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Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview of Author Francesca Hawley

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Francesca Hawley!

Latest Book: Controlling Interest
Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-9039-50-controlling-interest.aspx

BIO:
Hi. I’m Francesca Hawley and I’m a fat chick. A woman with dangerous curves just like my heroines. Many people don’t like the word, “fat” but I do because it’s the truth and I’ve learned to own it. I am a fat chick and I always will be.

When I began writing, I wanted to create a fat heroine who loved herself—or at least learned to love herself—and a hot alpha hero who liked her jiggly bits just the way they were. Since I didn’t find many big girls to read about, I decided to write about them myself. After all, I loved to write and had been writing almost as long as I’d been reading, so Francesca Hawley, author of "Romance with Dangerous Curves", was born.

In a Francesca Hawley romance, my readers will find authentic, sensual, fat heroines who love and are loved by their intense, passionate and seductive Alpha heroes. I hope you enjoy their dangerous curves just as much as their hunky heroes do.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Screamed. Cried. Told everyone I knew. Pretty much in that order.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Usually the opening of the book is the easiest. I’ll have an idea that will grab me. Or perhaps a character will whisper in my ear. Then I’ll just kind of know where to start and from there the words flow. Which is not to say my first draft openers are golden…far from it. I work on editing those to make them snappier and more engaging. The opening allows me to begin to understand my characters and since I write character driven stories, getting to know my characters is paramount to me.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The love scenes. No,really! I write erotic romance but a love/sex scene can literally hold me up for days. And the sexual tension is NOT a good thing when you need to write that scene before moving on. I’ve tried to skip a love scene a few times and mostly that doesn’t work well. I tend to write in a linear fashion – chronologically – so I need to know what will happen during a love scene because something might change drastically between my characters. If I skip a love scene and then go in and write it, I may end up doing a lot of revision because something will happen that changes the plot or the character arc.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I’ve been active in the Society for Creative Anachronism since the late 1990s. The SCA is an international non-profit organization for the study and re-enactment of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from about 600 CE to 1600 CE. During my years in the SCA, I’ve learned about weaving, felting, glass bead-making and numerous other activities. I’ve had the opportunity to make friends of many people of varying backgrounds with a shared interest in the Middle Ages. It’s been really fun.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I think my greatest strength as a writer is characterization. Usually the first thing I get when I write a story is one of the characters – hero, heroine, or even a strong secondary character. Once I have that, the other characters spring up and then the story arises out of who those characters are. That was very true in my new release, Controlling Interest. It was actually a secondary character, Regine Stuart (Mouse’s boss and Tor’s late mother) who was the instigator for the story. Once I knew her and how managing she was, I understood who her son and personal assistant were. Also, I just “got” the name Mouse in my head and knew I had to make it work. Grin.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I’ve tried a lot of genres so far, but I think I’d like to give fantasy and science fiction a try. The reason is because when you write in those two genres what you create is ALL yours. You don’t have to dig through history books or be on top of all the current pop culture. Both science fiction and fantasy allow you to build a world that’s all your own and that really appeals to me as a writer. Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t do “research” but in those two genres, research means something different. It’s all about the world building and creating a consistent setting. I’d really like to get my teeth into that.

Tell us where to find you:
http://www.francescahawley.com
http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-9039-50-controlling-interest.aspx
http://www.jasminejade.com/m-504-francesca-hawley.aspx
http://www.francescasmindstream.blogspot.com
http://1800domhelp.blogspot.com
http://www.authorsbymoonlight.com
http://www.facebook.com/francesca.hawley
http://twitter.com/#%21/francescahawley
http://www.youtube.com/francescahawley

BLURB:
Mozelle “Mouse” Vincent inherits money, a club and her boss’ son as a business partner when society leader Regine Stuart dies. Torin Stuart knows what his late mother’s wishes were for his exclusive BDSM club, Erotically Bound, but he’s pissed that he’s forced to trust Mouse—especially when her inherently submissive nature arouses the sexual Dominant in him.

After baring all in a heated, intense scene, Mouse realizes that they still have to work together, but now Tor challenges any business suggestion Mouse makes. When she wants to offer education classes, Tor dares her to organize the class and participate—as a submissive.

To his chagrin, Mouse agrees, but he can’t stand the thought of any other Dom touching her. Suddenly there’s far more at stake than the controlling interest in their club…because love is the ultimate prize in their power exchange.

EXCERPT:
“She did what?” Torin Stuart rose from his chair with a roar.

Mouse was entirely grateful that the lion’s roar was directed at his late mother’s attorney and not at her, but the attorney was unperturbed.

“Your mother left her controlling interest in your club Erotically Bound to Ms. Mozelle."

“But Mother knew…”

“Please sit down and allow me to finish reading the will in a proper manner, Mr. Stuart.”

Tor ran his fingers through his bright ginger hair and glared at her briefly before sitting with a growl. Mouse kept her hands tightly around her purse. He’d been really kind in letting her stay in the townhouse his mother had set aside for her use, but with this news, he’d probably toss her out on her ass. Damn it. She thought she was done with being homeless.

“Ms. Vincent, shall I continue?” Mouse nodded. “Very well.” The lawyer cleared his throat. “I leave my controlling interest in the amount of fifty-one percent in the club Erotically Bound to Ms. Mozelle Vincent. In addition, I will her the townhouse and all furnishings thereof in which she has been living for the last five years. The estate will pay property taxes for two years, but then, and I quote ‘you’re on your own’. Do you understand, Ms. Vincent?”

Mouse’s jaw dropped. That townhouse was stunning. Huge and smack in the center of Washington D.C. with a multicar garage. It was located in the historic Capitol Hill district, just blocks from the Capitol building and Pennsylvania Avenue. The place was worth…millions.

“Ms. Vincent, do you understand the terms of the will regarding the townhome?”

“Yes, I own it and Regine’s estate will pay the first two years of property taxes then it’s my responsibility.”

“Precisely.”

“Is that all? Can we discuss my club now?”

The lawyer frowned at Torin over the top of his reading glasses, his bushy white brows extending over the frames. “I have not finished. Please remain silent until I do, sir.”

Tor waved his hand with a sigh and the lawyer nodded. Mouse wanted to laugh at the byplay between the two men, but she was too shocked. What had Regine been thinking?

She had to have had an ulterior motive for doing this, God knew, she always did. Regine Stuart was always three moves ahead of everyone else…a master strategist. That was how she’d managed to be one of D.C. society’s reigning queens. When Regine spoke, everyone listened…even the president.

“Ms. Vincent, please attend.”

Mouse looked up as the lawyer admonished her. “Sorry.” She shrugged.

“Finally, for—and again I quote—surviving six years in my employ as my downtrodden Jill-of-all-trades and for making my final years a pleasure instead of a burden, I will Mozelle Vincent twenty million dollars.”

Ice filled her body before unbearable heat melted her emotions. Her jaw dropped, but she was so utterly shocked she couldn’t move. Then she burst into uncontrollable tears. Throughout most of her life she’d hadn’t had a pot to piss in, but then six years ago she literally tripped over Regine Stuart and her world had completely turned on its head. The lawyer rose and approached her.

“My dear, are you quite all right?” He awkwardly patted her shoulder and she nodded, still trying to cover her abrupt emotional response.

She hated crying. She hated losing control of her emotions. She hid whatever she felt behind a façade of calm, which was something Regine had always valued in her. And it was something they had in common. Even if the world came crashing down around them, both she and Regine could remain calm to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Mouse glanced at Tor, worried that he’d think she was being overly dramatic or that she was getting money she didn’t deserve, but he seemed moved by her emotional display rather than scornful. When she could catch her breath, she cleared her throat.

“Don’t mind me, really. Go on with reading the will.”

“There isn’t too much more.” The lawyer returned to his desk. “To my household staff…”

Mouse stared at her perfectly manicured fingers as the lawyer finished. Those nails were a luxury she’d gotten used to with a steady paycheck and Regine’s insistence that she look polished at all times. God, if she had walked past the Capitol building five minutes earlier or five minutes later six years ago, she and Regine never would have met and Mouse would probably still be trying to find a place to live outside the homeless shelter. Regine had given her a chance when no one else would. Sometimes miracles really did happen.

“This concludes the last will and testament of Regine Stuart.”

“Can we discuss my club now? Please…” Tor growled as he turned to her. “Mouse, how much do you want for it?”

The lawyer held up his hand as the remaining listeners filed out of the room, leaving Mouse alone with the lawyer and Tor.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Stuart. Your mother left explicit instructions. Mouse…rather Miss Mozelle is required to hold her interest in the club for a minimum of six months. Under the terms of the will, the two of you are required to work together during that time.”

Tor opened his mouth then closed it again. He stood and began to pace. Broad shoulders, narrow hips and the most amazing ass she’d ever seen. Add a stunning body to his red hair and bright blue eyes and he was a package of mischief that made better women than her melt and get silly.

Mouse looked down at her hands out of habit. Ever since she began to work for Regine, she’d quietly had the hots for Tor, but putting that attraction to the test was unthinkable. First, she was sure Regine wouldn’t have been keen on having her assistant flirt with her son. And second, and most important, Torin Stuart had been seen escorting tall, slender and decidedly beautiful super models around town—his lovers had most definitely not been chunky personal assistants with frizzy, flyaway, boring brown hair and dull brown eyes.

“Mouse… Mouse, did you hear me?”

She met Tor’s blue-eyed gaze and felt the blush crawl up her neck. Damn.

“What?”

He sighed and rolled his eyes. “You’ve had a tough six years working for mother. Just relax for the next six months then I’ll offer you a great price for the interest in the club.”

The lawyer cleared his throat, causing Tor to whip around. “Damn it, Thompson. What the hell is it?”

“Your mother required you to work together to manage the club. If any of the terms of her bequest are violated, the shares will be sold…but not to you.”

“What?”

“If the two of you don’t work together, or if you make an offer for her shares before six months have passed, which she accepts, then the shares will be sold to anyone but you.”

“The shares belong to Mouse. She can sell to whomever she wants.”

“No, I’m afraid not. If she goes against the terms of the will, she loses everything your mother willed to her.”

God, she didn’t want to challenge Tor about this, but she wouldn’t go back to living on the streets. She just wouldn’t.

She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, Tor. I have to abide by the will.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m continuing to work on new projects. I have more stories in mind for members of the Larson family, my shapeshifters, and my medieval heroes are always trying to seduce me. I expect 2011 to be a really busy year.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What comes first - characters or story?

The January issue of RWA's publication, RWR, Romance Writer's Report had some great articles brimming with insights. Something Maria Connor wrote in her article, New Year, Renewed Focus, really tapped my writing brain, more like banged on it with a ball-peen hammer. "...play to your strengths; the aspects of writing that you do well and love to do." And a quote from former Silhouette Senior Editor Valerie Hayward echoes her advice: "Commit to being really, really good at what you do best instead of focusing on what needs to be fixed. It's way more fun and affirming."

So simple, right?

I know my strengths as a writer are well-defined characters and comfortable, realistic dialogue. That part of writing comes easy for me. I know my people, hear them, see them, know their body language, how they respond to anything said to them. From the first day of my journey to taking writing seriously and not add it to my list of hobbies, I haven't struggled with those two aspects of writing. It's the storyline that is the weak brick in my writing wall. Characters, professions, language, settings, how the characters meet and interact I can do. Taking those images and ideas and turning them into a really good story is my biggest challenge. I do manage to get there, with more ease than I used to, and tell the story as best I can.

I can thank my characters for that. They write their own stories. I'm simply their conduit and fingerpower. Veering away from common occupations and the people working them is one of my favorite aspects of character development. Like in 'Renovation Road', a story of mine in the 2010 holiday anthology, Comfort and Joy, the lead female character is an 18-wheel truck driver. Darby hauls cars for a living, a Florida to Wyoming route this time around. She's got a stowaway in one of her cars, an adult male running from his life. Now, when I started working the story I wasn't exactly sure what Jamison was running from but eventually his story played out. Darby decides to invite him to ride with her in the truck cab, praying that she doesn't regret the decision.



Here's Darby's side of things:

****
She'd never been good at hiding her feelings and had a couple that had snuck up on her. Apprehension for one. Not a lot but enough to get her attention. She'd taken on a large, unknown male passenger, so a little apprehension was valid. And invited said passenger to strip and cozy up in some of her towels. Then there was that supid promise not to peek. She'd sounded like a sleazy dressing room attendant.

But excitement topped everything. The potential danger of the situation and the risk she'd taken was kind of exciting.

Not bad for only five AM.

*****
I wanted to put a little twist on the White Knight scenario, make it the lady doing the saving rather than the man. Not an easy thing for a forty something man to admit he's comfortable with, or wants. Here's a little insight into Jamison's thinking while he's sitting in a jail cell:

****
I'm sorry I led you to think I needed a ride because my car had broken down. But you coming to that truck stop was the best thing that had happened to me in a long time. I couldn't risk..."

Darby squinted into the gloom of the cell. "You couldn't risk what?"

"Losing a way to get away from there. I couldn't risk losing...you." A long breath escaped him. "I thought you were a man. If I'd known you were a woman, I probably wouldn't have done what I did."

She smirked. "Really. Have a problem with female truck drivers, do you?"

****

A question to you: what comes first, your characters or your stories? Does a character guide your way to and through your story, or does your story shape who will tell it?

As always, happy writing!

Polly
www.pmccrillis.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Censorship

Hi Everyone,

Sorry, I'm so late today. I totally forgot. My topic today is Censorship.

Do you believe in censorship? I'm adamant when I say I do not. It makes me angry when I think of being told what I can read or not read. If a book offends me I will not read it, but I won't anyone else they can't.

How dare a few people tell me what's good or bad for me, or my family? I have been taught right and wrong, and I'm perfectly capable of deciding for myself what is evil.

There are so many wonderful books that have been banned and if they stayed restricted, we would have missed out on so much. Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, and Twelfth Night and others by Shakespeare may have never been seen.

The book that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
OSCAR WILDE

So many books show our shame. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou talks about her rape as a child. The book is often banned for sexual content, violent imagery, and vulgar language.

Other books that show society's shame are Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne just to name a few. All of these books have been banned, and yet they are considered classics today.

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
JOHN MILTON

Milton has expressed my feelings on censorship. This is such a valuable liberty that we have. Why would anyone want to take it away? My belief on this topic is that you will remain unconcerned until some right you wish to keep is seized from you.

Knowledge cannot defile, nor consequently the books, if the will and conscience be not defiled.
JOHN MILTON

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

Words can make you aware of the wrongs in this world, but if you do not read them, then you'll learn the hard way when the event occurs. I'm a strong opponent against censorship.

Even children's books are barred because someone thinks their child is being taught to be naughty or about witchcraft. Where are our imaginations? I grew up on Peter Pan, and even that book is not sacred. Some people have tried to remove it from libraries. There are those who look for reasons to remove a book, and often it's out of fear of the truth.

Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. If some books are deemed more baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men. Events, not books, should be forbid.
HERMAN MELVILLE.

I do believe that not all books are appropriate for everyone, and each individual has the right to decide for themselves what is suitable for them and their families. Small children cannot make these decisions, but once they are on their own they have a right to make their choices.

Okay, folks, what do you think of censorship? Are you for it, or against it? All opinions can be expressed.

Until next month.

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall
Author of The Odyssey Mysteries,
The Catalyst, Addiction and The Deceived
http://www.eirelander-publisher.com

Friday, January 28, 2011

Interview of Author Amber Kallyn

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Amber Kallyn!
Latest Book: Dragos 2: Scorched
Buy Link: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1537


BIO:
One of those rare breeds, Amber Kallyn is an Arizona native who can trace her family's history through six generations in the state. She lives with her sexy husband, and their four very active children. Included in the menagerie are two cats (though there's always room for more) and two dogs. We won't count all the fish. She also writes urban fantasy under the name Higley Browne.

Amber loves the paranormal, from dragons to werewolves to vampires. She's currently at work on her next book, probably running around the house acting out a fight scene with her collection of swords and daggers. Or maybe, wishing she had claws to practice the other fight scenes. A voracious lover of the written word, Amber found at an early age that she could read fast. Really fast. She devours novels by the day, novellas by the hour, and is always looking to get her hands on more.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: When I opened my email and saw the heading, “Congrats and welcome”, I shakily hovered my hand over my mouse, trying to convince myself to actually open the email. After a few minutes, I managed to click it.

The email popped up, with the line “We’ll be sending your contract soon.”

After sitting there stunned for a good ten minutes, certain they must’ve sent the email to the wrong person, the contract arrived in my inbox.

Then I cried. I jumped up, barely saving my laptop from an unceremonious dumping onto the floor, paced the livingroom while crying harder. Then, I paced some more as I called up my hubby and all my writing friends. I think I shook and cried and paced for a good two hours. :)

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your hero? Tell us about your hero.
A: In my urban fantasy series, one of my main characters is Hugh Jackman’s twin. Yummy.

And, if they were making a movie about one of my books, I’d get to go meet the actors, right? Right? I swear I wouldn’t become a stalker. Probably.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: I usually have a clear picture in my mind while I’m writing. I love doing a photo montage of all my main characters, too. For me, until I “see” them, they’re not fully developed and I have a hard time writing about the characters in-depth. Visuals are good. Very good :)

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I have too many hobbies. Really. So I don’t get to spend much time doing any of them. But my favorite ‘relaxing’ thing to do is watch spooky, or corny, horror movies. To me, they rock. I don’t care if it’s someone going around killing people, the monster eating everyone, or the animals changed by radioactivity wreaking havoc. I’m there.

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: Well, I assume the handsome man is my hubby, and the kids aren’t there :) First, we sleep. Uninterrupted. No kids waking us up to let us know their stuffed animal is having a tea party.

Then, we make love on the beach -- without worrying the kids might interrupt. Afterwards, he goes hunting for the nearest Starbucks, food and drink (yes, in that order). I hop on my laptop, make sure the kids are being taken care of and check Twitter and email.

Then, of course, I write :)

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I’d like to try writing horror. I grew up with Stephen King and Dean Koontz and they’re still my hero’s. I love horror stories, books and movies both. Just not sure I’d actually be able to write it :)

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.changelingpress.com/author.php?uid=145
http://www.amberkallyn.com
http://amberkallyn.wordpress.com
http://plotmamas.wordpress.com
http://7evildwarves.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/#!/AmberKallyn
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Amber-Kallyn/119605398111010
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4584263.Amber_Kallyn

BLURB:
A rare Argentinean dragon shifter, Cynthianna "Anna" Hernandez has never known trust, peace or safety, not even by fleeing to the deepest wilds of Canada. When bounty hunter Garreth Dragos shows up during a blizzard, things get complicated as their inner dragons decide they're perfect for each other. Things get worse when the dark mage hunting Anna finds them, sending his creatures to return her to his evil clutches. He's willing to sacrifice anything and anybody to further his quest for power. Together, Anna and Garreth must trust in each other or all will be lost to evil.

EXCERPT:
Cynthianna Hernandez stared at the growling wolf on her cabin porch, his eyes flashing as he crouched for attack. “Silencio,” she commanded.

Wolf whimpered, turning to stare at the trees around them, one paw on the wood, the other poised to dash out into the blizzard.

She sensed the presence of someone here as well as her companion did. That didn’t mean she would foolishly dart out into the storm -- quickly becoming the promised blizzard -- to go find out who, or what, had come to the forest.

Anna clasped the oval locket dangling from the gold chain around her neck. She didn’t have to open it to remember what her beloved padre looked like. Or his final words to her.

“Run. The master is after you.”

Well, she’d done so. How much farther could a dragon run than the coldest reaches of Canada? At least here, the chances of bumping into his creatures were slim.

She hadn’t even seen another dragon during her time wandering this cold, frozen place. Then again, dragons were creatures of heat. The cold hindered their abilities. Only the blood of her mama -- a rare Argentinean dragon, more magic than fire -- helped her function in this weather. Anna could call on those inherent abilities to protect her from the cold.

Most dragons were of European descent. Over the centuries, their magic faded, while their fire increased.

She had the best of both worlds.

And if a dragon would be hard pressed to survive, anyone el stupido to be caught out in the fast approaching storm would soon be dead.

Howls erupted in the forest, less than a mile from her hidden cabin. Wolf whimpered again, inching forward.

“You won’t stand a chance against a pack,” Anna replied, staring out into the white nothingness. “And anyone out there is none of our concern.”

But a pang of worry crept into her chest. Could she really stand by and let someone die?

Clutching her jacket tighter, she mumbled, “I’m el stupido.”

Wolf yelped and trotted into the snow. Anna followed. He ranged ahead, doubling back every few minutes to point her the right way. Ten minutes later, the cold had bitten deep, crawling beneath her jacket trying to freeze her. She called to her dragon magic. Soon, warmth surrounded her, pushing back the cold.

The wind shifted, opening a slim curtain in the white. In front of her, Wolf stood over a body-shaped lump. He growled, snapping at three mangy, starved wolves. Their eyes glowed yellow, reflecting moonlight.

"Regresar," Anna commanded the wild beasts to leave.

The three strange wolves turned their glares to her.

Regresar,” she repeated, a low growl of her own escaping with the word.

One wolf barked, then as one, they turned and fled. Anna’s wolf faced her, tongue lolling from the side of his sly grin. Then he began digging snow from the body.

“Whoever it is, they’re surely dead by now.” But she knelt down and pushed a thin layer of snow from the person’s face.

Only to catch her breath. The hard, chiseled face seemed familiar. Black eyebrows framed slightly tilted eyes. She dusted off his tangled black hair, then moved to his broad chest. He breathed. Surprise almost made her jerk away.

Brushing a strand of her own long, dark hair from her eyes, she stared at his wide mouth, the square jaw, the dimple in his chin.

This couldn’t be… No. Not her dream warrior. Just because he looked so like the few flashes she’d seen didn’t mean anything. Her dream warrior was merely a figment of her imagination. This man was real.


Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so very much for having me :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celtic Romance

Celtic Romance
by Cornelia Amiri

The month of love, February and the holiday of love, Valentine Day, one of my favorite holidays, will soon be upon us. Valentine Day reminds us that many of our fondest thoughts and memories are of romance, including dating and weddings, courtship and betrothal and these events were just as special to the ancient Celts. Love and marriage was so important to the Celts that they had more types of recognized marriages than any other culture. Under the Brehon (Brehoon) laws of Ireland, there were not one, but 10 types of marriage. I’ll list them.

#1. The man and wife contributed an equal amount of property or finances.
#2. A woman moved to the man's property and contributed little or nothing financially but managed the housekeeping.
#3. A man moved to the woman’s property and contributed little or nothing financially but managed her cattle and her fields.
#4. The husband and wife both had property and managed their own individually, but the children's rights were still safeguarded.
#5. By mutual consent the man and woman shared their bodies, but lived under separate roofs. I call that the have your cake and eat it too marriage.
#6. A man abducted the wife of a defeated enemy. So the woman came to that marriage as a spoil of war.
#7. The man and woman got together only for one night of sex. In modern times we have a slang expression for this relationship, we call it a one night stand. The Celts had an expression as well, they called it a soldier's marriage.
#8. A man seduced a woman by lying to her or by taking advantage of her while she was drunk.
#9. A union by forcible rape. The ancient tale of Camma and Sinorix detail what Celtic women felt about this marriage. After Sinorix killed her husband and forced her to wed him, Camma put poison in the ceremonial wedding cup which they both drank from together. Vengeance against Sinorix was more important than her own life. She used the marriage to get revenge.
#10. Both the man and woman were either feeble-minded or insane.
The Welsh, under the laws of Hywell (whowell) the Good, had the same types of marriages as the Irish, except for # 10.

All types of banter must have occurred regarding these marriages. Going by the way I numbered the marriages, instead of Yo Mama, they might have said something like, “Oh, you must have been born from a number 10 marriage.” And they could have more than one spouse, so an ancient Celtic man or woman could have several combinations of marriages. Can you imagine meeting someone and asking not “are you married?” But “what number marriage do you currently have?” They might reply, “Oh, I have a #1 and a #5 and of course a couple of # 7’s.” . . . And I thought modern day dating was complicated.

To modern man, it seems silly or even cruel to refer to some of these unions as marriages. But it isn’t, because these marriages were not for the benefit of the man or woman, they were for the protection of the children. By recognizing all these unions as legal marriages, the Celts insured there were ¬no illegitimate children. A child born of any of the 10 unions would inherit like any of their parents’ other children. Also the land did not go to the eldest son. The estate was split between all children including the daughters.

Handfasting was another type of Celtic union, it lasted for only a year and a day. It predominantly took place at Lughnassadh (LOO-nahs-ah), the Celtic Harvest festival, celebrated August 1. Single men lined up on one side and unmarried women on the other. They paired off and married for a year and a day. The couple’s wrists were literally tied together during the ceremony. This is where we get the expression "tying the knot". The couple had to return to the same place the following year to make their marriage permanent. They could also end the union at that time by simply standing back to back, facing north and south, and walking out. Going their separate ways, single once more.

Fruit gathering was also part of Lughnassadh. And this was romantically done as young men and women paired off to pick bilberries and didn’t return until nightfall. This included the sweet custom of boys threading the berries into bracelets for the girls to wear that day.

Another important festival for the ancient Celts was Beltaine (bell-tayn), which in modern times we call May Day. The May Queen led the Beltane procession with her ritual courtship of the Green Man. These symbolic marriages of the god and goddess, in the form of King and Queen of the May, were mirrored in human courtship. One of the most popular May Day traditions was to set a basket full of spring flowers or other small gifts at a neighbor’s house without them seeing you. If you got caught, they would chase and then kiss you. Courtships for the ancient Celts would often begin at Beltaine and the marriages would be held at Samhain (Sah-van), which in modern times we call Halloween.

Samhain, as the beginning of the New Year, was the main season of weddings for the ancient Celts. A tradition that survived in Wales, in Montgomeryshire, was on Samhain they made a mash of nine ingredients: potatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, parsnips, leeks, pepper, salt and new milk. A wedding ring was hidden in the mash. Teenage girls dug into the mash with wooden spoons, anxious to learn their fate, for the one who found the ring would be the first one married. The way it was done in Carmarthenshire, was that on Samhian, nine girls made a pancake together, containing nine ingredients, divided it among themselves, and ate it. Before dawn, each girl would have a vision of her future husband.

Moving forward, up to the 16th century, we find one of the most interesting Welsh customs, loving spoons. Celtic handmade love spoons were carved from one piece of wood with symbols on the stem, which had various meaning, from two hearts “We love each other” to an intricate knot meaning “together, forever.” A farmer might carve a vine with flowers on the stem which would mean “love grows.” A sailor might carve an anchor which would mean “steadfast love.” The spoon was the main eating utensil of the day, so by giving a lady a spoon the man was also saying I can provide for you, you won’t go hungry. Love spoons were like engagement rings, if the lady accepted the spoon, she accepted the proposed marriage.

Another quaint courtship custom which began in the 16th and 17th century was bundling. On long, dark, cold winter nights, courting couples were encouraged to share a bed - but they were fully clothed and the boy or girl was sewn into a "bundling bag," a linen sheet that would bind, confine, and conceal the legs, and consequently, private parts of the body. By the late 1600s, Wales's supposedly relaxed sexual morals had become the brunt of English jokes, with the scarcity of Welsh virgins the tired old punch line. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English historians blamed the wayward Welsh for the bundling custom. Though bundling was a perfectly innocent courting ritual. A visitor to Wales reported that female servants were so fond of bundling, they refused to work unless their lovers were permitted to share their beds.

With this romantic romp through the ages, from Brehon marriage laws to bundling, you can get a taste of what courtship and marriage was like for our ancestors. Romance was as important in ancient times as it is today. For as the poets say . . . love is timeless.

For more Celtic/Romance and my books of Long Swords, Hot Heroes, and Warrior Women, please visit my website at httm://CelticRomanceQueen.com

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wishing on a Blue Star

Normally, I don't promo in place of blogging. I like to actually blog and say something to people. But yesterday I had a release that is worthy of a little time and attention. This release is a FREE ebook. If you want it in print, it will cost you a mere $7.

It's an anthology and more. It's the story of a man's journey with a deadly disease. Author Patric Michael had a rare form of cancer, one with a low survivability rate. At the time that this book came together, Patric's prognosis was poor and our contributions reflected our fears. Today, Patric is in remission and happily enjoying this release as I hope all of you will.

The stories within this book are meant to inspire you. They are also meant to remind you of the fragility of life and the need to make your minutes, hours, days and more count. They should also stand as a reminder of what we can do if only we set our minds and hearts on it...you can come together to create an awesome literary work and you can beat an illness no one expects you to beat. The power of the human spirit is an amazing thing. Read this book and you'll see why.

A Special Project by Dreamspinner Press & ManLoveRomance Press. Edited by Kris Jacen.

How much impact can someone have on your life if you’ve never met them face to face?

In this electronic age of E-mails, electronic publishing, and social networks, quite a lot.

Through his emails, stories and blog, author Patric Michael has touched numerous hearts, minds and lives from the start of his career and further as he now takes us along on his journey to battle cancer.

Along the way, Patric shows us a side of life that not many truly see-- how we are all a part of something larger than just ourselves, and how we are each touched by others for the betterment of all.

Now, those that have been touched by Patric and his words have joined together to give something back, to him and to us all through something he values highly – words.

In this compilation, gay short stories, poems, and anecdotes combined with excerpts from Patric's blog and a few entertaining, educational group posts reveal, and celebrate, the man who has touched so many hearts and minds.

This collection, sometimes erotic, sometimes irreverent, and always poignant, is a gift from all our hearts to celebrate Patric and give strength (and a little levity) to others. The price reflects this; no one is receiving royalties or payment from the sales. Use it to celebrate life, celebrate words, and possibly inspire someone who needs it.

DOWNLOAD THE BOOK FOR FREE HERE.

Jessewave reviewed the anthology and talks about some of the stories inside including my story In the Light. I nearly cried to see that she had singled me out along with my lunch buddy Z.A. Maxfield, the great Victor J. Banis, Mary Calmes, and Amy Lane. You can read the review HERE.

Even better than Wave mentioning In the Light in her review... she got it. The story isn't a romance. It's a dark tale with a bit of a moral and more than a nod to an ode to friendship. And Wave got it.

Okay, I cried a little. I didn't expect that anyone besides Patric and our editor Kris would even understand this little Tale from the Five Dark Realms. But Wave did. Maybe you will too. Go download this book and get out your hankie. And celebrate life and the human spirit. If you wish on a blue star...you never know what might come true.

Happy Wednesday my lovelies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Guest Blog: Paty Jager: Mixing Real Life With Fiction


My current release Bridled Heart deals with a tough subject but in a way that I hope it gives strength to those who have been in a similar situation.

Gina Montgomery is a child of incest. There aren't graphic flashbacks. She deals with bitterness and control. One reviewer commented she should have had counseling. I agree there are instances for counseling, but sometimes an individual is strong enough to find their way without counseling. I know a person who has and while still bitter, manages to be a loving mother, faithful wife, and maintain a sane life.

So why did I pick this topic to put in a romance? I wanted to show that everyone deserves love and that it is out there in the right form. Sometimes, as is the case in the book, it can be found in the oddest places. Gina an ER nurse finds herself drawn to a bareback rodeo rider. One patches up people, one attempts to break his bones most weekends. But they find they have common ground and that is where the friendship starts and love blossoms.

Holt Reynolds is a man harboring guilt over his sister's suicide and the fact he put his career over her needs. When he meets Gina and sees a bit of his sister in her, he takes on the challenge of getting closer to her and "helping" her. But little does he know his helping becomes more. He treats her like a head-shy filly and doesn't give up when she gives him an icy shoulder.

In this book I've mixed the reality of a painful past with a budding future, showing readers a side to rodeo athletes some may not know and showing love can conquer when it's held in the hands of someone who truly cares for you.

BLURB:
A specialized placement schedule and self-imposed vow of celibacy keeps ER nurse, Gina Montgomery, from getting too close to anyone. Music is her only solace and release from a past laced with abuse. But when that music draws the attention of a handsome bareback rider, her chosen solitary life—not to mention her vow—gets tested to the limits.

Holt Reynolds let his younger sister down when she needed him most. With the similarities to his sister far too evident in Gina, he can’t get the woman out of his head, or her poignant music out of his heart. But how can he find a way to free her bridled heart before the past resurfaces to destroy their one chance at happiness?

Website: http://www.patyjager.net
Blog: http://www.patyjager/blogspot.com
Buy link: http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=175_141&products_id=4369

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guest Blog: Maggie Berkley: I Have a Secret!

It’s not mind boggling or whisper worthy but to me its something that is mine…a secret fantasy, or others might call it, an alter ego. You see, I’m an a kick ass beautiful assassin who men lust over and fear. I walk the streets with confidence, meeting the eyes of passersby with a haughty smirk, knowing that if I wished I could easily remove them from this world with none knowing the better.

I’m also a top notch thief, able to get past the most advanced security systems without breaking a sweat. I glide by in the night, walking through your dreams to get to what I want, your most prized possession. Whether its to distract you with a bat of my lashes as I pick your pocket or etching through a glass window at twenty stories up to cross a room filled with electronic sensors, nothing will stop me from my goal.

Some days I’m dark and gorgeous, deep inside blood thirsty and empty of human emotion. Once I was living but now I’m not. Years ago I died at the hands of a stranger only to be reborn into something stronger, faster, deadlier, for I am vampire, a creature of the night damned for all eternity to live as civilization around me blossoms and dies.

The imagination of a writer is something different, something special, for it is we who create new worlds, create new life and bring to others these vivid scenes of wonder. For most of us life is a dream, we think them, sleep them, find ourselves obsessed with them and in the end, if we’re lucky, we can manage to jot down our thoughts to share with others.

For me one side effect of this passion is that I am unable to turn it off. It travels with me everywhere I go; at the store, in school, walking down the street, even on the bus. It robs me of my sleep, occupies my every thoughts, and distracts me during conversations. I’m sure people that pass me in public wonder as to my nature. At times I speak out loud, working out a scene for my next chapter. At other times I become so obsessed that any disruption becomes an irritant, locking myself away from everyone until my character’s stories are put to paper.

And when it finally does, when the story is complete I can sit back and sigh, relax until the next character steps forward to claim my attention, to drawn me into obsession once again and we begin another dance of words.

BIO:
As a long time of dark fantasy with a touch of romance and horror, Maggie Berkley grew up in a world all her own, one she created as a teenager during her long periods of parental lockdown due to a rebellious nature. As a youth she created short stories and plays for friends and family and as time went on drew on her love of fantasy and horror to write longer stories and fan fiction. Due to the encouragement of family and friends she published and now has two full length e-book novels (Enter the Night: Book One of the Morgan Crowe trilogy, Behind the Throne: Book Two of the Morgan Crowe trilogy) and a short story (Diary of a Vampire). Books are available at Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise, Bookstrand, and Amazon.

You can contact her at maggieberkley@yahoo.com with any questions or comments or follow her at http://maggieberkley.viviti.com
http://facebook.com/maggieberkley
http://twitter.com/maggieberkley

BLURB:
Behind the Throne: Book Two of the Morgan Crowe trilogy

Alone, pregnant and cranky, Morgan Crowe finds herself surrounded by enemies and with no one to trust when luck finds her on the doorstep of a friend long forgotten. Taken in by the daughter of a powerful King who would rather see her dead, Morgan relies on her instincts for survival and hopes she could live through the next few months in order to give birth, and then she would be up to her normal strength and skill.

As her rotten luck would have it an enemy has found itself in her safe haven and has taken revenge, by taking her only surviving friend and causing her to come face to face with her past. Court intrigue and danger rears its ugly head as the grip on her tightens, causing her to reach out for help and learn that to trust may not be as bad as she thought. Especially when that trust comes in the form a young Werewolf met once on a rainy night that seems so long ago.

But attractions are not that simple are they? Especially when an old rival shows up and the heat between them flares. But Morgan has no time for macho games, especially when her friend’s life is in her grasp.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Katalina Leon "Nice Package" Excerpt


Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly a month goes by and instantly it’s my turn to blog again. I realized late last night that it was already January 22, and I didn’t have a blog… Uh oh.
Today I want a share a quick excerpt from “Nice Package”. Nice Package does take place the day after Christmas, but it’s a story that can be enjoyed anytime of the year. It’s really about a couple who stop the hectic routines of work and parenting long enough to reconnect and recharge as lovers.
This scene takes place after a lot of naughtiness has already happened in the kitchen. Cora is beginning to realize that Jim’s new game has a few strict rules….

“The living room looked lovely. The lights were dimmed low and the fire had burned down to a scarlet smolder that seemed to be releasing more heat than light. The Christmas tree she and the boys had so carefully trimmed glittered in the corner.
He led her toward a padded leather ottoman set conveniently near the fire. “Sit.”
She sat on the ottoman, feeling the welcome warmth of the fire on the side of her face.
He walked toward the Christmas tree and pulled a large, elegantly wrapped box from behind the tree. “This is for you.” The ruby foil wrapping on the box gleamed brilliantly when it was dragged into the firelight. The huge loopy bow on top looked velvety soft.
“More?” She sighed sweetly at the sight of the beautifully presented package. Jim had already given her a couple of nice presents that morning. It had been a lean year and both had agreed to concentrate on the boys’ gifts. This big gorgeous box was completely unexpected. She had no idea what it might be, and frankly she didn’t care. It was enough to be getting time alone with Jim and a bit of much needed loving attention. Still, she couldn’t wait to get her hands on the box and open it. Surprises thrilled her. “I see you saved a treat for last.” A bright smile warmed her face. I’ve been good. Give me my gift. She leaned forward and eagerly reached toward the box.
“No.” Jim gently stopped her hand. “The box won’t be opened until tomorrow and even then you will not be allowed to look inside to view the contents. Only I can open this box.”
She gasped in disappointment. That didn’t sound like very much fun at all. Her hopes plummeted.
Jim’s fingertips gently tapped the lid of the box. “Inside this box is everything I need to make all your favorite naughty little dreams come true—surprises, tension and even a few of the desires you might think I would never allow.”
“Oh,” her voice dropped. Her heart sped as her imagination went berserk. She harbored more than a few naughty little desires, and she wondered which ones would fit easily inside a box. Her hands gravitated toward the package in utter fascination. “Please, Jim, just one tiny peek?”
He slowly shook his head. “Absolutely not.” He moved closer and dangled a black blindfold in front of her face. “This is just the beginning.”
He quickly wrapped the blindfold around her head and tied it off, making sure she could not peek from beneath. He carefully tucked the edges of the blindfold under. When he was satisfied she could see nothing, he pulled something from underneath the ottoman that made a clangy metallic sound and brought her wrists behind her back. He quickly buckled her wrists into a pair of fur-lined cuffs and snapped them together.
“There.” He paused. “That ought to keep you from peeking at the box while I’m gone.”
She tipped her head from side to side, searching for even a fleck of light. There was none. Her world was black. The cupped edges of the blindfold blocked all light. A moment of panic washed over her. She rose, slightly hovering above the ottoman. “Jim, where are you going?”
His broad hands gently pushed her down onto the seat. “Stay seated. Don’t move. I’m going upstairs to take a quick shower and rinse the dish soap from my skin. I’ll be right back.”
She didn’t want to be left alone blindfolded. “Jim…”

Even shackled and blindfolded Cora can’t be trusted alone. That’s all I’ll say! Lol
I hope a few of you will give yourselves a “Nice Package” and enjoy a few of the thrills Cora’s discovers.
Thank you.
XXOO Katalina Leon
Katalina Leon “Nice Package” Ellora’s Cave Moderne Line
http://www.jasminejade.com/pc-8909-12-nice-package.aspx


Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Wonderland: Is It Your Cup of Tea?

Snow. Yes, here in the midwest region we just got blanketed with another five to eight inches, with temperatures dipping down in the single digits. And while it looks absolutely beautiful here, I still can't help but wish for warmer weather.

As a child, I remember thinking snow was a godsend. For one, nothing guaranteed a day home from school like a few inches of snow. And furthermore, snow was the perfect excuse to talk your mother into letting you stay out for hours with your neighborhood friends in subzero temperatures--which any other day you'd be lucky to step foot out the door.

Sled riding and football were the activities of choice in my neck of the woods. Being in Kentucky, we had plenty of rolling hills to our advantage. But living in the rural areas, we also had an abundance of trees and barbed-wire fences. And let me tell you, there is nothing advantageous about a maze of trees, lined with a barricade of barbed-wire, when you're cruising down a hill on a cheap contraption made of slick plastic and a single strand of rope.

Heck, we were plain crazy. Even though everyone knew the sleds, especially those suicidal circle-shaped ones, couldn't be steered, we still looked down those steep hills at the death-trap below and dared someone to hold us back.

But now, I'm an adult. And I look at the snow as nothing but a nuisance. Sure, I still find it absolutely beautiful in the morning when the sun is glistening off the frozen lake, the expanse of my front yard is absent footprints, and the evergreens tucked behind my house have a heavy dusting on their limbs. I'd even go so far as to say it's breathtaking to see my horses out in the snow, steam coming off their big dark bodies as they stand on the ridge, catching the afternoon sun on their backs. But as far as I'm concerned, I don't want to see my breath when I walk outside. I'd rather see green grass, black-mulched flower gardens, and an outdoor Adirondack chair, without a few inches of snow on its seat, begging me to sit down and read a book. I want mild temperatures, cold iced tea, and a hot steamy romance.

This morning, after looking out my window and sadly glancing at my January calendar, I know it's going to be a long wait before I get that picture perfect setting again. So, what do you think? Do you like the snow? Do you wish it would go away? Do you wish you had more of it? And if you're in the sharing mood, what kinds of things did you do as a kid in the snow?

Visit me at:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guest Blog: Nina Pierce: The Spice of Life

It amazes me how many women of all ages are enjoying erotic romance. This genre that began in the back rooms of small internet publishing companies a decade ago has exploded in the digital age and has now gone mainstream with Berkley, Harlequin, and Kensington, just a few of the NY publishing companies that are jumping into bed with this genre.

But what’s the allure? What fascinates women enough to seek out erotic romance books?

Well, for one it’s the quality of the storyline and the writing. Erotic romance is not pornography. Let me repeat that lest you become confused. Erotic romance isn’t about writing a story around one gratuitous sex scene after another (that’s pornography). In erotic romance, the character’s love story, as in all romances, is the primary push of the plot. The conflict of emotion and the tension between the central characters is high even if the relationship is consummated. It’s the journey of the characters to find—if not their happily-ever-after—at least their happy-for-now ending. The plot may be central to the character’s sexual awareness, but having lots of sex is not what’s driving the main characters.

Also, the length of erotic romances varies immensely. Harlequin’s Spice Briefs and EC’s Naughty Nooners can be as short as 5,000 words and all publishers accept erotic romance stories up to a full novel length of 90k and everything in between. This means there is something for every reader from the “quickie” to the satisfying “take-it-slow-lounge-in-bed-for-the-whole-weekend” story.

Secondly, I think women are more in touch with their own sexuality. We know what we like and what gets our juices flowing and we’re not ashamed to seek it out. Our fantasy lives are as diverse as the authors and their stories. Want a vampire to seduce you? That’s out there. How about a little public sex? Oh, yeah available by the truckload. A little seduction with leather bindings and a ball gag? Perhaps the idea of two men finding love through a vigorous sexual experience is what you’re looking for. The m/m erotic romance abounds. And of course the fantasy of multiple men intently focused on satisfying one female is growing exponentially. My newest release, “Maid for Master” (Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-9001-50-maid-for-master.aspx ventures into Bondage/Dominance/Submission/Masochism (BDSM) world. Trust me when I say there’s a subgenre to satisfy everyone’s fantasy.

So what is it about erotic romance that draws you or makes you shy away? What component keeps you coming back to the genre as an author and/or a reader?

BLURB:

When lust and deception collide, will her complete submission be enough to bind their hearts?

Treat herself to a carnal weekend at the hedonistic retreat, XTC Resorts? That’s not something Claire Calderwood, a three-time loser in the relationship department would ordinarily do. But at forty-one, having a successful cleaning business is no longer enough. She wants a chance to let go of all responsibility, submit to a stranger’s sexual demands and satisfy her darkest fantasies.

Jonathon Brierton has known his best friend’s sister long enough to recognize her submissive nature. He would like nothing more than to have Claire bound naked and at the mercy of his flogger as he teaches her the sensual art of obeying her Master. At thirty-something, he’s a successful real estate developer, owner of a BDSM resort—and hopelessly in love with the older woman.

When Claire follows him to his resort, Jonathon is certain he can keep his identity secret long enough to convince her that being restrained in his stocks is something that will satisfy them both. But lies, deceit and broken hearts may not be so easy to overcome.

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-9001-50-maid-for-master.aspx

**Giveaway** Nina’s giving away a box full of goodies, including her erotic suspense novel, “Healer’s Garden” to a random commenter from all the blogs she visits during her tour between Jan 17 and Jan 25.

Nina Pierce is an award-winning author of erotic romance. Her stories fall in all genres from contemporary to paranormal. When she’s not sitting at her computer creating stories of lust and love, she’s spending time with her real life hero and husband of twenty-six years, her three adult children and a menagerie of aging pets. You can keep up with all her latest books on:
website http://www.ninapierce.com
blog http://www.ninapierce.com/blog
twitter http://www.twitter.com/ninapierce
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/nina.pierce

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life Before Internet...

Greetings:) As many of you know, we lost our internet before Christmas, and my hubby has been slow to reconnect it. So here's a glimpse of my daily life without internet.

Instead of getting up and turning on the computer, I drink my morning coffee and enjoy either the morning news or my quiet 'Movie Hour'. The kids have had snow days or delays, and I have a stack of DVDs I've not had time to watch (such as Madagascar 1&2; Pirates of the Caribbean; Twilight....). I also own the first season of Fantasy Island, so by next week, I'll be watching Mr. Roarke:) (Back when it aired, I was not allowed to stay up that late. I was only allowed to watch the part when the guests arrived and were introduced.)

Once the kids are up and off to school or occupied, and I'm showered and dressed, I've been baking cookies, reading, doing errands, coming to work and cleaning out 200+ emails and catching up on what I can.

I've even been known to do some housework. I know, shocking, isn't it?

But wait, Molly, I can hear you saying. You have all this time....so why aren't you WRITING?

Did I mention my muse is in Florida? Because that's the only thing I can think of for my lack of inspiration. Or I might just be suffering from the winter blues.

I have been productive the past week. I wrote at least 700 words; cleaned out an old filing cabinet and unearthed all my old manuscripts, not seen in over four years. So that's progress, right? And the blog post I had planned for today is sitting at home in a notebook, so the fact this is being written on the 15th is proof my brain still works!

And speaking of blog posts, the lovely Marianne Stephens is my guest on Molly's Musings. Stop by and say hi to her, won't you?

And here's hoping my hubby gets our internet up and running SOON! I think I'm going through withdrawl.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Interview of Author Missy Jane

Today I'm presenting an interview of romance author Missy Jane!
Latest Book: Educating Macey
Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8920-50-educating-macey.aspx

BIO:
Ms. Missy Jane is the alter ego of a Texas mother of four who has been married to the same wonderful man for over fourteen years. About seven years ago Missy finished reading a book by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, titled The Outstretched Shadow, and thought “Now, what if…” and a monster was created. Missy now spends most of her time lost in worlds of her own making alternately loving and hating such creatures as vampires, shape-shifters and gargoyles (to name a few). When not writing, she spends her time reading, taking photos of her four beautiful daughters and training her husband to believe she’s always right.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I danced around the house screaming until my kids and hubby calmed me down with questions. Then they started dancing around with me.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I seem to be great at beginning new stories. Ideas pop into my head all of the time (sometimes at really inconvenient times) and I get caught up in the new characters and their situations.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Unfortunately I have a tendency to fizzle out in the middle. Which is why I have a mountain of works in progress.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Other than reading, I’m an avid photographer. I received my first SLR style film camera when I was thirteen and have been shooting everything I see ever since. I’d actually strived to become a professional photographer until life happened. My dream job was to freelance for both National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: It’s really hard to choose just one, but I can say my favorite series is the Argeneau vampire series by Lynsay Sands. Also right now my favorite romance author is Madeline Hunter.I greatly admire both of these ladies and their work.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I’d like to try horror, because I’m an avid fan. I actually started a story that leaned toward that genre a couple of years ago, but stopped when another idea took over. I just haven’t dedicated the time to finish it but might try to this year.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
http://www.msmissyjane.com
http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/missy-jane
http://www.jasminejade.com/m-616-missy-jane.aspx
http://www.sapphirebluepublishing.com/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=34
http://msmissyjane.blogspot.com
http://theodereikspack.blogspot.com
http://combinedhumanstates.blogspot.com
http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1220
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2997631.Missy_Jane
http://www.facebook.com/ms.missyjane
https://twitter.com/msmissyjane
http://www.myspace.com/ms_missyjane
http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/profile/MissyJane

BLURB:

Sex has taken a backseat on my priorities list for a while now—being a single mother never allowed me the chance to dwell on it. But then my daughter grew up and Max moved in next door. Just seeing his sexy-as-hell body and hearing the way he growls my full name, Macey Lane, gets me all hot and bothered. I am not a woman of experience, but Max is more than willing to teach me. His lesson plans may be too delicious to pass on, but is hot sex worth the risk of becoming another of his conquests?

EXCERPT:

“Ever watched a porno, Mace?”

I had to clear my throat and take a drink of my soda before I answered. “N-no.”

He chuckled, disbelief clear on his face. “Not even for research?”

I frowned, though pleased he didn’t make a reference to my age instead. “No.”

Annoyance filled me, but it felt better than the humiliation of still being so naïve at thirty-five. I write romance for a living, not erotica. So what if my characters were as innocent as me. I wanted to throw my soda into his knowing gaze.

“Well, my good little Catholic school girl, it’s about time you did.”

I snorted and rolled my eyes at his “little girl” reference. I was ten years, five months and eight days older than him—yes, I’d done the math. Maybe not as experienced, but definitely not a little girl. I simply couldn’t let the challenge in his voice go unanswered. He picked up the remote while I sat next to him and watched the action on the screen reverse at a fast pace. It was almost funny seeing it that way and I bit my lip to keep from laughing. He started the regular play again and I watched in horrified fascination as two women began undressing each other. We didn’t speak, didn’t touch, we just sat there and sipped our drinks as scene after scene of people having sex played in front of us.

I wondered if he’d planned on masturbating until I interrupted him and glanced over at the front of his jeans. With the way he held his beer against his thigh I couldn’t really tell, but it didn’t look like he was even hard from watching the porn. I have to admit it excited me. Slickness formed between my thighs and I squeezed them together tightly. I can count my past lovers on one hand with a few fingers to spare. Most of the guys I’d dated were interested until they discovered I was a mom. After a while I just gave up and started writing out the romance I wished I could experience.

The soda did little to cool me off as the movie progressed and the positions became more outrageous. My heart sped up and I tried not to pant as two men settled a buxom blonde between them. The men were well built and I couldn’t help admiring the muscular ass of the one on top. I watched him flex as he drove in and out of the blonde, his balls slapping the guy beneath her. I’d never seen anything like it before and I was riveted. I licked my lips and set my empty soda can on the coffee table, never taking my eyes from the screen.

“You like this one?”

I jumped slightly at the feel of Max’s breath on my ear and turned to find him inches away from me. When had he moved closer? I had no clue, but his thigh now touched mine and the feel of denim against my bare skin felt almost too good.

“Um, yeah. It’s…interesting.”

He laughed and set his beer down next to my soda. “Interesting? Have you ever tried it?”

It took a moment for me to understand the question.

“Uh, that? With two guys?” He nodded. “No! I-I mean, uh…no, I’ve never had the chance.”

He laughed again and placed his hand on my leg where my shorts gave way to bare skin.

“I know having Haley might not have left a lot of private time, but…you’re not very experienced are you, Mace?”

Being a single mother definitely put a damper on my sex life, and in the couple of months my daughter had been away at college it hadn’t changed.

“Um, no, not really I guess.”

“Hell, baby, you write romance for a living. Don’t your characters have sex?”

Frowning at his reference to my precious characters I sat up straighter and pointed accusingly at the television.

“Not like that. I write historical romance and there’s more romance than sex in my stories. They’re sweet, not…steamy.”

I was blushing again and it made me angry. I pushed his hand away and stood, fully intending to leave. Max grabbed my arm and pulled, making me lose my balance and land in his lap. I discovered I’d been wrong about him not being hard and froze.

“I like sweet, though there’s definitely something to be said for steamy,” he whispered in my ear.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I absolutely love chatting with readers and fellow authors. No email goes unread and I respond to all, so readers should feel free to contact me at missy@msmissyjane.com. Thank you!

Missy Jane
*Make reading a guilty pleasure ...*

Monday, January 17, 2011

A special day, for reasons you can't guess


January has always been special for me. My daughter was born on the 17th and my son on the 15th (no, not the same year) I used to go crazy when thye were little and the dates were getting close. At the time we lived in Schenectady, New York and January weather there is not ideal. And I was faced with two little people parties, boys on the 15th and girls on the 17th.

Usually we'd all been snowed in for a while and the kids were raring to let off steam. I managed for a few years, and then decided a sane mother might be a definite advantage, and decreed one child got a party, the other got to have one friend over for dinner and the night.Seemed marginally better. Each child was allowed to pick his party cake and I vividly remember making a cake in the shape of an old fashioned locomotive. I used hershey chocolate bar piece for the cow-catcher.

This year I have another reason to rejoice, as For Love is New came out this weekend from Passion in Print. It's a sexy historical set in 1814, with a nasty, nasty villain. The beautil heroine and handsome hero are trying to stop the villain from sending money to Napoleon to help him escape Elba. Lots of derring-do and sexy passages.

Here's an excerpt:

He slipped under the covers and took her in his arms, kissing her forehead and cheeks and replacing her questing hand with his own. Those fully pointed nipples were easy to find and caress as she sighed and snuggled closer to him. Putting his mouth on her breasts, he moved his hand lower and found the nubbin he sought. As he’d thought and hoped it would be, it was enlarged and throbbing, and delightfully moist.

Julie still slept, although she began to twist in his arms.
He caressed her with his mouth and his hands, and knew the
instant she regained consciousness.

“Christian?” Her voice was shaky and unsure.

“Stay still, love, I’m only bringing you pleasure.”
He deepened his caresses and took her lips, just as she
started to protest. Kissing her erotically, he dragged her under and continued stroking her. He felt her respond and knew he’d get no more protests from her. She threw her arms around his neck and began kissing him at any spot she could reach."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Interview of Author Shoshanna Evers

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Shoshanna Evers.

Latest Book: Ginger Snap (an Ellora’s Cave Quickie)
Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-8862-660-ginger-snap.aspx
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qSQofsMot8

BIO:
Shoshanna Evers writes erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave, and in November she’ll be published in the Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstacy. She is a stay-at-home mom during the week, an advice columnist for a local newspaper, a registered nurse every other weekend, and an erotic romance writer on the opposite weekend. She does not sleep, preferring to spend her evenings doing “research” with her incredibly sexy husband. Shoshanna lives with her family and four dogs in a lakefront cottage in upstate New York. She welcomes emails from readers and writers.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: When I first found out I’d sold a book (Punishing the Art Thief to Ellora’s Cave) I reread the email about three times to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Then I called my husband and read him the email, then my parents, and then I blogged and Facebooked about it because I was so excited. I think if I had a megaphone and a soapbox, I would have done that too. My husband and I went out to a celebratory dinner that night.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The easiest part of the book for me to write is the ending, because I love getting the Hero and heroine to overcome their conflicts so they can come together and live “Sexily *Evers* After”, lol!

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I definitely don’t eat while I’m writing. It takes two hands to type, so I can’t even drink coffee. I have the opposite problem of eating comfort food when writing – I get so wrapped up in my book that time flies and I forget to eat. But when I wrap something up or I’m taking a break, it’s cookie o’clock!

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I don’t know if you’d call this a hobby, but I work part time as a nurse, and I do enjoy that. I only work every other weekend, just frequently enough to keep my skills and resume current without interfering with staying home with my son and writing. And I read constantly. I have books in every corner of my house, and now that I have a Kindle with the one-click buying, I’m never without a new book to enjoy.

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’m pretty sure I’d stay there forever quite happily, provided the handsome man was my husband and our son was allowed to join us. With the internet I can write from anywhere and submit manuscripts and edit them through email. In fact, this is starting to sound like a great idea. I might move to this island soon. Maybe tomorrow.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I like them all for different reasons. I love Facebook because there’s one central place to look at everyone’s photos, and I like being able to comment on people’s status updates and see what others are saying. MySpace I never got into. Just totally missed that boat. I have a blog for aspiring writers (http://www.thewriterschallenge.com) and I’m part of a multi-author blog (http://www.flirtyauthorbitches.com) and those are great because it’s a chance to share info and news in a longer format than a quick Tweet or Facebook update. I occasionally do author chats and those are so much fun, because I love connecting with readers and hearing their thoughts about books. I’m new to Twitter, but so far it’s a blast. I love being able to follow people in the industry so I can keep on top of what’s going on. I’ve also made some new friends on Twitter, and we reply to each other all the time. But if I had to pick just one, it would be Facebook. I think. Or Twitter.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Email: shoshanna.evers@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.shoshannaevers.com
Blog: http://www.thewriterschallenge.com
Blog: http://www.flirtyauthorbitches.com
Shoshanna on Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/m-660-shoshanna-evers.aspx
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ShoshannaEvers
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Shoshanna-Evers/100001587442785


BLURB:
When Holly sits on Tom’s lap to tell him what she wants for Christmas, she knows she’s naughty enough to get a lump of coal—but she never expected to get a hand of ginger root. Peeled ginger in her bottom burns like crazy without causing any actual harm—so the punishment can go on as long as naughty Holly deserves.

Ginger-figging has been used since Victorian times to keep girls from clenching against a proper caning because, as Holly finds out, clenching around ginger has her begging for mercy—and more turned-on than she’s ever been. From now on Holly should be on her best behavior…but with this sort of punishment, it’s more fun to be bad.

EXCERPT: (Content Warning)

Tom lowered her to the floor and she slumped, boneless and thoroughly satiated, to the carpet. Rolling over onto her back, Holly looked up at him and smiled. His Santa hat was askew. The lights from the Christmas tree blinked on and off and created a devilish glow on his body.

“That was incredible, Santa,” she said, smiling up at him.

“We’re just getting started,” he said, taking his red Santa hat off and tossing it onto the carpet next to her.

“Oh, I’m done, thank you though,” she replied.

Tom laughed and shook his head. “Maybe I should get to decide when we’re done.”

And now she was ready to go again, just from his words.

Holly’s eyes widened as Tom reached under the Christmas tree and pulled out a small wrapped gift. “What’s that?”

“A present that must be opened—and used—tonight.”

Holly sat up on the carpet and took the gift with both hands. “Okay…” She opened the package slowly, being careful not to tear the wrapping paper. She had a thing about that. She liked to reuse wrapping paper whenever possible.

Inside the box…what on earth was this? She held a large, bulbous root of some sort in her hand. It was kind of brownish-gray, and it looked almost as if it were covered in light bark or something. “Um, thank you?” she said.

Tom smiled. “We have to prepare it.”

Holly furrowed her brow. Did he think she was going to go do some gardening now or something?

“Let me see the ginger for a moment, please,” he said as he finished zipping his pants back up.

“Ginger?”

“Yes, that’s a hand of ginger you’re holding. Each of those offshoots is called a finger. And while it is a present for you, I need to prep it a bit before we can put it to good use.”

Holly handed the ginger back to Tom. “Okaaaay,” she said. “We’re making gingerbread cookies? Now, at ten o’clock on Christmas Eve?”

Tom just shook his head, but Holly could tell he was very excited. Excited? About making cookies? “Nope, we’re not cooking. I’m going to ginger-fig you for being a naughty girl.”

“Ginger-fig me?” Wait, naughty? What was he going to do to her exactly?

Tom laughed and started to walk out of the living room toward the kitchen. “You may as well pull your pants all the way off, instead of just sitting there with them around your thighs like that. I want you completely naked and in the kitchen.”

Holly slowly pulled off her pants and set them neatly on the carpet by the sofa. “What are you going to do?” she asked.
“Holly, get in the kitchen,” he called back. “I want you to see this.”

Holly stood up and walked bare-assed into the kitchen, grateful for the heavy drapes that both kept out the winter chill and kept the neighbors from seeing into their home. “Tom, I’m really not in the mood to bake right now. Maybe if we had a mix or something. But if you expect me to make something that involves grating fresh ginger then you are out of your mind.”

Tom stood in front of the sink, carefully cutting one large finger off the hand of ginger. The scent wafted through the air toward her and she sniffed, intrigued.

“Smells yummy,” she said.

“It does smell delicious,” he agreed. “But we’re not baking now. I’m going to ginger-fig you to put you into the proper mindset for Christmas dinner tomorrow.”

She was not going to Christmas dinner, so there was no need for her to be put into any mindset at all. But whatever. “All right, I give in. What’s that mean—ginger-fig?”

“Did you know that it used to be called feaguing?” Tom asked. “People would take a half-dead horse they wanted to sell, stick some freshly peeled ginger up its bottom, and the horse would prance around and hold its tail up like a much younger horse.”

“That’s terrible! Poor horsey. But why ginger?”

Tom smiled as he carefully continued to peel the outer layer off the ginger root. “Because it burns.”

Oh. Hell.

“Anyway,” Tom continued, “you know how I love old Victorian caning stories.”

Did she ever. It was one of the things that attracted her to Tom, actually. The thought of being caned turned her on to no end. Actually being caned, on the other hand, was a thrill that she could only truly appreciate after the fact, when she was reliving the experience with one hand buried in her pussy.

“They used to ginger-fig the naughty ladies who needed to be caned so that they wouldn’t be able to clench their ass cheeks when the cane struck.”

“Why couldn’t they clench their ass cheeks?” Holly asked. It was like looking at a car wreck. As much as she didn’t want to know—and as much as she didn’t want to find out personally—she had to learn all about it.

“When they clenched their butt muscles the ginger in their asshole would burn terribly. So with each stroke of the cane, the young ladies had to make a choice. Clench, and the sting of the cane would be somewhat mollified. But their insides…their insides hurt a hundred times worse. Or they could try to not clench, force themselves to relax into the pain and just take the caning, and while the caning would be exquisitely stingy, their rectum wouldn’t burn quite so badly.”

“That’s quite the conundrum,” Holly said, even as she wondered what choice she would make. She’d always clenched her ass cheeks whenever Tom caned her—how could she not? That thing hurt like a bitch! But it amazed her to discover just how wet her pussy would get, even when he really laid into her.

She looked at the ginger in Tom’s hand. He was cutting an indentation at the base of the finger of ginger.

“It’s a retention notch, like on a butt plug,” he explained. “This will keep the ginger from being expelled before I want it to be.”

“How did you learn all this stuff?” Holly demanded. “I’ve never even heard of people using ginger up their ass before!”

“It’s a huge fetish,” he said, running the freshly prepared ginger under cold water and rinsing away all the little extra pieces that had stuck onto the smooth, pale yellow surface. “Once I heard about it, all I had to do was Google it and I found dozens of websites devoted solely to the art of figging.”

“Well, I appreciate the thought,” she said, “but I’m not sure how you think ginger-figging me is going to make me any less naughty.”

“Think of it as an experiment. We’re going to find out if this works.”

“When?” she asked.

“Now.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me on Romance Books R Us!

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