Thursday, March 31, 2011
Hey, everyone! It's with both gratitude and sadness that I tell you all that this is my final post with the Naughty Author Chicks, at least for the foreseeable future. I've been here for over a year now, my very first year of published authordom! It's been a blast, but after a very hectic [read: spastic] 2010, I need to adjust my focus in 2011 to concentrate first and foremost on fiction writing, so I'm paring down my promotional commitments. Purely a personal decision, and nothing at all to do with my wonderful co-Chicks or the blog itself.
If for some bizarre reason you'll miss my nonsensical rambling, you can visit my alter ego's Super Lucky #1 Fun Blog, where I post frequently on all manner of things.
Thank you everyone for a wonderful year-plus!
My very best,
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large
Is your romance novel heroine qualified for the job?
Did you interview her before you started writing? I don’t mean where she went to school, what her favorite color is, etc. but whether or not she’s qualified for the job as a romance novel heroine.
For example, does she have the skills needed to perform her job: Can she shoot a Glock if you’re writing an FBI agent? Lace up a corset if she’s interviewing for the job as a Victorian lady’s maid?
Or she may be overqualified for the job. For example, she can type faster than you or she has aspirations to leave the romance novel field and get a literary gig.
How long has she been out of work?
Romance novel jobs are hard to get and if it’s been decades since she slipped between the pages of a novel, you might want to reconsider. On the other hand, experience between the sheets is important for every romance heroine.
A typical interview could go like this:
Miss Jones, I’m writing a novel that takes place during the Regency Period. Are you a fan of Jane Austen?
Miss Jones: Jane who? I’m so into Lady Gaga. Love her sunglasses.
Miss Smith, my next novel is about an FBI agent who’s very physically active to catch the bad guys. Can you drop and do twenty?
Miss Smith: the only thing I dropped was twenty pounds to get this interview.
Let’s try again.
Miss von Rittenhaus, I need a romance novel heroine who sleeps all day and bites all night. Can you list your qualifications to be the vamp queen in my new urban fantasy novel?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Honey, I can snooze and cruise with the best of them. I’ve hit every vamp bar from here to
When can you start?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Tonight. As soon as the sun goes down. (Pause). You haven’t mentioned a benefits package.
What do you mean?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Do I get overtime pay for all this night work? And how about a 401K? I’m not getting any younger and in this economy a girl, I mean vamp, has to look out for herself. What about my e-rights? And health benefits? What if I chip a fang and I have to see a dentist between chapters?
Jeez…Romance heroines…you can’t write with them and you can’t write without them.
This is Evelyn Q. Darling. Till next time when we’ll interview the romance novel hero and see if he’s up for the job.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Published by Carina Press © 2011 by Nicole North
Friday, March 25, 2011
I'm so excited! I just signed with Ellora's Cave for my sci-fi erotic romance PIRATE'S WOMAN! It's part of their Ahoy! theme series and it comes out in June!
Here's the blurb!
To honor the debt her family owes Slayter Cardona, beautiful Teyla Dunai agrees to let him sell her as a sex slave in the markets of Arkhon. Determined to bring as much value as she can on the auction block, but inexperienced where men are concerned, she asks the handsome pirate if he’ll teach her how to pleasure a man. Intrigued, and more than a little attracted to the lavender-eyed beauty, Slayter agrees. As he initiates her into the world of bondage, spanking and out-of-this-galaxy sex, though, both Teyla and Slayter find themselves falling for each other. But Slayter has a responsibility to his crew, and Teyla knows it is her duty to pay off her family’s debt. With the deal already agreed upon, there doesn’t seem to be any way for their story to have a happy ending. Or is there?
Get an additional sneak peek on my website!
"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"
Thursday, March 24, 2011
If you could change anything about losing your virginity, would you? BTW, I don’t mean having your hymen “repaired” at the Dr.’s office. (Yes, you really can do that!)
Would you do it sooner in life? Later in life? At the same place? In the same position? And, oh yeah, with the same partner?
In case inquiring minds want to know, my answers are as follows: later, no, yes, and HELL NO! Excuse me, didn’t mean to shout that last one. Decorum restored.
I think about this every once in awhile. Why? Because it’s good for my muse. In that first book I wrote, which has been much brought up and maligned (by me) on this site, and is still gathering dust bunnies as we speak, I created the perfect scenario. It was everything I wanted it to be. The hero/heroine were in love, they had been dating for over 2 yrs, were of consenting age, and he cared more about her comfort than getting his rocks off. (That doesn’t mean he didn’t lose control, because hey, it is still one of my books and y’all know by now how much I LOVE it when the hero loses it at that moment.) In other words, ain’t fantasy grand?
My muse is already amused. So many ways to go with the whole virgin scenario:
They’re both virgins
She is/he isn’t
He is/she isn’t (extra yummy)
Neither are technically, but...it was a bad experience, certain places are still virginal, etc.
(There are so many ways to go with that last one, I can’t even finish the suggestion.)
Seriously. Let’s have an unofficial poll. How many readers would change anything or everything about their first time? Writers, how many of you have literally re-written history?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Here's a story I wrote to go along with my Spice Novel: Cleopatra's Perfume. I hope you enjoy it:
I miss the visual aphrodisiac that was Weimar Berlin. It was like jumping onto a carnival ride whirling round and round and not letting go…
A kaleidoscope of changing scenes shining like silver paper that reflected the deepest desires of the carnal souls who performed in the theatre of eros night after night.
A nocturnal palace of pleasure that blurred sexual boundaries and expectations.
Ballrooms, dancehalls, cabarets. Favorite haunts of daring Berliners who raced forward to express their individuality in new and provocative styles.
Men dressed like women, women dressed like men.
These libertarians crossed these boundaries and never looked back. Young men in billowy white sailor blouses and blue caps. Women flaunting men’s trousers and sophisticated black tuxedos.
And then there was Sophie.
I never knew his real name, he never told me, but walking with the other Sunday strollers along Unter den Linden today, I remember how it was then when this highly refined young man with his penciled-in brows and heavy lime-musk scent made his mark on the Berlin homosexual scene.
Sophie loved to laugh and sing and play his accordion and was apolitical in his pursuit of social fulfillment. He was comfortable with who he was, even if Hitler wasn’t.
When I met Sophie in 1928, he was filled with life, headlining at a small nightclub off Nürnberger Platz. The room was packed every night, Berliners laughing at his ribald jokes, amazed at his outrageous style of dress and fascinated by his repartee of underworld gossip. He was a true artiste and also enjoyed entertaining at society affairs, reveling in his position as a drawing room pet.
Sophie taught me how to carry myself when I entered a room, how to choose the right style, how to apply my lipstick by starting at the corners of my mouth to get a natural sensual line instead of a cheap bow. How to appreciate the elegance of a simple strand of pearls.
“A clean sophisticated look will get invited you everywhere,” he often said. “Less is better.”
He was also a learned student of Egyptology, spellbinding me with tales of Egyptian Queens and their beauty secrets and that Cleopatra’s lipstick reportedly contained crushed red beetles and ants. Years later in Port Said, I discovered the secret of Cleopatra’s perfume, but it was Sophie who first spurred my interest in the ancient arts.
After the war, I encountered a saxophone player I knew from the old Weimar days. He told me Sophie was deported to a concentration camp after Heinrich Himmler decreed in 1937 that homosexuals created a hindrance to the procreation of the Aryan race.
Sophie never lost his style, even at Sachsenhausen, where as a homosexual he was forced to wear an identifying inverted pink triangle on his prison uniform. He survived the death camp by singing and playing his accordion for a Nazi officer who remembered him from his cabaret days and, fortunately for him, the SS man never understood he was the butt of the libertine’s sketches and jokes.
Sophie was the most charming and clever man I ever met.
Unconfirmed reports said he died at the end of the war from typhus weeks before the camp was liberated. No one knew what happened to his accordion.
I like to think he took it with him on his way to heaven.
Lady Eve Marlowe
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
1.Rock star: This had more to do with my wanting to be Donnie Wahlburg’s girlfriend then making quality music for the masses. But I did take electric guitar lessons for a summer. Then I realized how hard playing the guitar was…Lawd!...and decided, along with my sister and best friend, to be the female version of New Kids on the Block.
2.A lawyer: Waaay too much school. When I figured out you can’t commit the bar exam to short term memory and pass like the Biology 101 test, I moved on to another aspiration.
3.A nun: I knooow. How ironic is that?? *snicker* In my defense, I went to Catholic schools through the tenth grade…yeah, that’s all the defense I have…moving on…
4.Dear Abby: I admit it…I am extremely nosey. I want to know why, when, how and what did it look like. So to get paid for people telling me all this? And me giving my vaulted opinion back?? A win/win dream job. Who knew they actually wanted you to have experience and a degree for this sort of thing?
5.A choreographer: My Paula Abdul phase. I knew how to do the Cabbage Patch, the Running Man and the Mike Tyson. What more did I need to be the most premier choreographer out there? Classical training? Meh. Julliard? Bah. Amateurs…
You’ll notice that an author was not on my list. That started me thinking. I’ve always written romance stories—and I say stories because I almost never finished!—but never considered growing up to be an author. To me, that was a pipe dream, not being the next Pat Benatar or Paula Abdul or Sister Mary Francis. And do you know what’s even funnier? As an author, through my characters, I can experience the lives of all of the above. How awesome is that? God, I love this job!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The other is a mainstream for my agent, and I just alluded to a sex scene coming up, but I'm not really excited about writing it. C'mon Ashlyn, it's already Chapter 9 for Frig's sake! I have a reputation to uphold! My reputation as a dirty girl!
Even my mainstream books are plenty sexy. I find it kind of amusing when my latest series (considered totally mainstream) comes with warnings from reviewers about the graphic sex contained within the scorching pages. Hey, what can I say? To me, sex is a natural part of a growing love affair.
Anyone who buys my future books after reading my series is going to expect a certain "Ashlyness" or as my editor and I have come to call it "consistent pickles."
Okay--I'd better explain that. Book 2 (The Werewolf Upstairs) was much hotter than book 1 (Strange Neighbors) until my editor read it. She said, "Think of it this way: If a customer goes to a burger place one week and they pile on the pickels, but the next week there are no pickels, people are going to get upset. They want to know what to expect when they order the same meal." So, okay, translated into publishing, that means readers want to know what heat level to expect from an Ashlyn Chase book.
So, I promised her consistent pickles and eliminated one sex scene. It made sense. Who wants to make love while nursing a freshly sprained ankle anyway?
I'm glad I kept the bedroom door open even in my mainstream books. People will not be shocked when they buy my backlist, (and my backlist has received a serious boost since the series began.) So far, no complaints from the fans. Whew! I guess my editor is right about the consistent pickles.
However...if I were to write a YA, I'd change my pen name and create a whole new website. Now that I realize how interested new fans can be in everything you do, I want to share that with up and coming authors out there. I recently went to a woman's website who had written and self-published a YA, but on her website are her erotic romances--under the same pen name. I wish I'd seen at least some kind of caveat, like "Hey, kiddies, these books aren't for you." So far, I've been minding my own business, but should I? What do you all think?
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Hey all, and happy St. Patrick's Day! No matter which of my various names you go by, this here is my holiday. And what better way to celebrate than to do a book giveaway? A book giveaway involving a notable lack of Irish characters…but no matter. I'm going to give away all three of the books in my Shivaree series—Shivaree, Backwoods, and Getaway—to one lucky commenter. The stories may feature more Cajuns than Irish people, but they do take place largely in a bar, and that's very St. Patrick's Day-ish indeed.
For your chance to win, alls you gots to do is leave a comment on the topic of bars. An anecdote, a recommendation for your favorite watering hole, a special drink you order, why you can't stand bars—anything. I'll select a winner at 2pm EST on Sunday, and they will receive all three books, in digital format. I'll announce the winner in an addendum to this post. Now go forth and get lucky!
The winner, courtesy of random.org, is Sarah S G. Frantz! I co-stalk you on Twitter, so I'll sleuth your e-mail address out over there. Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who took part!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
...so I decided to dig through my old pix of Ireland and see what I could find for the wearing o' the green.
|No, this wasn't my mode of transportation in Ireland, but it looks like a fun way to see the countryside!|
|Anyone for diving off this cliff?|
Monday, March 14, 2011
My name is Wynter and I'm a Scrabble-aholic.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Without further ado—Shoshanna Evers!
I often tell aspiring writers about how I wrote four books before I sold one. But here's a secret—Hollywood Spank, or rather, an earlier, much suckier version of Hollywood Spank, is actually the second book I ever wrote.
So I wrote one book, which will never see the light of day, and then I wrote the first draft of Hollywood Spank, then I wrote a book that I'm actually hoping will sell soon and shall remain nameless, and then I wrote Punishing the Art Thief and sold that as my debut erotic romance to Ellora's Cave.
Once I had the benefit of a professional editor at Ellora's Cave and sold Ginger Snap (also to Ellora's Cave) and Taste of Candy (to The Wild Rose Press), I was able to look at my early, sucky draft of Hollywood Spank and revise it completely to make it salable. And that is how the second book I ever wrote became my fifth sale.
The moral of the story is first drafts are not meant to be sold, they are meant to be revised!
Here’s the blurb for Hollywood Spank:
When the studio heads for Mark Cannon's new action movie discover that their leading man likes to spank his personal assistants, they insist Mark hire a professional submissive who won't run to the tabloids with his kinky secret.
Andrea Landley may be a wonderful assistant, but she lied through her teeth about being a BDSM pro to get the job—and now her real career as an undercover tabloid reporter has gotten very interesting.
Andrea is willing to do whatever it takes to get the dirt for her scathing exposé—even if it means learning how to take a spanking from a movie star. She doesn't realize until it's too late that Mark Cannon has a lot more in store for her than just a simple spanking.
And here's an excerpt from Hollywood Spank:
Copyright © Shoshanna Evers, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Mark stepped quietly into his trailer and placed his script on the little desk. The sight of the slender, beautiful young woman lying on his cot caught him off guard and he swallowed a gasp of surprise. His new personal assistant.
Despite how busy they'd had him in the last couple of hours, Mark had been unable to get Andrea off his mind. He had almost flubbed a line, since his thoughts kept wandering back to his trailer and that amazing ass of hers.
And now, to find her sprawled out on his cot, looking so sweet and…inviting, he could see why she had proved to be so distracting.
His gaze lingered over her long, shapely legs, clad in tight denim jeans, then traveled up her fitted long-sleeve blouse, its deep V-neck revealing just a hint of the swell of her perfect breasts.
He could stare at Andrea like this for hours and never get bored. Mark wanted to pull those tight jeans off her gorgeous legs and ravish her right then and there. His cock thickened at the very thought of having sex with Andrea. Too bad he promised her he wasn't there to fuck her…and too bad she agreed there would be no fucking.
Andrea crossed her arms over her chest and looked up at him.
“Uncross your arms,” he said. “I want to see your breasts.”
Andrea slowly uncrossed her arms and actually blushed as she did so, even though she was fully dressed.
“You aren't really experienced as a submissive, are you.” It was a statement, not a question. She had lied. It was obvious now that this was all very new to her.
Andrea gasped and shook her head. “I'm sorry, Sir. I just really, really wanted this job.”
“Enough to let me actually spank you?” he asked, surprised.
“I may have lied about my BDSM experience to get the job, Sir, but I wasn't lying about my skill as an assistant, and you saw for yourself that…what you did turned me on.”
Mark looked at her thoughtfully. “That's true. So let me get this straight. You're a very good assistant and you’re fully willing to explore the idea of me spanking you.”
“Because it turns you on.”
Andrea blushed again. Man, that was cute. “Yes,” she said softly.
“So even though I said no sex before, if all this really turns you on, are you willing to get a little sexual?” He sat on the edge of the cot next to her and held her chin in his hand, forcing her to meet his eyes.
“I just met you, Sir, and I don't usually have sex with men I just met,” she said. “I mean, I never do. So, can we get a little sexual without actually having sex, for right now?”
Mark grinned. “Absolutely.”
“So I can stay?”
“Say, ‘Sir, may I stay?’” Mark said.
Andrea didn't hesitate. “Sir, may I stay?”
“Yeah, you can stay. But I want you over my knee right now for lying to me.”
“Thank you, Sir. For the job, I mean,” Andrea said as she nervously draped herself over his lap.
He locked his legs around hers to keep her from escaping her punishment and raised his hand, relishing that moment right before he brought it down on her ass. “Say thank you for the spanking too.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“My pleasure,” Mark said. “And hopefully, it will be your pleasure as well.”
* * * * *
Titles at Ellora’s Cave
Friday, March 11, 2011
I love when I come up with an idea for a book out of the blue, which is what happened with GHOST HUNTER. When I heard my local RWA chapter set up a lecture with a team of paranormal investigators, it got me thinking right away about writing a book about a ghost hunter. Because the chapter is far from where we live, though, we didn't actually go to the lecture. I was a little bummed about that, especially since they were giving out EMF detectors. On second thought, maybe it was better we didn't go. Ghosts freak me out, so having something that can detect them probably wouldn't be a good idea.
Enough about me, back to the story behind the story. While I knew the hero was a ghost hunter named Trace, I wasn't quite sure how the heroine fit into the story, or even who she was. So, my hubby and I played around with a few ideas at our local PF Chang's (we come up with a lot of story ideas there!) We both decided that having the heroine Cassidy need the hero's help because her house was haunted or something like that didn't seem original enough, so we made her a budding romance writer who tags along with the hero and his team to do some research. Like any good story, though, it had to have some conflict, which is why Trace and Cassidy completely rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning. Actually, he thinks he's a jerk. But don't worry, Cassidy discovers underneath that rough ghost hunter exterior, Trace is just the man she's been looking for. It doesn't hurt that he's hot!
Okay, so we had our hero and heroine. Now we needed a bad guy. That's where the ghost comes in. He's not your standard, everyday ghost, though. He's a serial killer who attacked Cassidy that comes back from the grrave to continue his string of grisly murders, and she's at the top of his list. To make things even more interesting, not only can he do all the regualar ghostly stuff like walk through walls and materialize out of thin air, he can also take solid form.
I'm not going to tell you any more than that, though. Don't want to give too much away, you know. I will add that my editor at Ellora's Cave told me she got so caught up in the story, she completely forgot she was reading a submission!
Now that you know the story behind the story, I think I'll tease you with an excerpt. Enjoy!
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.
Trace was only a few miles from the address Robert had given him for Cassidy when his cell phone rang. At first he wasn’t going to answer it, but some sixth sense made him change his mind. Now he was glad he had.
He was about to disconnect the call when he heard a muffled scream on the other end of the line. It was quickly followed by a loud clatter, then nothing.
Trace felt his chest tighten. Swearing under his breath, he shoved his cell phone in the pocket of his jeans and floored the pedal on the Hummer, running a red light to get through the intersection. The other drivers honked their horns as they squealed to a stop, but he ignored them. There was no way he was going to let Cassidy die.
Five minutes later, he slid into the parking lot outside her apartment, running over an ornamental fence and a flower bed to come to a screeching halt a few feet from the front door. Jumping out of the Hummer, he ran around to the back and grabbed his duffel bag full of gear. Throwing it over his shoulder, he raced up the steps and charged through the door into the building, scaring the hell out of two women carrying laundry baskets.
“Where the hell are the stairs?” he demanded, not wanting to waste time with the elevator.
The women timidly pointed around the corner.
Trace didn’t thank them as he ran in that direction. He hit the steps hard, taking them hree at a time. Once on the fourth floor, he ran down the hall, checking the room numbers on he doors. When he came to the right one, he didn’t even bother to slow down. Instead, he icked the door in as hard as he could, reaching into his bag for his shotgun as the frame plintered and the door flew open.
He looked left and right as he entered the apartment, but there was no sign of Cassidy or el Vecchio. Trace’s blood ran cold at the scene that met his eyes. The living room looked s if a cyclone hit it. The couch and throw pillows were sliced to shreds, stuffing still floating hrough the air. The coffee table was lying on its side, as were the two end tables, and the amps that had been on them were smashed to pieces along with practically everything ele in the place. Even the walls had been slashed.
“Cassidy?” Trace called.
Trace followed the sound of her voice until he came to the kitchen. Cassidy was standing in the center of the room inside a wobbly drawn circle of salt, ready to throw a handful of something in his face. She sagged with relief at the sight of him, letting the stuff in her hand trickle out onto the floor. That was when he realized she was holding a big container of oregano.
“Is he gone?” she whispered.
Trace nodded. “Yeah, he’s gone. But I’m getting you the hell out of here anyway.”
He didn’t wait for an answer, but simply slung the shotgun over his shoulder by the strap, then walked into the kitchen and swung Cassidy up in his arms.
She put one of her own around his neck. “Is it safe for me to leave the circle?”
“Yes. I’ll keep you safe. Trust me.”
Apparently she must have believed him because she didn’t resist. She cuddled the container of oregano close to her body and leaned against his chest.
He frowned. “Cassidy, you did great with the salt circle. It saved your life without a doubt. But what are you doing with the oregano?”
She looked up at him with big, blue eyes. “Isn’t it what you used to get rid of ghosts?”
His mouth twitched. “That’s sage and garlic. You can ditch the spaghetti spice.”
“Oh,” was all she said. Resting her head on his shoulder, she let the container of oregano tumble to the floor, then put that arm around his neck, too.
Giving the place one more look to make sure Del Vecchio hadn’t come back, Trace carried her out of the apartment and right passed the alarmed neighbors who had come out into the hallway to see what the ruckus was all about. Trace imagined they got their money’s worth seeing a big guy with a shotgun and a duffel bag slung over his shoulder carrying a beautiful half-naked woman in his arms. He abruptly realized he probably should have taken a few minutes to let Cassidy grab some clothes. But then the lights in the hallway flickered and he decided he could get her clothes later. They were getting the hell out of there.
“Is she being kidnapped?” one elderly woman asked another in a low voice as he and Cassidy passed them.
“If she is,” said the other old woman, “then I want to want to be kidnapped next.”
Any other time, Trace would have laughed, but right now all he wanted to do was get Cassidy someplace safe. Fortunately, he knew exactly where to take her.
Watch the Trailer Here!
Get your copy of GHOST HUNTER at Ellora's Cave!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Hey, Dalton! Thanks for having me.
I so excited about Hot, Hard & Howling being released! I’m happy to back in the paranormal genre. I feel like home. Howling is the first in a three book series about some very special sisters who happen to be half-demon.
The poor Halflings, their human blood has diluted their magic, leaving them some very unreliable demon powers. Nell Ambercroft is the smart, sassy heroine of this first book. Telekinesis is her demon magic.
Nell and her sexy werewolf start their journey in North Carolina but soon New Orleans and the bayou steal the show. New Orleans has been a special place to me for years. As a teenager in Texas, my best friend was from NOLA.
She was a couple years older than I and she drove us from Ft. Worth once or twice a summer to visit her family and old friends back home. I think I was only 14 years old the first time I experienced Bourbon Street and all its wildness. I’ve loved a good, loud party ever since!
My heart broke watching the city as Katrina devastated the whole area. This summer I made it back for the first time since the storm. I was midway through this book at the time.
Sitting in a coffee shop in a quaint, flower packed square, I altered the entire plot line of the series. There was no question. I had to include New Orleans, her people and her spirit in these stories. I hope it shows.
Her daring demon, his raging wolf... It gets wild when things go bump in the night.
by Mari Freeman
Book one in the Hot, Hard series.
Nell Ambercroft hasn’t done anything wrong. Lately. So why is someone trying to kill her? When a horde of moths lead her to a puzzle box in her basement, the Demon Hafling knows she’s found a clue. The box has some serious mojo working, powerful enough to kill for…and Nell’s at the top of the hit list.
Enter Werewolf Trent Nicholas. As Prime for the area, it’s Trent’s job to protect Nell and investigate the crime. Nell knows he’d rather investigate her body, which is fine by her; she’s loved the man for years. While the sex is sizzling, however, Trent continues to go cold every time he leaves the warmth of her body.
Trent’s always wanted the spunky half-Demon, but the men in his family have a nasty habit of murdering their mates. He refuses to give in to his wolf’s need to claim Nell. If he doesn’t, she might not have to worry about a killer on the loose. She could die by Trent’s hand first…
An Excerpt From: HOT, HARD & HOWLING
Copyright © MARI FREEMAN, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Naked, covered in blood and with a dead human on the bathroom floor was not exactly how one wanted to greet guests. Exasperated, Nell tossed the toothbrush aside. All the scrubbing in the world wasn’t going to get that blood out.
She looked in the mirror. Curly golden hair hung wild after drying on its own as she’d tried to save the grout. Her face was still flushed from the struggle and the scrubbing. Her cheeks and chin were scratched and bloody. The scratches didn’t matter. Small wounds healed quickly for a half-Demon. Nell rubbed with her fingers to try to get smears of blood off her face. She looked around for her robe and found it lying under the dead guy’s shoulder. Nell snorted. “Great.”
She scanned the rest of the contents of the vanity. Nothing of use left. She’d tried all the cleansers under the sink and none of them were getting the rust-colored stains out. Her gaze crossed the floor. At least the pool of blood there would come up with no problem. She propped her hands on her hips. “Damn.”
“What’s going on up there?” Her sister’s voice rang from the living room. “I had a funky vision.” Sonja lived several miles up the mountain. How had she gotten there so fast?
“And of course you rushed right over.” Vision? Great. Nell and both her younger sisters were half-Demon, so their Demon powers were unpredictable at best. The curse of the Halflings, their mi-ma always said. Even their shifts were only partial.
When Sonja had visions, everyone was wary of the information contained within. The crazy things were so confusing that no one, including Sonja herself, could decipher the images. Evidently this one had been clear enough to send Sonja out into the night to come check on Nell. Hadn’t the girl ever heard of a phone?
Nell found a dirty t-shirt hanging from a hook on the back of the bathroom door and pulled it on. “Up here. Did you bring bleach?”
“Bleach?” Sonja’s voice was closer. She stopped at the entrance of the bathroom. “Oh. You know, I almost did.” She bent over the fetal body on the floor to get a better look. “Nell,” she gasped, shooting straight up. “He’s human!”
“Duh. Do you smell blood magic? I smelled it when he attacked, but since I started trying to save the shower grout, I lost track of the scent.”
Sonja raised her eyebrow. “Blood magic? Really? How would a human have the smell of that?” She stepped over the body, looking down at the object sticking out of the man’s chest. “Is that a…”
Nell cleared her throat and let out an exasperated breath. “Yeah.”
Sonja bit her lip but failed in her attempt to hold back a loud, barking laugh. “You killed a man with a dildo?”
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I also talked about my non-fiction book, The Japanese Art of Sex: How to Tease, Seduce and Pleasure the Samurai in Your Bedroom, in the comments section also find finding its way recently into e-books after being released a few years ago.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The best that I could figure was that the party celebrated our new living room furniture and accompanying paint job. Still, none of the guests knew exactly what the party was to celebrate. A few did wish me happy birthday and one brought a birthday gift. I was embarrassed to tell them it wasn't my birthday at all.
But I've decided this is a lovely tradition. Don't we all need traditions? My husband could plan to throw a surprise party every year and I could try to figure out when it was happening. I've already told him to switch up the menu. We've had the yummiest barbecue two years running, but maybe he could serve Chinese next time I suggested.
Why not throw a party just because? It's a much better reason than the typical ones. We got to enjoy our friends and celebrate being together. Sure, I showed off my new furniture. But it was the people sitting on the furniture that were important.
So I'm happy to report I had a lot of fun last evening. Our friends are sweet, lovely folks who thankfully do not trash our house. I'd include you all on the guest list for next year's party, but I don't know when it's happening and I'm not in charge of invitations.
Instead I wish you all many similar joyous occasions. It's true I like to write dark angsty stories, but without paying attention to the light in our lives, where would we be?
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Regina has a new release, so I asked her to blog with us. Thanks Regina. Take it away...
I know there’s a school of thought touting the yummy wonderfulness of the vamp as opposed to those furry, shifter heroes. I mean, what’s not to love about a vamp? He’s sexy. He’s immortal, drinks blood and is very, very cold to the touch. Just what every heroine needs to cool her off during those sweltering summer nights, right? Admittedly, I’ve loved a few vamp heroes in my day but after reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Night Play (Vane and Bride’s story) several years ago, I became a complete fangirl of shifters.
What’s not to love? He turns furry when the moon is full and makes love to his swooning heroine with a raw, savage and unbridled passion that I challenge any vamp hero to duplicate. He’s pretty damn hot too. Not only in appearance but, well…he’s hot. My heroines have not a smidge of trouble cuddling up to Mr. Hot and Furry and also enjoy the benefit of knowing he’ll be rock solid and there for her not only at night but during the daytime too. A definite plus when on the run from those pesky bad guys.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of fun penning shifter tales. My High Plains Shifters series (Ellora’s Cave) features an entire town of wolves. Using the familiar-to-me locale of west Texas, I mix the traditional cowboy/rancher/sheriff with the wolf mythos and a healthy dash of small town Texas life. My very first shifters however, are Texas panthers. Feral Moon, released at Ellora’s Cave in late 2008 tells the story of a woman who learns the secret of her birth and the means of embracing a future that is dangerous, thrilling and yes, sexy as all get out. Now I have added a second book, Panther Moon, to what has become a brand new series for me. The Savage Sanctuary series takes up where Feral Moon leaves off, introducing Hudson Cates, a warrior of the Turquoise Moon panther tribe and his mate, Chantrea Morgan. Like Feral Moon, Panther Moon is also a ménage so if you don’t enjoy sexy threesomes, this is probably not the series for you. However, if you DO like hot, ménage action and heroes who are raw, savage and ultra sexy, Panther Moon is now available at Ellora’s Cave.
Savage Sanctuary, Book Two
Running for her life, Chantrea Morgan, unmated and approaching her time of change, stumbles through the night only to be rescued by a gorgeous yet dangerous male. Blinded by instant recognition of her mate, she clings to him, her only means of salvation. Her body burns for him. Her heart aches with the need to be claimed by this wild Texas panther.
Hudson Cates, warrior of the Turquoise Moon tribe of shifters, saves his grieving mate and brings her home to claim her in the only way he can…with orgasmic pleasure, savage possession and a raw sensuality that is bred into their species. In a ritual as old as time, only he, aided by another male from their tribe, can help Trea embrace her panther beast.
An Excerpt From: PANTHER MOON
Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Chantrea carried an armload of supper dishes to the sink, the muted sounds of the television playing in the living room, making her smile. Sounded like a baseball game to her. Being an addict to the game was her dad’s one true vice. Her mother, Celia, laughed at something Brant said. Typical evening in the Morgan household. Outside the modest Texas home, crickets chirped as the wind rustled the leaves of ancient oaks and cottonwoods. An owl hooted from a faraway branch. “Hey, Mom, dinner was great,” she called as she loaded the dishwasher, turned it on and headed into the living room.
Celia smiled from her position curled up against her husband of several centuries. “Love it when a new recipe turns out.”
Brant kissed the top of his wife’s blonde head and winked at Trea as she wandered into the room. “You did good, hon.”
As an unmated female panther, she had grown up knowing she wanted what her parents had. Love. Affection. The deepest kind of understanding between mates. It was so heartwarming to witness their love firsthand. She was constantly in awe.
Wandering to the wide mantel over the fireplace, she shoved her hands in the pockets of her worn jersey shorts and looked at the pictures lovingly displayed there. “I miss Maxwell.” Her sigh was soft but even over the sounds of the game she knew her folks heard it.
“Your brother had to leave, honey. It was his time,” her mother said with calm conviction. Trea turned at the slight hitch evident in her mother’s voice and knew Mom missed him too. “He likes his job in Houston though he still hasn’t found any females of our species. There are just so few of us left but maybe, just maybe he’ll be one of the lucky males to find the perfect mate. You would think it easy in a city of over five million people. I know it hurts that he had to go but it’s natural, honey. He’s a man and gods know there is no future out here in the boonies.
We’ve lived like hermits for so long.” Celia lifted a brow and glanced at Brant. “It hasn’t been fair to either of our children.”
Trea picked up the framed photo of her brother and herself taken during one of their rare family vacations. Tracing the handsome, male face, she blinked back moisture from her eyes as a blast of love caught her off guard. Like her, Max was blond and green-eyed but there the similarities stopped. Where she was slender, small, and to her way of thinking, rather ordinary, her brother Maxwell was a bonafide heartstopper. The gorgeous rascal was built like a tree trunk, broad-shouldered and handsome as sin. He was the kind of guy who’d made the local girls melt but he had carefully avoided all but the most necessary entanglements with humans. Smart dude. Trea was so proud of him and couldn’t help but wish him well in finding a mate of his own. The lady would be a very lucky feline. No doubt about it.
Behind her, Trea heard her parents shift position and she turned, surprised, when her dad pushed a button on the remote to turn off the television. Silence, sharp and somewhat ominous, fell into the depths of the small cabin. “We need to talk, princess.”
Frowning, she replaced the photo and gingerly sat on the edge of an overstuffed chair to look at her parents. Something about her father’s tone sent worry to dance over her spine. “What’s up, Dad?”
Brant Morgan focused his gaze on her. “Your mother and I have been talking.” He cleared his throat, obviously uncomfortable. “Chantrea, you are nearing your time. Maybe this is a good moment to—”
Trea’s face burned. “Dad!”
Celia patted Brant’s arm. “Love of mine, you are so clueless. Let me.”
He shook his head and sighed heavily, seeming downright relieved to let someone else tackle the delicate subject of a female were panther having her first heat. “Good. Go for it.”
Celia wasn’t deterred, focusing an intelligent gaze on her. “For all these years, we’ve tried to keep you safe out here in the country. You know panthers are solitary creatures and it’s uncomfortable for us to live among crowds. It’s stifling. Invasive. It was a huge risk for us to even let you attend the public school in town but, honey, we have worried so much about you. You’ve been so isolated out here in the woods of east Texas. No friends. Nothing that normal human girls come to enjoy. You don’t have a real life out here.”
“But I’m not human, Mom. It’s okay.” Chantrea knew darn good and well her life wasn’t normal. Sometimes it made her sad but this wasn’t the fault of her parents. They had to protect her. It was their duty and she would never fault them for the lonely state of her life. She shook her head and smiled, not wanting them to stress about the choices they’d made. “Really. Don’t worry about me.”
“We have to, Trea,” her dad said, leaning forward to prop his forearms over his sturdy thighs. “It wasn’t possible for you to date the local boys, honey. You know we don’t mix but you are a woman now. Things are, um—”
Once again, Celia put her hand out to stop him. “Happening to your body.”
Trea swallowed hard, knowing the utter truth of Mom’s words. Already she felt flashes of heat zip through her with astounding effect. Soon she would be helpless to the oncoming change and facing the shift from woman to panther would be the most horrible thing imaginable when dealing with it alone. She knew she couldn’t do it. The time to mate was upon her. Discomfort climbed over her flesh and buried itself deep in her belly. “Do we have to talk about this now?”
“We’ve decided to move to Sanctuary,” her dad baldly stated. “It’s time.”