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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interview of Reader Beverly Davis-Taylor!

It's my pleasure to present an interview of reader Beverly Davis-Taylor. It's so great to have readers tell us what their opinions are about romance books and the industry!

BIO:
I am an avid reader who will pretty much reach anything I can get my hands on. That includes shampoo bottles. Although I am raising three kids and one husband (yes I am raising him also) I still find time to escape into a good story. And if a story is not around I just close my eyes and make one up myself.

Q: What type of genre do you enjoy the most and why?
A: Paranormal romance/erotica. I think I love these stories because they take you to a world so much like our own, yet so different. I really enjoy when an author can blend the right amount of mythology, fact and creativity.

Q: What inspired you to read romance books?
A: Although they days of a white knight coming to our rescue is long gone, most of us still want to believe we can have it. As children our parents read us stories of princess being saved by her prince and deep down inside no matter how old you are you want to believe your prince is still out there.

Q: Do you read ebooks, print books, or both? Have you thought about getting an ebook reader if you don’t already have one?
A: I read both. I have thought about getting an ebook reader and will probably invest eventually. Especially now that the prices are going down.

Q: Do you visualize the hero and heroine as you read? Do you use the cover (if they’re shown) as images for them?
A: I prefer to visualize my own heroes and heroines. Don’t get me wrong the covers are what sometimes intrigue me enough go get me interested in a story, but I usually have my own view of characters which are occasionally completely different from what the author describes.

Q: What is your all-time favorite romance book? Why?
A: Wow, I am more of a series girl than a individual book. If I had to narrow it down to a single story book not series it would be Crissy Smith’s The Flavor. It was my first m/m/f story and it will always hold a spot in my heart.

Q: When do you read and do have “comfort food” as you read?
A: Everyone knows reading is my addiction of choice. So I will do it anywhere and everywhere. Especially after a stressful day there is nothing better than curling up with a blanket and a book. I can’t say I have a “comfort food” when it comes to reading.

Q: Do you enter contests? What type of items do you enjoy getting if you win?
A: What really makes me go back to an author is when they have free book contests. Even if it is a small story it allows me to get a feel for their writing style and decided if it works for me. Usually if I like one story from an author I will go back and buy all of their stories. I tend to be a bit obsessive when I find an author that really tickles my fancy.

Q: What one question would you like to ask an author?
A: Because I prefer paranormal stories I would love to know how much of the stories do authors really believe in. Do they really believe in the ghost, vampires, shape shifters etc in their stories?

Q: How important is a cover when you’re looking to buy a book?
A: If it is an author I am already familiar with it matters very little. If it is an author that is new to me the cover can make me pick up the story or not.

Q: Do you read blurbs and excerpts? Which one is most important in your decision to buy a book and why?
A: I do read blurbs and excerpts. To me the blurb is more important since it is usually what I read first. That determines if I read the excerpt. Sometimes the blurb alone will sell me if I am on the fence about a story that is when I will read the excerpt.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Literary libations

My writer's head and heart have been buried in northern Sumatra while I work on my fourth 'Almost' historical. Time warp back to 1829 when the Dutch and British wrangled over control of every square mile of Indonesia. Between wars, monsoons that would make Seattle denizens think they'd been transported to the Mohave, man-eating tigers and low-income bamboo housing built on stilts, the Sumatrans had good reason to want a blurred reality. Gnawing on betel nuts, getting stoned on opium and anesthetized by tuak and arrack, very distilled coconut wines, was how they coped. They had their methods of dealing with miserable circumstances as do we, but for a writer, mind altering substances aren't the most useful tools while penning the next best sentence ever created.


Or are they?


Volumes have been written about author's music preferences while they write yet beverage choices while working our craft have been woefully slighted. Do the beverages you drink or don't drink while writing have a connection to the scenes you write OR does the scene you're working on affect your beverage of choice?


My research of 18th and 19th century European lives has revealed acres of information about food and drink. Both sexes generally ate the same foods but beverage type and time of day consumed differ (limited hours for women in Regency romances but none for the men-they slosh back whisk(e)y at all hours). How any of the world's empires made it past the first floor phase with all their builders standing around drinking is anyone's guess. Fermented milk for the Mongols, mead for the Vikings, rice wine for the Asians, vodka for the Russians, vin for the French and a staple of brandies, sherries and whisk(e)y for virtually everyone, to name a very few.


Thinking of the bevy of beverage options made me thirsty so I filled a glass with ice water - I'm writing this before 10 am and have hours yet before I allow myself an Adult Beverage - and considered how modern day beverages might shape a literary scene. Sugared iced tea for that sweet, innocent scene. Champagne for smoldering seduction. A double macchiota with extra creme for businesslike bonding. Extra-dry martini with two olives for the, I'm not looking for a relationship but am open to a one-night-stand. Beer on tap for the, I want to have fun without complications character. Water, hot tea, no frills coffee and colas for basic getting-to-know-you scenes.


There are hundreds of other options so feel free to add to the drink menu.


This entry is an attempt to write something light and fun. It's been a month of family drama and loss two friends and I needed to wrap my head around a light and frothy subject. Wrapping a hand around a glass full of something light and frothy sounds pretty good too. But it's early yet. Better make it a banana smoothie with a large scoop of protein powder. Cheers!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Kind of Environment Do You Like to Work In

Today, I have two questions for you, and they apply to anyone who works. First one, what kind of environment do you prefer to work in?

Here are some sample answers from authors below to get you thinking.

I need noise and interruptions and irritation: irritation and discomfort are a great starter. The loneliness of doing it any other way would kill me.
Anita Brookner

The actual process of writing. . .demands complete, noiseless privacy, without even music; a baby howling two blocks away will drive me nuts.
William Styrom

When I worked full-time at Trans World Airlines, my work space was always neat. Everything was either hidden away or stacked in neat little piles where I could what I needed easily. As an author and looking at my desk this minute: Total chaos reins here. lol I swear I'm going to organize it soon.

Second question is do you need a view while you work?

Again, there are some interesting answers.

I like a room with a view, preferably a long view. I dislike looking out on gardens. I prefer looking at the sea, or ships, or anything which has a vista in it.
Norman Mailer

The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible.
Edna Ferber

Again when I worked at TWA there was constant chatter, telephones ringing, etc., but as a writer I can't work unless it's absolutely quiet. My desk is in front of the window and the blinds are open, so I can see outside when I'm stumped instead of looking at a blank page on the computer screen. The daily changes in weather can forecast the scenes for my stories, especially, if they are set in that season.

Okay, I've told you what I have needed to work in two different environments and given you samples of author environments now it's your turn.

See you next month.

Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/addiction.htm


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Celebrating a One-Year BREATHLESS PRESS Anniversary!

 Welcome to our One-Year Breathless Press Celebration!

Breathless Press is an electronic publisher of paranormal, erotic, and mainstream romance, releasing one to three e-books a week in a variety of downloadable formats. It is Breathless Press' mission to provide readers with quality romance books in electronic formats and to raise the standard in e-publishing. If you are new to eBooks, take a look around.

http://www.breathlesspress.com


Author: Marianne Stephens
BIO: Marianne Stephens has published: four mainstream romances (two are paranormal) and as April Ash, she has two erotic romances.
Book Title: Anything You Can Do
Buy Link: http://www.breathlesspress.com

BLURB:
Hunky CEO vs. kids in childcare for a week, all for a dare to prove he can do anything the tantalizing daycare owner can do!
What happens when a childcare, clueless male CEO mixes with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for a week, all because of a dare? Can he keep up with the kids...and maintain his sanity...while becoming more and more attracted to the daycare's owner, the woman who issued the challenge?
Instant mutual attraction leads to a week of seductive teasing and brief steamy encounters. Is there a way for them both to win? Or will someone's interference in their challenge lead to mistaken conclusions and pull them apart?


 LINKS:
http://www.mariannestephens.net
http://www.aprilash.net
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/romancebooksrus

Author: Berengaria Brown
Book Title: Carnal Connections
Buy Link: http://www.breathlesspress.com


BLURB:
   Passionate Wedding Nights Aren’t Just for the Bride and Groom
   Ithiel meets Jason and Toby at a wedding, and a night of hot passion follows. But what will happen the next morning?
   Jason is darkly handsome and delicious. Toby is quicksilver lightness and fun—and Ithiel wants them both. But can three men form an ongoing relationship, or is one night all they will ever have?
LINKS:
http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com
http://berengariabrown.webs.com


Author: Mary Corrales
BIO: Mary Corrales writes short contemporary eroticas as well as paranormal erotic romances. She can be contacted via her website: www.authormaryc.com
Book Title: Clandestine Eyes
Buy Links:
http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/temptations/clandestine-eyes.html
http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/clandestine-eyes-audio-book.html?SID=a844b5dd05fde91bfd8c34f5b05cdebd

BLURB:
All play and no work has Coreen Evans burning with desire for her supervisor, Rob Larsen. Embroiled in the life of a covert agent and trainee, both must keep their new sexual relationship a secret from those who work to uncover the truth.
Finding any excuse to nurture their lustful encounters, can Rob keep it professional as he tests Coreen, or will Coreen be able to hide her excitement for Rob from her superiors?
LINKS:
http://www.authormaryc.com


Author: Shiela Stewart
BIO: Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days. Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published romance author. In the fall of two thousand and six, Shiela published her very first book and hasn’t stopped since.
When not writing, Shiela spends time with the love of her life, William and their three children. She has a strong affection for animals which is evident in the five cats, one dog, three turtles and ten fish she owns. Some of her passions aside from writing are drawing and painting and proudly displays her artwork in murals in her home.
Book Title: Seducing the Darkness: Bk 1 of the Darkness series
Buy link: http://www.breathlessbooks.ca

BLURB:
   An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned to live on her own…not an easy thing to do when you’re a vampire. Trinity was once a fragile girl. Being taken by a powerful vampire prince changed her. Discovering him in the arms of another woman changed destiny. Alone, she’s learned fast how to be tough, how to survive, and how to protect the people in her city from the evil that lurks in the dark. She was managing just fine, until Basil walked back into her life.
   Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Dark Mystics decades earlier. When a prophetic dream makes him realize Trinity’s life is at risk, he decides the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy. Trinity is the only woman he has ever loved, ever will love, and he can’t seem to let her go.
   When rumors arise of a plan to raise the King and blot out the sun, both Trinity and Basil know they must do everything to stop it. Even if it means working together. Despite the betrayal and the threat, they find themselves drawn to each other. Love has no boundaries, especially in the face of danger. But will they be able to stop the ritual before it’s too late?
   Or will the darkness capture them both?


Author: Janie Franz
BIO: Janie Franz still calls herself a Southerner (she was born in Tennessee) though she has spent more than half her life living in North Dakota.  She holds a degree in anthropology and has an unquenchable curiosity, which may explain the broadness of her journalism credits that include over a hundred regional, national, and international publications and thousands of articles for the past ten years. She’s written feature and cover articles about a wide-range of topics, including art, music, food and drink, environmental issues, medical and health issues, relaxation and yoga, organic gardening, and asphalt paving.

She has co-written two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and has self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!  She also wrote seven chapters in Rick Baker’s 7-Minute Organic Garden book and have multiple entries in a number of Gale medical encyclopedias.
In addition, she runs her own online entertainment publication, Refrain Magazine (www.refrainmagazine.com). And she was a prolific book and music reviewer, until she began actively writing novels and handling marketing for them.
She has been a radio announcer, a booking agent for a groove/funk band, and a yoga/relaxation instructor. She is married to a singer/songwriter, and their daughter (married to an animator) is a fiber artist while their son, the executive chef/part owner of The Toasted Frog, plays drums and blues harmonica with local bands.  

The Bowdancer, her first published work of fiction, launched the Bowdancer Saga.. The Wayfarer’s Road and Warrior Women (November 5, 2010) continue the story of Jan-nell. 
Franz has three books under contract with Muse It Up Publications. Ruins: Discovery is the first book in an archaeology romance/thriller trilogy and will be released under the Muse It Hot! division April 1, 20110. Sugar Magnolia, a contemporary romance about the music industry will be published by Muse It Hot! in July 2011, first as an ebook and then in print the following year.  And The Premier will be available later in 2011 as a Muse It Up sweet contemporary romance.
Book Title: The Wayfarer's Road
Buy Link: http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/the-wayfarer-s-road-bowdancer-book-2.html
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/user/bryangrob#p/a/u/0/m8CnuIkCPfE

BLURB:
The Bowdancer Saga continues in The Wayfarer’s Road. Healer Jan-nell, now a woman traveling alone with her precocious young daughter on the Wayfarer’s Road, meets a handsome wandering bard. But he is carrying his own secrets along with the priceless chance at hope for her and her child to belong.
LINKS:
http://desireandcraving.blogspot.com
http://thebowdancersaga.wordpress.com


Author: Ambrielle Kirk
BIO: Ambrielle Kirk's fiction ranges from contemporary erotic to dark paranormal romance. Her vivid imagination inspired her to create stories in her pre-teen years and now, over a decade later, that inspiration continues to thrive, bringing flair and edge to everything she writes.
Book Title: A Player's Agenda
Buy Links:
http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/a-player-s-agenda.html
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-aplayersagenda-443834-144.html
http://1romanceebooks.com/romantic-fiction/a-player-39-s-agenda/prod_1790.html
http://www.amazon.com/A-Players-Agenda-ebook/dp/B003VYBFX8
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na-CiWryQQk

BLURB:
Mariah has had to work hard for everything in life, and that includes her MBA in Accounting. She doesn’t have time for promiscuous sexy jocks with only one thing on their mind. She’d have to be content with daydreams about former football player Damien, whose nightly sexual conquests made the campus rumor mill. No one is more surprised than she, when Damien approaches her after class one day with a lust-filled agenda on his mind. Does Mariah have the right mix of bedroom moves to tame this player…forever?
LINKS:
Website: http://www.ambriellekirk.com
Blog: http://ambriellekirk.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ambriellekirk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmbrielleKirk

Friday, August 27, 2010

Corsets, Clock Gears, and Cleopatra


Though mainly associated with the Victorian era, there is no question aspects of the Steampunk culture have been influenced by ancient Egypt. In the entertainment field Steampunk belly dancing is on the rise. Since the top Steampunk Band, Abney Park incorporated belly dancing into its live shows, many of these dancers have been inspired to go steampunk adding googles, corsets and pantaloons to their costumes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqM9sCLIi_g In the area of interior design, Nethercraft offers an incredible collection of fabulous Egyptian walls http://www.nethercraft.com/prod_tomb.html. The Egyptian- Steampunk movement has even invaded fashion with Costume Designer, Iris Bainum-Houle’s collection, clearly influenced by both the garments of ancient Egypt and Victorian England. http://tinyurl.com/26dvuxo The latest cross genre of romance, Steampunk, has also shown Egyptian influence.

One thing that stands out in Steampunk/Romances are fresh, settings and alternate history. Steampunk/Romances are usually set in Victorian England, especially London, some are in the Old West in the same time period, and As Timeless As Stone takes place in 1830 Paris, France. But As Timeless As Stone is also an example of Egyptian/Steampunk.

In Steampunk/Romances one of the main characters is usually a scientist and In As Timeless As Stone my hero is an Egyptologist. He's also the assistant of Jean François Champollion, the man best known for deciphering the Rosetta Stone. Working for Jean Francois Champollion, the conservator of the Egyptian collection at the Louvre, Ricard uncovers a room full of artifacts Napoleon Bonaparte brought back from his Egyptian campaign and expedition. They have been hidden away from the English all this time.

This is the part of my story where magic and science combine as it does in most Steampunk/Romances. As Ricard examines these artifacts, he uncovers an ancient Egyptian statue with the head broken off. When he sets the head back in place and uses his linguistic skills to read the incantation she holds in her stone fingers, the statue comes to life. A gorgeous flesh and blood woman appears where a stone image stood just moments before. This is my heroine Seshat, who in peril for her life turned herself to stone thousands of years before.

Another big part of Steampunk/Romances are the wonderful Victorian fashions. But in As Timeless As Stone, Seshat is not impressed with layers of confining clothing. As an Egyptian priestess it is a taboo for her to wear anything made from animals, such as wool, and this comes into play when the couturier is garbing her in the latest Parisian gowns.

I hope you'll give the Egyptian and Victorian influences of my Steampunk/ Erotica/ Romance, As Timeless As Stone, a try and let it sweep you away to another place and time for a fun adventure.

Here is a short excerpt of As Timeless As Stone:
Ricard stepped back as his gaze devoured the entire woman, though stiff and lifeless. The stone looked like lush, sun-warmed skin. Her oval face was dark and delicate, with full, rosy lips. He admired her long lithe body, clad in a sheer, white, sleeveless dress, held up only by two delicate linen shoulder straps. He longed to roam his fingers and lips over her high perched breast and the thin waist which flared into curved hips and lithe thighs. Then, down to her pretty legs and her slender feet garbed in white papyrus sandals, of the station she depicted, an Egyptian priestess of the Middle Kingdom. He drank in her beauty, then he noticed the ornament lying in the valley between her breasts, a thick ankh of gold hung from a chain. His fingers absently tried to grab hold of the necklace but it was only part of the statue, no matter how real it seemed.

"What is this?" He looked at the plaque in the statue's stone hands, held beneath the ankh. The last hieroglyphic depicted the symbol for life, an ankh, held up to the woman's nose. Ricard read it silently, sounding it out, Nce xarp wt pwwne Ab etoot abrem... Toujo Abrem etoot pwwne ab... xarp wt au ai ankh qe, and translated it under his breath. "God Horus, as you turned my flesh to stone... God Horus, save me, make me whole...change my stone to flesh...give me the nose breath of life, once more."

The room vibrated and an unnatural wind swirled within. Ricard's hair stood on end, but he could not tear his eyes away from the statue. He grabbed the ankh, and this time it gave way, lifting from the statue's chest. The curiosity that drove him as a scientist, as an Egyptologist, caught hold and as strange as this all seemed, he felt he had come this far, he had to see it through. Laying the ankh against the statue's small nose, Ricard acted out the last hieroglyphic on the plaque.

He shuddered at the sound of a gush of breath. A flash of light struck inside the room. The shock knocked the breath out of him. The statue moved, but she wasn't stone anymore.

Jean François gasped and stepped back.

Ricard couldn't move. It's a living, breathing woman. He dropped the ankh and it fell against her chest, which now rose and fell with heaving breaths. Ricard managed to step back on shaky legs. He gaped at her, unable to think or speak.
Alive.

The priestess shrieked. Her brown eyes glowed with anger. "Come near me you Hyksos cobra, and you will die!" she warned in Old Egyptian.
***
Timeless as Stone is available in the Amazon kindle store, Barnes and Nobles online for the nook, Fictionwise, All Romance Ebooks, and most online book stores. Please drop by Maeve Alpin’s official website http://MaeveAlpin.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Characters Come to Life

My DH (Rott) and I watched Inkheart the other night. At first, it didn't capture my attention much. Of course, that could be cause I was drooling over Brendan Fraser. Then the premise of the story began to get to me. The hero of the story (Fraser) is a Silvertongue. When he reads aloud, the characters in the books are brought into the real world. That means the good ones and the bad ones too. And the bad ones that came alive when he read have now imprisoned his wife and kidnapped him and his daughter. Some of the characters just want to go home (back into their book) and others would rather stay in this world because it's more advantageous for them. And in the end, the author of Inkheart gets his wish to be transported into the world he created.

What struck home for me as I watched this movie was that I think the best romance authors DO want to be transported to the worlds they create. Maybe not forever, but for the time it takes to tell the story and put forth the happy ending. Also, some of us want to bring our characters to life. We want them to feel so real that the reader almost expects to run into them on the street one day.

Rott and I laughed a little at what it would be like if the characters in my books were brought into this world by a Silvertongue. I tried to imagine what it would be like to go to work and discover I was at Granville Cemetery with Colin, Marius, and Elysia. I wondered how I would feel staring up at the uber tall Declan Antaeus, gazing at the sinfully handsome Holden Antaeus, or trying to match stares with the forceful Sean Antaeus. I figured I'd laugh my ass off with Max the Pixie Prince and his snarkastic side kick Alexa Harte. I knew that Brenna Thorne's familiar Rambo would look just like my own Rambo. I could sit and eat lobster at Jason Rockham's Rockport restaurant. I'd visit the BDSM club Insolence and drool over Aric Calderwood or go for a motorcyle ride down the coast with Zander and Voth. I know that I'd certainly never feel another lonely or boring moment if my characters lived in my world.

In a very real sense, writers - good writers - deliver this to readers with every release. My Darkworld is meant to suck you in and give you the sense that it's real, that you're there with the characters. I want to rip you from the world that gives you stress and deliver you to a place where the heroes are men you would want to be with and where you can identify with the heroines. I want to make you believe in dragons and vampires as much as love and happy endings. I want the characters to be real. I want to be an Antaeus and know that Sean will do his best to see that I find my mate and spend the rest of my days blissfully happy and sexually replete. And I strive to give that sense to everyone who picks up one of my books.

To say that Inkheart struck a chord within me isn't exactly correct. It wasn't the movie or the hotties (Paul Bettany shirt off with flaming sticks rotating in the air oh baybee) in it. It is what the story itself represents to readers and writers. Finding that story that takes you away from the mundane and serves you up the thing you want most whether it's love, adventure, sex, or happiness.

Now, here's a taste of my latest release. You tell me if Marius and Sair don't invite you to leave this world for theirs...

Tales of the Darkworld Book 5, Common Ground
Pink Petal Books

BUY LINK

BLURB:
Werewolf Sair McCallan escapes the confines of her brother’s pack with the help of a mated werewolf couple who believe in open sexuality and relationships. With Weylyn and Keir Randall, Sair experiences freedom in all things for the first time in her life. When she meets her mate, she’s shocked to find he’s a boring, broody vampire. Uptight Marius Granville has his staid and orderly life completely shattered by the arrival of his bloodmate, a beautiful werewolf who steals his heart and expects him to join in her kinky play with the Randalls. Marius is forced out of his hum drum existence and opens himself to new sexual experiences to please Sair. As her new mate strives to give her everything she needs, Sair battles internal demons that threaten their fragile new relationship.

Warning: This book includes sex on a washing machine, a make out session ala From Here to Eternity, sex between best friends (F/F), double penetration of a female (oh, baby!), and the best blowjob in the world (M/M) all within the confines of the hottest ménage a quatre the Darkworld has ever seen.

EXCERPT:

Sair shoved at him and Marius stumbled back a step. She dropped to the floor and slipped around him, trotting out of the bathroom. He followed her down the stairs and onto the deck at the back of the house. With a graceful leap, she jumped from the deck into the thick grass.

Marius came to an abrupt halt. With the silvery moonlight gilding her skin, naked Sair was a sight to behold. He sucked in a breath, his cock becoming even harder at the erotic tableau of his bloodmate stroking her hands over her moon dappled flesh.

“By the gods, Sair! You’ve no clue what you’re doing to me,” he complained as he stepped down into the grass.

Grinning wickedly, she backed away from him. “Yes, I do.” She laughed softly and darted around a tree as Marius took the shortest path toward her.

“You’re going to make me fuck you out here, aren’t you?”

She laughed again and skipped easily away from him when he tried to catch her arm. “What’s wrong with that? Are you allergic to grass?”

“No.” He stopped in a beam of moonlight, his head turning to watch her cavort naked in the dark, flitting between the trees. “But won’t the moon turn you furry?” he joked. “I don’t think I’d like to find myself coming inside a wolf.”

Momentarily startled, she stopped weaving in and out of the trees and turned to look at him. “You’d best be joking, my biter,” she said sternly. “You don’t see me assumin’ you can turn into a bat or become a pile of ash in the sun. Or, the gods forbid, sparkle.”

Her face scrunched up in an exaggerated grimace and Marius laughed. “I’m teasing about the moon. But you still haven’t shown me your wolf. Does she not wish to meet me?”

The grimace turned to a frown on her beautiful moon gilded features. “Do you ever go to the pet store and play with the puppies?” she asked in a cautious tone.

Shit, Marius thought. I’m caught.

Sair’s brows rose and he knew she’d heard his thoughts. “Yeeeeesss,” he replied, drawing out the single syllable of the word.

“This isn’t the same.”

Her sharply humorous statement hadn’t even faded from his ears before the outlines of her body began to shimmer. Marius had seen dragons shift before, their bodies becoming golden confetti in the air before solidifying. Sair’s shift didn’t take that long. The shimmer of her form took a split second and in the next moment, her human form disappeared, replaced by a grey wolf.

The wolf’s tail wagged and Marius smiled. Sair trotted over and thrust her cold, wet nose into his palm. He stroked her soft head and sank his fingers into her thick coat. Just like her human form, her wolf wasn’t big. Larger than a German Shepherd, but not nearly as large as other wolves he’d seen. She bumped against his legs, pushing him as her tail brushed his ass.

“You are all stuck on my ass tonight, aren’t you?” he teased.

You don’t like me admirin’ that firm masculine flesh?

“I didn’t say that. It’s just that other firm masculine flesh is crying out for attention.” With his free hand he stroked his cock.

You better hope no one sees you like this. Standin’ naked in the moonlight, pettin’ a wolf and strokin’ your dick. You’d get arrested and maybe sent to the psych ward.

Marius laughed and let go of his cock. “You’re right.”

When his fingers loosened on her fur, she dropped down to the ground and rolled to her back, displaying her belly. The fur there was lighter and he knew it would be softer. Kneeling beside her, her rubbed her belly with both hands, knowing that she had put herself in that vulnerable position to show him that she trusted him.

She whined as he stroked her and then shimmered. Instantly, her human form returned and Marius found himself stroking her naked belly, just above her mons. He grinned.

“Now, isn’t this convenient?” he murmured and slipped a hand between her thighs. He found her wet, her delicate folds slippery with arousal. She whimpered as he stroked her lightly.

Fitting his body between her thighs, he rubbed the tip of his erection in her wetness. She moaned, her hips surging toward him. With a hand on her belly, he held her down as she squirmed, trying to take his cock inside her.

“No, I don’t think so, my beautiful wolf.”

She gazed at him wide-eyed and moved urgently beneath his hands. “Yes. I want you. Please, Marius.”

“Oh, you’ll have me, just not like this.”

Deftly, with a swiftness and strength that gave away his preternatural nature, Marius flipped her onto her belly, then pulled her up on her hands and knees. Briefly, his palms caressed her ass cheeks. He pushed them apart and rubbed the head of his cock against the pink pucker of her anus. Her moans grew louder and she thrust her hips backward, silently begging him to take her in the ass.

“Not tonight, little wolf. But soon,” he whispered.

Thanks for coming by!




Author Website: lexvalentine.com
Personal Blog: sunlightsucks.com
Series Website: talesofthedarkworld.com
Twitter: lexvalentine
Facebook: Lex Valentine Fan Page

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Interview of Author Mahalia Levey

Today I'm happy to present an interview of romance author Mahalia Levey...someone I've recently met who doesn't live too far from me!

Latest Book: Merikano's Fury
Buy Link:
http://www.extasybooks.com/ebjmsite/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=55&flypage=ebook_flypage.tpl&product_id=7994&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=50
 

BIO:
Being smart and sassy with a great sense of humor comes easily for Mahalia Levey.

An avid reader of books, she found herself enchanted with disappearing completely into the worlds authors created. One day she vowed to herself she'd be one of them. Then family life came, and college right after. Swayed from her childhood course of action, it took many years for her to get back to that place she held dear as a child.

Now she is running full steam ahead to keep up with the many ideas flowing freely. She plans on taking her work to higher levels and expanding her genres. Her main focus is giving her readers variety. Her works in progress include paranormal, fantasy and mainstream romance. Taking characters and watching them grow past what she’s imagined is her true passion.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I re-read the email because it didn’t register at first. And then I screamed!

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Emotion is easiest for me to write. I see it clearly, the body language, expressions, I’m like a sieve picking out the best parts to show.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Dialogue is hard for me. I get compliments on my dialogue but it takes some work for me, to do the action tags alongside it.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: I love Krissy in Merikano’s Fury. She has a vivacious attitude and she’s damn smart. I love how she refuses to bend to Dare’s will, her core values are important to her, and she makes him adhere to them. She is a strong character.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, not at all. At times I see them so clearly I could go to a random model site and pick out someone closely resembling what I see in my mind. No one hero is the same, they each have their own issues, so do the heroines. I don’t pattern them, they pattern themselves and I work with what image I get in my head to bring them to life.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: Gone With The Wind. I fell in love with that book as a teen.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.mahalialevey.com
http://www.hales3000.multiply.com
http://www.twitter.com/hales3000
http://www.facebook.com/mahalialevey
http://www.myspace.com/mahalialevey
http://www.phaze.com
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.extasybooks.com
http://www.xoxopublishing.com
http://www.beautifultroublepublishing.com
http://quackersandtease.blogspot.com
http://novelsisterhood.blogspot.com

BLURB:
Merikano ‘Dare’ Varadi has finally met his match. The cheetah shifter assigned to protect and serve falls for Krissy Shuemaker, the boss’ client. Protecting her from herself seems futile, yet he’s determined to do what it takes.


Trading the comfort of home for the journey of self-discovery, Krissy is ready to follow her dreams on a new path.


When unexpected danger finds her, can the man who ignites feelings best left dead save her from herself? Or will his dark secret shatter any hope for a relationship and prevent them from joining for eternity?

PROLOGUE AND EXCERPT:
"Heathen City! You’re moving to that crime infested, God-forsaken dirty place?” Cecile tossed her favorite apple and orange-printed kitchen towel on the counter and looked at Krissy incredulously.

“Who’s going to take care of you and make sure you’re okay?” Cecile placed her hands on the counter and looked out at the packed SUV in the driveway.

“Ceci, I’ll be okay. I have Sicilian blood, remember?”

“I just don’t like it. It’s barely safe for young single women here.”

Krissy sighed. “I know—” She looped her arms around the thick, matronly mother who she loved more than dear life. “We had this same talk when I went to college, remember?”

She blew a raspberry. “You stayed in Oklahoma."

She kissed her adoptive mother goodbye. “I’ll be back to visit. I promise. I just need to get to know where I’m from.”

Cecile crumpled an embroidered hanky in her hand. “I don’t much care for that at all.”

“You worry too much, Ceci. I was fine in college and I’ll be okay in New York. My job is waiting for me!”

“I know I’m being a selfish old woman, Krissy, but why couldn’t you have just picked a local agency?”

The look on her mother’s face twisted her heart, but she knew what she had to do. She looked crestfallen over her baby moving seventeen hundred miles away. “I won a contest, remember? Besides, you encouraged me to find out more about myself. I know you hate my parents, but I need to go see where they’re from.”

“Promise me you’ll buy a gun when you get settled,” Cecile said.

“I promise, Ceci. Pepper spray, mace and a gun. Satisfied yet?”

“No, but I’ll be all right. Now, are your belongings stored in that contraption you call a car?”

“Yeah, the rental is fine. Mr. St. Paul gave me my address and it’s GPS-run. As soon as I arrive, I’ll turn in the rental and it’ll be subways and cabs from then on.”

“Okay. Well then, you should get on your way before it’s too dark. Promise to stop if you need to rest and don’t keep your doors unlocked at any stops.”

“Okay, I won’t. It’s a promise and I’ll call you when I get there.”

Krissy kissed Cecile one last time before getting into the rented SUV to take her to New York. The charge card Deryck sent her would pay for her lodgings if needed, along with food and gas.

She had never been so excited in her life. Winning the modeling and photography contest was a lifesaver. She’d be able to work and play with her camera. Life couldn’t get any better and she could hardly wait to take as many images as she could. The time of taking pictures of windmills, wheat fields, tornadoes and farms were over. It was time to see what the real world had to offer. Dibble, Oklahoma, and its population of 289, gently wavered out of existence behind her in the rearview mirror. She felt the excitement of her new life abroad racing through her blood. Finally, it was time to see what she was made of in the real world.

The day was a brisk one. The air Crisp with frigid air—enough to frostbite your lips, sealing them together if you just ran your bottom lip across them. People roamed the streets in masses, undeterred to meet their next appointment or next place of refuge. Looking up into the clear sky, even pollution couldn’t fill the air with its eroding particles drifting downward. The temperature was so frigid, it was freezing, the nastiness so that the people wouldn’t breathe the sludge into their lungs. Yet, the people didn’t notice the change, didn’t look up to see how clear the air was or to offer thanks. Nor did they scream or yell loudly, taking in huge puffs of air, even cold, into their lungs just for fun to see that they could take full, long breaths and throw their hands up in the air, acting a fool. It amazed and baffled her how they didn’t notice a thing as they made headway to wherever it was that was too important to see life for what it was. The artist in her was sure out today. So much so, that she shook her head and took the time to enjoy walking, enjoy how perfect the Big Apple was.

Starbucks coffee cups and mugs littered the receptacles as people clad in trench coats, thick hats and fuzzy gloves tossed them as they moved along. Where the buses met, the people departed. In fashion still, who on this Earth would wear stiletto’s in the winter. A New Yorker? No, not the sandal or sling-back stilettos. No…these women wore the boots, thick and lined with fur, some leather and climbing up to their knees, right where the hems of their calf-ridden skirts ended. Small patches of skin were observable to the person watching.

A giggle left her mouth as she began snapping images. Imagine crazy people wanting to freeze their asses off! She thought of the criss-cross underwear…if you could call them that. Women in this day and age and their scant pieces of fabric covering their sensitive skin were insane, at least to her. In a rush of air, walking down the crowded streets of New York, she had to think that they’d only wear such since so many people walked crowded in preventing the thick frigid air from reaching the very cells of each pore that was left bare to the elements.

For damn sure, if anyone was walking alone, they’d have long johns on. Yep, that must be why New Yorkers wore little to nothing under their garments. Who’d want to fry to death walking down the main streets? That must be why the people in the dead of winter didn’t layer up. Those who did, if they were on the inner most circle of pedestrian traffic, would be sweltering and stripping down as they walked.

Krissy was not, however, an ordinary native. She was a lurker, a keen observer, and what she observed was enough to make any pure country gal’s heart break. What she observed was the perpetual motion that stereotyped the natives as constantly on the go.

New York held so many things of pure beauty that she had to stop and snap as much as she could, just to remember. She wondered how many of these people who walked the streets each day did the same. A person reading a newspaper while walking down the sidewalk, a cup of coffee in one hand or a mother on her cell, barely cognizant of her toddler toddling off after a sparkling piece of junk, tripping and hurtling across the cement not two yards away. To her left, a man smoking a pipe, holding a cell to each ear, having two separate conversations, caught her eye. How hard in a throng of people, even with her camera now closed, was it to touch a neighbor and say hello, how was your day or even notice that each day as they walked inadvertently, they were by the same people time after time.

As she walked and space opened, giving her elbowroom, she withdrew her camera and began snapping again, the whirring of her lens creating the comforting hum of her craft and joy. She snapped regardless of those next to her, behind her, in front of her or in the far distant. With a change of lens sequence, she could shoot a multitude, yards away in any direction. No one noticed a brunette in a puffy black bubble coat and fashionable gloves holding a camera. Her face covering prevented them from seeing her soft skin and intelligent eyes while she observed and worked. She rather looked to be a felon casing a joint while dressed for the

She was casing in a way. It was amazing how people didn’t deviate in their lives while she followed the same people for a week, snapping as she went, to make a collage of sorts. Somewhere along the way, she hoped to find a contradiction by the end of her project. She hoped to find a small percent of people who conversed with one another as they walked or rode the train. She turned and headed for the A-Train with her hood pulled up and observant eye waiting for her contradiction to come.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you Marianne for interviewing me, I’ve enjoyed my time here. Embarking on a new journey is the greatest feeling in the world. I’m excited to see where it will lead me!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rejection and Revenge

If you read the inside flap of my latest release, Kismet's Revenge, you'd see the book is dedicated to Bertrice Small with the caveat that the book wouldn't exist without her. Well, it's true. In a weird way.

Allow me to 'splain. My first attempt at writing a full-length historical novel, in its initial inception, was more than 800 pages long and packed with details totally unnecessary to the story. What did I know? I was completely new to the writing business, raw and totally on my own. Undaunted (or ignorant--take your pick), I sent a query off to an agent on a Monday morning. The agent in question had a direct link to my idol, Bertrice Small. By Thursday I had my first rejection: a postcard that gave me the usual apology for the impersonal reply but he had too many manuscripts and not enough time to send a personal rejection, yet after careful consideration, the story was not for him. And boy was I mad! Not that he rejected me. More that I knew there was no way that if he had too many manuscripts on his desk he could have read my 800 page tome and sent me a rejection postcard within four days. (I told you; I was ignorant.)

The good thing about anger (at least for me) is that it energizes me. Makes me want to prove someone wrong. I started doing research, found critique partners, found Romance Writers of America, and learned.

I still believed in my story, but knew it needed tremendous work if I ever wanted to see it in print. But with my resentment at that agent still bubbling, I decided to write a sequel to my 800 page story. Yes, even after 800 pages, I still had plenty of story to write. Since this was a story for revenge, I titled this new work, Kismet's Revenge.

And it's available now at The Wild Rose Press. So there you have it. What's that old saying? "Living well Getting the book published is the best revenge."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Swords/Sorcery/Romantic Family Saga by Author Toni V. Sweeney

Today's guest blog is presented by Toni V. Sweeney!

BIO:
Toni Sweeney was born in Georgia after the War between the States but before the Gulf War. Her writing career began during an extended convalescence following an automobile accident. Since her recovery, she has survived hurricanes in the South, tornadoes and snow-covered winters in the Midwestern United States, and earthquakes and forest fires in California. She had been associated with the South Coast Writer's Association, the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers website, myspace and YouTube. She presently has numerous novels in publication, as well as several short stories featured in magazines, online, and was featured on amazon.com's Amazon Shorts.

Latest Book: A Singing in the Blood
Buy Link: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-754-4
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjvoi3c6qRs

I’ve always loved Sword and Sorcery stories. I read all Robert E. Howard’s stories I could find and when Conan the Barbarian eventually rode onto the silver screen, wielding a broadsword with both hands, I was in the audience, gasping and goggling, not knowing that within a few years I’d be living in California and Conan himself would be governor of the Sunshine State. I was well into writing romantic adventures by that time, and my love of SS (which had now degenerated into being called “medieval romances”) wove itself through the series I entitled The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic.

Like Conan, my hero Riven kan Ingan is a barbarian, the son of a wolfhead, a barbarian mercenary hired by the Margrave of Francovia. Unlike Robert E. Howard’s Cimmerian, however, when his father, who became the king’s favorite warrior, is killed in battle, Riven is adopted by His Majesty and raised with his own children. In spite of this, he’s never allowed to forget his foreign background. It is this and his self-professed disbelief in the gods which governs most of Riven’s behavior and sets him on a road leading from a captaincy in the Margrave’s army to becoming one of the most influential men in Francovia.

A Singing in the Blood is the third book in The Chronicles. It's a romance, a partial fantasy, and a family saga as well, because in these stories, the characters grow and change, in appearance, age, and their beliefs and convictions as well.

In the first story, Bloodseek, the hero Riven kan Ingan was a heretic, a disbeliever in the gods, he is in his mid-twenties, an arrogant young man aware of his lowly birth. Having been raised by the king after his father is killed in His Majesty's service, Riven is also privileged. A schemer, he decides to marry the king's daughter so he can pay back those who've looked down on him for being a barbarian's child. As will happen, however, his plans go awry, and those very gods he denies send him into the arms of the woman he will love forever...Barbara, a very young, very brave barbarian girl barely in her teens.

In the second book, Blood Curse, Riven is in his mid-thirties, Barbara her early twenties. He marries the woman of his heart and for her sake, resigns from the army and accepts a title from His Majesty. Now the Barbarian's Whelp is a Noble of the Realm and with it comes all responsibilities and griefs, for Riven is now accountable not only for himself and his wife but for a manor, an estate, and a village full of peasants. Tragedy involving Barbara's death sends him on a quest which will change his life forever and make him accept those gods whose existence he's denied. When he's at last allowed to return home, he brings with him a son, the child of his union with a barbarian woman who cared for him during an illness resulting in the blindness of which he's now cured. Back at his manor, he discovers another miracle--Barbara is still alive and he has another son. With his new family, he seeks forgiveness from those whom he wronged.

A Singing in the Blood opens on a Riven now in his early fifties age, a man loved by peasants, servants, and friends. He's negotiated a peace with the barbarians; his wife's people now come into Francovia, settled there and intermarry, some actually becoming nobles themselves. Oh, there's some strife...what household wouldn’t have it, with four teenaged boys and one daughter? Son Val seems determined to be at odds with his father no matter what the subject, second son Ilke wants to become a priest, the twins are forever into some mischief or another, only daughter Llani does what he tells her. Plus Val is jealous of Ilke because he's the son of Riven's second wife. Nevertheless, Riven is happy, and as much in love with Barbara as ever, but everything changes when Meraud, his good friend, drinking companion, and now ruler of Francovia, dies mysteriously and his son the Prince, whose sanity has always been questioned, comes to the throne. Morling hates foreigners, of which there are a goodly plenty in Francovia, thanks to Riven's peace efforts, and the mad young king is determined to get rid of all of them, beginning with his father's and his grandfather's favorites...the kan Ingans themselves.

That's the introduction to the third novel. Called once again to make his pledge of loyalty to the king, Riven has to choose. Will he give back this madman and persecute those people who have become his friends or will he refuse and become one of them? One choice means safety for everyone he holds dear; the other means destruction and the death of a traitor to the crown. On a bright winter day with the snow covering the trees, Riven, with son Val, makes his way to the capitol city, to announce his decision--and change the fate of the entire planet forever…

A Singing in the Blood is available in ebook and print from Double Dragon Publications.

BLURB:
In spite of his volatile relationship with his eldest son , life for Riven kan Ingan is very good indeed. His estate prospers, the land is at peace, and the barbarian tribes of Ghermia are now the Margrave's allies. Riven and his wife, Barbara, prepare to welcome another child into their household. When a new sovereign comes to power, however, civil war isn't far behind, and Riven is forced to make a choice between following a madman or being declared a traitor to the land he loves.

EXCERPT:
In the morning, the midwife was brought from the village but the day wore on and the child didn't come.

On the second day, Ynes barred Riven from the bedchamber. There was no malice in the action. One patient, she felt, was enough. Riven couldn't help and the sight of Barbara's bloodless face, her golden hair darkened with sweat, and the sound of her cries made his own face blanch with worry. Not resisting, Riven allowed himself to be banished from her presence.

Early the next morning, the Physician was summoned, and that in itself was rare, for 'twas unusual for the Leech to treat a woman in childbirth.

Riven found himself wishing for Ischa, the narcotic green wine used by the Cymenean warriors--some Ishca to give his little warrior, to kill the pain of the war for life she was waging. Though the Leech had similar drugs, he refused to give them, for they deadened the mind as well as the body and he feared she wouldn't be able to respond when her cooperation was needed.

Late that night, the Physician took drastic measures. Appearing in the chamber where Riven brooded before the fire, Ynes ran past him to the window where she seized the tieback braids, jerking them from the drapes. Unbound, the heavy curtains fell together, plunging the entire room into darkness.

Groping for the tinderbox upon the mantel, he struck flint against flint and lit the candles in the massive candlabrum there. He turned as she reached out and untied the lacing of his overtunic, pulling the string from the eyelets and dropping it upon the floor. The garment fell open revealing the white cambric longshirt he wore underneath.

"Ynes, are you mad?" He caught at the tunic, pulling it together. "What are you doing?"

Kneeling, she unlaced his boots. "We must untie every knot and unlock every lock. 'Tis the Leech's orders. Nothing must be closed."

Understanding what she meant, he pulled them off. Nothing must be closed, nothing must make an obstacle to prevent the child's coming into the world.

"Here, wear these!" For the first time, he saw that she carried a pair of soft house slippers. "You've been a noble a dozen years, Riven. Surely you know by now a Giarl doesn't stride through his home dressed as if he's riding off to war! 'Tis time that changed." This last was muttered under her breath.

Silently, she surveyed him, then reached out and flicked open the two buttons at the throat of his longshirt, caught the sleeves of his tunic and jerked it off his shoulders. As Riven stood there, barefoot, in just his shirt, he felt absurdly like a child being dressed by its nurse. Ynes held out a robe, placing the slippers on the floor.

As he straightened from sliding his feet into them and gathered the robe about himself, she smiled. "Now you look as you should when in your home."

In spite of these preparations, the child remained unborn, though every door in the castle was left ajar and all windows unbolted and all knots and other fastenings untied. The servants weren't even allowed to clasp their hands together, but the third day arrived with Barbara still in labor.

Riven was allowed to see her briefly that morning. As he stood there trying to decide what to say, she turned her head to look at him, raising one wavering hand to brush the hair out of her face.

"I vow, Riven, next time I'll think twice before I lie with you!" To his surprise, she gave him a weak but mischievous smile.

"I'll only have to remember this," he told her, swearing in his own mind he'd never touch her again if she was going to have such prolonged suffering while at the same time knowing he'd forget such a promise once she was well again.

She caught his hand, pulling him closer, under he was bending over the bed.

"Call Corvus." The words were whispered.  Then she closed her eyes again and astonished him by falling asleep.

He stood for several minutes holding her hand, then turned away to do her bidding. Things were desperate indeed if Barbara herself was asking for the priest of Ildred.

Website: http://www.tonivsweeney.com/
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/tvsweeney
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tvsweeney#%21/tvsweeney
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Celebrating My New Release: Ræliksen


Hello everyone! As some of you many already know, I am celebrating the new new release of my historical, Ræliksen, from Turquoise Morning Press! And it has been quite an amazing week, indeed.

My blog tour has just begun, with being interviewed at both Deanna Jewel's blog and Marissa's Sizzling Hot Reviews. Next week, I will be guest blogging at The Naked Hero and the following week I will be the spotlight author at Write Life of Andrea & Corrina: Chicks of Characterization.

What has also made this week spactacular, is that Ræliksen just received 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies! Here's what they said about it:

RAELIKSEN, the first book in author Renee Vincent’s EMERALD ISLE trilogy, is a fast-paced, action-packed historical romance, which Ms. Vincent brings to life right before your eyes. Enriched with vivid descriptions, well-drawn complex characters, an exhilarating plot, humor, plot twists, danger and sizzling romance, this story is realistic, historically accurate and unforgettable; a story you will remember long after the last page is read. I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading the sequel, MAC LIAM, which comes out in December. I highly recommend RAELIKSEN to anyone looking for a terrific read.

To read more of the review from Romance Junkies, go HERE.

Now, while I've had an amazing time spreading the word about my work, this release week would not be right without a little excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!

The door of the bathhouse flung open and the two staggered in from under Dægan’s cloak, locked in each other’s arms. Once inside, Dægan kicked the door closed while still delving into her eager kiss and fumbling to find the cursed lock on the door.


Mara already started feeling the warmth of the wood and stone room soak through her, grateful for the oddity of the Norse’s bathing habits as they had put a stagnant, sweltering atmosphere to good use.


Unable to leave her kiss, Dægan whipped his sodden cloak across the room and removed his boots and kirtle, heavy, too, with rain, dropping them carelessly on the bench behind him. The slapping collapse of his wet garment seemed to slow his wild spontaneity to an attentive act of seduction. The glow of the amber flame, in the corner of the room softened the rigid bones of his face, but it did nothing to ease the callousness of his smile as he circled her.


Her braid, he moved to the side and breathed in carefully the smell of her body, the way the oils from yesterday’s bath harmoniously mixed with the nostalgia of the Erin rain. His breath came soft and hot behind her ear, while his hands snaked tenderly around her throat and down below her chin to undo the two brooches at her chest.


Without her realizing, he had released the jeweled clasp and chain, and let the drenched fine cloak fall heavily to the ground, and then he went to work, undoing the laces of her dress. He was talented with his hands, being able to trace the thin vertical line of her spine that connected her slender neck to her finely widened hips with one, while stripping her from her gown with the other, letting it too, fall to the floor.


He slowly turned her around to face him, not shy in dropping his eyes to her glistening chest. There was another smile on his face, one of kinder birth than before, as he intimately seemed to memorize each curve of her blushing body.


Likewise, Mara let her eyes plummet to his waist, seeing his arousal as visible as a winter moon. But her innocent glance must have become an inseparable stare, for he stepped closer, asking, “Do I frighten you?”


Mara lugged her eyes from his midriff to his face. “Nay, Dægan…”


Her voice trailed as he slowly neared her face, eye to eye, mouth to mouth, until suddenly his lips pressed so gingerly against hers, endearing at first, then greedily as the kiss lengthened. He coiled his arm around her back as his other hand slid over the silken skin of her buttocks, pulling her close enough to nestle his hardened body against the soft of hers.


Dægan fell away from her lips. “May I?”


Mara lifted her brows in wonder. “May you what?”


Without taking his eyes from her, he dragged a bucket of water across the floor with his foot. “May I show you how sufficient a few buckets of water can be?”


Mara hesitated at the thought of him bathing her. It was quite a personal thing to bathe another, more so between lovers, and how difficult it would be to stand there and let it happen. “Dægan…”


He dropped to his knees, sliding his hands down the back of her legs, tarrying around her thighs. “Please?”


A nervous smile crept in slowly. “You make it very hard for me to forbid you of anything.”


Dægan’s reaction to those words nearly sent her heart to slam out of beat as his eyes befit well the scoundrel smile he flashed in response. Before she could even think to change her mind, he dunked the soap into the bucket and lifted her foot to his knee, rubbing her calf and shins with the bubbly lather. After cleaning her entire right leg, he wasted no time in doing the left, and then stood to lather her stomach, breasts and arms, taking great care to be gentle.


And overly thorough.


Nervously, Mara lifted her chin as he crept up her neck and around her shoulders, finding it amazingly difficult to look him in the eye, for having a man actually cleaning and caressing every part of her body without a cause for shame was more than she expected this night. Every sweep and slippery stroke of his hands coerced a desire low in her stomach, an aching that consumed her every thought. She closed her eyes, following the enjoyable play of his hands as he left no part of her untouched.


All too soon, she found him pressed against her soapy body, whisking her near-orgasmic daydream away with one wolfish smile.


“My turn.”


Mara couldn’t breathe, but the lack of oxygen hardly inhibited her mind from inventing an excuse. “Have you not already had your bath this evening?”


“Not by the pleasure of your hands.”


Dægan gathered them, along with the soap, and placed them on his chest. “Come now, love. Touch me.” 


Ræliksen
August, 2010
ISBN-101935817019
ISBN-13978193581701

Buy Now:
Amazon (Print)
Turquoise Morning Press (Print and ebook formats)

Smashwords (ebook format)

Visit me at ReneeVincent.com

Friday, August 20, 2010

Interview of Author Ashley Ladd

Today I'm presenting an interview of romance author Ashley Ladd!

Latest Book: Carnal Lust
Buy Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=780

BIO:
Ashley Ladd lives in Tahoma, South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer. She's been told she has a wicked sense of humor and often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The beginning. I’m on fire and eager to get the voices in my head out and onto paper. It’s as if the characters are demanding to be set free.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The middle. To keep the momentum going. To make sure the characters are 3 dimensional and properly motivated. To make sure none are TSTL or become a jerk. To keep the story emotional, exciting, fun to read.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Nikolai. He was fun to research. I don’t normally write historical romances so this was a new experience delving into 14th century England. I enjoyed getting into the mindset of the time, figuring out the dialogue (I love dialogue), and scenery.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Usually not. Usually I have a very specific visual of my character. Lorenzo Lamas with long, wild hair comes to mind when I think of Nikolai.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I’ve been taking line dancing lessons. It’s a fun way to exercise without thinking about exercise. I also like to go to the gym and work out, swim and ride bikes with my kids.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I’ve been told it’s dialogue. I love to let loose and make it as realistic as possible, to have fun with it. If I have fun with it, the reader will, too. Conversely, I really struggle with description. I have to go back and add it most of the time as I’m busy with dialogue, action, and emotion during my first go round of the story.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: I am a romance writer, romance being the operative word. Depending how sexy, I’d ditch the computer and make out with the man. I love computers but I’m not an idiot. If I were on that island with Orlando Bloom or Captain Jack Sparrow, I’m going to make the most of my time with them, not write about them. Ditto Dennis Quaid, Antonio Banderas, and a host of other romantic men. I’ll write about them later, not when they’re not willing, available, and in my arms.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I’m on Twitter almost every day. Ditto blogs. I keep forgetting to check Facebook and MySpace. However, my tweets automatically announce on Facebook. Since I have a full time day job, my tweeting is confined to evenings and weekends. I try to tweet from 2-10 times a day.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.ashleyladd.blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/ashleyladd
http://www.facebook.com/ashleyladd
http://www.myspace.com/ashleyladd
http://www.total-e-bound.com/authordetail.asp?A_ID=2
http://www.jasminejade.com/m-99-ashley-ladd.aspx

BLURB:
Kes is obsessed with killing Nikolai – to prevent him from destroying Earth nine hundred years into the future.

Kes is obsessed with eliminating Nikolai before he's reborn as the evil vampire who destroys Earth and propels her family into the past.
Once she finds the Nikolai of her present is a good and kind man she's not sure she can hold the very sexy human accountable for something he hasn't yet done.

EXCERPT:
Kes languished in the arms of her lover, a man she knew not by name but by his deep, sexy voice and his intoxicating kisses. She bade the sun not to set so she could steal more time in his arms, for when the moon chased the sun out of the sky, her lover would evaporate and she would be thrust back into the real world. And the real world was hell.

But this was heaven, if a vampire could be in heaven. She writhed and twisted in his arms, pressing her naked flesh to his. He was lithe and strong for a human, and he never failed to pleasure her.

“Are you in the mood to play, milady?” her lover murmured against her flesh.

She tilted her lips into a smile and nodded. “Wild and rough.”

He beamed at her with a sparkle in his eyes. “Whatever milady wishes.”

When he shackled her to the bed posts, her stomach pressed to the mattress, her legs spread wide, she didn’t demur. She squirmed with anticipation, her pussy clenching.

She turned her head and watched as he spread oil over his beautiful cock and then climbed aboard the bed. She lay there helpless, swaying with the motion as he approached stealthily. Her ass clenched, too, yearning for his touch. When he delivered a stinging slap to her bare buttocks, she screamed in a mixture of pain and pleasure. Never before had anyone spanked her, and she tingled.

Titillated, she rubbed her breasts against the bed, cajoling him to unite with her. But he sat beside her and ran the tips of his fingers across her back, to the edges of her breasts then pulled back. He walked them to the small of her back and withdrew again.

“Do you not wish to make love to me? To fuck me?”

“Are you that anxious to feel my cock move inside you? To be one with me?” He drew himself up to his knees and drew the tip of his cock along her side.

He bent by her ear and dipped his tongue inside. Then he whispered huskily, “Does that feel good? How bad do you want it?”

Her rear throbbed with an exquisite ache but not enough. She yearned for much more. “I crave your cock. I want you to fill me, to be inside me. Now.”

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=780


Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you, Marianne, for interviewing me. I know how busy you are with your own pursuits. You’ve got a great blog and loop, btw.

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