Monday, November 30, 2009

Sexy Settings


Can the place where a romance is set make the story sexier? You bet! In many books, the setting is used as a character and that character can ramp up the heat. Take for example a young couple on their first vacation together. Seeing the sights in say, Gary, Indiana wouldn't be particularly exciting. But take that couple to Paris and it's a whole different ballgame. A much hotter ballgame. Certain places have a mystique that sets them apart. Yet it's difficult to point to one attribute that makes a location sexy. Paris has little in common with Miami or Tokyo or New Orleans, yet I've read incredibly hot books that take place in each of these cities.
For me, the most exciting locales are those with a rich history and culture. I set my next release, Can't Stand the Heat in Savannah to draw upon this richness. Billed as one of the most haunted cities in the world, Savannah conjures images of historic buildings and graceful Spanish moss hanging from stately oak trees. My characters, Billy and Marissa are in love with the city almost as much as they are in love with each other, so I used that setting to turn up the heat.
What constitutes a romantic place for you?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Funny People? Not so much

A couple days ago I watched the movie Funny People and was left with this 'blah' feeling when it was over. I was mulling over it yesterday and I figured out what the problem was. I couldn't connect with the main character.
Brief blurb of the movie so you know what I'm talking about:


A successful comedian/actor finds out he's dying, takes some experimental drugs, gets well, gets a second chance at life, and decides to return to his 'roots' of doing stand-up comedy. Along the way he apologizes to people he'd wronged in the past and he contacts an old (married) flame he cheated on twelve years before. Now, he wants a second chance with her. It's a lot more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, that's what happened.


After watching it, I felt like I'd just wasted two and a half hours of my life. It was AWFUL. It actually started out okay, which is the really depressing part. The pacing was slow, but it wasn't an action film so I knew what I was getting into. As I watched it, I kept waiting for this pivotal moment that never came. The main character had so much room for growth, but by the end, he was still the same self-involved asshole he was in the beginning. He slept with this married woman with her kids still in the house. They were in the guest house when they did the deed but still, come on people, that's disgusting! He had no concept what his love-interest was contemplating giving up when she considered leaving her husband, he had no interest in her kids, and I doubted his interest in her other than the fact that she reminded him of a simpler time in his life. Seriously, I could go on for a while about why I detested the movie, but I'm getting to a point.


In books (and movies) I can let a meh plot go and I can even forgive glaring plot-holes (I'm an easy reader in that respect). However, the one thing I need when reading is good characterization. I need to like the main characters. I don't have to like them all the time or even most of the time, but by the end of the book, I want to be rooting for them to get their happily ever after. I should not be voting for them to be kicked off the island. If I don't like them, then what's the point in reading about them?


What are your pet-peeves in books (or movies)? What can you let go and what makes you snap your book shut and vow never to read that author again?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving--AND...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I'm back from Mexico, but up north with the parents for Turkey Day. Hope all of you celebrating in the US are enjoying your holiday!

I've got a fun giveaway this weekend on my regular blog--come visit me for a chance to win a free book!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Calista

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Turkey Day and a Thanksgiving excerpt from The Blonde Samurai


by Jina Bacarr

On this cool autumn day before Thanksgiving, I can't help but think about how giving thanks for all the wonderful blessings in our lives is universal. It became so real to me when the heroine in my upcoming novel, The Blonde Samurai, is in 1874 Japan celebrating Thanksgiving with her samurai family.

As Katie O'Roarke writes in her memoir:

"Nami and I rushed about cleaning straw mats, gathering fresh blossoms for the alcove and cooking rice for rice balls with pickled plums at the center, everything we needed to do to prepare for the thanksgiving harvests. A time to view the moon, according to tradition, compose verses and drink sake.

And share my futon with my samurai.

And in a moment of candor I shall admit to you that I experienced deep pangs of missing my family, wondering what they would think if they knew their girl Katie was celebrating a thanksgiving harvest similar to the spirited holiday back in America.

I believed that Da and Mother believed me well and in good health, for I was of the persuasion that my dear husband James would have avoided telling them anything that would jeopardize his financial position.

All these thoughts came to mind that day, dear lady reader, for I knew the paradisaical existence I had been living couldn't last. I saw the signs everywhere. Shintaro off for long periods of time with Akira and his samurai. Swordsmiths hammering then hand forging each blade, readying strong cutting edges. And Nami. Where her steps were usually lighter than a breeze, she seemed heavy with worry, as if she were watching a fallen blossom caught up on the fast current of a stream, knowing she couldn't stop its ebb and flow…"

What happens next changes the course of my heroine's life…

Btw, that's me with the turkey. I love turning up the heat in the kitchen and in my Spice books…how 'bout you? Is your hero a leg or a breast man?

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!!

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February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai

“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Monday, November 23, 2009

Taboo or Not Taboo. That is the...Aw You Get it!


by Naima Simone

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a fellow reader about Nalini Singh’s first book in her new paranormal series, Angel’s Blood. We are both Nalini Singh fans but she admitted she couldn’t read Angel’s Blood. As a Christian she didn’t agree with Nalini Singh's use of archangels as protagonists. It offended her.

Hmm.

That started me thinking.

Are there certain things, as writers, that are taboo? Are there particular subjects, topics and beings that are off limits?


I’ll be honest. I’m a Christian, too, but I wasn’t offended by the archangels. They were terrifying, beautiful and powerful creatures that set the stage for a unique and awesome book. But I’ll also confess that years back I had to shut off the movie, City of Angels, with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan half way through. I don’t know if the notion of an angel giving up his immortality for a human woman troubled me or if it was Nicholas Cage’s acting…no offense to any Nick Cage fans. But he needs to stick to one-liners and blowing stuff up, not drama.



Alas, that’s another blog…



What is taboo, though, and who decides whether it’s forbidden or not? A few years ago BDSM in romance novels was taboo, but today, some people wouldn’t consider it a full love scene without a little slap and tickle. I remember the first time I came across anal sex in a love scene. I had picked up Cheyenne McCray’s Forbidden Magic. Imagine me sitting under the hair dryer at the salon reading about demon sex then suddenly…What the…? He put his what WHERE?? I was floored! Today? Not so much.



It’s a slippery slope when we begin to limit ourselves. Yes, we have to consider who we’re writing for and if it’s sellable. On the other hand, if we allow that to rule our creativity, those exceptional and wild ideas aren’t given the opportunity to be birthed. Then we lose out on Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, Lora Leigh’s Breeds…C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.



This is my opinion and only mine. Do I believe there are some lines that don’t need to be crossed? Yes. There’s nothing romantic about a grown man and a child. There’s nothing sensual about a woman and an animal—and I’m not talking about the kind that morphs from man to wolf during the full moon! Here’s my rule of thumb as a writer. I don’t write for just me because I’m not an island. When I write, I think of “the other”. The person who will read the book and walk away uplifted, believing love and good will always conquer evil. The person who will read a love scene and feel the sharing, sacrifice and desire one partner has for the other. If the reader closes the book or file experiencing this, then whether it’s an archangel, vampire, or huge talking lion we should have the freedom to write without limitation.



Do you believe there are taboo subjects and lines that shouldn’t be crossed as a writer?

Happily Ever After ... Or Not


I've been working on plotting some new stories this week. That got me thinking about romance endings, particularly that industry standard, Happily Ever After. One of the things I love most about writing erotic romance is that I don't feel my endings must be pigeonholed into a formulaic conclusion. Because honestly, not every story warrants the sort of warm, fuzzy, we'll-be-together-forever sort of conclusion. In erotic romance, the couple merely has to be happy together for now. And in erotica, the boundaries are further loosened. The characters need not even promise to call soon!
I like having the freedom to allow the story to go in any direction. That latitude unleashes my creativity more than being stuck in a certain groove and being forced into a predictable conclusion.
As a reader, do you want to know in advance you're getting the Happily Ever After model or do you prefer to be surprised?
Oh - the hot picture of Brendan Fraser is there merely to put a smile on your face this Monday morning;-)
On another note, I want to welcome Naima to the ranks of Naughty Author Chicks. I'm looking forward to your first post tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Harlequin Self Publishing Line??

Disclaimer: I'm copying a lot of this from my other blog b/c I don't have much time online today but I thought this was important enough to post in more than one place.


Apparently Harlequin has decided to open what they call a self-publishing line (Harlequin Horizons), though it really sounds like a vanity press. Check out Dear Author, here, here, and here for a wonderfully detailed description of the unfolding drama. I love her blog b/c I can always count on her to stay up to date on happenings in romancelandia and she's usually fairly impartial.


My big problem is that Harlequin Horizons is not separating the Harlequin brand from the self-publishing brand. They say they are, but including an HH logo on the spine is annoyingly similar to something like Harlequin Historicals. And don't get me started on the covers, which can also be seen at the Horizons website b/c they look like a lot of Harlequin covers. For typical readers, it's unlikely that they'd be able to tell the difference between a regular Harlequin book and a self-pubbed one. Talk about brand dilution. That's just bad, bad, bad. If I was a Harlequin author, I'd be pissed. (and a lot of them are!)


RWA sent out a notice to all its members yesterday stating that Harlequin was no longer meets the requirements as being a non-subsidy/non-vanity press. Not gonna lie, this quick response surprised me, but it also makes me proud to be a member of RWA. Quote from the alert: With the launch of Harlequin Horizons, Harlequin Enterprises no longer meets the requirements to be eligible for RWA-provided conference resources. This does not mean that Harlequin Enterprises cannot attend the conference. Like all non-eligible publishers, they are welcome to attend. However, as a non-eligible publisher, they would fund their own conference fees and they would not be provided with conference resources by RWA to publicize or promote the company or its imprints.


Apparently, Harlequin moved fast with a response, which I pulled in its entirety from Literary Agent Kristen Nelson's blog, Pub Rants. It sounds like Harlequin will be changing the name of Harlequin Horizons to something undecided at this time, but it will not be linked to Harlequin in the future. I'm glad they've made a move toward changing this (other NY publishers have self-publishing companies, they're just not linked in name), but I don't think it should have ever happened in the first place. The whole debacle just feels sleazy.

Here's the response letter:
Harlequin was very surprised and dismayed to receive notice late yesterday that the RWA has decided that Harlequin is no longer eligible for RWA-provided conference resources. We were even more surprised to discover that the RWA sent a notice to its membership announcing this decision, before allowing Harlequin to respond or engage in a discussion about it with the RWA board.

Harlequin has been a significant supporter of the RWA for many years in several ways, including:

• financial sponsorships at the annual conference
• sending editors to the national and regional chapter conferences throughout the year to meet with and advise aspiring authors and participate in panel discussions on writing
• celebrating our authors, most of whom are RWA members, annually with the largest publisher party at the conference.

It is disappointing that the RWA has not recognized that publishing models have and will continue to change. As a leading publisher of women's fiction in a rapidly changing environment, Harlequin's intention is to provide authors access to all publishing opportunities, traditional or otherwise.

Most importantly, however, we have heard the concerns that you, our authors, have expressed regarding the potential confusion between this venture and our traditional business. As such, we are changing the name of the self-publishing company from Harlequin Horizons to a designation that will not refer to Harlequin in any way. We will initiate this process immediately. We hope this allays the fears many of you have communicated to us.

We are committed to connecting with our authors and aspiring authors in a significant way and encourage you to continue to share your thoughts with us.

Sincerely

Donna Hayes
Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Harlequin Enterprises Limited



Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So you wanna write for Spice? Listen up…

by Jina Bacarr

I'm thrilled to be a Harlequin author and I'm often asked about writing for Spice so here are my thoughts and experiences about writing for the line that I hope will answer those burning questions.

Spice is an erotic/erotic romance imprint, no holds barred in the bedroom. It's very important that you read the stories...no two books are alike. Historical, modern, fairy tales, emo-core--they all tell a good story besides the sex scenes.

As far as how accurate "the world" must be--again, this depends on the story--if you're writing paranormal (as I did in Cleopatra's Perfume), you can create your own world, but it must be believable--that's the key. I chose to use World War II as the backdrop--my job was to put my story of Cleopatra's perfume into that very real world. I was careful to place my characters into events when they happened--e.g., the heroine and hero are making love in the desert of North Africa when Hitler marches into Poland. When they return to the hotel in Cairo, they find this out and the story takes off in a different direction from there.

Also, I've been asked by other writers which is better for Spice--contemporary or historical, home-grown or exotic. This is a personal choice--the Spice books explore everything from medieval times to Victorian England to Las Vegas to the guy next door, so you see there is room for everything. I prefer historical and exotic because it fits me--I've traveled a lot, had different life experiences and know the worlds of which I speak.

For example, my next book, The Blonde Samurai, is about Japan in 1874-76--I've studied the Japanese culture for many years (my non-fiction book, The Japanese Art of Sex: How to tease, seduce and pleasure the samurai in your bedroom is a compendium of Japanese culture, mores, spiritual guidance, etc.) and I've worked with Japanese companies since college.

In a previous post I wrote about the different personalities of "The Faces of...an Erotic Romance Writer" where I talked about the "hidden you" so many of us writers have that comes out when we're working at our computer and the words flow...many factors go into the hidden you--what you've seen, read, emotions you've experienced and, I like to believe, a bit of magic that comes from your soul. You put all that together and that's how your story begins…where it goes is up to you.

So if you wanna write for Spice, write a story that brings all of your experiences, knowledge, etc. together, a story you can layer with texture about that world to bring your characters to life.

And always, always write from the heart...


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The Blonde Samurai Feb 2010

She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Erotica vs Feminism


At a book signing last week a female attendee engaged me in a conversation about all the genres I write. When I mentioned that erotic romance is one, she balked. How could I write something that demoralized women.
Huh?
She went on to say that she had read a few erotica stories online and found that the scenes where women were dominated offended her because women should be equal to men everywhere, including in the bedroom. She also found the alpha heroes to be male chauvinist pigs. "How can you write something that demeans women?" she asked.
Quite the contrary, I responded. I write about common female fantasies. I also pointed out that most erotic romance is empowering to women. Not only are most of the authors female, the majority of the publishing executives are as well. Aside from that, our heroines are nearly always strong, capable women who can take care of themselves. Sure, alpha heroes make every attempt to dominate the heroine, but she holds her own every time. After all, these are not your grandmother's old fashioned bodice-rippers we are writing!
I think the woman walked away with something to think about and I'm confident she won't make that blanket statement to any other erotic romance authors in the future.
But what do you think? Do you find erotic romance empowering or demeaning to women?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Inspiration - Part I

People often ask me where I find my inspiration to write. Most--though not all--of my stories start off with a bang. An idea pops into my head, whether it's from overheard dialogue or a song or whatever, a seed is planted, then I usually write that first chapter without much thought of the final ending. Then, I take a break, draw out the character sketches including GMC, write a bare-bones plot outline, and then I finally get back to work. I don't always work this way, but more often than not, this is how my stories start. I get an idea for the hero and heroine and I have to put one or both of them on paper before I really dissect who they are.

It would be nice if there was a magical wishing well that offered me that sometimes elusive 'inspiration' but the truth is, I can't wait around for inspiration to hit. I wake up practically every morning and write. Even if I don't feel like it. Heck, especially when I don't feel like it, I write. Why? Because it's my job. I know some people look at writing as a fun hobby but for me, I treat it as a business. Yes, I LOVE writing or else I wouldn't be doing it, but the unfortunate (or fortunate) part about being a writer is that no one else can finish that scene or that chapter for you. I'm my own boss for better or worse.

Even though I don't wait for inspiration to hit, there are some things I do to refill my well.

1. I read. Sadly I don't read as much as I used to, but I love reading new genres and new authors. When a new author has their first release from Grand Central or Bantam (or any other of the big NY houses), I usually pick up a copy. It's harder for an unknown author to break into NY so I read them to see what they did right.

2. I read blogs. Sometimes I find out interesting things going on in the industry, but more often than not, I find inspiration and pure entertainment.

3. I'm a movie junkie so this is naturally on my list. I love watching witty dialogue or a scene that's so sexy and so sensual between two characters, yet no words are used. Watching facial reactions and expressions is a great source of inspiration. People say a lot with their eyes. You just have to pay attention.

4. I exercise. When I jog or ride my bike, I let my thoughts wander as all those endorphins release. I love jogging in the early(ish) morning when the sun has just peeked out, fresh dew is still on the ground, everything smells fresh, and the city still has a blanket of quietness over it.

There's a lot of other places I find inspiration but that's for another post. Where do you find your inspiration?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gone Fishin'...


Greetings all!

I'm writing you from the US Airways Club in the Phoenix airport, sipping a spicy Bloody Mary while anxiously awaiting my trip to Cabo San Lucas! Yes, this is supposed to be a vacation, but I've got a number of works in progress, so my laptop is in tow and I hope to finish two stories that are ALMOST done (!) and maybe get a newsletter cranked out. If you aren't a subscriber to my newsletter, visit my website to sign up! I have fun giveaways for members only, and lots of cool news to share with you, including the cover of The Pleasure Principle, which arrived in my inbox after posting an excerpt here last week! Excellent timing! The cover is smokin'-hot, and one of my all-time favorites (thanks to fab cover artist Rae Monet)!

Since the only other thing on my mind is the beach, I'll sign off now. Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Best,

Calista

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As Time Goes By…we must never forget

by Jina Bacarr

There's a scene in the classic film Casablanca when Résistance fighter Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) tells the musicians in Rick's Cafe to play La Marseillaise after Major Strasser leds a group of Nazi soldiers in a rendition of "Die Wacht am Rhein" (Watch on the Rhine), a German nationalist song. It's a powerful message about the stirring emotions music brings out in all of us--especially when freedom is at stake.

Interesting, but a similar incident happened two days after the Germans marched into Paris on June 14, 1940 in a restaurant in Montmartre called La Crémaillère. (Who can forget Rick's words to Ilsa in Casablanca when he says, "The Germans wore gray, you wore blue…")

An Englishman ordered a drink at the bar in this classic restaurant built in the early 1900s for himself and his companion, an American lady. She noticed a piano in the corner and started playing God Save the King to bolster the courage of her British friend.

The Nazis immediately told her it was verboten.

"America is not at war with Germany," she said calmly and continued playing. The Germans were perplexed and angry until she explained to them that she was playing an American song called "My Country 'tis of Thee."

Same tune, different words
, but the power of playing the song in defiance remains. According to eyewitness reports, the Germans apologized, bowed, clicked their heels and left.

Let us not forget on this Veterans' Day all the brave soldiers, both military and civilian, who have dared to stand up against tyranny.

As the heroine in my World War II novel, Cleopatra's Perfume, Lady Eve Marlowe says, "I survived, dear reader, angry and filled with the passion to save lives and end this terrible war. The obsession that was never far from my mind comes sharply into focus. Now I will use that passion against them. The Nazis. The urge to be part of the machine to defeat the enemy is irresistible to me."

Extra: Here is the black and white trailer I made for Cleopatra's Perfume:


video


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February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai

“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wynter is Almost Here

I recently decided to take a pseudonym and my new other self's first cover has just arrived. And I love it! From now on, all my spicy romances will bear the name Wynter Daniels. I've been thinking about using a pen name for a while, but when I started writing erotic romance, the decision was clear.
Why do writers take on a nom de plume? Many reasons. Some find their own name too difficult or cumbersome, others don't necessarily want to be found out in their real life. The reasons may be as varied as the writers themselves.
I'm not ashamed of my hotter work, but I do want to differentiate it from my other books. I write all over the spectrum - from Young Adult romances to erotic ones. And if you have a website that teenagers may visit, you don't really have a choice.
But the notion of being someone else, even if only on paper, is a little freeing. Once I decided Wynter would take responsibility for my more salacious prose, I allowed the words to flow. Unrestrained by my inner prude, I delved into a part of my creativity I hadn't allowed myself to tap into before. Wynter became and my inner editor, that had kept me from expressing certain taboo themes and frank language, ceased to hold me back.
I'm excited that Wynter will make her official entrance soon, although I don't have a date yet for the release of Can't Stand the Heat. But Wynter is on her way. I just sold another hot novella to Loose Id. Wynter's second story will be out next year.
In the meanwhile, here's a blurb for Can't Stand the Heat to whet your appetite:
Savannah chef Marissa Walker thought she was through with her gambling ex-husband, Billy when he left for Atlanta. When her boss brings Billy back into her life, she's forced to keep her emotions and her libido in check as they compete for the position of Head Chef. Little does she know that Billy's gambling debts followed him to Savannah along with a dangerous bookie willing to do whatever it takes to make Billy pay. Billy's deceit threatens to undermine the growing trust between the exes. Marissa soon realizes she's the one who's gambled not only her career, but her heart as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Growing TBR Pile

A few days ago I got Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro in the mail. The cover is hot and the blurb is even hotter and I'm dying to read it, but I knew if I started, I wouldn't put it down so I tried shoving it in between two other books in my TBR pile and realized I'm out of room on my book shelf...all 4 of them. So, I've made a nice little stack of books I swear I'm going to get to before the year is over.


The bad thing is, I'm going to a book signing this weekend and there are already three books I know I'm buying, but it'll probably be more than that. In addition to that, each time you make a purchase, you get a bag of books. Since I helped stuff the bags, I know how freaking awesome the reads are going to be (Free books from Brenda Novak and Allison Brennan. Hell yeah!) So for the price of one book, I'm getting 4-5 for free. Which is pure awesomeness. Unfortunately it only adds to my TBR pile. I fear I'll never finish it. Of course if I did, I don't know what I'd do with myself. (See Dara's earlier post for info on the book signing. If you're in the Central Florida area, check it out.)


What's in your TBR pile that you're dying to get to?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Naughty Preview from One of the Naughty Author Chicks!


I have another upcoming release from eRed Sage that, unfortunately, does not have a cover yet (though I've posted a draft because it is oh-so-promising--thanks to fabulous cover artist Rae Monet!). My story is the fifth or sixth or seventh (I can't keep track!) installment in the Three Kinds of Wicked series that features the uber-sexy strider, Trey, and the very steamy menages he helps to, um, orchastrate. :-)

I chose to write a futuristic treasure hunter/spy story that takes place on Planet PX330--aka the Pleasure Planet--in the Andromeda Galaxy. My hero is the former celebrated Major General of the Protective Forces, Gen. Dylan Tanner, now turned Pleasure Planet spy D.T. Vaughn. He's a formidable force with which to be reckoned, but my blockade runner heroine Gizelle Sobera is not to be messed with either!

Here's a sneak peek at the story (unedited):

Gizelle was a fighter, through and through. It was an inherent part of her. Fully engrained within her. Body, heart and soul.

So when D.T. admitted to being the legendary General she sought and then refused—outright, adamantly refused—to return to the Milky Way with her, to leave the outrageously extravagant Pleasure Planet in order to help save their people…

“Oh!” Her fists clenched at her sides before she lifted her hands and waved them in the air. She’d strangle D.T., if only she could!

“That self-serving son of a bitch!” she screamed.

To which Trey poked his head around the wall of the cockpit of her small cargo ship and said, “Something wrong?”

She narrowed her eyes on him.

Trey cocked his head to the side. “Guess you didn’t get what you wanted from Vaughn.”

“Oh, I got what I wanted from Vaughn,” she said between clenched teeth. “He gave me the gold. It’s in the cargo hull.” He’d given her something else, too, but… there really was no need to share that with Trey.

“Damn him,” she said. “I need more than the gold. I need General Tanner!”

Trey’s dark brows knitted together. “Now you’ve lost me. I didn’t catch much of the conversation after the, uh, show.”

Shaking her head—and ignoring the heat that touched her cheeks at his unabashed remark—Gizelle said, “I’ve lost me, too. I mean, all this time… he was right underneath my nose.”

“Come again?”

Gizelle’s teeth ground together at that non-intentional innuendo. Any sort of sexual double entendre was sure to set her on edge at this point. Because the mere thought of sex with D.T. was still so damned appealing!

Even though she currently hated him. Again.

With a sigh, Gizelle said, “D.T. is General Dylan Tanner. The one I intended to persuade to return to the Milky Way to help lead the Protective Forces. That’s what a good portion of the gold was for.”

“Ah,” Trey said, apparently catching on. “And your friend refused your offer.”

“He’s not my friend,” she said, irritated. And hated the fact that she was almost pouting. Damn it. D.T.’s refusal to return to Earth with her did more than annoy or anger her. It broke her heart. “He’s selfish and arrogant and self-indulgent and…. Christ. He’d rather be holed up here, drowning in the whole… sensuality… of this stupid planet,” she said with disdain, “then help his own people.” Shaking her head again, she said, “What kind of heathen is that, I ask you?”

Trey merely shrugged a broad shoulder. “Maybe he’s got a reason. A good one.”

“For letting his fellow human beings suffer? Die? Um, yeah,” Gizelle said in a flippant tone. “I’m sure he’s got a damn good reason for that.”

And she hated every one that popped into her head.

He was more interested in the Pleasure Providers on this rotten planet.

He was more intoxicated by his decadent, vintage Scotch.

He was more captivated by the four fucking moons!

Gizelle’s temper flared. “There isn’t a reason good enough for turning his back on the Protective Forces when they need him. Now more than ever.”

She really needed to pace, to release some of her frustration and tension. But the one-person cockpit didn’t allow her much space. And it didn’t help that Trey seemed to take up more than a fair share of what little space she did have.

So she stood in front of him, her arms crossed over her chest. “I have the gold. And with it, I can do a lot of good things to help The Cause. But we really need General Tanner to rally the weary troops.” Staring long and hard at Trey, she asked, “How in hell am I going to convince D.T. to return to Earth with me?”

Trey propped a broad shoulder against the wall and said, “How’d you get him to give you the gold?”

Gizelle ground her teeth for a moment before admitting, “I didn’t do anything. He’d already intended to give it to me. Apparently, he only stole it so I’d come to him to claim it.”

A slight grin tipped Trey’s full mouth. “Sounds like a man who knows what he wants.”
“And isn’t afraid to go after it.” Lord knew, he’d pursued her relentlessly from the get-go.

“So,” Trey mused in a contemplative, if not somewhat devious, tone. “If he was willing to use trillions in gold bars to lure you to his lair—and hand over said gold… I’d say that clearly gives you the upper hand in this scenario.”

Her eyes narrowed on her tall, dark and handsome companion. “How so?”

Trey pushed away from the wall and closed the gap between them with one wide stride. Staring down at her with a smoldering look in his dark-as-night eyes, he said, “You believed you could seduce him for the gold. Obviously, you didn’t have to. Can you seduce him into returning with you?”

Gizelle let out a half-snort, half-laugh that was decidedly unladylike. Plopping into her chair, she said, “Not a chance in hell. D.T. was adamant. And when he’s being stubborn about something, there’s absolutely nothing I can do to sway him.”

“Oh, really?” Trey asked as he knelt down, wedging himself between Gizelle’s legs, forcing them apart.

“Hey,” she said in protest. But then the wicked glint in Trey’s eyes, and the hands on her bare thighs told her exactly what he was getting at. “Oh, I don’t think… I mean, really… This would never work…”

As a dark eyebrow crooked at her response, Trey’s large hands moved further up her legs until they disappeared under the hem of her loose skirt. The erotic touch notwithstanding, she managed to swallow down another protest.

She’d considered using Trey in a no-holds barred seduction in order to get the gold—before D.T. had handed it over to her sans strings or the need for seduction. Or violence.

She knew she possessed the ability to ignite his lust with little more than a sexy outfit. After the way he’d responded to her tonight, acting so territorial, so… possessive. Wouldn’t he just shoot through the Solar System if he saw her with another man?

And Trey was, she knew, the only man who could help her pull off this seduction. For one thing, he was bold and daring. He proved that by keeping his gaze locked with hers as his thumbs absently—or maybe purposely—caressed her inner thighs. And he looked remarkably similar to D.T., which would no doubt tweak D.T.’s massive ego and make him determined to prove to Gizelle that even a devilish imitation like Trey wasn’t the man for her.

A smile teased her lips as a plan formed in her head.

“Oh, you’re good,” she whispered…

NEWS FLASH FROM CALISTA!! Hey, good news! I just received news from my editor, the ultra-fabulous Theresa Stevens, that The Pleasure Principle will be released February 1, 2010! Valentine's Day is my FAVORITE holiday, so I'm really excited to have a Feb. release!

The Faces of…an Erotic Romance Writer



I write hot. Erotic. Spine-tingling fiction where the hiss of a riding crop slicing through the air signals a most unusual wedding night for the heroine in my upcoming Spice novel, The Blonde Samurai, Feb 2010. Not exactly what every blushing bride has listed on her bridal registry. But then again, what we erotica (especially historical) writers write doesn't always reflect reality.

You might say we're Eve White by day and Eve Black at our computers.

Eve who? you ask.

Those are the names of the characters played by Joanne Woodward in the classic black and white film, "The Three Faces of Eve." It's based on the true story of a conservative southern housewife in Augusta, Georgia and the psychiatrist who tries to help her integrate her split personalities.

How easy is it for erotica writers to switch from one personality to another? Does Eve Black whisper in our ear when we're writing those hot ménage scenes or our heroine does a striptease then go back inside us when we head off to soccer practice or do the laundry?

What part of our personality is Eve White?

We all have moments when the story's not working or we get a rejection or we doubt ourselves. That's when we have to work hard to put Eve White back in her place and keep going.

Which brings me to the third persona in the film:

Jane. She's the normal one. The personality who keeps us sane, does our editing, helps us with the plotting and cuts "-ly" words when they get in the way of our story.

But let's go back to Eve Black…

There's a scene in the film with two psychiatrists and Eve where the more experienced doctor thinks she's faking it until he sees a remarkable transformation as Eve changes from her dark personality to her naïve persona--her voice, body posture, mannerisms, thoughts and objectives.

That's what we erotica writers do. We become our sexy selves on paper, wearing those black stockings, pink garter belts and full of mischief…and if you're wondering who wrote this blog post--

Eve White or Eve Black...

I'll let you guess.

Now it's your turn. Do you have an Eve Black personality who helps you write those hot scenes?


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Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Shopping for a Good Cause


I interrupt our regular naughty posts to tell you about a worthwhile event. If you're anywhere near Central Florida, you ought to come to the Romancing the Holidays Benefit Book Signing. This huge annual event raises money for the Adult Literacy League. Aside from doing something for a great charity, supporting the cause will score you an awesome goody bag filled with at least 4 books donated by authors from around the country. You even get to choose between a naughty goody bag or a nice one! But you'll have to be one of the first 100 customers in order to get one. And they go quick.

So join me and 22 other authors on Saturday, November 7 from 2-5 pm at the Altamonte Mall center court fountain, 451 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL . Call (407) 261-0213 or click here.

While you're there, feel free to purchase a signed copy of any of my books, including my latest adult romance, Falling Star.

Mention this post to me at the signing and I will send you your choice of any of my hot short stories or novellas. Hope to see you there.