Friday, May 31, 2013

The Irresistible Sequel

By B.J. Scott (Guest Blogger)

Why are people drawn to series?

This question came to mind when I was deciding if I should write my sequel to Highland Legacy right away or finish another Scottish historical I had started that was not related to the first book. I asked on average if the reader would rather read a sequel to a book they liked or something by the author on an entirely different topic. While the response was mixed, the majority said that they enjoyed reading a sequel or series of books about a given family/clan or series of events. When asked why they gave me the following answer.

The most common response was that they if they loved the first book, they usually didn’t want the book to end, wanted to know more about the other characters in the book, wanted the story to continue. They have gotten to know the characters, fell into the sub-plots or develop a particular connection to one or more of the secondary characters. This to me was an interesting answer and one authors need to keep in mind when writing a novel they think might become a series. In my book Highland Legacy, the three brothers were all very different from each other, but shared a bond of fierce loyalty to family and country. The story focused on the hero and heroine in the book, but I got many requests to continue the story so they could find out what happened to Bryce and Fallon, or if Alasdair would ever soften his heart and find love. This laid the groundwork for the next two books, Highland Quest (my current release) and Highland Homecoming (to be released later this summer or early fall.) Knowing my readers liked the first book and wanted more of the Fraser brothers’ saga gave me a good reason to write the series.

When I penned the first book, I had a series in mind, but wrote it in such a way it could stand alone. Highland Quest and Highland Homecoming were written the same way. While they are both essentially a continuation of Highland Legacy, a reader could pick it up any of the three books, not read the first book, and not feel lost. They could also read the first book after the second or third and still enjoy the story. I did this by adding just enough back-story to Highland Quest and Highland Homecoming to let the reader know who the returning characters are and how they play a role in the sequels, without giving too much away from the first book. I think the key to writing a good series is to make it so a person can pick any book in the series and read them in any order they desire.

Fans of historical romance, any romance for that matter, who fall in love with the characters in a book, typically want more. If they found a satisfying escape from the stress of the real world in a time they loved, with characters they can relate to, it stands to reason they’ll want more. The onus now falls on the author to write a sequel or series that is as good and if possible, even better than the first book. Some might be tempted to write a quick sequel just to keep the interest going and to make more money off an already captive audience. But don’t sell yourself, your book or your reader short. Do everything you can to make the sequel even more memorable and more enjoyable and you will have fans for life.

(Leave a comment with your email on this post, by the way, and you could win your choice of either of the first two books in the series, in ebook form.)

Blurb for Highland Legacy. Book one in the series:
Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.
Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?
The Fraser brother's saga continues in the second book in the series, Highland Quest and coming soon, Highland Homecoming.
Dunkeld Scotland, 1306.
Duncan Macmillan’s nostrils flared, and his piercing blue eyes narrowed with anger. Judging by the rigidity of his stance, the bulge of his neck veins, and scowl of utter contempt, Cailin had pushed her father beyond his limits. Again.
They’d quarreled often, and each time, he cursed her wild spirit, and temerity, swore fairies stole his real child at birth and left a changeling in her place. An unyielding man, he ruled Clan Macmillan with an iron fist, and made no exceptions. Cailin experienced the force of his wrath on more than one occasion, and bore the physical and emotional scars.
He paced his chamber like a restless animal ready to pounce on its prey. “Laird MacMurray arrives on the morrow and expects to find a cheerful, willing bride. You’ll not embarrass me with your obstinacy!”
“Banish me, beat me, or throw me into the pit if you wish, but I will not marry a man I dinna love. Especially a vile, contemptible swine who is almost three times my age.” As the rebellious words left her lips, memories of past punishments flooded her mind, but she refused to concede to her father’s demands, regardless of the consequences.
“This alliance is important to the clan, and I’ve given my word.” He balled his fist and took a step in her direction.
Cailin crossed her arms over her chest and glared up at him in defiance. “The alliance does not interest you as much as the cattle, land, and chest of gold he has offered for my hand.” She took a slow, deep breath for courage, and continued. “My happiness is of no importance to you. Not as long as you can pad your coffers, and increase your holdings. I am nothing more to you than a pawn, property for sale to the highest bidder.”
His face flushed red as he stomped toward her with a hand raised in preparation to strike. “Insolent, ungrateful lass, I’ll teach you to speak to me with such disrespect. When I’m finished, you’ll rue the day you were born.”
“I have, for eighteen summers,” she snapped back in retaliation. The stinging backhand she received brought her to her knees.
“Husband, please.” Before he could deliver another blow, his wife, Catherine, stepped between them, and placed her hand on Duncan’s raised arm. “She’s your daughter, and you must show more compassion and understanding. I am sure once she has time to get accustomed to the idea, she will do your bidding. Won’t you?” She glanced over her shoulder, and gave Cailin a pleading look.
Duncan glared down at his wife. “She’s been a wee devil since birth, and it is about time she learned her place. Step out of my way, or you’ll learn your place as well.” He grasped Catherine by the shoulders, and briskly moved her aside.
Cailin slowly climbed to her feet, wiped the trickle of blood from her lower lip with the back of her hand. “Dinna fash yourself, Catherine, it is a private matter to be settled between my father and me. Not one so easily resolved. Mayhap you should go and rest.”
Only two years her senior, Catherine carried in her belly what Cailin prayed would be the son her father had always wanted. If he finally had a male heir, she’d be freed from the burden of blame, guilt, and obligation that had plagued her entire life.
Duncan’s body shook as he pointed his finger in his daughter’s direction. “Do you see what I mean? Even when someone tries to help her, she shows no appreciation. Not a day goes by I have not wished she had—”
“Go ahead, Father. Admit you wish me dead instead of my twin brother and that you blame me for my mother’s death.” Toe to toe, she stood in front of him. She swallowed hard past the lump in her throat and fought back tears. “No matter how what I accomplish, my efforts will never be good enough. If I could bring my mother back from the dead, I would gladly trade my life for hers. I wish I had been born a lad, and not a lass, but—”
“Aye, instead of a son, I’ve been cursed with a headstrong daughter who is the bane of my existence. I am surprised any man would ask to marry the likes of you. But on the morrow, you will wed Laird MacMurray.”
His cruel words cut straight to the core, but she’d not give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d wounded her again. “He marries because he needs a mother for his nine unruly bairns, and someone to bear him more. They say he killed his last wife when he found out she could no longer breed.” The thought of bedding Graham MacMurray made her skin crawl. “Mayhap he lusts after the land and wealth I shall inherit should anything happen to you. As your heir, I will be a wealthy woman in the event of your death.”
Would she ever know if a man wanted to marry her for love, or would she always wonder if greed motivated her suitors? Then again, if all men were like her father, prayed for sons, cared only for wealth and power, she’d rather take the vows and spend the rest of her life at a convent. She’d not be like her mother and marry out of obligation or duty to her clan. Nor would she risk bringing a daughter into this world, only to have her shunned by her father and bartered for with less regard than a hog or a steer. No, she’d not take Laird MacMurray as her husband. Mayhap, she’d never marry.
“Excuse me, my lord.” The door opened and a servant stepped into Duncan’s chamber.
Duncan spun around and scowled at the young man. “Ian, what is the meaning of this interruption?”
“For—forgive me, my lord, but a messenger comes from the Clan MacMurray. He bears a gift for lady Cailin.” With his head bowed and his eyes fixed on the floor, Ian moved in her direction and held out a small wooden box. “His laird has been unavoidably detained, and will not arrive for a week or more.”
“Nay!” Cailin threw her hands up in protest, shook her head, and backed away. “Tell him I dinna want his gift.”
Duncan snatched the box and opened the hinged lid. From a bed of lamb’s wool, he plucked a ruby and emerald encrusted brooch with the MacMurray Clan crest. After he’d carefully examined the pin, he thrust his hand forward. “You’ll not insult your betrothed by refusing his fine gift. This must be worth a fortune.”
“I dinna care if he is insulted. There will be no wedding. When I marry, it will be to a man I love.” She turned to face Ian. “Send the brooch back, and have the messenger inform his laird I’ll not be bought.”
Duncan pinched the bridge of his nose and shook his head. “Love has nothing to do with marriage. The sooner you put aside these foolish notions the better.” He took a step closer, his hands fisted at his sides. “You will do as I say.”
“What should I tell the messenger?” Ian shrugged and glanced from Cailin to Duncan.
“Tell him my daughter thanks his laird for the fine gift and anxiously awaits his arrival. And while you’re below, tell Cook to send a tray to my solar. I’ll not be down to break my fast this morning.”
Using her father’s momentary distraction as an opportunity to put an end to their futile discussion, Cailin inched toward the door, turned on her heels, and fled his chambers.
“Damnation lass! We’re not finished with this matter. You’ll do as you’re told, or I’ll—”Duncan called after her, but she slammed the large oak door, muffling the rest of his tirade.
She raced down the long hallway. Surprised, and relieved, that he did not give chase, she paused at the top of the stairs. The daughter of one of Scotland’s most powerful lairds, she knew a day would come when he’d demand she marry, but she’d never believed he’d chose a man she found appalling in every way. Despite her lot in life, she’d always fantasized of a marriage based on passion, and mutual respect. She prayed nightly for a man who would adore her and rescue her from a life of servitude and duty.
Devastatingly handsome, in a rugged sort of way, he’d have the finely honed body of a Norse god, the strength and bravado of a warrior, yet the kindness and gentle heart of a bard. “Be he rich or poor, warrior or poet, I will marry a man I love, or I’ll not wed at all. With that oath on her lips, she bolted down the stone steps.
Despite the whispers and wayward glances of the servants, Cailin didn’t stop running until she’d reached the bailey. Her only option was to run away. The thought of leaving her home and all she held dear, of venturing out into the world alone, frightened her, but she had no choice. Her father would never yield on this matter, and neither would she.
The messenger’s arrival provided the perfect opportunity to escape her father’s ire, but to get beyond the castle walls unchallenged could prove more difficult. If Duncan got wind of her intent, he’d lock her in her chamber until the dreadful day her betrothed arrived, but she had to try.
With Scotland in a state of constant turmoil and the high risk of running into thieves, scoundrels, or worse, English soldiers, she seldom left the castle without her nurse and an armed escort. Guilt tugged at her heart when she thought about Eildth, the only mother she’d ever known. She hated the idea of leaving her behind, and she would miss her nursemaid terribly. But marriage to Laird MacMurray would be a fate far worse than death. Once she’d settled in her new home, she’d send word and let her nurse know she was safe.


With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A PAN member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.
C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.

Highland Legacy: available in e-book and in print
Highland Quest: available in e-book and soon in print.
Highland Homecoming, available late summer of 2013
Visit my web page:
Or email me at

A Few Lines from ... Jude Pittman

A Few Lines From Deadly Consequences by Jude Pittman

A shot rang out from the direction of the stables. Kelly leapt out of his chair, grabbed the gun out of his jacket pocket and slapped the screen door open.

“What the damn hell?” he yelled as he raced towards the brood barn, where Jake, alerted by the gunshot, stood in front of the closed doors barking like a beast gone rabid.

“Easy boy,” Kelly said, approaching the door with his weapon drawn. “Gilly, you okay in there?” Kelly reached the door and pulled the handle. It held fast. Someone had apparently locked it from inside.

“Gillian?” Kelly called in a voice laced with fear and Jake once again started his frantic barking.

“Okay. Stand down.” Kelly spoke to the dog, then placed his ear against the door and listened.

From inside came the sounds of sobbing.

“Gillian.” Kelly yelled again. “For God’s sake, open the door.”

Stop back next week for a few lines from Jamie Hill.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sneak Peak: Legal Ease

[Today I've got a sneak peek at Lori Ryan's romance Legal Ease, a classic "marriage-of-convenience" tale. Sounds like fun! Lori's doing a Book Blast today and giving away a $25 gift certificate to one lucky person who comments. ~ Lisabet]

Jack Sutton needs a wife and he needs one now. Jack loved his mother, but she really screwed him over when she set up her will. If Jack doesn’t have a wife by the end of the week, he’ll lose control of the largest chunk of voting stock in his company and will most likely lose his position as CEO as a result.

And Jack’s Aunt Mabry is waiting in the wings to make sure that the terms of the will are enforced. If he doesn’t find a wife, she’ll seize control of the stock so she can install her own son at the helm and she couldn’t care less that her son doesn’t want the job or that he probably won’t be any good at it.

Enter Kelly Bradley, a twenty eight year old college graduate with a spot at Yale Law School but no way to pay for it. Kelly and Jack’s eavesdropping secretary have discovered Jack’s secret need for a wife and Kelly comes up with a plan to fix both of their problems.

Just when Jack needs her, Kelly breezes into his office, introduces herself to his Aunt and cousin, and hands Jack an offer. She will marry him for a year so that he can retain the stock that will keep him in control of Sutton Development if he’ll pay for her to go to law school. Jack has no idea where his beautiful savior came from or who she is but he’s willing to take a chance to save it all. 
The deal may have kept Jack in control at Sutton Development but his private life quickly spirals out of control. Just when Jack realizes that he wants more than a year with Kelly, his wealth puts her in great danger and he is left scrambling to save her life and their future together. 


We’re here to meet Jack’s fiancé,” a smug-looking Mabry announced to Chad and Jack watched a bemused expression come over his cousin’s face.

Chad had to be wondering what the hell was going on. He and Jack were more like brothers than cousins, so if Jack were getting married, Chad should have been the first to know.

Oh, shit. I’m never gonna’ hear the end of this from him.

So there they sat, waiting for an introduction to a fiancé that Jack had never mentioned to Chad and a fiancé that Chad had never set eyes on.

Jack leaned forward in his chair, took a deep breath and prepared to come clean. Just then his secretary’s voice cut in and he could swear he heard her say that his fiancé was here.

His head whipped around and he stared open-mouthed at the phone, unable to process what was going on. Jack’s experience in business had taught him to school his expressions and hide his thoughts from those around him and though he was shocked, he did just that. He quickly hid all emotion from his face as he listened to his secretary.

Sir, did you hear me? Mr. Sutton? Your fiancé has just arrived. Shall I show her in?” Jennie spoke again.

Andrew. Andrew must have sent him a fiancé. How in the hell had Andrew found him a fiancé? I mean, how does one go about that, Jack thought. Oh God, what if Andrew sent him a prostitute?

Get your copy of Legal Ease now!

About Lori

Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.

More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two.

Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs. 


To follow me on Facebook, visit:

To visit my website, visit:

Want to be a part of my online street team? Email me at Loriryanauthor[at] and put the words ‘street team’ in the subject line. I’ll email you back with directions for joining my team.

To join my email list to receive updates and news, including sneak peeks and free giveaways or contest news, visit!join-my-mailing-list/cdpp

Remember there's a $25 GC up for grabs here. Don't forget to leave a comment - and check out Lori's other posts today. They're all listed here:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Handcuffs and Homework

By Jorja Lovett (Guest Blogger)

Sometimes I wonder if writers have a personality disorder. I mean, it can't be normal having voices in your head telling their stories and generally being annoying until they're written down. Of course, these imaginary people can strike at the most inopportune time and mess with real life.

More than once, I've been standing waiting for my kids and my mind has wandered to the love scene I'd set aside to do the school run. It's impossible not to feel like some sort of pervert, which is disturbing to say the least.

Then of course there's the everyday job, where everyone you come into contact with suddenly has potential for a character. Well, the hot looking men do, at least. The security guard who's slightly taller than his colleagues – you know, the one who isn't morbidly obese – suddenly transforms into an all action hero. The fresh faced college student who works weekends could be cougar fodder. (Or is that just wishful thinking?)

Home life is never boring when you're a writer because you simply don't have time to be bored, juggling real life and fiction. Housework becomes something you only do when writer's block strikes and therefore, a perfect cure for aforementioned affliction. You can also guarantee if you're in mid flow of writing your hottest sex scene ever, your child will appear with their homework in hand asking about math equations and other things you have to feign interest in.

I'll admit being an author of erotic romance does wonders for your sex life. My OH certainly doesn't object to the new positions or new toys all in the name of research. Although, I think when he sees me scribbling in notebooks later on he's secretly worried I'm giving him marks out of ten. (Definitely 10 sweetheart!)

I think it's fair to say that our internet research also has us living in fear if anyone ever checks out our history. On my current list are love eggs, spanking benches, and fire play. Not all related to the same story, I hasten to add.

Of course settings are an important part of any story too and I'm very lucky that I have some beautiful scenery on my doorstep. I live in Northern Ireland and took the green countryside here as inspiration for my fictional wolf shifter community, Olcan Hills, in my latest release. On a drive with my husband, through the wind and rain threatening to spoil our weekend away, I was able to picture my wolf pack roaming through the hills and create a whole village in my mind.

Only today my boss told me how lucky I was to have a talent that whisked me away to all sorts of exciting places in my head. (Some might call me delusional.) She asked where I come up with my ideas and I honestly have no idea.
I guess I'm just lucky my imagination roams as freely as my Olcan Hills wolf pack.

So, I guess you might want to hear about my sexy, bad ass, wolf shifter, Caleb's arrival to Olcan Hills?

Here's the blurb:

The Wolf on the Hill -Blurb
Book one in The Wild Irish Wolves Series.

Can two stubborn wolf shifters let down their guards long enough to take a chance on love?
Lone wolf Caleb Jackson is only back in town long enough to sell his late father's house, and the bad memories with it. He never expected to find his mate.
Good girl Mia Blake never behaves badly. Except for the time she shifts into her wolf, chases a stranger through Olcan Hills, and has the hottest sex of her life on the forest floor.
He has no desire to settle down. She is afraid to upset her family. But, with someone determined to destroy Caleb's inheritance, and his secret fling with Mia getting hot and heavy, moving on isn't as easy as he'd hoped.
Can either of them let down their guards long enough to take a chance on love?

Now if there's no-one looking over your shoulder you can read a sneak peek:

Excerpt *Warning: Contains Adult Only Content*

Rain soaked Mia’s fur as she bounded through the woods bordering the Olcan Hills, relishing every inch of earth mashed beneath her claws. Trees became nothing more than a blur as she raced by, running to find her release out here where she answered to no one but nature. This was freedom.
When she reached the top of the hill she came to a standstill and released her primal scream of frustration in a howl, unleashing everything she couldn’t say to her overbearing family, pouring every hidden truth of who she really was into one long mournful call.
In the distance, another wolf echoed her cry and answered with one of his own. This was the reason her mother despised her shifting into her wolf form. She went kind of crazy and forgot all sense of danger in the excitement. Exactly the reason why she did it in secret. And now, here she was, totally exposed in the Northern Irish countryside, crouched and listening out for the intruder’s approach.
Snapping twigs and rustling leaves marked his stealthy journey towards her but she stood her ground, regardless of how loudly her heart was beating in her ears. The wind carried his scent and raised the hackles along her spine when she sniffed the air. Another shifter, but one she didn’t recognise. Big bro would use her pelt for a rug if he found out she’d strayed beyond the boundary.
Amber eyes glowed in the dark shadows as the large grey wolf stalked through the forest. She bowed in submission. Even if she had a clue how to fight, he was double her size and twice as powerful. He growled a low warning and sniffed her with interest, his wet nose nudging her clammy fur. Did he expect her to roll over and show her belly? Pride wouldn’t let her, but she was careful not to make eye contact as he circled around her twice in case he took it as a challenge.
She only lifted her head when she saw him pad away, heading back to the cover of the trees. He stopped, looked back at her, and cocked his head to one side. When she didn’t move he returned and nipped her ear. She yelped in surprise and indignation. Of all the nerve!
The rules of engagement were abandoned in the heat of her outrage and, in a snarling frenzy, she launched herself at him. For an animal so large, the grey wolf moved gracefully, dodging her attack to race ahead and leaving Mia in dogged pursuit.
Tree branches tore at her skin as she ploughed heedlessly into the woodland, but the pain dulled in the exhilaration of the chase. As they wove their way through the undergrowth, Mia’s anger subsided to let her long-neglected sense of fun take over.
He wanted her to follow him. She knew that from the glances he kept throwing back at her. So she stopped and slipped quietly behind the stump of an uprooted oak, waiting to see what he would do. White wisps of steam escaped from her nostrils as she fought to get her breath back and suddenly the area seemed too quiet.
With a thud Grey leapt onto the tree stump, and leant back onto his haunches ready to pounce. Mia took off again and this time she was the hunted. She didn’t get very far before he sprang and knocked her off her feet.
In a tangle of limbs they rolled through the leafy debris of the forest floor, shifting into their human form as they came to rest, with her pinned to the ground by a hard, muscular, naked body.
"Well, that was fun." He grinned down at her, making no attempt to get off her, his green eyes full of mischief.
"If you say so." Mia’s heart still raced but she was at enough of a disadvantage wedged underneath him without admitting she enjoyed the capture as much as the chase.
"I didn’t hurt you, did I?" He bent his head to kiss the scratches marking her shoulder and suddenly the only ache she felt was hidden deep inside.
"No." She swallowed hard as he ventured closer to her already puckered nipples.
"Do you want me to stop?" His hot breath on her sensitive skin engulfed her in a tide of hormones she hadn’t been ruled by in a long time, if ever.
Maybe a piece of her wolf was still in her system, thriving on the excitement and danger, but she was horny, and ripe for the picking. "No."
With a need to touch, to taste this handsome stranger on her tongue, she manoeuvred enough room to free her hands and wind them into his dark blond hair, pulling him down into a kiss.
He massaged her breasts, first with his hand, quickly followed by his mouth. The sucking and licking around her straining pink tips made her arousal too great to bear. She writhed against him, wet and waiting, but he let her suffer further still whilst he covered her mounds in tiny, exquisite bites.
Bewitched by the woods and her fantasy lover, she swapped the dull reality of her life for this moment, cavorting like the sort of woodland nymph she longed to be. Someone who lived without fear of consequences or judgement.
She wanted him. Prim and proper Mia Blake, who never stepped out of line, was lying naked in the woods with a stranger’s erection pressing into her abdomen, and she loved it. A restlessness seized hold as her body cried out with need. Her limbs trembled, her fingers and toes curled, waiting for that final act of completion. As dusk settled around them and an ethereal fog swirled between the trees, she lost herself in the erotic dream and let him sink into her.
Available from Total-E-Bound now
**My fabulous publishers are giving readers a discount on Amazon for a limited time. You can also buy The Wolf on the Hill for an amazing 99cents on ARe!**
Author Bio 
Jorja Lovett is a British author with both Irish and Scottish roots, which makes for a very dry sense of humour. Writing since she was old enough to wield a pen, it wasn't until she joined her crit group, UCW, that she pursued her passion seriously.
Now, with Joe Manganiello as her permanent muse, if she can leave the pause button on her Magic Mike DVD long enough, she hopes to spend the rest of her days writing steamy romances.
Find her on Facebook, Twitter: @jorjalovett, Blog, Website
And don't forget to check out her 'inspirations' on Pinterest ;)

**Giveaway** - I'm giving away a copy of The Blood Bar Chronicles – Book One: The Alphas, an antho full of hot supernatural men. Simply leave a comment with your email address and I will pick a winner. Good luck!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Why Curves?

By Victoria Blisse (Guest Blogger)

I was massively excited when my friend and fellow Northern Bird Lucy Felthouse asked me to co-edit a Coming Together anthology. I’ve been involved with Coming Together books from their very inception, in fact one of my stories is the very first story in the first ever volume. I love the idea and was very excited to be editing a volume for Alessia Brio. 

What was even more exciting was the charity was going to be Parkinsons UK, both Lucy and I have family members who are affected with the illness and wanted to do something to help. Giving our sexy stories and editing help to raise money for such a good cause fills my heart with pride and I’m sure the same can be said for Lucy.

Of course, I’m coming around to the question in the title. Why did we choose to do Coming Together with Curves? Well, for me it’s a no-brainer. Every story I write has an element of Rubenesque love in it. I write about big girls and I love to do that. Lucy and I chose to write about women with ample curves because we both believe there needs to be more of them featured in erotica.

One of my own favourite and often repeated sayings is ‘Variety is the Spice of life’ and I believe it’s the spice in fiction too. Lucy and I wanted to highlight the delights of the more amply endowed. To show that ladies with curves are sexy too. You get a lot of slim, big boobed women in erotica. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that per se, but I think you need to get a balance of body shapes in there to reflect that everyone is different.

I absolutely love the stories we’ve ended up with in the anthology, it is a real celebration of women and their curves. The ladies within the pages of Coming Together with Curves are proud of their shape. Yeah, they might have the occasional hang up but what women doesn’t? These girls are big and beautiful and infinitely sexy.

Here’s an excerpt from Bella Blake's "Girl Next Door” which illustrates perfectly how sexy the ladies in Coming Together with Curves really are.


The doorbell rang just as he was curling his hand round himself. Peter jumped and swore, colour scalding his cheeks as if someone had actually caught him in the act. He knotted a towel round his waist, and hurried to the door, silently cursing whoever was on the other side. Until he opened the door and found Josie standing on the doorstep. She was wearing the same shorts as the day before but her camisole was white today. It made Peter think of his fantasies involving her and the satin nightdress. His throat went dry as if he’d just swallowed dust.

“Hi,” he said, awkwardly, holding onto his towel with one hand and praying like holy hell that she couldn’t see the outline of his rigid cock.

“Morning,” Josie beamed. She brandished a small basket at him. “I made breakfast muffins.”

The freshly baked smell coming from the basket made Peter’s stomach growl. There was no food in the house yet but he was hesitant about inviting Josie inside. Watching the sensuous way she devoured cake was one of the most erotic things he’d ever seen and he wasn’t sure he could handle a repeat performance.

He should have known Josie wasn’t the sort of person who waited for an invite. She pushed past him into the house, trailing the smell of chocolate, vanilla and blueberries. Her hips and buttocks swayed with every step she took.

By the time he’d caught up with her in the kitchen she was already tucking into the muffins. Peter watched, mesmerised as she crushed a blueberry between her teeth, a drop of blue juice touching her lower lip. He wanted to lick it off.

“Which would you prefer, chocolate or blueberry?” Josie looked at him expectantly.

“You decide.” It was the best answer his lust-addled brain could come up with.

Josie promptly handed him a fat chocolate muffin. The cake was still warm, chunks of chocolate melting on the top. She took another bite of her own muffin, vanilla crumbs sticking to her lips and Peter swallowed. Forget self-gratification, he was going to come on the spot if she carried on with that.

“Um, maybe I should put some clothes on,” he said.

Something sparked in Josie’s eyes. “Why?”

Peter gaped at her, floundering for words. “Because I...”

Josie put the last bite of her muffin on the table. “You haven’t offered to show me round yet, Peter.”

“I haven’t finished unpacking yet.”

“I don’t mind.”

“Right. Okay.” Peter set down his own muffin. “Well, this is the kitchen –”

“I’m more interested in the bedroom,” Josie interrupted him again.

Peter’s throat was so dry now it was like it had been bleached by a desert sun. He had this crazy idea that if she went into his bedroom, Josie would somehow be able to sense that he’d lain awake half the night thinking about her and touching himself.

But Josie wasn’t waiting for him to lead the way. She was on her feet and moving through to the bedroom before Peter could even collect his scattered senses.

The bed loudly creaked as Josie sat down on it, her large frame causing the mattress to dip. Peter tried to swallow past the dryness in his throat. Seeing Josie sitting there, demure in white, with those gorgeously plump legs dangling over the edge of his bed – it was like his night-time fantasy come to life. She was staring at him and there was nothing demure in her eyes. They sparked with bright fire when she looked him up and down, her gaze slow, demanding.

“Lose the towel.”

“W-what?” Peter almost collapsed against the doorframe.

“You heard me.” Josie arched an eyebrow. “You think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been looking at me? You want me and I’d like to see how much. Lose the towel.”

Peter’s hands trembled as he loosened the knot holding the towel in place, and let the whole thing sink to the floor. His erection reared up, straining almost to his belly-button.

Josie’s eyes widened in appreciation. “Looks like you want me a whole lot,” she purred.

Coming Together with Curves Blurb:

Curvy girls and the men (and women!) that love them is the theme of this charity anthology, edited by Victoria Blisse and Lucy Felthouse.

From Zumba classes to Burlesque dancers, all kinds of big and beautiful women are portrayed between the pages of this book. Read about birthday surprises, smut at the gym, horse riders, lusty couples, naughty neighbours, skilled bakers, rope bondage and misunderstandings from some of erotica’s best authors.
Sales proceeds benefit Parkinson’s UK.

Visit the Coming Together website for lots more fabulous altruistic erotica, including Lisabet's vampire anthology Coming Together In Vein, which benefits Doctors Without Borders!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Snog - Challenge to Him

Greetings, everyone!

It's Sunday again, time for your kissing fix. I just signed a contract with Total-E-Bound for my story Challenge to Him,  a historical BDSM tale that will be part of the Tied to the Billionaire anthology.

Here's the blurb:

All the wealth in the world can’t buy willing surrender.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is the second or third richest man in America, and by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with marriageable daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women can satisfy his perverse sexual needs. No respectable girl would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart’s desire – a submissive partner to share his life.

Independent, progressive and well-educated, labour activist Olivia Alcott has dedicated herself to improving the lot of the workers who toil in the factories that have made Andrew and his class so wealthy. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another – an intuitive recognition of complementary fantasies. Andrew offers Olivia a bargain: better working conditions for the mill staff, in return for a weekend of her unquestioning obedience. Olivia will help him deflect the attentions of the potential mates assembled by his mother, as well as providing more intimate services. Given Olivia’s origins, a more enduring relationship appears impossible – but Andrew is not the sort to give up something he wants.


And here's the kiss excerpt - with some X-rated action leading up to the actual smooch. 

When you're finished here, hop on over to Blisse Kiss headquarters, for more sexy snogs!


His hand strayed to the buttons of his trousers and her eyes couldn’t help but follow the movement. In the space of a few heartbeats he had freed his erect penis from his clothing. It was as solid and sturdy as the rest of his muscular form, pale, veined and topped by a ruddy helmet that was slick with evidence of his excitement. Saliva filled her mouth at the sight. Her pussy drooled too, hungry to feel that hardness deep in her belly.

He took a step toward her, brushing the smooth cap over her parted lips. “Open your mouth, whore.”

Olivia needed no encouragement. His rampant cock drew her like a magnet draws iron. Leaning forward, a bit ungainly because of her bonds, she opened wide and engulfed him, halfway to the root. His moan sent shudders of delight through her body. She swirled her tongue over the stretched skin of the head then sucked him deeper, wanting to swallow him whole. He tasted of salt and sweat, a masculine flavour that made her more ravenous than ever.

She pulled back slightly, made a tight O of her lips, then bobbed, running her mouth up and down over the taut, silky skin.

“You’re a clever little slut,” Andrew muttered through gritted teeth. “I’ll wager this isn’t your first time eating a man’s prick.” He wound his fingers into her hair and held her head still. “Open!” Jerking his hips, he drove his cock down her throat with bruising force.

The onslaught stole her breath. Before she could adjust, he pulled back then thrust again. She choked as his cock slammed into her palate and would have squirmed away had he had not held her head fast.

As he pistoned in and out of her mouth, he tugged at her chestnut locks, positioning her like some inanimate doll in order to increase his pleasure. The pins loosened and her hair tumbled down her back, tangling in the ropes that secured her arms. A few strands caught in her mouth, where they were soon soaked with saliva and his copious pre-cum.

He continued, relentless, until her lips grew sore and her jaw ached, but she never considered asking him to stop. His thrusts became ragged. Tiny contractions rippled along his cock as he approached his peak. Her own arousal increased in synchrony, though she had no stimulation other than the taste and the smell of him, the slide of his hardness over her tongue.

She knew he was close, yet his final explosion surprised her. He swelled for an instant against her tongue, impossibly hard, and bitter fluid flooded her mouth. She gulped it down, to show him how eager a slut she could be, but he pulled his cock from her lips, spattering her cheeks and tangled hair with fresh dollops of spunk. The bright shame of it brought her still closer to the edge.

He released his grip on her hair. She leaned forward, off-balance, to press her lips against his softening organ. She hoped he could read the reverence in her gesture, that he would see how grateful she was for his use of her, how very glad she was to be herself at last.

Andrew gave a satisfied chuckle. “Well done, Olivia. I believe you have a natural aptitude for this sort of game.” Crouching in front of her, he kissed her bruised lips. He tasted like milk tea and tobacco, simultaneously sweet and harsh. She’d never get enough of his flavour. His tongue wormed its way into her mouth, agile and demanding. Can he taste his own jism? she wondered as she opened herself to his explorations. The filthy notion ramped her excitement higher still.

Down on one knee now, still plundering her mouth, he clutched her to his chest. He fingered the ropes behind her back, the bonds that marked her as his slave. His closeness dizzied her. Could I climax from just his kiss?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

How Did I Overcome my Misconceptions About Erotic Romance? By Writing It, Of Course

By Amanda Bretz (Guest Blogger)

When I set out to write my first erotic romance I didn’t start writing it because I had a burning desire to tell this one particular story, as had been the case with other things I’d written. It was more about testing myself as a writer and seeing if I could actually craft something super steamy.

As a reader I had to slowly come around to the idea that erotic romance was a legitimate genre. I had several misconceptions before I’d ever read a single word. I thought I wouldn’t like it. I thought it was synonymous with pornography. I thought it would be heavy on cheesy dialog, oversexed characters and poor writing.

Boy was I wrong.

And all it took was one good writer to prove it to me. In early 2012 I read Educating Aphrodite by Kimberly Killion and I was intrigued. It wasn’t porn. The story was well-crafted and well-written. It was sexy and steamy, but it wasn’t gratuitous. After dipping my toe in the erotic romance waters so to speak, I read several other short erotic romances before making the commitment to read an entire book. By the time I reached Bared to You by Sylvia Day I’d found a new favorite genre.

Reading those novels made me think about the romances I’d written, contemporary romances with one or two fairly tame sex scenes. Prior to writing an erotic story, I chose to focus more on the sexual tension between my characters and I didn’t go into a lot of explicit detail in the novels I’d written. After reading some erotic stories, I wondered if including more sex in my own writing could create a more realistic bond between the hero/heroine. I tried that theory out when I started writing the love scenes in my third novel. In that book, I decided to give the sexier and more frequent love scene thing a try.

My third novel is by no means an erotic romance, but I think just as reading intelligent, well-crafted erotic romance helped me be more receptive to the genre as a reader, exploring the sexier side of my writing and my characters in one book helped lead me to create an erotic story. Feeling lucky, or ballsy-I’m not really sure which-I decided I could do this. I could write erotic romance. Or at least, I hoped I could.

I admit, when I sat down in front of my laptop and set out to write erotic romance, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. My bravery faltered slightly. At first I was a bit timid with the language. I knew from reading other books in the genre that I was expected to write about the sexual acts and body parts in frank terms. That was honestly the biggest hurdle. Once I got comfortable using the accepted lingo everything else seemed to flow rather easily from there and it felt like I’d been writing erotic romance for years. Now that I’ve written one erotic romance, I think the genre will be something that I’ll be reading and writing for quite a while.

Having said that, I am very pleased with my first venture into erotic romance, which is also my newest release called Tropical Heat, published by Total-E-Bound. The story holds a special place with me for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is set in a part of Jamaica I visited on my honeymoon. Not only is Tropical Heat my first plunge into the erotic romance genre, but the story is also the first title to ever be released by a publisher rather than self-published like my three previous books. Here’s a bit more about the story.


They have one night together to explore their passion, fulfill their needs and quench their desires, but will one night be enough?

Rayne Willows is an artist from the Pacific Northwest looking to shake up her boring life. A trip to Jamaica sounds like the perfect way to let loose and rekindle her passion for photography. When she meets local man Marcus Greene on the beach in Ocho Rios, sparks immediately fly. Marcus offers to show Rayne around his beautiful hometown, but during the sightseeing tour, the two quickly realize the passion they have for each other can’t be held back. They decide to make their one night together a sexy experience neither of them is likely to forget.


Surrounded by the cobalt ocean and the lush green hills, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. Jamaica was all that I’d thought it would be—and more. I closed my eyes and reveled in the sensations. The catamaran I was on swung and swayed to a rhythm that only it knew.

The sun burned on the breathtaking horizon. Thanks to the powerful early-morning light, the sea glittered clear to the bottom of the cerulean depths. I turned my head when briefly the calypso music stopped and the captain announced in his lilting island accent that we’d almost reached our destination.

Ocho Rios. We were almost there. As an artist I had spent the last ten years dreaming about visiting here, all of Jamaica, actually. Seeing the popular tourist destination of Ocho Rios had always been one of my deepest desires. The town was home to so much beauty.

The boat was en route to Dunn’s River Falls, and I couldn’t wait to experience the rush of the water, the absolute freedom of being one with the land as I explored the natural wonder. When I stepped off the boat dock and touched down in the soft sand, a hundred possible paintings flashed in my mind. The landscape that was set before me became my canvas. The beach at sunset with hues of tangerine, scarlet, turquoise and lavender. The beach at dawn when the sun kissed the shore good morning. The beach on a rainy day, with the turbulent churning of a navy blue sea against an angry, dark sky.

When I stepped a little closer to the falls, my heart pounded. The rushing water was so loud, I could barely hear my own thoughts. I stopped to stare at the unique rock formation. Nestled in the cliff just off the beach were the falls. The water cascaded down through large boulders, which resembled a jagged staircase.

Taking a step forward reverently, somewhat timidly, I dipped my head under the spray that emptied out into the sea and pulled back instantly. Despite the tropical weather, the spring-fed water coming from the falls was frigid. I paused to look around, wondering if everyone else on the beach was as shocked by the chilly waters as I was. Groups of American tourists shrieked and splashed around on the beach, while running back and forth between the waters of the deep blue Caribbean Sea and the crisp clear water from the falls.
The scene made me smile. I brought my camera’s viewfinder to my eye and began to snap pictures of the idyllic landscape.

I nearly gasped in surprise when I saw a shirtless bronzed Adonis jogging towards me. Even though it was an invasion of his privacy, I used the powerful zoom feature on my camera to get a better shot. I zoomed in further, closing in on his washboard abs. I swallowed hard. I’d heard of a six-pack, but the sexy hunk was sporting an eight-pack.

When he got closer, I twisted the lens and readjusted the zoom to focus in on his face. I clicked off a half-dozen shots in rapid succession as he ran towards me. His features were so stunning I knew he had to be some type of celebrity in Jamaica on vacation. Those eyes—they were the colour of warm caramel, and as he approached me, I could have sworn he was looking deeply into my own. God, he was gorgeous. I snapped one more picture of him as he jogged past me and it was all I could do not to follow him with my camera.

Want to know what happens next? Here’s where to buy Tropical Heat:

About Amanda
Amanda Bretz is the contemporary romance author of Finding Justus, Love in Greener PasturesLove,Simplified and Tropical Heat. She holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida and has written for both print and online media. When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book. Amanda works as a freelance journalist and is writing her fourth novel, set in historic Saint Charles, Missouri, which is where she resides with her husband, Brandon.

How to reach Amanda online

Friday, May 24, 2013

Lost and Found

[Today I'm featuring a very special book - a charity anthology from Featherweight Press entitled Lost and Found, dedicated to young people who are rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation. Please read - please buy! Thank you! ~ Lisabet]

Some statistics say that 40% of all homeless teens are GLBT. They're on the streets after their families have thrown them away, told them that they don't matter, that they're not normal. Well, guess what? Those families are wrong. This collection of stories by ten talented authors spans the spectrum (historical, paranormal, transgender, cutter, gay) to show that - it's okay, there are people out there that care, and these teens are perfect just the way they are.

All royalties from this 430 page anthology are being donated to Lost-n-Found Youth in Atlanta, Georgia. A wonderful charity working with these teens, helping them find their new place and get on their feet.

Buy Link:

Table of Contents
  • Bridges and Angels by MF Kays
  • A Ghost of a Chance by Diane Adams
  • A Chance with a Ghost by T.A. Webb
  • Protective Instincts by Tabatha Heart
  • Blessing by Dakota Chase
  • The Preacher's Son by Caitlin Ricci
  • Clay Rocks by T.A. Webb
  • Sam I Am by Jeff Erno
  • Thrown Away by DC Juris
  • You Have Never Mattered by Michele L. Montgomery
  • I Have Always Mattered by D.H. Starr
  • About the Authors
From Thrown Away by D.C. Juris

"Jeremy? Is that you?"

"Yeah, Mom." I ran up the stairs, dumped my backpack in the middle of my bed, and came back down to the dining room. She had the table all made up, her and Dad on opposite sides and me at the far end. Three place settings, each with a dinner plate, a smaller bread plate, a salad bowl, two forks, a knife, a spoon, and a glass of water. I frowned and swallowed a lump that lodged in my throat. This was going to suck so bad.

We sat down together, and I listened as they talked about "adult things." Which was just Mom's fancy name for gossip. She talked about the lady who lived next door, how she'd seen a man coming in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night. Dad said maybe he was a handy man, and Mom told him not to be ridiculous, of course he wasn't a handy man. Why would a handy man be coming by the house at three in the morning? Dad wanted to know why Mom was up snooping on the neighbors at three in the morning. Of course, that made Mom angry-it's not snooping if you're up for a glass of water and the neighbors are making enough noise for you to hear them-and the conversation finally made its way to me.

"How was school today?" Mom asked.

I looked down the table at her. So close, yet she suddenly felt so far away.

I took another deep breath and steeled myself, clenching my fork tight in my fist. "So. um." I coughed and cleared my throat. "Can I talk to you guys about something?"

"Of course you can, honey," Mom answered.

"What's on your mind?" Dad asked.

I looked down at my plate, hoping for.what? Courage? "I think. I think I-"

"Oh, no, you got someone pregnant!" My mother shrieked the words at me.

"What?" I jerked my head up and stared at her, open-mouthed. "No. No. God, no. I didn't get anyone pregnant. It's just-"

"Are you sure? Because even if you use protection-" My father rolled his eyes. "Spit it out already, Germ." Germ. My dad's pet name for me. Isn't that cute? Not.

"Okay." I turned to my mom. She'd probably be the easier of the two. "You remember last month, when we went shopping for school clothes, and I picked out those three shirts from the girls' section, and you said that you didn't understand fashion fads these days?"

Mom shook her head. "I still don't understand them. Why on Earth would you want to parade around looking like something you're not is beyond me. You're a very handsome young man. You should be proud of yourself, not pandering to what your friends think is cool."

Irony, thy name is my mother. "I'm not doing it because of my friends." I took another deep breath, let it out slowly. "Remember when I talked to you guys about my friend who thought he might be transgender? I don't have a friend like that. I was talking about me. I picked girls' clothes because.because I want to look like a girl. I want to be a girl. I think.I think I'm transgender. I looked it up online and Eric has a friend who-"

"Eric?" Mom folded her hands in front of her. "You've been hanging around with that degenerate?"

Great. As if things weren't bad enough. "Just at school, I swear."

Silence stretched out between us, hanging in the air like an invisible wall.

Dad went back to eating. Mom stared at the ceiling. No one spoke for minutes, but it felt more like hours. I sat there, looking at each of them in turn, waiting for the questions, the yelling, the anything.

"So. You never did say how school was today," Mom said.

"How..." I sputtered. "School was fine. Mom, did you hear what I said?"

[It seems really appropriate to bring this book to your attention during the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. And if I get at least twenty comments on this post, I will donate $25 to Lost-and-Found. If I get a hundred comments or more, I'll donate $50!]

A Few Lines from... Rita Karnopp

A few lines from JEWISH SOUL – Book #3 of the Tango of Death Series
By Rita Karnopp

Mayla watched the girls head for the bushes.  She turned toward the  men.  “If nothing else, everything will be worth it if we manage to  save their lives.  If any of us is captured, we must die before  breathing a word about the twins.”

She stretched out her hand and Chester placed his on top and Stane  placed his below.  “In the midst of all this evil . . . this is our one  good.”  Mayla smiled as they nodded in agreement.

Find out more about Rita Karnopp’s books at:

Make sure to visit the Books We Love blog next week for a few lines from Jude Pittman.