Monday, February 28, 2011

Busy Life of a Naughty Author

Well, I've gone and done it. I've spread myself too thin. I have family visiting, two different novellas in the works, tons of promotional posts to write for an upcoming blog tour and now I find myself divided between two great blogs.
I will be spending the day at Katie Reus's blog as part of her 30 Days of Danger and Secrets. So please come stop by there. I'll be giving away a copy of Tropic of Trouble, my latest romantic suspense.

Please forgive me for the drive-by post. But I would like to share my two latest book covers - one from Carina Press, and the other from Ellora's Cave (My very first BDSM story)! Can you say oooh, ahhhh....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why Dunkin' Donuts Should Serve Soy

Dalton here. I had quite an adventure with my friend, Sherry, who happens to be the moderator of Ashlyn Chase’s group site,
Figured you might enjoy a snippet. You can’t make this stuff up when traveling anywhere with Sherry. Hell, you don’t have to! You’ll see what I mean.
Sherry: So, I woke up with a strange man in my bed 2 nights ago. Bet that got your attention. Huh?? Ok, I Had an infusion at Brigham & Woman’s and couldn't get the Ride to pick me up. Dalton had offered to give me a ride to B&W so I decided to take her up on it. She did some rearranging and finally decided that coming to my apartment Wed night and picking me up, me staying at her house with her boys, P & J and Her and Stud would be the easiest thing. She was coming to pick up her oldest son R, Thurs AM, so we got to visit a little and then she would have company for that long boring trip into Boston. Who would have thought that my having an infusion would lead to me waking up with a strange man in my bed. It was crazy.

OMG! Sherry Decipher #1:
I was 1/2way to Sherry's house with P already, so we figured it would be easier to swing by and pick her up after P's baseball lesson and have her spend the night rather than try to battle worse traffic into Boston in the morning. My eldest, R, was flying in and I had to pick him up from the airport, which was perfect timing to drop Sherry off for her infusion. Besides, that way I got her for the night, too.
And it was only technically 1/2 a man in bed with her. There, that clears things up, doesn't it?
Sherry: Ok, what do you mean R is the eldest. He's the Oldest. Nobody but some kind of anal retentive writer type would correct me. OH and don't think I didn't notice. Geez, isn't that just like a writer to come in and critique a damn story that happened to me? Anyway, more about me. She comes and picks me up and P, God love him... he is wonderful and sweet. I love him to pieces, but damn if he isn't 16. I have to bring my walker, which has to go in her trunk. Oh did I mention I now have 2 braces. Left and Right leg. OH yea. Makes a HUGE difference in my walking. No really. Really. I swear.
Decipher #2:
You calling ME anal retentive? Really? I...yeah, ok.
P has a problem. He can't find anything, can't figure out how the walker can fit into the trunk. Why? Because when it comes down to it, he doesn't want to take the time to find anything, or figure it out. We let him struggle for a bit trying to get the walker into the trunk, because it was fun, then we pointed out how lazy he was being, because that was fun, too. Then P tried to play all smart with the numbers/math thing on the way home because he knows I'm not smarter than a 1st grader on the math thing. But he fell silent pretty quickly and we didn't hear much from the back seat by the time we hit the hwy. I mean, really, what do you say when you're trying to expound on Newton's Law of Gravity and the ladies in the front want to know why, if Newton was so smart, he didn't just get out of the way so the apple didn't hit him?
The braces are great, but she still has trouble on inclines. More on that later.
Sherry: It's true, but P had just gotten done with baseball practice so I brought him down a vitamin water before we started picking on him for his lack of moving ability. In case you’re wondering it was berry flavor. And yes, she is right. P was spouting off about the Law of Gravity and such and then.
Yes, the man I slept with was Simba, that little 6.5 lbs of trembling almost hairless toy poodle. You know she warned me that maybe he might come and visit me but that little snot booger, went and laid down on DD's mom's bed. Oh, did she mention that I slept downstairs in her mom's apartment?

No decipher necessary, just a couple of details.
P loved the vitamin water. Was drinking it last night, too. I think it makes him feel VIP.
Simba trembles when the wind blows. It scares him. I have the most submissive Toy Poodle on the face of the earth. Yet, he's still stubborn. Stud calls him a cat in a dog body. He hates cats.
Oh, and mom is away right now, and Sherry slept on her pullout couch.
Sherry: Ok, so, we are finally at DD's house and to give P a break, I tell him to just leave my walker in the trunk. The look of relief on his face was hysterical. Couldn't have asked for anything funnier until she tells him to let me first up the stairs, because in DD's words, that way I would fall on P and he would catch me. P's eyebrows went all the way to his hairline as if to say. "MOM, do you remember all the concussions I've had?" and DD glared at him with an unspoken reply that said, "And I care, because?" So, we go in the house and Stud and J are watching American Idol. I hug J, and then I finally hug P. Then Stud. Popcorn is made. I get a whole bowl and the twins get a bowl to share. I keep offering them some of mine but they keep saying no. I finally finished with mine and offered it to the boys and they fell on it like a pack of coyotes that hadn't eaten in 4 days. I'd forgotten about teenage hunger.
Yup, we're Idol-ites. I did warn her about the popcorn. I kept saying the vultures were biding their time, being polite. Sure enough, the second she said she was done, it was a giant swoop that lasted all of 5 seconds. Then we sent the boys to bed and made her watch Modern Family, Stud's favorite. We kept having to hit pause and replay because it makes him laugh so hard. *cue gasp*
She hugged J longest of all and told him he was handsome. He's the one in the rock band with longer hair. P, Mr. Baseball Buzzcut, was crushed. Then he got out the vitamin water and felt all VIP over J and all was well.
Oh, and Sherry didn't mention that she gave me her tone-up shoes. 'Cuz, you know, she brought them in to ask the Dr. if she could wear them, and he barely refrained from asking her if she's effin' crazy. Which reminds me, we need to band together at Romanticon and steal and hide her hooker shoes again this year.
Anyway, carry on...
Sherry: Yes, we did watch "Modern Family" and I'm telling you, Stud almost falls off the couch laughing. DD hits pause, then rewind, cuz he has laughed so hard and so loud that she can't hear it.Then she hits play again only to send him into gales of laughter again. It is awesome. Next time I go on a Wednesday night, I'm bringing a box of Puffs Plus so that poor Stud doesn't have to pick up Simba and wipes his eyes on the poor little mutt. Oh, and Simba is 6.5 pounds soaking wet and I have overfed him, but more on that later.
Sherry translation #3:
We watched tv and went to bed.
Exciting, huh? It's when Sherry’s eyes are open, mouth engaged that she runs into trouble. Um, yeah, come to think of it, I do mean it THAT way, too.
So where were we? The next morning.
We have to leave the house by 8:45, which means mega amounts of coffee to make sure I'm functional by then, which btw, would apply even if we had to leave at 10am.
I throw on some jammy pants (cuz really, who wants to see THAT first thing in the morning), and trot down the stairs to make sure Sherry is up and running. I find her at the coffeemaker, trying to mop up the waterfall she's created because, um, I had already filled it and set it to go on auto like 5 min. from when she got her hands on it. Oh, wait, on my way into the kitchen, I find Simba jumping around desperately by the front door like he's gotta go. I let him out, then hit the waterfall.
It's not bad, especially since it's only water and holy hell, someone in my house made a mess and was actually attempting to clean it up. What a nice change!
I let fuzzball back in, who does seem inordinately happy that morning, and that's when Sherry says, "Oh gee, I already let him out once. Fed him, too." Fed him? Ruh-oh. Simba is 6.5 # with a heart condition and a food fetish. Left to his own devices, Simba will eat and eat and eat. We once left him with a friend for one week, and when we came back, he literally waddled into the room looking like a stuffed tick.
So I tell Sherry he gets 1/4 cup 2x a day, and she gets a look on her face that tells me creating a waterfall in my kitchen is going to be the good thing of the day, and she bolts back down the stairs - which was scary in itself. Let's just say Simba couldn't even eat all of it, and he's still going to the bathroom every few hours today. Did I mention he eats WD, which is a weight control food? Most of what goes in goes right back out.
So now I have a waterfall in my kitchen and a walkway full of shit, and it's time to go...
Sherry: Do you see what happens when you try and do someone a favor?? NO appreciation!! NONE!! That freaking dog climbs up into bed with me in the middle of the night, shaking like a leaf cuz DD insists on shaving him bald, and all because she has unmanned him. I know this because he screamed like a girl when I picked him up to move him from under my ass. Why was he under my ass you ask? Well, because when that little bald (*&^** cat in a dog suit crawled up and begged me to keep him warm, he decided that under my butt would be the best place to do just that. Not so comfortable for me. So I pick him/her up and he/she screams, my ears started to bleed and I told him he would be fine. I brought him around in front of me and tried to sleep. It took about 10 min. for that scrawny thing to stop shaking from fear/cold. Of course me being the loving giving caring sweet, person that I am, I pull him under the covers with me and let him get warm. He finally stopped shivering and fell asleep. Well, that's one of us. That damn dog, every time I would start to fall asleep, he would start to move around and wake me up again. Obviously, I was making him uncomfortable in the position he was in. Damn Dog... So, my alarm goes off at 6 am, for my first dose of meds of the day. Too bad I was already awake. I was in the shower and Syco (aka Psycho Dog) had already been let out and then let in the downstairs door. I get out of the shower and I start calling Syco. Hmmm, nuthin. He doesn't answer. He is on DD's mom's bed. I know because I was worried about the damn thing and went looking for him. I was afraid that maybe something ate him. What could have ate him? Well, DD and Stud do have 2 guinea pigs, and if push comes to shove, they would win. Trust me. So, I see 2 bags of food on the floor next to the door to go upstairs. And 2 bowls. 1 has water in it and the other is empty so, like any logical person, I think, hmmm. He is a small dog. He would be a dog that will have an on/off switch not like the werewolves I had met during the popcorn incident last night. I won't mention any initials (P and J). Apparently NOT. Like all of the males in the house under 50 there is only the off and the hoover switch. So, pig dog and I went upstairs and I turned on the coffee pot. I'm waiting and waiting and waiting. And NOTHING. So much for putting anything in the damn coffee pot. Apparently she put the coffee in but no water. So I add water, only to have it pour out everywhere. OMG! What the hell...of course, I would clean it up. I'm an adult. Geez. So she comes downstairs, lets the pig dog out. I inform her that the pig dog went out and that I had fed it too. That's when I find out I have probably just killed the damn thing. It has a heart condition. Oh no no no. I mean hell, running over my own pekingese 2ce was bad, but damn. Killing DD's dog from overfeeding. CRAP. And I knew she was so going to tell on me.
All of this is because you don't LISTEN to me! I told you my kids were being polite and they would attack the popcorn when you were done, but you didn't listen and you didn't snag your fingers back in time. I told you Simba is a pathetic excuse for a dog, so submissive his nickname is Emo, but no, you have to tuck him in like you're trying to protect him and warm him up when the problem isn't that he's cold. You should also send a prayer of thanks that there wasn't a storm outside. He wouldn't have just been UNDER your ass.
So here's where it gets even better, because it truly is always an adventure. We managed to avoid the pig dog bombs and actually hit the road on time. This means we can stop at Starbucks. We take Rte 9 into the city because the place is easier to get to going that way.
We hit the final approach to caffeine mecca. I ask Sherry what she wants. She says a camel something. I inform her they don't serve camels at Starbucks. She says, "No, no, a camel Macchiato something, you know, cah-mel, CAH-MEL." Um, ok, is that the whole camel or just the toe, macchiato? What size? She doesn't know because they don't do small, medium, large. She won't give me an answer. So we have an order for a beast of burden, any size. Hmmm. Yeah, she's got her freakin' braces, she's going in with me. I turned in to the Starbucks and it was even worse than the usual parking hell, but there's an open handicapped spot and Sherry has her placard, and like I said, she was going in. By the time I'm out of the car and around the back to help Sherry, she's lilting down the incline 1/2way to Rte 9. Oy!
Sherry: Ok, so everyone knows how I feel about Starbucks. Of course, she has to have that no soy shit. Oops, I mean,uhm, verdi, vendi goochi, moacha with soy latta. So I get my caramel not hard to say for real people but obviously people from that state over on the other side of the country. You know, the one with all the movie stars. Ok, so, anyway, we pull into a parking lot that has the parking spaces angled so that more cars can park. I have the gimp sticker so we hang it up in the front window and she gets out and I get out. She heads across the very small parking lot and so I follow. ONLY it was on a downward slant. Remember my problem with downward slants? We go in and I get my medium caramel macchiato with extra caramel. Then we go out and DD makes sure I don't go out into the highway. Dalton gets me into the car and she goes around the other side, that being the drivers side of the car, only to find that some genius ( I use this description loosely) has parked her (yes, her) van less than 12 inches from the side of DD’s door. Now, this makes it difficult for DD to squeeze in between the cars. (Picture this, double D is her name for a reason. Hello people, her boobs. She is a Double D) OK, so the door opens about 6 inches. Good, good you’re getting a visual.
So it actually was my butt that wouldn't fit. The DD's are still at a high enough level to clear the space, though that's only thanks to the over the shoulder boulder holder.
I couldn't squeeze my ass in. Sherry was already in the car, so I wasn't going to risk her listing back onto Rte 9 by having her get out so I could climb over the console. This is not a big car, btw. It's a Camry. I couldn't climb over from the back because I doubt my ass would fit there, either. I wasn't about to spill my hard earned Venti Soy Latte, and remember, there's no room to climb anywhere with Sherry’s camel in the car.
I was also pissed. This Honda minivan with a carseat was way over the line into a handicapped spot, which was clearly being used, for her own convenience. Worse, Sherry was pissed and opening her door. I told her to stay put and went into the Starbucks. There was one woman standing at the counter waiting for her order who had a kid. I asked her if she drove a Honda minivan and she said yes. So I said, very loudly and NOT sweetly, "You've parked so far over into the handicapped spot that I can't get into my car." Now everyone in there had seen me and Sherry and remembered us, being that we always make complete spectacles of ourselves (Sherry was quite enamored of the young man who took our order). The woman turned red and was mortified. She stammered an apology.
Great example to set for your 3 yr old kid, lady. The whole place was glaring at her by then. I can only hope Karma is as big a bitch.
So I came out and made a big mistake. I was so pissed off that I told Sherry, figuring I was a safe distance 'cuz, you know, I couldn't get in the car with her. The car started to vibrate. Really bad words started to permeate the parking lot, and I think I saw the camel cross himself.
Meanwhile, some SUV pulls in and can't find a spot. She pulls up to the right of us into a non parking spot space (walkway) just to get out of the way. More cars are trying to turn into the Starbucks, but there's nowhere for them to go. The damn idiots have snow piled to the point where the entrance/exit from rte 9 is only wide enough for one car, and for some reason they have blocked the back way out! Cars turn in only to find there's nowhere to park, turn around, or get out. SUV woman says, "This is ridiculous," gets out of her car and runs to the entrance of Starbucks. I ignore her because minivan bitch has come out of the door and is headed for her car, head down, making sure her coffee is safe. Er, her kid. Yeah, I meant her kid.
I kid you not, at that point I think my car started to levitate. Sherry was screaming at her, which was only slightly muted by my tightly sealed car and probably still would have been heard had said car been underwater. Minivan bitch probably never moved so fast in her life. I was trying not to laugh as I held on to the lock button on my keychain in case I heard the telltale swish of Sherry trying to get out of my car to get at her.
Minivan bitch finally pulls out and I'm able to get into my car, happy to note that she is now stuck at the back of the short lot, unable to get out. A car pulls into her vacated spot. I have the opportunity to leave minivan bitch and her coffee idling where they are by pulling out of my spot. Only I can't. SUV bitch is not back out yet, and because of the angle of the parking lot, I can't back out because she parked in a non-spot.
WTF? Really? Now I'm cursing, pure steam is coming out of Sherry's ears, and the camel died of a heart attack. SUV bitch comes out, yapping on her cell phone, and gets in her car, completely oblivious to the total bottleneck she has created. I take a chance and roll down Sherry's window to get her attention. I think the ripe profanity and stench of dead camel did the trick. This woman got a look of pure fear on her face and she backed out of the spot and kept backing out onto rte 9! Holy shit! That's like closing your eyes and hoping for the best as you get on a highway!
I quickly backed out before minivan bitch could move forward. Her kid might be 10 by the time she gets out of that parking lot.
See? Always an adventure. BTW, anyone know where to bury a dead camel?
Sherry: Like I said, those damn Valley Girls can't say caramel. I did point out to her that just a mile down the road was a Dunkin Donuts with an incredibly large parking lot. When I innocently mentioned that I didn't think we would run into that kind of problem at a Dunkin Donuts I think DD thought about strangulation being considered under the justifiable homicide defense. I did tell her that chocolate glazed donuts were my favorite. That's when she reminded me, rather rudely I might add "Stud fed you" and it's true, he did. If you remember back to the beginning of the morning she left out 1 important thing. Stud made me breakfast. Apparently he is the breakfast guy.
Again, not listening to me. Dunkin' Donuts coffee sucks. It's always old, and they don't have soy. Not only that, they treat you like crap when you ask. I also have said, on many occasions, that I don't do mornings. That would include breakfast. I have, however, made an egg-white omelet for Ashlyn Chase. She wore a nightie and showed me her tattoo. You tried to smother my dog with your ass, and when that didn't work, blow him up.
Sherry: As you can tell in this little drama, I'm the voice of reason. It seems in all my little adventures, I keep my head while those around me are losing theirs. I just don't understand how these things keep happening to me.
I quote Sherry: "Are you kidding me? Are you 'effin' KIDDING ME? LADY, ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?"
End quote.
Sherry: Are you thinking that the adventure is finished just because DD has dropped me off. Oh, silly you. Of course it's not. Well, as she said, she dropped me off at B&W, took my walker OUT of the trunk, we hugged and she said "PROMISE TO CALL ME WHEN YOU FIND OUT FROM THE RIDE ABOUT YOUR RETURN TRIP" I said ok. Now, I go upstairs to the MS infusion room, but before that I have to check in with nurse Rachett. Actually she is just the receptionist but man, she is MEAN looking. NO SMILES, NO FRIENDLY HELLO, NUTHIN. Jesus, lady people are coming here for infusions of ugly ass chemicals that make them sick. How's about just a little twinkle in your eye to let me know you have a heart beat? Want to hear about my adventure at Spendyourbucks. it was great. Double D. yes ma'am that's her, uhm, bodacious tata's. Well, never mind. What? You think I'm what? A pervert. Oh hell, lady, if you think that's bad wait till I tell you about the dog trying to crawl up my ass last night.
Hmmm. Yet, I get a phone call saying "No worries, I'm all set."
Girl, I'm going to drive out there, load you up in the car, take you to Starbucks and make you sit there for two hours with a prop laptop made with cardboard and crayons. Then I'm going to take you back and find your handyman and tell him you have the hots for him.
Sherry: Don't get me started on Spendyourbuck. you know how I hate them. but don't worry. I've got a call into the President of Dunkin's and his secretary/girlfriend said he would call me tomorrow. I'm going to suggest that they put soy on to the menu just for our Double D. Cuz I love her best.
Dalton here, normal time. Oh God. Thing is, I’ll bet she truly made that call. And that, folks, truly is the end of the adventure. Well, the condensed version, anyway. You can see the whole thing as it unfolded (& the comments) on If you're not a member, you can join through

Moral of the story? Again with the morals? If you want morals, what are you doing on an erotic site? Wait, I have one for you:

Despite what their patrons think, Starbucks does NOT have a higher class of people.
And Dunkin’ Donuts should serve soy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A purse by any other still a purse

by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

This reporter was dashing here and there yesterday from one errand to another when disaster struck at my local market. You can’t lug around a big ole purse and not expect the inevitable not to happen.

The strap broke.

Out went my entire life, spread across the dirty linoleum like a social networking nightmare. Notes, lipsticks, coins, cell phone…everything fell out. Junk I haven’t seen for months (years?) went flying from one end of the floor to the other. You’d think someone had just broken a piƱata the way the clerks came running to my assistance.

Which made me wonder: what does a contemporary romance heroine carry in her purse?

Or to take it a one step further: what three things can’t she live without?

This reporter says a cell phone, credit card and lipstick.

And if you’re writing erotic, condoms.

But remember, we said only three items. Makes it more difficult. Here’s the deal: You can’t eliminate the condoms--safe sex rocks!--so if you were writing a contemporary erotic romance, what item would you eliminate--the cell phone, the credit card or the lipstick?

And why?

Think about it. Then read my answer below.


This reporter would keep the cell phone and credit card and eliminate the lipstick, then I would use the credit card to buy a new, red-hot lipstick!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not Your Mother's Fairy Tales!

Recently, I received an acceptance on a book I submitted entitled, Loving the Beast. It's a contemporary erotic romance based on Beauty and the Beast, and the first book in a series called Fairy Tales Unleashed. Yay! More on that later as the release date nears. But...Yay!

So, I've been doing a little research on fairy tales. Like is it one word or two? I'll leave that debate up to the publisher. But as I searched out all these fairy tales--and there are waaay more than I imagined--there seemed to be one thing common to a good many of them--violence.

Decapitation. Cannabalism. Gouging out of eyes. Animal sacrifice.

For instance, we all know Sleeping Beauty is about an evil fairy, who when slighted, took her ball and went home--after leveling a death curse on an infant princess. A kinder, and waaay more rational, fairy lightens the curse by changing death to a hundred year sleep. After a century, and one helacious case of halitosis, passes, a prince wakens the sleeping princess with a kiss. Whoo-hoo! But did you know there is a part two to the tale? One that includes Sleeping Beauty's ogress--literally--stepmother who tries to eat Beauty's children. And would have except for the timely intervention of a cook who gives the ogress lamb and goat instead. I've heard every meat tastes like chicken, but...? So, when the prince returns to save the day, evil-ogress-stepmother falls in a pit of vipers--and we're not talking about the popular-mean-girl-clique pit of vipers--and is consumed.

Or what about Brother and Sister? As you may have guessed the story is about a brother and sister. The two siblings run away from home and into a forest because of mistreatment from an evil stepmother. Through an enchantment, the brother is transformed into a stag. They live in this forest for years until they are discovered by a king, who followed the brother/stag home. He marries the sister, of course, but their stepmother-witch discovers they are alive. The witch kills the queen, replaces her with her own disfigured daughter, who has been hit with a glamour spell to resemble the queen. Ever resourceful, the queen haunts her infant son until the king discovers the witch's actions. The stepmother is burned at the stake, the disfigured daugther is torn apart by rabid animals, the queen is brought back to life and the brother regains his true form . And they live happily ever after...after some gore and burning alive.

And don't get me started on The Little Mermaid! Grr! I'm still pissed at that! Boy did she get the raw end of that deal!

What I discovered during my investigation into fairy tales--besides the penchant for murder and mayhem--was there is so much more to these stories than Disney's happy endings. Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially since I am a romance writer. But there is also good vs evil, truth shining through darkness, friendship, goodness of heart, hope...and murder and mayhem.

Sigh. They just don't write 'em like that anymore...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Trailer Love!

First, I want to thank Delphine Dryden for creating the lovely book trailer video below. Fettered Love, my recent Ellora's Cave release, demanded its own trailer. So here it is. Enjoy and stop by Ellora's Cave to take a look at the story. It's part of the 1-800-DOM-help series by a group of fabulous EC authors. The latest is Mistress Mine by Samantha Cayto. Check it out.

Be well, be happy.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

blogged out...excerpt

Because Feb. is release month for my latest in the Strange Neighbors series--The Werewolf Upstairs--My publisher set up a blog tour for me...and then I had requests from others to guest blog. I have this problem with the word 'no.' When people ask me (nicely) to do something, I can't say it. So, this is my 20th blog, and it's only the 19th? Gaaaaaaa!

I'm taking the easy way out today and posting an excerpt instead. I know you'll understand and forgive me for this under the circumstances. At least this is a never before posted scene. Konrad (our hero) investgates noise from upstairs.

Konrad was relaxing in his living room, trying to reread
one of his favorite books, but noises from the apartment
upstairs distracted him.

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.
What is that? Sounds like a conga line. “I liked it
better when it was just Chad up there. No noise whatsoever.”

Konrad rose from his chair and stared at the
ceiling. “Or maybe that is Chad? I wonder if he’s trying
to get somebody’s attention.”

If Joe and the witches weren’t home, Konrad would
probably be the only one to hear him. Or Dottie…oh
crap. If Dottie hears the noise, she’ll pitch a fit.
He sighed. “I’d better get up there and see what’s
going on.”

Konrad took the stairs two at a time. When he arrived
at the door to apartment 3A, he knocked loudly.
The noise stopped. He waited another moment or two,
and when the noise didn’t resume, he started down
the stairs.

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.
“What the?” He jogged back up to the door and
banged on it again. “What the hell is going on in there?
Chad? Are you trying to communicate with someone?”

The noise stopped again. Konrad sighed. He’d have
to come up with some way to talk to Chad. One thump
for yes and two for no?

As he was deliberating, the door opened a crack, and
Joe peered out at him.

“Oh, hey, Joe. I didn’t know you were home. What
was that racket? I thought Chad was trying to get someone’s

“Uh, no,” he said.

A naked Gwyneth came into view. She looked like a
redheaded Lady Godiva. “Who is it, Joe, honey?”

“Oh!” Konrad snapped to attention. “I’m sorry, I
didn’t realize you were…entertaining.”

Joe looked over his shoulder at Gwyneth and grinned.
“It’s Konrad. I guess we were making too much noise.”

“Oh, my goodness! If Konrad could hear us, then Dottie
probably can, bless her heart. She’ll be madder than a bottle
full of bees.” Gwyneth came to the door, still naked and
completely unabashed. “Thanks for lettin’ us know, Konrad.
I wouldn’t want my research to get Joe into trouble.”

Konrad scratched his head. “Research? What kind
of research?”

“Oh, it’s for my book. I’m writin’ erotica now.”

He raised his eyebrows.

Joe chuckled. “I’ve never been so happy to be someone’s
research assistant before.”

Konrad couldn’t hold it in any longer and let out a
booming laugh.

Gwyneth frowned and crossed her arms under her
pale breasts. “I have to do somethin’ to pay the rent. I
don’t have enough education to get a fancy job.”

Joe stepped out from behind the door and put his arm
around her. He was wearing boxers, thank goodness.

“You’re quite well educated in this field, sweetheart.
You’ll make a fine erotica writer.”

“I know it was your idea, and I’m grateful and everything,
but I still don’t spell worth a hoot.”

Joe stroked her shoulder. “You don’t need to know
how to spell, these days. The computer will correct your
spelling automatically. And anything you miss, your
editor will catch.”

“I guess. At least I’m enjoyin’ the research
part of it.” She giggled and pinched his nipple.
“Now can we go back and finish it?”

Friday, February 18, 2011

SQUEE! New Contract with Ellora's Cave!

So doing the Snoopy Dance! I just signed with Ellora's Cave for GHOST HUNTER , a full-length paranormal romance for their Blush line! My editor told me she got so caught up in it, she forgot she was reading a submission! I'm so excited! This book is one of my favorites! Is it okay to have a favorite when it's your own book?! LOL!

Here's the blurb!

Almost getting murdered by a serial killer gives Cassidy Kincaide a new lease on life and convinces her to go ahead and tackle that ghost-hunter novel she's always wanted to write. So, she hooks up with a gorgeous paranormal investigator named Trace McCord to do some research.

Cassidy and Trace rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning, but they have to put aside their differences when the serial killer who attacked her comes back from the grave to continue his string of grisly murders, with her at the top of his list.

Trace has to keep Cassidy close to keep her safe, and as they try to stay one step ahead of the ghost while figuring out how to stop it, he and Cassidy end up in each other’s arms. While Trace has a whole list of reasons why he shouldn’t get involved with her, he finds himself falling in love with the beautiful blonde anyway. And even though Cassidy started out thinking he was a jerk, she learns that underneath the rough ghost hunter exterior, he’s just the man she’s always been looking for. Now, all they have to do, is live long enough to be together.

For an excerpt and a look at my vision of the gorgeous ghost hunter himself, check out my website at


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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love Bites: Snacks for Your Romance Heroine

by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

February is National Snack Food Month. From greasy potato chips to chocolaty M&M’s, we all love snacks, which makes this reporter wonder: What does a romance heroine snack on between the sheets?

(I know what you’re thinking, but this reporter is not going there.)

You can’t ignore it. Snackin’ is a way of life in the 21st century with snack sales going over the $60 billion mark annually. Yes, that was B as in billion. (Who eats all those Doritos anyway?)

So this reporter was wondering (while she was snacking on peanut butter cookies), what heroines in various romance genres might be inclined to snack on. Think about it: what you give your heroine to snack on today would be different than in the Victorian era.

Crumpets (soft and spongy) dripping with honey were all the rage back in the late 19th century, served with afternoon tea and milk, while a hip modern heroine might snack on a vanilla yogurt parfait topped with granola. (Victorian heroines didn’t worry about calorie overload. They could always cinch in their corset an extra inch or two. A modern heroine doesn’t have that luxury.)

Or if your heroine is a vampire, blood oranges.

How ‘bout a zombie heroine? Zilch, nada. (What do zombies eat anyway?)

If you’re writing a romantic comedy, why not have your heroine throw caution to the wind and indulge in tortilla chips with spicy salsa or gourmet popcorn with real butter.

If your heroine’s a gun-packin’ mama, how ‘bout Snickers and black licorice sticks for fast, on-the-go snacks that she can sink her teeth into while she chasing after the bad guys.

Steampunk? You must have black tea for that British feel, then add red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a touch of fantasy.

And finally, erotic. (You thought I forgot?) Bananas, baby. Big, long, juicy bananas.

Need I say more?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Since I'm an author of many romances, both sweet and sexy, I should be a lifelong purveyor of all things associated with Valentines Day, right? Well, I have a confession. Many years ago, before I'd published my first word, I was a bit of a cynic about the whole Valentines Day mystique. Shortly after DH and I married, he treated me to the most romantic Valentine experience. He rented a limousine, which took us to a fancy restaurant for dinner, then to the ballet. Inside the car he'd stashed champagne and red roses. As a young, newly married couple, we could hardly afford such extravagances. Instead of thanking him for the romantic adventure afterward, I admonished him for spending so much money. (I said I was young and I will add foolish!)

For years after, he refused to do anything so much as give me a card for the holiday, which was my own fault. But after his wounds had healed, he brilliantly came up with affordable ways to tell me he loved me, like drawing big hearts on the driveway in chalk or painting my car with messages of love. The man became a master of romantic innovation. After all these years, he still manages to surprise me with something sweet and sexy. In my book(s), that's what a hero is all about.

Speaking of heroes, how about a free read? My Naughty Nooner, The After Party is now available from Ellora's Cave. Blackout, a Quickie, was also released a few days ago. Here's a little about that:
Kendra learns that her boyfriend thinks she’s a cold fish. To make matters worse, he’s made plans to go away with one of her coworkers for a long weekend. When a blackout strands her in an elevator with sexy Latin maintenance man Jorge, she sets out to prove she’s more hot dish than cold fish.
You can get Blackout HERE.

What are your best V-Day memories? I hope you have a wonderfully romantic Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Theta Heroes: Lost Souls

by Cara McKenna

A gazillion years ago, Savannah shared a post about Alpha versus Beta heroes, and someplace in the comments I mentioned one of my own favorite "alphabet" hero types—the Theta. I said I'd write a post on the topic someday, and now a gazillion years later, I am!

I first saw the Theta hero defined in Rebecca Vinyard's Romance Writer's Handbook. She also refers to him as the Lost Soul or loner archetype, and Vinyard says this of him: "Tortured and secretive, he's got a vulnerable heart and discerning eyes. He also tends to brood to excess and can be unforgiving. He might wander through town, or maybe he was cast out because of some evil deed or deformity. […] In work, this man is very creative, but he's very much a loner, too. […] In historicals, he's the lone gunman."

Yum. The truly delicious thing about the Lost Soul archetype is that in a romance, we know it'll take an extraordinary woman (or man) to break through the crust and claim that guarded heart.

I can't say for certain that I've published any books featuring a true Theta, despite my love for them. I think Shane from the Shivaree series was driven to Thetaism by Gabriel, which is a bit backward…he was reasonably happy as the Alpha of his little kingdom until his troublesome lust interest sauntered in and saddled him with a year's worth of sleepless nights and a sexual identity crisis. A romance my alter ego Meg Maguire has coming out from Samhain in April may feature a Theta; Max from The Reluctant Nude is tough to classify. He's a recluse, but he's also far pushier and more outgoing than the average Theta. My very first romance manuscript (in the drawer, yet to be polished and shopped around) starred a textbook Theta—such a loner he abandoned society to move out to the middle of nowhere as a survivalist. Oh, so tortured. And why exactly is that so attractive to so many of us?

For the reader, I suspect much of the appeal of the Theta hero is the challenge. The more impossible it seems that he could ever let love in, the more we want to see him rescued from his grim, self-imposed exile. There's also the bad-assitude. We love Alphas for their strength, but Thetas are just as strong…perhaps more so, given that they rely only on themselves, their wits and their brawn. They're nearly always reluctant heroes, thrust by circumstances into heroism when they'd perhaps prefer to stay out of others' problems. Other times they actively seek to help, but as unnamed vigilantes. If they act bravely, they do so out of grudging duty or self-preservation or vengeance, and not for glory. They're often described as "anti-heroes".

Some Thetas from popular culture: Eli from The Book of Eli. Sirius Black from the Harry Potter books. Mulder from the X-Files. The Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Sawyer from Lost—he went from borderline villain to highly unlikely hero over the course of the series, thanks largely to The Power of Lurrrrve™. Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings. Wolverine of the X-Men is perhaps the most classic example; a broody, grumpy loner with a pitch-black past, who steps into heroism because of two women—one he feels compelled to protect as a daughter, and one he loves, unrequitedly. Darker incarnations of Batman could also be considered Theta—he's a master brooder. Many comic book protagonists fit the bill—no shortage of secrets and haunted pasts in the superhero world.

Thetas often have a bit of a curse surrounding them, something that causes them to push others away, lest they get hurt by the Theta's lifestyle or enemies, or disrupt the carefully constructed solitude the Theta chooses to cloak himself in. Thetas need saving as much as they need to save others. Those two things must happen in tandem, and I personally find that irresistible.

Going back to the Wolverine comparison, I feel compelled to point out that Thetas pair very well with urchins and dogs. That's shorthand to say it works handily to draw a Theta into heroism with the use of a weak character in peril, often a child but perhaps a love interest (Mad Max, Jack from Romancing the Stone, Louis from Interview with a Vampire, Eric from The Crow). They may be hell-bent on minding their own business, but beneath the angst beats a heart of gold, and they'll step up when truly needed. Thetas are also well suited to keep pets or other non-human companions, as it shows they're lonely, but unwilling to trust or depend on a fellow person for company (Eli from The Book of Eli, Han Solo, Eric from The Crow, again).

Now plenty of us love a wounded man, but go too far with the Theta's darker characteristics and you risk wandering past mysterious loner right into creepy loner…think Travis from Taxi Driver. A genius character, but nobody's love interest. There's sometimes a fine line between guarded recluse and sociopath.

It's late, so I'll leave you with that as my guide to the elusive, reclusive, anti-hero archetype, the Theta. Have you spotted one in a movie or book or TV show recently? What's your verdict? Well, for now I'm off to bed, to dream of brooding, damaged men in need of a good heart-melting. See you in the comments!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Were Those Words Again?

So the SuperBowl was Sunday.

And my team lost.

I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. We-e-ell, to be more specifice--and honest--I love Troy Polamalu. I only watch football when he's playing because I love to see his lovely locks flow down his back as he tackles another player...or carry the ball...or kick it...hell, I don't know. He's hot!

But this blog isn't about who won or how sexy Troy is--and that is a ten on the Hot-ness-o-meter! This is about the National Anthem. After Christina Aguilera's singing snafu Sunday night, I had to ask myself, WTF?? Now, I know, I know. I'm not blaming her. Because of course, they sprung it on her five minutes before show time that she was scheduled to sing the Star Spangled Banner. So she had absolutely no time to prepare or--gasp!--learn the words!!

How many stars have mangled this doggone song?? Have a little pride! If you have been invited to sing in front of a gazillion people, why would you not learn the freaking lyrics. It's just laziness! I tell you who needs to be mad--the person writing that check to her for performing! They need to be deducting some zeroes!!

So in honor of the "Mangled Spangled", I've found a few clips of the more horrific--and okay, hilarious--moments:

Question: Did he audition for this or did they just take his word for it that he could sing??

Umm...what's a "gred glare"?

When you sing the wrong words, I'm gonna need for you not to do a run like their right. "Does that Star Spangled Banner that wade...that wade...wa-a-a-de..." First time I've ever seen anyone do the swing to the National Anthem, though...

Oh well, there's always next year...another event...another remix...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mistakes in Erotic Romance

So here's the question to other erotic romance writers and readers. How particular is the audience out there and how tolerant are they of mistakes? We all make them as writers, whether it be a word we mistyped or a detail we got wrong. Our editors are amazing and catch most of the errors, but they are human and things get missed.

I've been lucky. None of my readers have emailed me to correct any mistakes that bugged the shit out of them. But I stopped to wonder, do erotic romance readers email in about mistakes to the authors? Are they more forgiving? Are they so lost in the sex that really it doesn't matter to them? Or am I better than I thought? (checking my ego now, thank you)

In my recent release, Fettered Love, I describe a particular painting hanging in a particular museum. After the story got published I realized that I had described the positioning of a woman in the painting incorrectly. I know this is the tiniest detail and unless you were familiar with the piece of art or went to search for the image then it would never be noticed. But it bothered me. Will I get mail on it? And will some scientifically minded reader of Bound Odyssey message me to debate how I've portrayed the fall-out of polar ice cap melt and the science behind the hypothetical demise of the earth? Did I get a detail about Las Vegas wrong in Magician's Chains? I'd been there exactly once and relied on maps and tourist guides to describe the location of my scenes and some of the major attractions at the big casinos.

Now that I've shared my vulnerability, please take pity. Even though my characters are not always human, I sure am.

So what about your experiences? If you're a reader, have you ever written an erotic romance author to comment on a mistake? If you're an author, have you ever received emails like this? Or does the distraction of sex go a long way toward forgiveness? What's the worst mistake you've made that you only discovered post release day? Details if you dare.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The big, honkin' blog tour and more

HI everyone,

This isn't just a promo. Don't click away as fast as you can. In fact, I'll get it out of the way first. My month-long blog tour, book signings and contests can be found on my news blog here: There. That wasn't too painful, was it?

Now, here's my blog about blogging. For the longest time, I didn't like it. I resented the time taken away from my writing and didn't think many people were reading it anyway. Well, I was right. Getting one or two comments can be very discouraging. Thus, I started a news blog. No need to come up with something brilliant and worth reading each day. I hope those who are interested in my career get what they need there, and I can put what little brilliant writing I do into my books.

But despite my hope that blogging was a fad that would fade away as soon as I got the hang of it (like much of technology) it has only grown exponentially. So, I've had to learn to incorporate it into my existence. We all have. Hell, I'm blogging right now!

A while ago, I decided I'd guest blog. That wasn't too difficult. I could come up with something to talk about once or twice a month, right? Sure. So far, that's been working for me. I have to apologize occasionally because I can't reciprocate, having my blog set up as news only, but I do have a blog list of those bloggers willing to host romance authors. It's my little way of giving back...and preventing others from getting ripped off like I was a few years ago.

I paid $150.00 to a "publicist" to set up a blog tour for me. That was the rock bottom price and it was to set up 12 blog stops and advertise it for me. Well, let me tell ya, any one of you could do better. I was blogging at non-romance book sites, a couple sites her friends had set up just for these tours, and I was lucky to get two or three comments. Did I make that up in sales? Hell, no.

So, that's when I got mad (and got even) by starting my free-of-charge blog for romance authors looking for romance friendly blog sites where they can set up their own blog tour.

Now, it may seem ironic that I don't even use my own service. I have a paid for publicist working with my publisher who sets up the blog tours for me. It's great in that it saves me tons of time and money, but not so great in that I have no choice in the schedule. During release months, I can plan to make no plans. I'll be busy somewhere every day. Well, I get weekends off for good behavior, and thank goodness...I blog here every other Saturday!

In short...if you're looking to set up a blog tour, don't hire someone. Check out this blog first:

And if you're already on it, please keep me updated! Some blogs change their focus, or whatever. I try to keep it current.

If you're not on it and you'd like to be, just ask! All I need is a url and your contact name and email. Remember, this is romance focused. It's not specific to any heat level or subgenre, so if you contact someone on the list, be sure they're open to your content.

That's it. Public service announcement over. Commercial for my latest book almost over. I recently went to a conference in which a famous-ish author said "Don't be afriad to ask people to buy your book." Okay, I'm asking. Not begging, mind you. Just asking politely. Check out my latest release The Werewolf Upstairs on or B&N, Sony or wherever you buy your books.

Thanks for listening. Oh! If you want to win the book, you might check out that big, honkin' blog tour I was telling you about. My publisher is giving away 2 copies at every stop they set up. I set up a few of my own (when invited) and will give away 1 copy at those.

Enjoy your weekend, and happy reading!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Have You Registered for RomantiCon Yet?!

Have you registered for Ellora's Cave RomantiCon yet?!

The theme is The Time Machine, the dates are Sep 29 - Oct 1 and it's being held at the Akron City Centre. It's going to bigger and better than ever, with a fabulous new venue and loads of new activities—plus a very special addition to the book fair: a Caveman Revue! Plus, you get to play dress-up both Fri and Sat nights!

First Stop: The Stone Age. On Friday night, we'll whisk you back 20,000 years, to a time when cave-dwelling men and women indulged their every primitive urge without hesitation or shame. Ellora's Cavemen will pay homage to the era with a primal fire dance, led by the delicious Caveman, Angelo. We'll feast on the ribs of beasts (plenty of veggies too for our vegan patrons) and other delectables at an outdoor barbecue, then dance like savages until we drop! Wear your best animal skins, bones, teeth, and other ceremonial garb. And leave your civilized self behind.

Second Stop: The Future. Don't worry; there will still be cavemen in the future — Ellora's Cavemen, that is! Our alpha warlords will be dancing to a completely different tune on Saturday night. Let your imagination run wild and dress in your favorite futuristic style, from Barbarella to HG Wells' The Time Machine! There will be prizes for the best costume, our annual awards ceremony, then we'll dine like royalty and dance like there's no tomorrow!

Third Stop: The Present. Sunday night, for those attendees not leaving until Monday, brings us to our annual pizza, crazy hat & bingo party hosted by Ellora's Cave Publisher, Raelene Gorlinsky. Wear your gaudiest head garb, unwind with the Ellora's Cavemen, and enjoy your last night with us in a festive, laughter-filled setting!

Book Fair and Cavemen RevueThis event, on Sunday, October 1 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, is free and open to the public. EC authors will be on hand to autograph books and cover flats for readers. This year, for the first time, Ellora's Cavemen will perform some favorites from conventions past! Does that rock, or what?!

But wait, there's more!

Meet the Editors: EC editors will be at the conference to present workshops, answer questions, hear pitches and just generally hang out and meet readers, authors and aspiring authors.

Workshops, Games & Focus Groups: A fabulous lineup of new sessions for readers, authors and aspiring authors. There will also be special games and even a pole-dancing class!

And my personal favorite...

Wait for it...

Open Cover Model Photo Shoot: Watch a real live outdoor photo shoot with our Caveman cover models! The photos you see taken here will turn up on covers and in advertisements in the year to come.

If all that isn't enough to make you bouncing off your seat with excitement to register, then how about this?

If you register and pay in full before Valentine's Day, you'll get 10% off the registration fee! How cool is that?!

Here's the Link!

Can't wait!


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

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Lying GPS - I Have Proof!

I am feeling righteous. Validated. Vindicated.

Unfortunately, I'm not victorious since this thing still sits in my car, not crushed beneath the wheel of a semi.

What am I talking about?

The Lying GPS, of course. (aka the LGPS. see post from Nov 11, 2010)

I had to bide my time, mind you, but it finally happened. I was going somewhere it had lied to me about before, DH was driving, and I knew the exact time it would happen.

Are you ready for this?

"So who's the nutcase now, Raymond? Who's the nutcase now?" (Channeling Debra on the best Everybody Loves Raymond episode EVER!)

I have video, too, but can't seem to load it. Am I beyond obsessing with this thing? Ya think?

That's it for today. Short, but oh-so-sweet. I am feeling righteous. Validated. Vindicated.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

5 Things NOT to do during Super Bowl while he’s watching the big game…

by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

It has come to the attention of this reporter that several of you out there, both romance readers and writers alike, are so involved in your reading and/or writing of romance novels that you may not be aware the bastion of male sweat and tight ends will soon be upon us.

Super Bowl.

Be aware, ladies, this is not to be taken lightly. No amount of cleavage or sexy panting will get your man away from the TV set on Super Bowl Sunday. Trust me, I know.

And if you are a football fan, well, you may know how to play the game, but do you know the top 5 things NOT to do during the game?

This reporter has gone to great lengths to find out.

So before the coin toss on Sunday, let’s get your game face on.

1. This is not the day to have new furniture delivered. Your man wants his lumpy sofa and scratched-up, old coffee table where he can be comfortable and put his feet up and watch the game. His turf, if you will.

2. No flavored sparkling water with teensy lime slices. This is like serving vanilla meringue puffs to a hungry army on the march. Beer is the beverage of choice and plenty of it.

3. Hold the beans and pass the guacamole. This is not the time to try out your extra spicy, three-kinds-of-beans dip. Bathroom breaks are not at the top of his list, even during the commercials. Who wants to miss those?

4. Don’t diss his friends if they show up smelling of beer and cigarettes. It’s a guy thing, believe me. A ritual to see who can smell the worst. Remember the guy in the news recently who didn’t wash his jeans for more than a year? That’s right, keep telling yourself it could be worse.

5. No matter how many potato chip crumbs or pizza toppings fall to the floor or carpet, do not vacuum them up. You will drive him crazy. Not good crazy, bad crazy. He’ll never forgive you if he misses the winning touchdown because of a noisy vacuum. And don’t try vacuuming naked. The only skin he’s interested in during the game is on a football.

One final word from this reporter’s iPad: whether your man pouts or gloats about his team’s performance, make sure you rave about his performance in bed afterward.