable if the publisher will not accept simultaneous submissions. Or worse yet, the publisher leaves you hanging in that state of angst-ridden limbo for a year and a half with several politely written if not error-filled e-mails (should have been my first clue right there) that 'your work has moved passed the first stage of review, however no decision has been reached, thank you for your continued patience'; until that patience runs out and you retract your submission out of pure self- preservation. (And then they don't even have the common courtesy to respond at all!) But I'm not bitter.

My manuscript was declined, once, twice, three times…

In the meantime I kept writing. I wrote a new historical romance from beginning to end. I started another story that took on a life of its own. I’m not even sure what genre it might fit into but I do know that if it sees the light of day, it will be a series. I wrote down anything and everything that came into my mind. I found the more I wrote down, the more room I had in my head for other stories to come through. It was like a flood of creativity. If I’d only known sooner.

Then I went through a period of not writing at all. I didn’t even read. I was so discouraged. What if I couldn’t cut it? Maybe I was not even a writer, so ‘author’ might just be unattainable. Maybe my stories only entertained me; perhaps they should stay in my head. But I’m lucky because I have some of the best cheerleaders in the world, in my children who also have great talents and big dreams that I pray someday they will also be fortunate enough to achieve. They wouldn’t allow me to give up. “Keep sending those manuscripts out, Mom, they’ll find a home.” My daughter even went as far as to find examples of famous authors who had been rejected in the beginning. A hundred times? Really? I didn't think I had the fortitude to struggle that long.

So, I sat down with my laptop and I started something completely different. Something I’d never done before. It wasn’t even my genre. It was so far out of my comfort zone that I didn’t even have the vocabulary for it. Who knew there were dictionaries and thesauruses for those kinds of words? Some I’d heard of, maybe even said a few times, some I’d never heard of and some I know that I will never use in my own writing. But I kept at it, finished it, polished it, did some much needed research and sent out my first erotic works to Total E-Bound for consideration, Chapters 1-3 and Final. And to my surprise I was asked to submit the entire manuscript. And to my utter disbelief and excitement I was offered my first contract to be published.

So, is that it? Is that the distinguishing bar that we must achieve to be considered an Author? I’m not entirely sure but it feels different. Knowing that someone other than your ‘sister’ might be entertained for a while by those carefully chosen words. Don’t get me wrong; I still have those ‘I’m not worthy’ moments and new author insecurities, more often than not. I am floundering my way through all these new things that I’ve never done before, from my first round of editing to the marketing and self-promotion. I'm second-guessing myself at every turn, but I love every minute of it. And maybe I’ve even shown my children that you’re never too old to chase your dreams. 

Oh and by the way, Muse It Up Publishing will release that ever-elusive first historical romance in February 2013. My kids were right. It found a home. And funnily enough the title is You Found Me. And thankfully it didn’t take me a hundred rejections.

There are so many people to thank. My sister and my kiddies, of course - they know how I love them. I have come into contact with so many incredibly talented and giving people, some that I will probably never have the good fortune to meet in person, but they have changed my life and helped me realise my dream. From the moment I hit that send button that took my manuscript to TEB things changed for me in a positive way. I was lucky enough to be paired with a fantastic editor, supportive and patient. She guided me, shared advice and made the whole process warm and fun. She put me at ease and made it seem like we were not thousands of miles apart. She is the best.

I was blessed with a gifted artist who created my very first cover and I could sense from our very first communication, that she was a fun-loving spirit. She just made me happy. I was thrilled to see my first cover, and she seemed genuinely excited for me. Her energy is contagious.

I feel like I have two new families. My TEB family in the UK and my Muse It Up family in Canada. Thank you all. I’m almost done gushing! I warned ya I was wordy.

And last, speaking of incredibly talented and giving people, I would like to thank Lisabet for having me as a guest at Beyond Romance today and for the great advice and never-ending patience with all of my questions and e-mails. I appreciate how open and available you are to new authors. You lead by example. Thank you.
You'll also be happy to know that I am a virgin at guest blogging. Yes, Lisabet, you are my first. ;) This starts a week full of firsts for me. I am honoured to share them with you.

Look for my debut Erotic Romance Swap Monday, October 1, 2012. But you can pre-order Swap and save 15% until September 3rd, 2012, when it becomes available to buy and download at Total E-Bound also at a discount.


Hailey Hollinger has it all—a great husband, a fantastic career in journalism, good friends…and one hot brother-in-law who won’t stay out of her fantasies.

When Hailey Hollinger was eighteen she thought her boyfriend, Brent, was the best-looking guy around. That was until he introduced her to his older brother, Mike. From that moment on she had the biggest crush on him and he became the star of all her teenage fantasies. Hailey’s all grown up now and has been married to Brent for three years. They have great careers, a nice house—they enjoy life and each other. Everything is supposed to be perfect. Except for that pesky little infatuation with her husband’s brother has never completely gone away. A crush, by nature and definition, is supposed to be short-lived and should diminish over time. But, unfortunately for Hailey, it hasn’t, and it is beginning to mess with what she thinks should be perfection. And if her life is so great, why does she then find herself groping her brother-in-law in the cab of his truck like some sex-starved teenager? And the biggest question yet—why is he groping her right back?


He turned to face me and, to my surprise, he reached out and tucked my hair behind my ear. “You’re really lame, ya know?” He laughed at my expense.

And the eighties lines are alive and well. I know I’m lame, but you love me anyway,” I tossed his words from earlier back at him.

His smile slipped. “Yeah. I do.”

Something in his voice made every body part I owned turn liquid. In my head, I rushed to tell myself that he meant ‘like a brother’ and that he’d had a few beers, but his next words stopped my thought process cold.

You might be the only thing I’ve ever envied about my little brother.”

He moved his hand to the side of my neck and grazed my cheek with his thumb. Then his lips were there, hovering in front of mine as if he were seeking permission. My senses swam with the possibilities. I pounced, seizing what might be my only opportunity to kiss him. I didn’t hold back—he experienced the full-on, ravenous impact of years of worship and sexual fantasies that had run the gamut from sweet, innocent, eighteen-year-old’s kisses to the tantalising nocturnal fantasy that I‘d created just the night before.

I flattened my chest against his, trying to get inside his coat. He spun me around and nudged me onto the seat of the truck. I didn’t want to separate from his lips, afraid that if we lost contact, he would call a halt to this. So I fisted my hands into his shirt and hauled him in after me, opening my legs and welcoming him towards my heat. I crabbed toward the driver’s side, hitting the steering wheel, then released his shirt long enough to grope for the tilt-steering lever and pushed the wheel up to give us a little extra room. He was not a small man. The thought shot another little thrill through my already highly sensitised body.

He reached backward with one arm, trying to close the door, but I pulled him towards me with all my strength. I wanted to get as much as I could before he put a stop to this. I knew he would. He was too nice a guy to let this happen. What did that say about me?

Let me get the door,” he said against my mouth, his breathing choppy and heavy.

I released him for long enough that he could reach behind him. The door clicked and I didn’t even have to coax him back—he was there and kissing me as I strained to get closer to him. I could feel his erection digging into my wet heat through my jeans. I rubbed my aching cunt shamelessly over his rock-hard cock. I couldn’t stop the sounds of need that kept erupting from the back of my throat. I wanted him more than I’d ever wanted anything, and at this very moment I didn’t care about anything else. Not Brent. Not Cheryl. Not even the fact that I was probably making a fool of myself. There was one thing on my mind, and that was getting him into my body.

I pulled at the bottom of his T-shirt, moving it up his chest as he pushed at mine, his large, warm palm passing over my ribs. Skin met skin, but it wasn’t enough for me. I let him push my T all the way up, exposing my bra. He smoothed his hand over me, cupping my breast. I pushed myself into his hand. My nipple pearled in his palm. He gave me a soft squeeze as he hunted around back for the hooks, but the bra had a front clasp. I made a protest into his mouth as I directed his hand back around to the front. He undid my bra, setting my breasts free, and he moved his mouth from my lips, down my neck, finally fastening around my nipple.

I moaned at the sensation, arching my back, giving him full access. He growled in return and I wanted to laugh out loud. This was incredible. He swirled his tongue, making me tighten even more—not only my nipple, but deep down inside me. The sensation of his lips and tongue around my breast coupled with his erection pulsing between my legs. I could almost imagine he was inside me. If not for the goddamn clothes between us, he would be. I wanted it. I wanted it now.

Author Bio and Links

H K Carlton lives in Canada with her hard-working hubby and three fantastic children. She loves to read. She is learning to Blog and Tweet but would much rather be writing. She is currently working on a contemporary romance and a family saga series.

Swap (Erotic Contemporary Romance) October 1, 2012
Pre-order Swap and save

Watch for Lost Time (Time-Travel Erotic Romance) February 25, 2013 Total E-Bound

You Found Me (Historical Romance) Muse It Up (February 2013)

Contest Giveaway

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a $10 Total E-Bound gift certificate. Good luck, everyone! Don’t forget to leave an e-mail address with your comment. I'll announce the winner on August 31, 2012.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Inventor of the Ebook

Who invented the ebook - a book in digital form that could be read, stored and transmitted via a computer?

I'll tell you one thing - it wasn't Jeff Bezos!

You may never have heard of Michael S. Hart, but he'd generally considered to have originated the concept of computer based books - back in 1971! Michael founded the Gutenberg Project, a non-profit effort to digitize as much of the world's literature as possible, and make it available free of charge in ebook format.

Michael died last year (you can read his obituary here) but his work lives on. The Gutenberg Project currently offers over 40,000 titles, in various digital formats, with more being added all the time. (Thirty books had been added in the last twenty four hours, when I checked earlier today!)

I had the notion recently that I wanted to reread Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, two favorites from my teens. I hopped over to the Gutenberg site and in ten minutes I had both titles on my tablet.

Today I needed some text from Emma. Gutenberg came through, once again. But Gutenberg offers a lot more than classics. Contemporary authors can offer their books free as well. And now Gutenberg has a self-publishing portal to help authors prepare books for free distribution.

So next time you're complaining that you have nothing to read, and that you've used up your book budget for the month, check out the Gutenberg Project. I guarantee you'll find something of interest - and it won't cost you a red cent (though donations to the project are always welcome).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Perfect Mate

[Today I'm featuring a sneak peak at Mina Carter's new paranormal erotic romance, Perfect Mate. Enjoy!]

Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late night emergency is wheeled in.
Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near fatal wound in mere hours.
When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?
Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm, and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.
Copyright © 2012 Mina Carter
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
She couldn’t believe she was crying. Lillian didn’t cry. Ever. She was tougher than that. Tougher than the stereotypical little woman who fell apart at the first sign of danger… Or the mother who couldn’t cope after the death of her husband and hightailed it to her lover with teary demands to “make the nightmare go away”. And conveniently forgot the fact she’d left her baby daughter behind.
She was not that woman, nor anything like her.
Once in the corridor, away from the stench of death and the sight of all that black, wrong blood, she stepped away from Jack and swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. Despite the fact he’d just killed a man, there was something about him that made her feel safe. Safe with a murderer. Okay, now she knew she was losing it. Perhaps insanity ran in her family and they’d just never told her?
I’m sorry. I’m not normally like this,” she apologized as she looked up and offered a small, teary smile. Her mouth already open to explain, she stopped.
He was gorgeous.
She’d known that. When they’d brought him in, her mind had told her that he was sex on a stick. But he’d been injured, a patient. Even though she was the hospital manager, she was bound by the patient-doctor thing, surely? The one that said “thou shalt not lust after the patients”.
Now though, without all the blood and the ragged uniform—even in the hospital gown that did nothing for anyone—he was so good-looking it took her breath away. She shook her head slightly, waiting for the hidden cameras and some cheesy reality show host to burst out of the supply cabinet in the corridor next to them. He couldn’t be for real. Soldiers just didn’t look that good.
With warm amber eyes set above sharp cheekbones, his face was bisected by a strong, straight nose over sensually full lips. A severe buzz-cut merely highlighted his attractiveness, concentrating all attention on his face. He should be strutting his stuff on a catwalk, not getting down and dirty playing soldier.
Her eyes travelled downward, and the rest of him more than fulfilled the promise of his face. He was toned…hell no, he was ripped. Even his muscles had muscles. Tall and broad shouldered, he was built like a quarterback, and his life had obviously been one of violence. Old scars dotted his skin like a mad artist had gone to town with his body as the canvas.
I know you’re not. You’re strong.”
His words drew her attention back to his face. His eyes were blue again. He smiled, which almost robbed her of reason, but she held onto the thought for grim death. No one’s eyes changed that fast. What the hell have they done to him?
Your eyes… What the hell are you?”
The smile turned cold, his features freezing around it and locking it into place. In hindsight, perhaps a demand for information wasn’t the best way to deal with this, especially after what had gone on in the room behind them. Walker was slumped, dead, but somehow she knew Jack wouldn’t hurt her.
He moved toward her. Only three steps, but with those blue eyes intent upon her, it seemed more like a stalk. With every movement he made, her instincts screamed “predator”.
She held her ground, tilting her head to look at him as he neared. He stopped inches away from her, so close the heat of his body beat at her skin even through her clothing and his gown.
We don’t have time for this, Lilly.”
He lifted a hand to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. As though he couldn’t stop touching her, he stroked a gentle finger down her cheekbone to the corner of her lips. It took everything she had not to turn her head and press into the small caress, but she held true to her purpose, her eyes on his.
Make time.”
His lips quirked, and everything female in her went into meltdown. He had to know the effect he had on women, so she ignored the reaction and met him look for look.
Stubborn little minx.”
She choked. “What did you call me?”
Minx,” he repeated, lowering his head and brushing his lips over hers to silence her. As a tactic, it worked. The first touch of his lips, warm and firm over hers, was like setting light to kindling. Heat flared and caught, racing through her body like wildfire.
She moaned, unable to stop her lips parting automatically in invitation. No matter what her mind was screaming about the dead guy in the next room and the possibility the hunk stood in front of her wasn’t just human, her body knew what it wanted, and what it intended to get.
He didn’t pass up the invitation. Groaning, he moved closer and deepened the kiss. With a ruthless sweep of his tongue, he parted her lips farther and slid into the softer recesses of her mouth. She shivered, hot and cold chills chasing over her skin as he kissed her in the darkness of the corridor.
She’d been kissed before and, as she’d thought anyway, she’d been kissed well. This was something else entirely. He kissed her as if there was nothing else in the world. As if she was his sun, his moon and stars…his everything. He didn’t kiss her, he made love to her with his lips and tongue.
Abruptly he broke away, tearing his mouth from hers. With a groan of frustration, he leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers.
I don’t want to let you go.” The tone in his voice pulled on her heartstrings. “When they brought me in, there was just pain and blood…so much blood. Darkness was coming for me, and I was ready. But an angel called my name… I had to come back to see if she was as beautiful as she sounded.”
His words reached deep inside her. She already thought he was gorgeous, but to have him spouting words that…romantic wasn’t the word. The claim he’d come back just to see her, that hit her deep down and resonated in her soul.
She almost dared not ask the question, and when she did, her voice emerged breathy and hopeful. Like a teen finally meeting and speaking to her film idol in the flesh.
Oh yes, she was worth it.”
Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.
Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few.
A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She's addicted to coffee and Nutella on toast.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Snog: The Understudy

Oh, I have an exceptionally tasty snog for you this Sunday. This is from my BDSM erotic romance The Understudy - one of my favorite scenes!

Is there a future in playing stand-in to a slave?

Sarah Gladstone was thrilled to be offered her first real acting job at the Berks Summer Playhouse. She never expected to be working with theatre legend Geoffrey Hart. The charismatic actor quickly brings her under his spell, not to mention his control, as he initiates her into the dark delights of BDSM. He offers her far more than physical pleasure; they share a level of intimacy and trust beyond anything Sarah could have imagined.

According to the rumours, though, Geoff's heart is taken. Renowned actress Anne Merrill, his long time partner and submissive lover, has severed their relationship and Hart has escaped to the Berkshires to lick his emotional wounds. With her youth, inexperience, and girl-next-door persona, Sarah knows that she can't compete with the glamorous theatre veteran. She fears that she's just a substitute for the real object of Geoff's affections. As he draws her deeper into his intoxicating games of dominance and submission, Sarah wonders if she's willing to settle for the role of understudy in this perverse passion play.

Don't forget to visit Victoria's Sunday Snog Central and check out her kiss - always a treat - and those of the other authors participating in snoggery today!


“May I leave?” I asked, my voice a weak quaver that disgusted me. Why was I asking, anyway? Who was he to tell me what to do?

“Not yet. I need your help unpacking. Go open the bag you carried up. It’s not locked.”

No, I wanted to scream. But I obeyed him anyway, pressing the chrome-plated catch on the sleek grey Samsonite case and flipping up the lid.

I gasped when I saw the contents. “It’s true!” I blurted out.

Hart came up behind me and looked over my shoulder. He didn’t touch me, but his mere presence was overpowering. “What’s true?”

I heard laughter in his voice. I pointed at the leather restraints and the rubber paddles, my hand shaking. “That—that you’re kinky. Into S and M, just like Adele said.”

“I prefer the term ‘D and S.’ Dominance and submission. My focus is on the exchange of power, not the administration of pain. Though I’m not averse to using pain if that’s the right thing to do.”

“The right thing to do?” I turned to face him, hiding behind my indignation. “Are you joking?”

He was close, too close for comfort, deliberately invading my personal space. I tried to step backward. I succeeded only in banging my shin against the luggage rack.


His eyes drilled into me. “I’m completely serious. D and S is not a game, despite the way it’s portrayed in popular culture. It’s not a fashion statement. It’s much, much more, a new way of being in the world. A doorway into a new kind of relationship, deeper and more intimate than anything you can imagine.”

“Right,” I muttered. I couldn’t bear to look at him. I stared down at my sandals, feeling the blush crawling up my cheeks and across my chest. “I’m sure that’s what all the perverts say.”

He caught my chin under his forefinger and raised my eyes to his. I trembled when his skin met mine.

“I can’t pretend it’s not exciting, of course—trying new implements, pushing the sub’s limits, testing her devotion. But that’s not the main point.”

I burned in the heat of his stare. I felt myself begin to melt, the crotch of my jeans growing damper with every beat of my pulse. I didn’t want to listen but I couldn’t hide my fascination.

He stroked his thumb across my cheek. I held my breath, wanting him to stop, dying for him to go further.

“Aren’t you curious, Sarah? Wouldn’t you like to drop your diligent, high-achieving, good little girl persona and find out what’s underneath?”

I couldn’t answer. How did he know these things about me, this man I’d met less than a half hour ago? Did he really understand the way I’d pushed myself in college and grad school, working for the top grades, following the rules, determined to succeed in my chosen path despite the odds? Did he know that I hadn’t had a lover for nearly four years? I hadn’t had time. Anyway, I’d been all too aware of the fact that everyone around me was both a colleague and a competitor.

I saw compassion in his chiselled face, mingled with lust.

“I know you, little one. I know what you really crave. What you really need. Open yourself to me and I will fulfil the desires you don’t yet dare to admit, even to yourself.”

He didn’t wait for permission. He simply claimed my mouth as though it was his by right. I struggled for a moment, as his strong arm snaked around my waist and pulled me to his chest. Then I let go, let his tongue slide between my lips and his fingers slip under my shirt.

His mouth was muscular and insistent. I tasted his expensive liquor and his foreign cigarettes. I was in some kind of trance, swooning as he devoured my mouth and stroked my bare back. I felt him fumble briefly with the hooks on my bra, then blissful relief as my breasts were set free.

My nipples throbbed, aching for his touch. He released my mouth and held me at arm’s length.

“From now on, you will not wear a bra.”

Raising my shirt, he palmed my breasts, flicking his thumbs over the rigid tips. Each flick sent electric currents sizzling down to my engorged clit. New moisture flooded my pussy. I could smell myself, like tidal flats baking under the summer sun. His flaring nostrils told me that he caught the same scent.

“Is that understood?” He pinched a nipple and pain arced through me like lightning. Then like thunder, pleasure rolled in.

“Ow! Oh…!”

His hard thigh pushed into the gap between my thighs, stealing my answer. I tried to nod. I was ready to agree to anything as long as he continued to touch me. He kissed me again, forcing me open and plunging his rude tongue down my throat.

Shameless, driven, I ground my denim-covered pussy against his invading leg. His male scent rose around me, the cologne tempered now with the musk of his sweat. He gripped my ass and pulled me closer. His rock-hard erection prodded my belly. The knowledge that he wanted me—that I pleased him—took me to the edge. I hovered there at the tipping point, ready to topple into climax while he squeezed my butt and ravaged my mouth.

His lips slipped away from mine. He nibbled his way along the line of my jaw, kindling sparks and I felt his warm breath in my ear. “I knew it, Sarah. You’re a perfect slut.”

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Interview with Koll and Gilby from MATING SEASON

By Allie Ritch (Guest Blogger)

Mating season on the arctic planet of Jensen is a time for eligible men to winter with a potential spouse. In the past, Koll’s big size and gruff disposition have scared off many available women. When Shila literally falls into his arms, he hopes maybe this year will be different.

Shila belongs to a race of shifters who are able to transform into enormous frost bears. She loves Koll’s large body and sexy growl, and she understands the benefit of having a strong protector. With two male shifters stalking her, she needs Koll to keep her safe. But can he defeat the competition?

Interviewer (female): “Hi, Koll. Thanks so much for meeting with me today.”

Koll: Grunts.

Gilby: “Hello, there. We’re happy to be here. In wintertime, we don’t get to meet a lot of new people in our village. Only a couple of traders who come through, and not many of them. I’m Gilby, by the way. I can’t help but notice you’re not wearing a man’s ribbon in your hair. Does that mean you don’t have a mate for the winter? Are you available?”

Interviewer: “Um…hi, Gilby.” Shakes head. “So, Koll, I understand you searched for a long time to find a woman to winter with you.”

Gilby: “A really long time! My friend here isn’t exactly good with females. He thinks his big size scares them off, but I say it has more to do with his lack of social skills.”

Koll: Growls.

Gilby: “See what I mean.”

Interviewer: “But you’re happily mated now, aren’t you, Koll? To Shila. She’s part of a race of frost-bear shifters, isn’t she?”

Koll: “Yes.”

Gilby: “Her people are called the Children of Nanook. Shila says they were like us villagers when they first came to this planet, but the bacteria here made them sick. Their leader, Nanook, merged his spirit with that of the native frost bear, leading the way for the rest of his people. Koll and I grew up hearing stories about the Children of Nanook, but we thought they were just a myth. Then Shila came along. You should see her when she’s a bear. She’s huge! Big claws, scary teeth, snowy fur.”

Koll: “My mate is beautiful.”

Interviewer: “I’d love to meet her. I’m sorry she couldn’t join us.”

Koll: “Shila is roaming. She doesn’t like being cooped up inside for long.”

Gilby: Shivers. “It’s freezing out there. Me, I prefer to stay inside where it’s warm. And where there are people to talk to. Where did you say you were from? Are there lots of women in your village?”

Interviewer: “Okay. Thank you, Koll…and Gilby. Best of luck with the rest of the mating season.”

Koll: “Bye.”

Gilby: “I’ll walk you out. Wouldn’t want you to trip and fall into a snow drift or anything. Let me tell you about the time I…”

[The door shuts behind them.]

After popping off her snowshoes, he got her tucked securely under the furs before climbing on behind her and pulling up the brake. With a low grunt of sound, he signaled Greyfell to run, and the hound immediately obeyed. They shot forward, heading homeward once more. Koll stayed alert for danger, only stealing occasional glances at the beautiful woman in his sled.

The extra weight slowed their travel. It was closer to dawn than dusk when they finally reached his house. Koll carried the woman inside and laid her on his bed before stripping his gear and seeing to Greyfell. The hound’s head reached Koll’s chest, giving him a clear view of the animal’s large black tongue as he panted. He stripped off Greyfell’s protective boots and rubbed him down with a towel before settling the hound in the kennel attached to the house.

Then Koll built a fire before returning his attention to his new guest. When he’d planned to bring a woman here, this wasn’t quite what he’d had in mind. She was still sound asleep and probably would be for hours. He needed to get her out of those wet clothes, a thought that aroused him and made him feel awkward at the same time.

After what she’d been through, he wanted to tell her that he meant no harm. As much as she stirred his body, her vulnerability moved him and made him want to comfort her. He should have told her she was safe. He should have promised his help immediately when she’d asked. At the time, he’d been so focused on assessing the threat he hadn’t thought to offer her reassurance. Hadn’t he learned that females needed gentle words?

Stupid lout,” Koll grumbled to himself.

He wasn’t good with words, but he could have said something. No need for poetry.

Lifting one of the extra fur blankets from the foot of the bed, he held it in front of him like a shield as he walked toward the woman. The firelight bathed her like sunrise and brought a rosier hue to her skin. Very carefully, he laid the blanket over her lap, though she was still covered by her leather pants. He propped her up with one arm while he used the other to peel off her wet coat and toss it aside.

One down. That was the easiest part.

Her sweater beneath was damp and clung to her skin. She was not a scrawny creature; she was heavy-boned and lushly curved. Not fat—she was built of surprisingly hard muscle for a woman—but she certainly wasn’t dainty. Sturdy was the word that came to his mind.

Pulling the blanket higher, Koll covered her chest with it while he wrestled off her top. He groaned when he brushed his callused hand over the bare skin of her back. She was so damn soft. Soft and smooth and delectable.

His erection punched his fly so hard he winced. With a death grip on the blanket, he kept the covering in place, though what he really wanted was to let it drop. He ground his teeth in determination and protected her modesty as he lowered her torso back onto the bed. Stepping back from temptation, he moved to her feet.

Koll had never paid much attention to a woman’s feet before, yet he found himself captivated when he bared hers. They were beautifully shaped, arched in the right place, and just as smooth and pale as the rest of her. And they were big. Although they weren’t absurdly so, her feet were definitely very large for a female. He must be going mad because that turned him on even more.

Unable to stop himself, he slid the blanket up her long, endless legs. Of course they probably only seemed lengthy because she was so tall. He was pretty sure she was proportioned longer in the torso, but that didn’t matter. There was just so much of her to explore, and every part had fresh heat racing to his cock.

By the time he had the blanket to her waist, his hands shook. He fumbled with the fastening of her pants and felt as if he were gasping for air as he dragged the leather down along with her underwear. At the last possible moment, the blanket hooked on her belt and slipped down to conceal her privates. It stopped at the top of her thighs while he slid the material the rest of the way down her legs and off her toes.

Koll was sweating with the effort it took not to reverse course and slide his palms over her naked calves and thighs. His gaze was fixed on the shadow between her legs—a glimpse of paradise denied him by the outcropping of blanket just barely blocking his view. One flick of his finger and he could take a peek. Just a peek to see if her hair there was as white as that on her head.


About the Author: Allie Ritch is a multi-published author of erotic sci-fi and paranormal romance. She has an active imagination and enjoys entertaining others through storytelling. Allie lives in her own little world in the Southeastern United States, where she spends time appreciating the ocean and sunshine. To learn more about Allie, you can visit her website/blog at

Allie’s Website/Blog:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Objects of Lust

About half an hour ago, I was walking home from the supermarket. I happened to notice a woman walking ten paces or so in front of me. She was wearing red high heels. And all at once, I was in lust.

It wasn't the woman I desired, though I do consider myself bisexual. No, I was salivating over her shoes. There are few things that scream "sex" to me as loudly as a pair of scarlet stilettos. And hers were gorgeous, I could tell. Though dusk was falling, the shoes seemed to glow like the beacon atop a police car. As she strode with confidence along the uneven sidewalk, I couldn't take my eyes off them.

I don't suffer from a foot fetish. I didn't want to lick those ruby beauties, or smell them. I wanted to wear them. I wanted to feel the sense of power, licking up my legs from the fire-engine bright uppers. I wanted to be elevated above the pavement. I imagined the way they'd tighten my calves and make my hips sway. Irresistible.

The crazy thing is, I can't wear any sort of heels. I was born with the world's flattest feet. No arch at all. My feet tend to roll inward, making my balance a bit iffy and putting such uneven weight on my shoes that they wear out in a couple of months. I'm also prone to getting blisters from any shoes I walk in for longer than a few hours. Add to that the fact that I'm still recovering from my broken knee... Nah, those shoes are just a dream.

If you check my shoe closet, you'll find a dozen pairs of sensible footwear, mostly sandals (I live in a tropical climate), with rubberized soles and heels no higher than half an inch. Oh, and almost all of them are black.  Because black goes with everything. I am, after all, a respectable but somewhat dowdy woman rapidly approaching the big Six-Oh.

In my fantasies, though, I slip my ballerina feet into crimson slippers, twirl on my impossibly high heels - in perfect balance - and dance!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

“Coitus” of all things!

By Genevieve Bergeron (Guest Blogger)

My name is Genevieve Bergeron, I’m 24 years old, I live in Washington, D.C., and I write erotic romances.
The house I grew up in sat at the dead-end of a tree-lined cul-de-sac in Huntsville, Alabama. If there were a more boring, disconnected place, I couldn’t think of one.

Perhaps that ever-present feeling of disconnectedness is why I turned to books at such a young age. I devoured science fiction novels by the dozens, classics, historical fiction, contemporary, nonfiction myth and legend—you name it. This constant stream of mental stimulation made up for an ostensible lack thereof surrounding my childhood home.

The books turned me into one of those children. A precocious child. An insufferable brainiac.

Yet, what’s funny is that I never asked my parents any of the normal questions. Or, more precisely, the normal questions one would expect from an avid science fiction/classics/historical fiction reader. I’m sure my mother and father cursed the Gods—and often—for their luck. Instead of “Daddy, why aren’t there people living on the moon?” there would be “What’s an orgasm?”

I was about six when I asked. He replied calmly (against his better judgment), “Go look it up.” A few minutes later, I stomped back to here he read contentedly and, visibly agitated, I demanded, “What’s coitus?”

I also remember the dinner party a few years later, where I proudly explained to my aunt that my new favorite word was “salacious.” “Do you know ‘salacious’ means?” I glowed with pride. (I’ll be honest—I thought it meant “beautiful.”)

No sweetie,” she said accommodatingly. “But let’s look it up.”

She led me over to a large, oak bookshelf, the kind that was built into the wall, and then hefted a large, red Merriam-Webster down to the floor so both of us could lean in close and look together. “Lustful. Ooohh my,” she said thoughtfully, after having flipped to the right place.

I smiled brightly, clueless as to what “lustful” meant.

Darn those dictionaries for using complicated words—at least I thought they were complicated at the time—to describe what should be down-and-dirty, insanely pleasurable, natural—often animalesque—moments.

So when I became an erotica author fifteen years later, it was no surprise. To anyone I know.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but in fact, my first “published” novella was released just two weeks ago from Total E-Bound publishers (there’s a link to read a synopsis and purchase at the end of this post).

My love for erotic words (though there’s little reference to “coitus” and “orgasming” in my books—more like “pulsing members” and “shrieks of pleasure”) is limitless, but I tend to focus on two main interests in my writing: Erotica with a high-tech twist, and hot, secretive gay romances.

My fascination with technology is a result of my background and (of course) my age. Between 2009 and 2011, I was enrolled in a graduate program at Georgetown University where I earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications and New Media technologies. The beauty and complexity of the digital world, to me, is tantalizing (perhaps even hotter than sex!). I decided to explore a sexual fantasy that springs, not first from physical attraction, but from a complete lack thereof. In fact, the attraction itself exists only in the imagination, at least in a digital world. Makes sense—with online dating, sometimes you’re not even sure what your date is going to look like! It was a challenge: could I write a book about texting and sexting and make it hot? And encourage people to read it? I don’t know. You tell me.

Forthcoming is another story entitled, “Sorry, Bro,” about one young man’s struggle with his sexuality and, ironically, the sexuality of his best friend. This one was especially fun to write, as many of the characters were based, very loosely, on college friends and acquaintances. It’s also set in my second hometown of New Orleans, which is the quintessential setting for any story about inner search, renewal, and passionate sex. I’ll keep you updated as the story develops.

In the meantime, I’d like to personally thank you for reading and for your interest in my work! To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my author page. My personal blog is still in the works.



Here’s more about Hyperpersonal/Hypersexual, my first book:
In a world of Internet porn, sexting, texting, and digital flirting—can real sex be too good?
Juliette Bresson won't wait around for 'the man of her dreams'. That's because the heroine of Hyperpersonal/Hypersexual, knows that fantasies hardly ever manifest the way we intend.
Instead, Juliette—an energetic university instructor and savvy political consultant—imagines her men exactly how she wants them, and she forgoes real sex altogether. But eventually starved for tangible love and romantic excitement, Juliette replies to a string of anonymous yet provocative emails and instant messages she receives in response to an Internet forum post. She suddenly finds herself the recipient of a barrage of oversexed texts, salacious instant messages and requests for a face-to-face meeting. Finally, after a tantalising sexual encounter with her digital admirer, Juliette begins to think that real sex can be too good.
Now afraid of ruining her reputation, losing her job and her focus—or worse—Juliette must decide whether to give herself permission to love a lying man, a man who can fulfil her every sexual fantasy—or reject him altogether and cling to dreams that seem perfect but are really only mediocre, at best.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Your Ideal Erotic Story

How often do you read a story and think, "Gee, that was good but..." You'd have been happier if the two guys in the ménage got intimate with each other, as well as pleasuring the heroine. You really wished the hero had done more than just give the girl a few spanks. You're itching to read a shifter tale that involves dolphins. The notion of a hookup with an alien is what turns you on.

Or maybe you've read everything you can find in your favorite genre, and you just want more.

You could win your ideal erotic story - a sexy tale crafted especially for you! That's the prize in my contest this month. All you have to do is send an email to contest AT with the subject line "Custom Story Contest". In your email, tell me about your ideal story - the genre, the characters, the setting, the action - whatever you like. You can be really detailed, or just provide a general idea.

Around the middle of September, I will randomly choose one entry from the emails I've received, and write a custom short story (3000-5000 words) just for that reader. If you're my winner, you'll be the first person in the universe to read the tale - and it will be dedicated to you!

Note that this isn't a competition for the best story idea. I'm not evaluating your suggestions. If I pick your entry - your wish is my command!

So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spank Me Again, Stranger

Sunday, Snog Day... Time for another juicy, irresistible kiss!

Today I'm giving you a sneak peak at my upcoming release, Spank Me Again, Stranger: More Stories of Dominance and Submission. The book will be out in early September, published by Books We Love. It's a sort of sequel to my collection Just a Spanking: Stories of Dominance and Submission, a second volume of BDSM short stories that focus on the emotional aspects of dominance and submission, as much as on the physical acts. Not that the book doesn't include plenty of spanking, flogging, and bondage... If you liked the earlier book, I don't think this one will disappoint!

So here's a quick kiss from the title story. City girl Audra's boyfriend dumps her barely twenty four hours before her planned thirtieth birthday extravaganza. Her sister insists that Audra fly out to her New Mexico ranch instead, to party country-style. Audra agrees - with no idea what she's getting into.

And of course, when you're done here, don't forget to visit Victoria's Sunday Snog page and check out the sexy kissing excerpts from all your other favorite authors!

Audra stumbled off the stage and pushed her way through the cheering crowd. The pressure in her swollen pussy and the ache in her punished ass were her only realities. She had to get away, find some privacy, give herself some relief.

The ladies' room was outside, behind the building. Audra followed the signs. She practically burst into tears when she found the one-person facility was occupied.

She couldn't wait. Slipping into the shadows, she crumpled her skirt to her waist and yanked her panties down to her knees. The fabric scraped over her pummeled ass. Damn him! She wouldn't be able to sit down for days. The perverse thought just made her hornier.

Spreading her thighs wide, she plunged two fingers into her slick hole while settling her thumb against her clit. Pleasure arced up her spine. She squeezed her eyes shut. “Yes...” she hissed. “Oh, yeah...” She was on the brink already – right where that bastard had left her. Her clit spiked up, engorged and hungry. She worried it back and forth, rubbing furiously. No time for teasing. She needed to come, right now.

Her climax gathered, winding tighter, drawing closer but still out of reach. The wail of a bass guitar leaked into the night as someone opened the door of bar. He was in there, playing his music as if nothing had happened, while she pinched her clit and ground her fist into her cunt like a maniac. Damn him, she'd make him pay, she'd make him...

Let me do that.” A massive man-shaped silhouette blocked out the stars. Giant hands gripped her shoulders while full lips settled on hers with a decisiveness that both enraged and excited her. She tried to resist but it was like fighting a hurricane. His tongue teased her mouth open despite her determination to keep it closed. He nibbled her lip then nuzzled her throat, his whiskers far softer than they looked.

He smelled of cheap bourbon and clean sweat, with hints of sagebrush and thyme. While her conscious mind continued to seethe with anger, her body surrendered completely. His big fingers replaced her desperate ones, delving into her juicy pussy and driving her up the slope to orgasm. He seemed to know what she needed - just as he'd known how she'd react to his blows on her ass. 
When he dragged a blunt finger over her clit, she exploded at last, pinwheels of pleasure spiraling out in all directions. He held her tight while she jerked and shuddered, sealing her mouth with his own to suppress her cries. Then, as her paroxysms died away, he unzipped and drove his cock into her fluttering depths, triggering a second crisis.