Friday, January 29, 2010

Rejection and all that Jazz

My husband and I have put our house on the market and yes, I realize what a crazy market it is to try to sell, but due to job opportunities, we don’t have a choice. It hasn’t been on the market very long and today is our first showing. In fact, the prospective buyers might be at our house as you read this so please send out happy thoughts! I’m a little nervous at what they’ll think. I mean, I love our house, obviously, or we wouldn’t have bought it, but now that it’s on display for others, it’s a little nerve wracking. Okay, a lot! I’ve got to keep the house in pristine condition all the time and that’s not an easy feat.


Having our house on display for a bunch of strangers almost feels like when I have a new release or even send something to my editor for review. I love my characters and my story, but there’s no guarantee that anyone else will. Every time I send something off, there’s a risk of rejection, and believe me I have a couple file folders full of rejection letters. It’s just part of being a writer. One of my critique partners is dealing with rejection and questioning her talent and it’s heartbreaking to read some of her emails because I see my own fears in some of her letters. Sometimes it seems that no matter how successful we are, one wrong word can make us question everything. This is a tough business and sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s not personal, it’s business. I don’t know if other authors do this, but I have a scrapbook of sorts where I keep fan mail, good reviews, etc. that I like to pull out when I’m feeling blue. Recently I got a crappy review for Unleashed Temptation only to be counteracted almost immediately with a 5 star review from Two Lips reviews. It was a nice reminder that reading really is subjective.


Here’s a little bit of that review: Unleashed Temptation by Savannah Stuart will have you hot and bothered by the time you get to the second page. I could not put this one down. Nick is more than just the hottest alpha werewolf you will ever meet. He has a true loving heart that will grab you and make you fall in love with him… The pack dynamics and brotherly love is really felt in this novel and it left me wanting much more of the Lazos pack. For the entire review, click here.


Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Humor is Everything


There is nothing I love more than a sense of humor, in real life and in books. I like to think that I have a good sense of humor, though I’ll admit I hear a lot of cricket chirping after my jokes.

Have you ever met someone with absolutely no sense of humor? Did you have any desire to meet up with them again?

Just about anything in life can be met head-on with humor. It makes the fun stuff even more fun, and it’s just as good as chicken soup for whatever ails you. It even makes for great sex.

To prove my point, I’m going to leave you with an interchange between Elizabeth (“Elle”) and Kevin from Winters’ Thaw, my book in the Cougar Challenge series. She’s apprehensive about having an older body with some wear and tear on it. He meets that apprehension head on and douses it with humor.

“Elle?” He used his finger to trace the lacy edging at her cleavage until she opened her eyes to look at him. “Question two. Why are you so afraid to lose the bra?”

Okay, she could do this.

“I’m not afraid, exactly,” Elizabeth said. “I just know I’m…different from what you’re used to.”

Kevin’s eyes dropped to her chest and he stared as though he had X-ray vision. “Do you have an extra nipple or something?”

If anything, he looked more intrigued. “That’s not as uncommon as you think but no.”

“Do you have nipples? I mean, the bumps I see could be stick-on.”

Great. Now he was just messing with her, which oddly gave her more courage to set him straight. “Eyes up here, bud. There are two of everything and only two of everything. I’m talking about gravity. I’m not only older than you’re used to, I’ve nursed two kids.”

“If you’d had three, that extra nipple would have been useful.”

“Kevin!”

“What do you want me to say?” He caught his finger in the front clasp of her bra and gave a little tug. “I like real breasts. Doesn’t matter what size, what shape, pierced or not pierced. I’ve dated women with implants and I don’t find it attractive.”

She wasn’t buying it for a minute. “Isn’t that every man’s fantasy? Legs to the armpits and breasts to the eyebrows?”

“Are we still on the blunt honesty kick?” he asked.

“Of course.”

“I slept with one of them and it was like trying to balance on two handballs. I don’t think it was all that comfortable for her either. The sex was okay but there wasn’t a repeat.” He traced the swells of her breast with the back of his finger. “A woman’s skin is so soft. I like to feel as much of it against me as I can.”

It would have been better not to laugh at that moment but she couldn’t help it. All she could see was Phil fruitlessly thrusting away at Tanya, only to be bounced off like a trampoline. Hey, maybe that was how she’d sprung a leak!

“Did I say something wrong?” Kevin asked.

“No, the complete opposite,” she assured him. “Thank you. You have no idea.”

His fingers came to rest on the clasp again. “So enlighten me.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Naughty Victorian Lady learns the Way of the Samurai


by Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of “The Blonde Samurai”

In the autumn of 1874 I learned the way of the samurai.

In a hidden valley amongst the orange blossoms. Full of sunlight and promise. Under the tutelage of Shintaro, a man of fortitude and vitality. A man who lived in a heightened state of perpetual readiness for battle.

And for making love. His silken futon beckoning me with the promise of erotic delights that no occidental woman had ever experienced…

Did your heart beat faster? Is your curiosity piqued? Be aware, ’tis true that I have written the sort of memoir that not even the most audacious lady novelist would dare to pen, but I shall not titillate you in this posting with emotional ramblings of a sensual nature.

No, today I shall acquaint you with the fervent and steadfast ideals of the female samurai.

Such brave women do exist, I assure you.

While aristocratic ladies surround themselves in frothy veils of mystery, the samurai woman proudly displays her fortitude and strength when called upon to defend both hearth and her person.

Shocking? Perhaps. After all, a lady of quality strolling along Regent Street would have no means except a delicate parasol with which to pound a ruffian upon the head should he attempt to abscond with her reticule.

On the other hand, a samurai woman carries a dirk or dagger close to her bosom in her obi or sash and knows how to wield a curved spear known as a naginata.

I also learned how to use a sword (a samurai carries two swords–the long and the short sword and yes, the one between his legs as well) and I invite to read about my adventures in my memoir.

But as promised, today I shall regale you with historical accounts of samurai women. Like Tomoe, known for her courage and good seat upon a mount. She rode into battle on horseback and fought alongside her husband. Another brave female samurai, Lady Masa, was the wife of a shogun and, after his death, ruled his lands and empire with a strong hand.

And I cannot forget the samurai women of Aizu Province who, but a few years ago in 1868, defended their lord’s castle against invaders with spears and other weapons when their men were away.

How can I attain the way of the warrior? you wish to inquire, curious as you are though you would never admit it. I shall impart the code to you in hopes it will resonate with your spirit as it does with mine.

The way of the warrior is based on a code of personal honor. Loyalty, courage, self-sacrifice, frugality, rigorous physical and mental discipline and total allegiance to your lord.

As I wrote in “The Blonde Samurai:

” The way of the warrior is not about the sword, Shintaro taught me, but about the woman holding the sword, her mental strength, discipline, compassion… experience it as you would a drop of pure, fine oil from a flower, a perfume, if you will, so you may apply it to your life as you would scent to your skin and make it yours alone."

‘Tis a noble idea, is it not? And one I pray you shall take with you from today’s posting and carry it with you the next time you are confronted with a difficult situation.

You are stronger than you think…believe and it shall be so.

Share

February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pardon me, but your modifier is dangling ...

Update! All of the names have been put into a hat and ... Laurann Dohner is the lucky winner of my book giveaway! Thanks so much to all of you who played along. Look for another giveaway coming soon!

Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie Adkins, and I’m the newest kid on the block here at Naughty Author Chicks. I love writing contemporary erotic romance stories, but I’ve also dabbled in suspense and the paranormal world. My first book, Breathing Shallow, debuted in December 2008 from Liquid Silver Books. Since then, I’ve been published with Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Phaze Books, and Cobblestone Press. I have three new stories debuting this spring, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them! But first, I need to make a confession. (Now go ahead and get your minds out of the gutter. It's not that kind of confession. Those will come later. * wink*)

You know, I used to think I was really good at grammar and punctuation. English was my favorite subject in high school and college. Nouns and verbs made me drool. Book reports and essays? Oh yeah, I was all over that. So, when I wrote Breathing Shallow, I thought it was polished and the epitome of perfection. (Yeah right!) But when Liquid Silver Books accepted it, and I received my first round of edits, I was SO embarrassed. My poor editor, Lynne, had her work cut out for her when she got me. Thank goodness the woman has the patience of Job. We've since worked together a second time, and hopefully she'll be working with me on my third upcoming release from LSB because I don't think I could break in another editor. They might run from me screaming and never return. *grin*

I'm very proud to say that I've improved a ton over the past thirteen months. The editors, publishers, and numerous author friends I've come in contact with have been such an enormous help to me. It's all a learning experience, but there are still things that trip me up every now and then no matter how many stories I write. I've just come to accept the fact that comma's are evil little trolls. LOL

If you’ve never read one of my stories, I hope you’ll consider diving in to one of them, and if you'd like the chance to win a PDF copy of my book, Breathing Shallow, then leave a comment to this post. I'll be drawing a name at the end of the day, and it will be posted here by 8 AM (CST) tomorrow morning. Good luck!

Come visit me at http://www.stephanieadkins.com/.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Book Trailer Faerie




Although growing up smack dab at the start of the MTV generation, part of the crowd that grew up witnessing the first music video when Video Killed The Radio Star and entranced by Michael Jackson's dancing zombies in Thriller, I've been a hold out on embracing video technology as part of my writing life. I'm not sure why. I knew I'd never be able to produce a video book trailer myself. My tech know-how extends about as far as pushing the buttons on the microwave. In fact, I'm lucky I figure out how to get my blog to appear on Naughty Author Chicks. Plus, I have the visual design acuity of a flea.

There are many fantastic video book trailers out there, and many more that raise my enthusiasm to a ho-hum yawn. If I had a spare moment to breathe and pursue this idea, would it be worth the money I'd need to pay someone since I had no guarantee if the outcome would match the vision of my story?

There were plenty of writing friends who highly recommended their designers. I get overwhelmed easily, so making a decision about who to choose was just as taxing as deciding to get a trailer done in the first place. Like any good ostrich, I stuck my head in the sand about this issue and let myself be distracted by the million other details of marketing my book.

Then, in the span of two days, I saw announcements to watch two video book trailers both produced by the same designer, Nina Pierce. In fact, since Nina is a writer, one was for her recent release. Lucky duck, she can make her own videos. I wonder if she gives herself a discount? Anyway, I was entranced. It was the first time a trailer I'd seen captured the pacing and emotional intensity I envisioned as similar to what I needed for my novel. I just knew that if I was ever going to do this, she was the gal I needed. So I took the leap. Below is the result and from the first time I clicked to even her draft of the production, I was flabbergasted. I LOVED IT! So much that I desperately wished I could go out to the movie theater and watch the movie. Sigh. There is no movie. Hollywood has yet to approach me, although I sit by the phone patiently each day. But the point is the trailer was so enticing I had that same gut reaction I get watching one of the big production commercials for upcoming blockbusters. Okay, you might not have exactly the same reaction seeing my video, but that's what I felt.

Enough with the tease. Here's my video produced by lovely book trailer faerie Nina Pierce for BOUND ODYSSEY. Go see her work at her DNK Videos site on YouTube for other examples of her stuff. She comes with my highest recommendation. Feel free to comment on what makes a great trailer for you? Both as a reader or as a writer? Did you ever buy a book based on what you saw? Avoid a book for the same reason? Give me your thoughts on the value of this marketing device? In the end, no matter what happens with results, I had a another thrill shiver through me down to my black leather boots.


Michelle







Saturday, January 23, 2010

Squeeeee!!!


I just received my first ARC's for Strange Neighbors! Yippee, Yippee, Yippeeeeeee! :-D
For those of you who don't know what an ARC is, it's an advance reading copy. Not for sale. It's mainly used used for reviews. (And a last chance proofread.)

I can't believe how excited my husband was! He was the one who ripped open the package, like he couldn't get one in his hot hands fast enough.

I'll be floating around my office for the rest of the day. If I can come down long enough to sit in my chair, Ill be finishing up book 2 in the series this weekend. That one will be called Strange Confessions. (It involves the werewolf and Merry's best friend.)

For a look at the cover and a delightful trailer, go to http://www.ashlynchase.net
If you haven't already pre-ordered your copy, there's a link directly to the page you need on Amazon.

Viva la Sourcebooks!

Ash

--
Where there’s fire, there’s Ash
www.ashlynchase.com www.ashlynchase.net
Chat with me: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ashlynsnewbestfriends/
I'm also on myspace, twitter and facebook

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. --John Updike

Friday, January 22, 2010

Snow at Disney World...And We Ran a Half-Marathon In It!


Just got back from Walt Disney World, where it is was freezing degrees! My hubby and I kept checking the weather report before we went and every time we did, it just got colder. When they showed snow, sleet and freezing rain for the morning of the half-marathon, we couldn't believe it, but we figured we better wear a few extra layers anyway. Well, we get up at 2:15 AM, yes I said AM, to grab a bagel and catch the bus to Epcot, where the race started, and sure enough, it was freezing cold and snowing! Okay, so we don't usually run if it's too cold, but we signed up, so we were going to run it and we did! We wore three shirts, including an Under Armour Cold Gear one, a zip-up hoodie, and wore two pairs of running pants! Honestly, the snow wasn't that bad, but when it turned to sleet, then freezing rain about two miles into the run, that wasn't really too fun. I mean, we had fun, but I could have done without the wintry mix, thank you very much! LOL!

*hugs*
Paige


"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Go Ahead, Ask Me Anything…Almost


As long as it pertains to my books, characters, or an opinion I feel strongly about, you’ll probably get an honest answer. I say probably here because if there’s no chance I’ll ever meet you, I’ll likely tell you I’m a petite blonde in my early twenties. Wait, make that mid twenties so I don’t have to pay extra to rent a car.

I’ll answer personal questions about the obvious. Why Dalton Diaz (DD)? Because Ashlyn Chase has a great sense of humor and she chose the name. Anyone within eye-poking distance of me knows how she came up with that one.

What I don’t get is when people ask me about my sex life. Not whether I’m comfortable writing about certain sex acts, but if I indulge in them myself. Huh?

Let me start with research vs reality. Research is the fun part of the job! Is it physically possible as described for tab A to fit into slot B? Really? Ok, let’s give him another inch… Sometimes research is hands-on, but most of the time you put a call out to your peeps or you look online. Think about it; most of us do not have sex slaves on call 24/7. I’m sure there are authors out there who live that lifestyle, too, but I’m not asking!

I’ve never been able to figure out why some people assume contemporary erotic authors can only write from experience vs authors who write about vampires or ghosts. I’m pretty sure JR Ward and Laurell K. Hamilton aren’t going around biting males to see how it tastes and feels, any more than Lora Leigh is finding humans bred with felines to interview!

In Love Cuffs, I wrote the male point of view. I’m not a man. In Illegal Moves, I wrote a bisexual male point of view. I’m not a bisexual male. My heroines hold their own. I’m a total wimp.

In truth, this is what I love most about writing. I can be anyone, try anything, and if I want to, have a sex slave 24/7. I don’t think DH would wear that T-shirt, though.

So talk to me. My favorite thing about Romanticon last year was the focus group workshops. I love to hear what you like to read. You never know what might show up in a book.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Naughty Victorian Lady marries a naughty English Lord


by Lady Carlton née Katie O'Roarke, heroine of "The Blonde Samurai"

My wedding was perfect. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…

As in bluebood.

I am speaking about his lordship, Lord James Carlton, born to Braystone House, a fifteenth-century limestone goliath situated somewhere in the Midlands and unknown to me.

'Tis true that I, Katie O'Roarke, married an English lord in the summer of 1872. Like many titled "land-rich but cash-poor" Englishman, James needed funds and I needed a husband.

But not just any husband.

To please my sainted mother, I did as many American heiresses did. I sailed across the pond to England and joined the ranks of British royalty since its American counterpart of New York society matrons with the dubious moniker of Knickerbockers would have none of the likes of me.

I was among the first young American ladies to attach my person and the family fortune to a member of the British peerage. And what a time I had of it, me with my inquisitive nature and sassy mouth. Be it known my looks were plain and my opinions brash, but a grand journey it was…until I headed to Japan and discovered that all the palaces and finery in the world cannot compare to being with the man you love.

But I digress, dear lady reader.

Today's post is not about romance but marriage. A mariage de convenance as the French are wont to say. And so I shall attempt to enlighten you with the extravagant and wildly dazzling world of the American heiress in 1870s London.

Where shall I begin?

The O'Roarkes were nouveau riche, what I like to call gritty rich since my da was a man who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty to make an honest dollar. And that he did in railroads. He was among the self-made millionaires who could easily afford to spend what they made.

Even though my mother furnished our New York brownstone with elegant chairs in blue velvet inlaid with ebony and ivory and adorned herself in pleated skirts in watered silks, the snobbish society ladies would have nothing to do with us. No invitations to dinner parties or fancy balls. Her silver tray designed to hold such invitations remained empty.

But you don't know my Irish mother. Undaunted after being snubbed by the elitist New York Society, Mama insisted we head for Paris.

And from there to London where the H.R.H, the Prince of Wales, a royal with a reputation for the ladies, harbored no prejudice against Americans, but rather welcomed the company of Yankee heiresses with fortunes to spend and who looked charming in the latest Parisian gowns while doing so.
They called us buccaneers since we set out to plunder the titles of England like pirates in silk petticoats, the doors to a glittering new world opening up to us with invitations to all the London Society soirees.
I made my mother proud when I was among the first to marry a member of the peerage (I have since heard that Jennie Jerome married Lord Randolph Churchill.***

I soon discovered that while being Lady Carlton afforded me great prestige, it left me with a lonely heart…

Until I arrived in Japan, the land of cherry blossoms and samurai, where I learned the way of the way of the warrior: loyalty, honor and self-respect from a samurai called Shintaro, one of the most mysterious, elusive and enigmatic men in all Japan.


[***Jina's note: Jennie Churchill was the mother of Sir Winston Churchill]

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February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tatted Up!

I got my first tattoo when I was twenty. A rose on the ankle with the Greek letters of my sorority through the stem. My cousin, who was always a fabulous artist, decided that he could make more money by inking his art on people. So I ended up a guinea pig worked on with a homemade tattoo gun held together by electrical tape. Hey, I was in college and things like infection and pus really didn’t bother me.

My second tattoo came a few months later in the form of an armband with my sorority and brother fraternity Greek letters. By the time my third and fourth were tatted onto my back and shoulder my cousin had evolved into colors and my imagination had stretched past college organizations. Upon leaving his chair a mermaid on a moon and a phoenix were inked into my body.

Tattoos.

They’re an addiction and I find them as sexy as a pair of strong thighs and pretty eyes.

They express who a person is, they’re personality and experiences. My first two are symbols of my youth but my last two illustrate my heart. I love fiction and the beauty of fantasy. It’s why I write. To create those dreams even though they’re in the form of Alpha heroes and strong women instead of mythical creatures. I still believe in heroes and happy ever after.


Tattoos on a hero tell a story. In Jessica Lee’s Desire to Die For, the vampire brotherhood bears the infinity sign pierced by a dagger on their bodies. It denotes their status of warrior and their kinship to the Enclave. In Jessica Andersen’s Final Prophecy series, her Mayan magi bear tattoos signifying their family lineage, individual power and mate. One of my favorites—and oh so sexiest—is Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld. Every lord represents a demon from Pandora’s box and they carry a huge demonic butterfly on various parts of their bodies. Whether it’s on a shoulder, stomach, chest…*sigh* What should be feminine is dangerous and erotic. Delicious.

Tattoos can help create a hero or heroine’s history or even foretell their future. Or, in the case of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron, they can become characters in the story. Who doesn’t know the Atlantean god’s dragon tattoo that morphs into the ever-hungry demon, Simi?

So does a tattoo make your mouth water? Who’s your favorite tatted hero? Do you have one—tattoo or inked hero—of your own? Share!

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Do You Take Your Villains?


I'm right in the middle of writing an erotic romantic suspense now. I'm at that point in the writing process where I go back and layer in some more texture to my characters. Something I almost always find myself doing is adding lots of meat to my villains. When I have a genuine villain, they need even more motivation than a hero. Why? Doing illegal or immoral things usually carries consequences. One must have better/deeper/stronger reasons to risk those consequences. The classic villain, or bad guy is easier to write than say, the evil mother-in-law or the ex-girlfriend who wants the hero back.
The classic bad guy comes with a great big bow around his neck called external conflict. He or she should seem way too difficult for the hero or heroine to overcome. Only through the H or H's growth can they emerge victorious. And the more the deck is stacked against the good guys, the more exciting the buildup to the climax will be.
Another setup, though is the villain turned hero. Then there's my personal favorite - where the hero and heroine are each other's villain. This is the sort of conflict that first hooked me on romance and I've gone back to writing it again and again, although it requires subtler brush strokes than the classic villain.
I have two upcoming stories where this is the case - Can't Stand the Heat, coming March 1 from Red Sage features a couple competing for a position as head chef at a Savannah restaurant. And did I mention that they used to be married? Yummy conflict!
Playing with Barbie, due out March 9 from Loose Id has a heroine who must find a husband ASAP. But her desire for a bad boy player stands in her way. He is her villain. Consequently, the hero sees the heroine as a stumbling block to his way of life. She is his villain. Both stories have a bad boy as the villain/hero. And let's face it - an awful lot of women love that bad boy thing. What better position to give a bad boy than villain?
What about you? How do you like your villains?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Everything is Hotter in Miami

I'm doing something I rarely do, shameless promo! ;) Next Tuesday, January 19, 2010, is my first release with Loose Id and I'm very excited about it. What's Miami Heat about?

When Madison Dubois witnesses a terrible crime, she goes to the only place she knows she’ll be safe, Detective Rafe Jackson’s house. Rafe has been in love with Madison Dubois for longer than he cares to admit. Unfortunately for him, she views him as a big brother. When she shows up on his doorstep terrified for her life, he has no choice but to keep her safe. Undeniable sparks fly when they’re forced to share a roof but unless he can keep her alive, their relationship might not have a chance to even start.

If you want a chance to win a digital copy, leave a comment here. If you re-tweet it, or mention the contest on your blog or any other social media, you'll be entered twice. Just please mention it in your comment! And don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you. Winner will be chosen next Thursday at 8 eastern!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Newest Naughty Chick Reveals...


Hey there, I’m Dalton Diaz, and I’ll be alternating Thursdays with Cara McKenna, but it will only be me until February 11th. That’s when she gets back from the best vacation EVER! I’d insert something spiteful from envy, but she’s really nice and funny as hell (and not afraid to hurt me), so Cara, have a fabulous time and bring back lots of inspiration.

So I’m sitting here trying to come up with something naughty to introduce myself, but there is only one thing on my mind after Tues. night.

My name is Dalton Diaz, and I am an American Idol addict.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not an all-consuming addiction. At least not until it gets down to about the top 12 contestants. In fact, I find most of it tedious and often cruel until that point. And replacing Paula Abdul with Ellen Degeneres? Love the woman, but really? I can’t see it working, and I can only hope I end up eating my words.

In truth, Idol almost lost my family as fans. After the Sinjaya debacle, we’d given up hope that the show would be about the talent. So what changed it for us?

Adam Lambert.

Big surprise, right? He’s beautifully, unapologetically gay, and after co-authoring Illegal Moves (with Samantha Cayto) featuring a bisexual secondary character who steals the show, it’s no secret on which side of the fence my ass is firmly planted. But this is a singing competition. S-I-N-G-I-N-G.

I can still remember the exact moment Adam rocked my world. I had to watch the show alone because DH was on a business trip and the teenmonsters had lost interest, when Adam lit up the stage with his presence (and background flames) and belted out a version of Ring of Fire that had my jaw on the floor. I TIVOed it. I watched it repeatedly. I called DH & told him to make sure he caught the show when it hit his time zone. He didn’t. I played it for him when he got home and his jaw hit the floor. We watched it repeatedly and played it for anyone who stepped foot in our house.

The thing is, we are a musical family. OK, my DH, his family, my ancestors and offspring are musical. I’m tone deaf and do a mean Edith Bunker. DH even played in a band on Sunset Blvd back in the day. I had a stint as girlfriend/groupie/bar bitch. There are pictures. Anyhoo, after that Adam moment, all in the house began to gather to watch the show, to argue, to vote. Together. We geared up for the 2010 premier by watching 2009 in reruns on reality tv. (Unfortunately, I failed to set the Tivo to save more than 5 episodes of the original and that Ring of Fire performance disappeared. I’ve just gotten my TIVO privileges back, btw.)

Hey, I started off by warning you that I’m an American Idol addict. If you want to reach me, I can be found on the couch, in front of the TV on Tues. and Thurs nights. But don’t call. I’ll be with my entire family, having a great time.
You won’t be able to get through anyway. We’ll be voting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Naughty Victorian Lady discusses a delicate subject: dildos


by Lady Carlton née Katie O'Roarke, heroine of "The Blonde Samurai"


I shall ignore for today's posting that you are a lady of quality and are inclined to shy away from a discussion about what the ancient Celts called "self-love." Still, I wish to enlighten you on a delicate subject: dildos. (You can blame my brashness on my Irish heritage if that allows you to keep reading.)

Hidden away from curious upturned eyes in the deep entrails of the world's museums, I have no doubt you will find everything from Ice Age stone dildos to leather dildos from ancient Greece and, in the bedrooms of the upper class, dildos made of rubber known as "The Widow's Comforter."

Enter the steam-powered massager or vibrator, patented by a forward-thinking American physician in 1869. I've heard rumors that physicians in a hospital in Paris are experimenting with genital massage of female patients to produce, if you will excuse the term, physical excitement that can only be described as glorious.

Vibrators are, from what I understand, in great demand by physicians whose practice involves genital massage, which has been recorded as standard treatment for headaches and irritability since the first century. Accordingly they are able to treat their female patients for a common malady known as "hysterical paroxysm" (better known as "sexual deprivation") more efficiently with these machines.

Such an electromechanical vibrator reduces a physician's time from an hour to ten minutes, meaning he can see more female patients in need of the orgasm they aren't getting anywhere else. I have no doubt women will soon demand to buy them for home use.

Speaking of home use, as I wrote in my memoir, The Blonde Samurai:


"I didn't let that stop me from continuing my search for self-gratification and from imagining what delights such an implement could bring to me. A pleasure so exquisite that a secret longing deep in my belly made me shiver with anticipation.

"That indefinable hunger drove me to explore other means to find satisfaction, though I hesitate to share it with you if you've turned pale and are experiencing indigestion because of the indelicate subject matter. Skip over these next few pages if you must, but I'll not deny these enticing thoughts ran through my mind on many a lonely day.

"Such as today. Desiring not to be disturbed, I closed the curtains and locked the door to my rooms before I opened the polished wooden box lined with red velvet. Sitting next to my china ring stand shaped like a tiny tree with willowy branches, the dark walnut box held the jewels James had given me on our wedding day, as propriety dictated.

"Family heirlooms including a garnet necklace surrounded by stars, a diamond brooch with a large ruby in the center and a turquoise bracelet set off with diamonds. Cold stones given with a cold heart.

"The box contained another jewel. One I enjoyed wearing above all others. Sleek, round and bulbous. The energy oozing from it when I slipped it inside me awakened my soul with a gentle vibration I could only describe as magic.

"My dildo."


I warned you it was a delicate subject. But you couldn't resist, could you?

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February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

MICHELLE POLARIS - Another New Chick on the Block!




Hello all. I am thrilled out of my black leather boots to be with you today, joining the Naughty Author Chicks as a regular member. I'll be dropping by here every other Monday to chat.

Let me introduce myself. I write dark, erotic romance--futuristic, contemporary and fantasy. My first release, BOUND ODYSSEY at Ellora's Cave is a futuristic post-apocalyptic BDSM Fem Dom menage intrigue with male domination elements. Try saying that three times fast.

To get more of a sense of my story, here's the blurb:

The year is 2067 and Earth is self-destructing from environmental cataclysms. A portal to a new world is ripped open and refuge there is Earth's only hope. Enter Jace, cowboy diplomat, who is preparing for the negotiation of a lifetime. A sexually conflicted alpha male, he hates everything with a cock, especially himself. The last thing Jace expects is to fall in love with both a woman and a man.

His dark history presents the ultimate challenge to Mira and Roman, the sexual Dominant team hired to prepare Jace for the female-dominant culture of the new world. Tragedy has made Mira distrust her Mistress abilities. Survival is her priority, and she resists her deep attraction to Jace's haunted eyes and sculpted body.

Roman, however, falls hard and fast for Mira and Jace, ready to honor Mira as his Mistress and force Jace to recognize him as Master. Bound in one another's chains and pushed to the limits of arousal and pain, they must outrun sabotage and conspiracy to find salvation for their bodies, souls and hearts.

Although the book has gotten fantastic reviews, (consider visiting my web site's Books page to read a few of them) I didn't want to dwell on shameless self-promotion today. I'll leave that for a later post.

What I really wanted to discuss today were superheroes. Writing Bound Odyssey, my muse threw me a completely unexpected bit of dialogue involving my heroine, Mira. It turns out Mira collects mint condition Batman comic books. Hard to do in a post-apocalyptic setting, but there you go. She explains to Roman, one of my heroes, why she collects:

Excerpt from Bound Odyssey by Michelle Polaris

He glanced down to where she stood frozen with eyes glazed. After a good thirty seconds, she shook out of it, reached to run her hand behind her neck in a quick massage. If he hadn't been above her, he might have missed seeing the slight tremble, gone a moment later. He didn't know what it was about, but that brief moment of vulnerability pushed his buttons, stirred a need to attack whatever ghost had his Mistress trembling. Because even though he'd known her a brief two weeks, he already knew this woman was his Mistress.

Roman was difficult to anger and he counted on that fact. But the violent protective urges he felt in Mira's presence, and the desire to wrap his arms around her curves, sink to his heels and offer worship, confirmed his suspicion. He'd acted as a Dom for too long. The relief of his reaction to Mira lapped through his body, the soothing waves of the ocean along Carolina's coast from his distant memory caressing his muscles, relaxing away his tension.

"Holy conspiracy, Batman," he said with his best Robin impression. The distraction worked.

Her head snapped up and her face brightened, shadows fleeing. "You son of a bitch. You got into my boxes." But she was smiling. It was like the sun had gone supernova in his chest and lit all the dark places.

"You sent me to find the extra buckles in your bedroom. I thought it was another box of supplies. But several hundred Batman comics?" He let out a long whistle. "Damn, Darlin', a collection of comics in mint condition like that nowadays is impressive. Not to mention worth a fortune."

She shrugged. "Most I got before the explosions. But I wouldn't sell. Not that anyone interested is left with money to buy."


He unhooked the cuffs from the chain and climbed down. He held out the leather. She hesitated, but took them.

"Why collect the comics?" he asked.

"One of the signs I was a budding Domme was when I started fantasizing about Wonder Woman tying up Batman with her golden lasso, with me starring in the role of Amazon Princess. The Caped Crusader's had a soft spot in my heart since then."

He laughed. "I always imagined it was Batman tying up Robin. Thought Robin was the luckiest son of a gun around."

Her answering smile, eyes a chocolate sunrise treat, started his palms itching. He ached to trace the lids with his fingers, travel them down to outline her cheek and jawline. He had no doubt if he tried without permission he'd be down on the ground, screaming uncle. And the idea of that revved him almost as much. Roman might be a sexual switch, a person ready, willing and able to play either Dominant or submissive depending on the circumstance, but his body responded to her as all sub.

End excerpt.

The Batman/Wonder Woman dialogue above got me thinking about erotic romance superheroes. We need some.

Superheroes have made it into non-erotic romance. Not as frequently as other paranormal creatures, but they're there. Notably in urban fantasy, whose lines have blurred with paranormal and fantasy romance. I'm thinking of Vicki Pettersson's Signs of the Zodiac series. Another series closer to straight romance is A.J. Menden's Elite Hands of Justice books which include Phenomenal Girl 5 and Tekgrrl.

But what about in erotic romance? I admit there may be stories of which I'm unaware with superhero motifs. Certainly there are plenty of vampires and alien species running around in these books with power to inflame desire with a single breath and feeding on raw sexuality. But do any of them have official costumes? Fight on a team of do-gooder kick-butt good guys against evil and injustice? What would an erotic romance superhero power be? The ability to cause an orgasm in a partner faster than a speeding bullet while simultaneously bringing them a romantic happily ever after? To subdue worldwide evil and strife by slamming bad guys with an afterglow ray, causing them to fall to the ground in sexual repletion and then rise and declare their undying love to the first person they encounter? To cure impotency with a single blink, thereby bringing increased satisfaction to couples throughout the world, saving relationships left and right? I think all erotic romance authors deserve erotic romance superpowers. A lot of us already have secret identities, choosing pen names to protect our mundane identities as we blend in with the average Janes driving mini-vans, running to the supermarket, and schlepping to day jobs and kids' sporting competitions.

My superhero persona, if I got to choose one, would be Wonder Whip Woman, apologies to DC Comics. Her cape and lasso would be black leather and her invisible jet would come with an invisible spanking bench. Imbued with the power to bring out the hidden submissive in even the most alpha of males (grin). Okay, maybe not. Instead I think Wonder Whip Woman would fight intolerance for diversity of sexuality, valiantly battling closed minded bigotry against non-mainstream sexual practices between consenting adults. In a way I touch upon this issue in Bound Odyssey, where the post-apocalyptic setting has heightened bigotry against all sexual minorities.

What do folks think of these ideas? Would the superhero motif make it in erotic romance fiction? Should all erotic romance authors be entitled to erotic romance superpowers? What would they be? What persona and power would you choose? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Remember, safe, sane and consensual.

Michelle aka Wonder Whip Woman

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Now I'm the newest!


Hello all!

I'm supposed to blog every other Saturday, but I spent yesterday in airports and on planes. So...I'm taking advantage of a free day to introduce myself.

I'm Ashlyn Chase. I describe myself as an Almond Joy Bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet. My books are hot erotic comedy and I hope you'll check them out on my website! There are too many to tell you about, so I'll just let you discover them at your own pace.

I just received cover art for my next Ellora's Cave book. Dear Sexy Lexie. I love it!
What a nice welcome home!

While I was in Florida, I was able to have lunch with the awesome Wynter Daniels! What a treat! She's such a honey, but you probably know that. (grin)

Talk to you more later!

Love and hugs,

Ash

Friday, January 8, 2010

EROTIC EXPOSURE - My First Ellora's Cave Release!


Hey everyone! I'm thrilled to be the newest Naughty Author Chick! If you don't know me, my name is Paige Tyler and I write sexy erotic fiction. I like to write about strong, sexy alpha males and feisty, independent heroines, and all of my stories have romance, adventure, humor, and of course, lots of hot sex!

In fact I'm excited to announce that I have a new book out I'd love to tell you about! It's a contemporary romance called Erotic Exposure and it's my first release from Ellora's Cave! In the story, the heroine agrees to pose for a provocative calendar to help raise money for the local animal shelter where she volunteers and finds out that being half naked in front of a hot photographer and his camera is one hell of a turn-on!

I'm a huge animal lover and I'd wanted to write a story with a dog in it for a while. There was just one problem. The main characters in my stories tend to go on a lot of adventures, so giving them a dog would be kind of difficult - putting pets in danger sets a bad example! If I was going to write a story with a dog, then the characters were going to have to stay put. So, I came up with the idea about the heroine getting naked for a good cause, the local animal shelter.

The best part is that while I was doing some research on animal shelters, I found a link to our own local animal shelter and a picture of the most adorable puppy that we couldn't resist adopting!

I hope you enjoy the blurb and excerpt of Erotic Exposure and if you decide to pick up a copy, let me know how you like it!


Liz Bellamy agrees to pose for a provocative calendar to help raise money for the animal shelter where she volunteers. Although it's for a good cause, she's a little shy about posing half naked.

When she arrives at the photography studio and finds hot photographer Kent Draper waiting for her, she almost chickens out, but decides to go through with it anyway. Not only does she end up having one heck of a sexy photo shoot, but discovers being half naked in front of a hunky photographer and his camera is one hell of a turn-on. And when a girl gets that aroused, a little shyness isn't going to keep her from getting what she wants.


Excerpt:

Kent dropped to one knee in front of her, camera at the ready. "Okay, now that Godiva’s out of the room, show me your best sultry look."

Liz wasn’t exactly sure she knew how to do sultry, but she decided to give it her best shot. Putting her hands on the floor in front of her, she leaned forward to flash him a little more cleavage and gazed at him from beneath lowered lashes.

He immediately began snapping pictures. "Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Work it."

She giggled at the words, unable to help herself.

He came out from behind the camera to give her a curious look. "Why’d you stop? That was perfect."

"I’m not so sure sultry is a good look for me," she told him.

"I beg to differ. And so does the camera. But if you don’t believe me, do the same thing and this time check yourself out on the monitor."

Hoping she didn’t look as silly as she felt, Liz struck the same pose, then glanced at the monitor after he’d snapped the picture. What she saw made her do a double take. With her full lips parted, her blue eyes half hidden underneath a thick fringe of dark lashes, and the tops of her lace-covered breasts peeking out enticingly from her silk robe, not only didn’t she look silly, she looked like the very definition of sultry. That thought sent another current of excitement shooting through her pussy.

"Beautiful," Kent said. "Now let your robe slip off your shoulders a little for me."

Liz did as he asked, waited for him to take a picture, then impulsively lifted her hair up with her free hand and blew him an air kiss over her bare shoulder.

He chuckled. "That’s it. Show me some more. Have fun with it."

She dropped her hand, letting her hair fall down her back as she shifted positions. Lying over on her hip, she leaned forward to give him a sexy come-hither look. As she did, the robe slid down to her elbows, completely exposing her lace-trimmed bra to the camera and the man behind it. Kent’s low groan of approval was all the encouragement she needed to keep going.



Watch the Trailer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lE1YZdf2Us


Buy it from Ellora's Cave!
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8034-erotic-exposure.aspx

And for a sneak peek at Just Right; Good Cop, Bad Girl; and Mr. Right-Now, my other upcoming releases with Ellora's Cave, visit my website at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/
Click on "Coming Soon!"


*hugs*
Paige

"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/
http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Naughty Victorian Lady reflects on the Way of the Samurai and Ireland



by Lady Carlton née Katie O'Roarke, heroine of "The Blonde Samurai"

As I write this posting on a gray rainy day, my mind filled with thoughts of faraway places and the smell of fresh salty air from the sea hitting my nostrils, I shall quote from my soon-to-published memoir, The Blonde Samurai, about the two lands that continue to intrigue me.

Ireland. And Japan.

As I wrote in my memoir:

"A maudlin homesickness seeped through the layers of my silken kimono and made me yearn for the times when I was a girl back home in our white frame house surrounded by woods, Da and Mother and my little sister, Elva, gathered around the wood fire on cold nights, eating cream cakes and listening to my father tell tall stories about what it was like back in Ireland when he was a young man during the potato famine some thirty years ago.

"The small market towns, the bogs, the deep hunger that lived in his bones. How he met my mother after trekking miles and miles through a wide green valley to find food at a landowner's manor house, only to be turned away—and how he rescued a pretty, young girl from the hands of the laird of the house, the devil himself.

"He married his Ida and together they came to America to build a new life. Such a grand tale it was, God bless him, told with all the melancholy and angst and picturesque squalor as only an Irishman can tell it.

"It oft brought tears to my eyes, but more so tonight as I write, an ingrained want for the comfort of those times taking hold of me and in doing so, showing me a truth that lay hidden under the folds of memories covering my soul.

"Yes, I'm writing my memoir about Japan, but I believe the spirit of these two lands is linked by their similar traditions of family and ghosts, greenery and rain, gods and rebellion. It was the latter I identified with the most, this rising up from oppression and fighting for the very blood of your soul to find the truth, no matter how painful.

"What truths did I seek, dear lady reader? An answer comes quickly to mind. I yearned to shed that part of me that hovered in the shadows, waiting to experience life, so hungry was I for a physical love, my body and imagination aroused."

'Tis a charming thought, is it not? If nothing else, the very idyllic dream of uniting these two lands in my heart makes it easier for me to choose the setting where I have found the peace that I sought…

But am I in Ireland or Japan?

Forgive me this oft-used platitude as worn as the soles of milady's dancing slippers, but I pray you read my memoir to find out.


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PS--I just finished The Blonde Samurai Video. Here it is!
video

February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Anti-Resolution

I’m in rebellion.


Yes, I am bucking the system and burning my bra…uh…okay, I got a little carried away. I need that bra for my safety and that of others...


But I am taking a stand and saying NO to New Year’s resolutions. There are certain goals I’ve set for myself as far as writing, but it’s those same ‘ol promises that careen into the Land of No Return and are forgotten by February, that I’m boycotting. There are some I’ve made out of habit and some I had full intentions of keeping. Yet none of ‘em went the distance. So this year I am resolving not to make the following resolutions:

1. Lose weight. Look, I’m thirty-mumble-mumble. Some things on this body are not going to shift, settle or pop back the way they used to when I was twenty-five. But now at thirty-mumble-mumble I’m okay with that. I really am. As long as I’m healthy, can keep up with my kids and don’t have to hit my inhaler after a ten minute walk, I’m good. Yes, so the quarter moon tattoo I have is now three-quarters…it’s still pretty…

2. Cook at least three times a week. I know I’m not keeping this so why condemn myself to failure? I hate, abhor, I mean really can’t stand cooking. The only thing I detest more is cleaning the bathroom. Is it my fault my husband didn’t read the fine print of our marriage vows where it said, “Love, honor and don’t expect your wife to cook”? Don’t get me wrong. As you can tell from Anti-Resolution #1, I love to eat. But I prefer it already chopped, sliced, covered, smothered and diced on my plate! Besides, my husband does it so well…who am I to prevent him from excelling in what he’s good at??

3. Clean the bathroom. Just kidding!

4. I’m selling at least one book. Nope, not going to say it. I would be placing limits on myself and I refuse to do that. Before, when I made this resolution, I found myself working toward that one book and not looking beyond its completion. Or even when prospects came to me while in the midst of it I passed on them because they weren’t “the book”. As a writer I don’t want my goal to be “at least one book”. I want it to be about books, craft, promotion and profession. A career is not one book. Its limitless opportunities whether it comes in the form of blogs, novellas, free reads, articles or full-length novels. I refuse to close myself to possibilities.

…and…

5. Have a steamy interlude with Vin Diesel. I’m going to finally give up on this one. Sigh. Besides I think—I’m not sure—but I think my husband might object. Just a hunch.

So are there you have it. Are there any other rebels ready to join me? If so, proclaim the resolution you’re burying for 2010!





Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie Night


I rented a movie a few nights ago while DH was at work. Since I didn't have to consider his taste in flicks, I chose one I knew he'd hate, but that I had been meaning to see. I picked Julie and Julia and was very pleased with my selection. If you are not familiar with the premise, it is actually two true stories - that of Julia Child's journey from housewife to celebrated chef, teacher and author and that of blogger Julie Powell's attempt to cook all the recipes in Child's first cookbook in one year.
Meryl Streep does an amazing job as Julia Child, not an easy task since most people are familiar with Child from her television show or the parody of that show from Saturday Night Live. She even got that high pitched, irritating voice down!
But what really spoke to me about the two stories were the ups and downs each woman experienced along their respective paths to publication. The inevitable failures and the eventual successes.
At one point, Child's husband wonders what he will do when he retires. He asks, what has he created, what has he left behind in his years of service to the US government. He tells Julia she has a book, something people can have and hold and use to create masterpieces.
When she opens the package containing her very first book, I totally related to her euphoric expression. Holding your book in your hand for the very first time is such an indescribable experience.
I also loved the romances in the movie - both Julie's and Julia's marriage. Even though the women were not romance authors, I think most writers would find this movie delightful and uplifting and one they will be able to relate to on several levels.
I hope everyone had a safe and happy New year. I also look forward to Ashlyn Chase joining us beginning January 16th.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years everyone from the Naughty Author Chicks!

My hubby and I rang in the New Year fairly quietly. Our neighbors set off a bunch of fireworks and we enjoyed champagne while watching movies and cuddling on the couch. It was definitely the calmest New Years either of us has had in a long time and it was fantastic. I got a bunch of texts from my friends on the West Coast around three am with good wishes. Gotta love that time difference ;)

My hubby woke up early and decided he wanted to go fishing so he met up with my dad and now I have the house all to myself. So, I'm going to ring in this first day right. I'm going to use this quiet time to write! And I've officially mapped out my writing goals for 2010. Originally I had 11, but I tacked on one more last night. My personal goals are still a work in progress, however.

What did everyone else do for New Years? Whatever it was, I hope everyone had a safe and happy one!

We're going to have a new author joining us sometime this month so be sure to check back and say hello to the fabulous Ashlyn Chase!