Friday, October 28, 2011

Promo Goodies

By: Casey Crow

I'm up to my eyeballs in grits. That's right -- the good ol' southern, comfort food. It's what I use for my promotional item since my tagline is "Sexy, Sassy & Southern." I attach my card to a little packet, although I don't use the Quaker kind because that would totally defeat the "southern" aspect.

I'm getting ready to be a featured author at the 2011 Southern Magic Reader's Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama next weekend. This got me thinking about all the different promotional items authors use. I'm sure you've seen some great ones, memorable ones, and not so great ones. You can rack up at conferences with pens and bookmarks, postcards. Those get an author's name out there and are inexpensive. It's especially nice when a Hersey's Kiss is attached. Who doesn't like to be bribed with chocolate?

Ipersonally like to see a promo piece that represents YOU or YOUR BOOK. I also like to see items that you'll actually use because the more you use them, the more often you'll see that authors name until it is engrained in your memory. That's why pens and bookmarks are popular, but let's think outside the box. Here are some other examples:
ChapStick - Hank Phillippi Ryan used it for her book FACE TIME
Keyboard duster - Keenia Kincaid probably isn't the only one who likes to eat crackers while working
Pecker Puppets & Condoms - popular with erotic authors
Enviro friendly reusuable shopping bags

Do you have any ideas or remember seeing a great promo goody?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Internet Sucks

I don't know about you, but where I live, I don't have much choice in what service providers I can use for my internet. Working from home is awesome but if you rely on staying online all day like I do--it sucks when you have internet connectivity woes.

Too bad I can't beat my internet into submission but it's good to be able to bitch and moan about it. As a tech person, the internet is a genius invention and I wish I had thought it up...frankly, for all the awesome ways it makes our life and work easier, sometimes it's a bit of a crutch. We depend on it so much that we forget to stop and smell the roses. We forget that our obsession makes us neglect the important things like family, friends, significant others...I suppose I realized one day that I was a totally and complete workaholic. I had been working from 6 AM to 3AM the next morning! I lost a whole day!! Yep, because we are so dependent on our computers, it's taking over our lives.

I've been noticing the little things more and more lately, especially when I decided to step away from work to actually enjoy time away from the computer. I've missed so much already so being able to get back to the real world instead of staring at the computer screen all day makes a difference. As much as I love living in my jammies, it's more exciting to dress up and get some fresh air.

What do you do to break away from your workaholism?

Artwork by ©2011 ~AirieX

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"A Naughty Christmas Carol:" Scrooge meets Wall Street

Cover photo:
© Carlo Dapino | Dreamstime.com

"Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!"

Jingle bells and all that jazz.

Wait, it’s not even Halloween yet and I’m writing a Christmas post?

I couldn’t resist because I just self-pubbed my erotic holiday novella, A Naughty Christmas Carol where “Scrooge meets Wall Street.

Like my fellow NAC author, Wynter Daniels, who recently self-pubbed her story, Employee Relations [see her NAC post “Breaking the Rules” for details], my story breaks a few rules, too.

Male pov. Bad boy persona. Hero makes love to more than one woman. Lusts after a sexy ghost.

But hey, this is a Scrooge-like alpha male in Armani we’re talking about!

In the end, "A Naughty Christmas Carol" is a romance with a sexy hero and a beautiful heroine who find out there is a Santa Claus--with the help of three ghosts.

It’s been a crazy and insane time putting together my holiday story about a Wall Street trader who is visited by three sexy female ghosts on Christmas Eve, but I was determined to get the story up for this holiday season.

I’ve always loved the Dickens’ classic about Scrooge and his scratchy quill pen. But what if Scrooge worked on Wall Street and used a smart phone instead?

And what if his faithful clerk, Mr. Cratchit, was a gorgeous blond secretary?

Hmm…I decided our modern Scrooge would also have a beautiful fiancĂ©e and frequent a gentleman’s club. Since I write erotic romance, I made it a BDSM club.

Next, I was off and running, turning my Naughty Christmas Carol into a 30,000 word novella.

Writing the story had me laughing and crying at the same time. I couldn’t believe I could get so emotional every time I read the Christmas morning scene when the hero finds out he hasn’t missed Christmas and goes about “mending his greedy corporate ways.”

I don’t want to give anything away, but I can guarantee you sexy times with the hero and the ladies in his life. I must admit my adventure into the land of self-publishing has been exhilarating, liberating, fun and challenging.

I had to learn a whole, new language while formatting my manuscript. From .prc to web filtered to hidden bookmarks, it’s been a rewarding experience getting my manuscript up on Amazon. I felt like I’d won the lottery when I went to my Amazon Bookshelf and it said A Naughty Christmas Carol was “publishing.”

I did it.

The bells and whistles went off…okay, so it was only me yelling and hollering, but I wasn’t finished yet. According to Amazon, it would take twenty-four hours for A Naughty Christmas Carol to go “live.”

Jeez, I can write another novella in that time.

Just kidding.

Guess what?  A Naughty Christmas Carol is live!

Go to my Amazon page and click on the sample to read the first erotic scene with my bad boy trader, Nick Radnor, and his sexy secretary, Jinger Hunt.

It’s Christmas Eve when we open and Nick is having sex in his office with Jinger wearing nothing but a garter belt and sexy red high heels.

"Ho, ho, ho!”

Next time I’ll be back with more Titanic stories…and hopefully some exciting news!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time

My favorite time of the year is upon us. Yes, I'm talking about Halloween. Only one more week! Any time I can work Halloween into one of my books, I do. Protective Custody, for example, begins with a murder on Halloween night!

So it should come as no surprise that I have quite the collection of spooky decorations. Or that I do up my house big time for the holiday. My husband is floored that our attic is packed with more totes full of Halloween decor than Christmas/Hanukkah decor! So without further ado, here's a sampling.





This little display is in my office.


I love that this lighted pumpkin is carved top side forward instead of the usual way.




The jack-o-lantern below has fiber optic lights strung through the straw hair and around the hat, eyes, mouth and nose.




 I fell in love with the wreath on the right. The witch has so much detail from her multi-colored tulle broom to her pointy shoes and frizzy hair!


This is the front entrance to my house. I have a mini graveyard complete with tombstones and a spooky fence.




Here's a closeup of the guy guarding the door. When I brought him home from the store several years ago, my son asked my daughter what it was supposed to be. Without blinking, she said, "That's Mom right before we have company." That moniker has stuck!
 This grim reaper hangs from the dining room chandelier.



And this little guy is animated. He plays Great Balls of Fire as he plays the organ. His eyes light up and his hands actually move along the keys.  He's an old family favorite.



And this lovely lady hangs next to DH's computer desk.



This is another animated decoration. He sings Hot, Hot, Hot. His eyes light up bright red and his mouth moves.


I hope you've enjoyed my tour of my Halloween props. Everything goes up October first and comes down November first. As I decorate, I can be heard singing It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

What do you love most about this season? I hope you and your family have a happy, safe and spooky holiday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hot NEW Cowboy BDSM Menage! AND THE RANCH HAND MAKES THREE!

I'm so excited to announce I have a new release! My Hot NEW Cowboy BDSM Menage AND THE RANCH HAND MAKES THREE, the Sequel to my Bestselling KARLEIGH'S COWBOYS, is now available!

When I first wrote KARLEIGH'S COWBOYS, I hadn't intended to do a sequel, but it was so popular and so many readers were interested in knowing more about Karleigh's best friend Heather that I couldn't resist. So, I came up with a story for Heather and her husband Clint, and their new ranch hand Blaine. It's hot, it's kinky and it's super sexy! Hope you like it!





Blurb:

In this sequel to Karleigh’s Cowboys, Heather Collins and her husband Clint hire hunky new ranch hand Blaine Saunders. While he clearly has the qualifications to work on a ranch, Heather and Clint are more interested in how good he is in bed.

Clint gets turned on by watching his wife have sex with other men, and since Heather is more than happy to oblige, she doesn’t waste any time seducing Blaine. She and the new ranch hand go from knocking boots in the barn to putting on a show for her husband before finally engaging in a kinky threesome that involves bondage, spanking and some scorching hot sex for all three of them.


Excerpt:

Blaine showed up promptly at eight that night. Having spent the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening thinking about what she had planned, Heather was already turned on as hell and only barely restrained herself from jumping him the minute Clint let him in. But the anticipation only made what all three of them were about to do that much sexier.

Heather greeted him with a long, slow kiss, then smiled pulled away to smile up at him. “Ready to demonstrate some more of those talents I witnessed today, sugar?”

He grinned. “Yes, ma’am.”

Pulse quickening, she took Blaine’s hand and led him down the hallway, stopping in front of a door at the far end. Clint followed, his dark eyes glinting with excitement. Giving the men a sultry look, she opened the door and led the way down the steps to the part of the house she and Clint affectionately called the “playroom.” The comfortable couch, plasma TV and king-size bed wouldn’t have looked out of place in any finished basement. The spanking implements and bondage gear, on the other hand, most assuredly would. As would the expensive leather saddle sitting on a stand to one side of the room.

Heather turned to see Blaine’s reaction to the sex toys, and found him regarding them with a mix of surprise and intrigue. There was a small smile playing around the corners of his lips, too. As if he was already thinking about which of those toys he’d like to try out. Her pulse quickened.

Unlike last night, Clint was going to participate instead of simply watching, so Heather wasn’t surprised when he took the lead. Coming over to her, he circled behind to wrap his arms around her waist. His erection pressed up against her ass, hard and throbbing inside his jeans, and she felt her pussy spasm in response. Pushing her long hair to one side, he pressed a kiss to the curve of her neck. His free hand found the knot on the sash of her short robe, deftly untying it. She was naked underneath the garment and when it fell open, he ran his hand up her midriff to cup her breast.

On the other side of the room, Blaine devoured them with his eyes as Clint teased her nipple with one hand while cupping her sex with the other. Heather licked her lips, turned on as much from Blaine watching them as she was from Clint touching her.

Her husband brushed her ear with his lips, his breath blowing shivers across her. “Time to mount up, babe.”

At the command, Heather slipped her robe off her shoulders and walked over to the saddle. Putting one foot in the stirrup, she gracefully swung her other leg over the side. But instead of sitting down on the saddle like she would if she were riding a horse, though, she leaned forward so that the upper half of her body was on the seat. The position forced her to arch her back, which put her bare ass up in the air and her pussy on display for the men. It also put her clit in perfect contact with on the cantle, and she couldn’t help grinding against the leather as she made herself comfortable. Then she wrapped her hands around the saddle horn and gave the two men a come-and-get-me look over her shoulder.

Clint walked past her and over to the shelf with the bondage gear. Well, one of the shelves, anyway. She already knew what he was getting, but her heart still beat wildly when she saw him pick up the rubber bit gag. Not only did the horse-style bit go hand-in-hand with the equine theme, but it always got her aroused as hell.

When Clint offered the gag to her, Heather obediently opened her mouth so he could put it between her teeth. A quiver went through her as he buckled the gag behind her neck, and she let out a little whimper. When he was done, he ran his hand down her back and over the curve of her derriere to tease her exposed pussy with his fingers. She lifted her bottom higher, silently begging for more, only to be rewarded with a hard smack on the ass.

Startled, she squealed against the gag.

Her husband chuckled wickedly. “Your pussy will get plenty of attention after Blaine and I tan this gorgeous ass of yours.”

Blaine. She’d been so caught up in what Clint was doing she forgot the ranch hand was there.

She turned her head to glance at him, and caught her breath. Dang, if he didn’t look like he’d just like to eat her right up. And dang, if she didn’t want him to. After her spanking, of course.

Heather held her breath as Clint surveyed the spanking implements hanging on the wall. There were paddles of every shape, size and thickness, as well as straps, floggers and riding crops, so he had a lot to choose from. He must have wanted to keep with the equine theme because he picked the black riding crop with the loop on the end. She trembled just from the thought of him using it on her.

Clint glanced at Blaine, then jerked his head at the remaining spanking implements on the wall. “Take your pick.”

Blaine’s eyes locked with Heather’s for a moment before he walked over to browse the selection. He spent a long time considering the paddles, even taking a few of the wood ones off their hooks to smack them experimentally against his hand, but in the end, he decided on a strap. Two inches wide and made of supple leather, it was one of her favorite things to get spanked with.

Clint crossed the room to stand beside her, where he flicked the slapper at the tip of the crop against his jean-clad leg. Heather blinked up at him expectantly.

“Ready for your spanking, babe?”

She nodded, mumbling around the gag as she presented her ass even higher in the air.




Buy it on Amazon Kindle!
http://www.amazon.com/Ranch-Sequel-Karleighs-Cowboys-ebook/dp/B005UGFOCI/ref=sr_1_34?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318338604&sr=1-34



Buy it at All Romance eBooks!
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-andtheranchhandmakesthreesequeltokarleigh039scowboys-612756-146.html



Happy Reading!


*hugs*
Paige

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

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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Against the Wall

The title pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? You all know how much I love a double entendre.

This is a new show on Lifetime on Sunday nights, and I’m addicted. Yes, I’m addicted to yet another TV show. Thank god for TiVo.

Here are the basics (SPOILER ALERT):

Abby is the youngest child and only daughter in a family of cops. Yes, dad and 3 older brothers are cops. Mom is a baker. Abby joins internal affairs. The family freaks.

Remember, this is Lifetime. Easy on the realism, heavy on the drama. So why has this joined my list of must see’s? Abby likes her guys hot, likes to have sex, and she makes no apologies for it.

Now, as the season winds down, she kind of has a whole Ranger/Morelli thing going, and it’s good.

Abby started out with a hot bod stress-relief screw. Yes, she was secretly doing another cop (her brother’s partner, no less), and when I say it was for stress relief, I’m not kidding. The scene would have her calling someone and saying, “I need to see you tonight.” Next few frames showed her having ultra hot sex with Mr. 6 pack abs. As soon as they were done, she was getting dressed and he watched her leave in disbelief, unable to decide if he was the luckiest man on earth, or feeling like a piece of meat.

A few episodes in, the cat is out of the bag that they are indulging, and Meat - er, his name is Brody - decides he wants more. Click here to see for yourself.

Unfortunately for him, Abby is now being pursued by old flame Danny. Danny knows her ways and is playing hot to get. Er, I mean hard to get.

Meanwhile, Abby and her very-pregnant-always-eating partner are solving crimes and dealing with Abby’s interfering family. Yada yada, back to Abby and her boy toys.

The 2 hour season finale is this Sunday, and I’m pretty sure it’s Danny she’s finally having hot sex with in the teaser. Question is, where’s Brody? It wouldn’t surprise me if he was the appetizer, he’s in the bathroom, or he’s, er, coming for dessert.

Bottom line? If she were the fourth boy of the family, her brothers would all be slapping her on the back in awe.

You go, girl. I’m in awe, and I’ll be watching.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sexy Man Parts

What's the first thing you notice about a man? Hair color and build, for me. I like 'em tall, dark and handsome. When I get up close enough to see them, it's the eyes that fascinate me most. If you asked a hundred different women what the sexiest part of a man is, you'd get all sorts of answers. I bet the eyes would come up, then maybe smile, arms, chest, butt. Especially if he's got some sexy muscles to show off!

All that aside, I think my very favorite thing on a man are his hands. Well kept, with clean nails trimmed super short (I don't know why, but seeing guys with longish fingernails totally squicks me out). I don't know why I find that so sexy, but I do. 'Course, it's also important how he uses them!

So there you go, I guess I have a hand fetish. But sexy arms are nice too. What are your favorite man parts, and why do you find them sexy?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marital Discord and that Wooow Feeling

Yes, you heard it here. Only two weeks after celebrating my eleventh wedding anniversary I am now experiencing marital trouble. Though I love my husband, I just don’t know if I can forgive this betrayal. I’m angry, but more than that, I’m hurt. Last Friday he informed me that he intended to go see the remake of Footloose…how could he? This is about more than one hundred and twenty minutes of pseudo-Ren-and-Ariel-wannabees crunkin’ and line-dancing in possibly the last drive-in movie theatre in America. This is about solidarity! Agreement! Principle! And he abandoned the front. I mean, what’s next? Tickets for the Dirty Dancing remake? ‘Cause the last one did sooo well.

Okay, rant over. Had to get that out.

Believe it or not, Benedict Simone is not the subject of my post today. It’s about that “Wooow” feeling. Kind of similar to the “For reeaall” feeling, but not the same thing. This Saturday a member of my RWA chapter and I spent the afternoon speaking to teenagers about writing powerful and memorable heroines. Yes, I said teenagers. Now you have to know I prayed before going there. Because first, I don’t like speaking in front of people and...did I mention teenagers?? My son starts to get that “Oh look at the pretty flowers” look in his eyes when I talk and he has to listen to me! So imagine my anxiety! I went in there with a bit of a nervous stomach and those kids looked at me...and I looked at them…and the Tilt-a-Whirl in my gut came to an abrupt halt. Lisa, my friend from my chapter, had already arrived, and begun the workshop. I dived right in and, together, we had a wonderful experience. Time seemed non-existent as all of us started talking about a topic we loved—reading and writing. These kids were amazing! Simply amazing! I was in awe of their minds! The creativity, emotion, characters, plot...if I was a wee bit less ethical one of their plots might have turned up in my book!!

At one point a sixteen year-old girl read aloud the characteristics from her brainstorm list, and started detailing the plot. I’m not going to give it away, but one moment I’m leaning forward and the next I’m pinned to the back of my chair, blown away by her plot twist. All I’m going to reveal is it had to do with a circus, a gift, love and abandonment issues. Oh and a fire-eater. Okay, you had to be there. It was awesome! And that wasn’t even the “Wooow” moment. That came when a fifteen year old boy spoke about his character, a blacksmith, who desired to be more than this family job that was expected of him. The smile that came over his face as he talked about his hero...just wooow. My stomach did another flip, but this time in reaction to the joy and excitement in his grin over writing. I realized at that moment, that Lisa and I were looking at the authors whose books my children would read one day. The pleasure in those kids' eyes and faces as their characters and stories started to develop was priceless. Though we had come to instruct them on deepening their characters and bringing them to life, we were the ones honored to be there.

I think the revelation I received that day offset the stinging betrayal of hubby with the Footloose-Stomp-the-Yard debacle...it was close, though...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lying; A Tool for Tension

I prepared this blog way in advance, knowing readers would click on our blog site Monday morning and be eager to have something new and fresh to read. Okay, I'm lying. I forgot to prepare something for today until I woke up this morning. Then I scrambled to figure out what to post before I had to get the kids ready for school and myself ready for work.

Why would I lie? Well at the last minute I found this really intriguing TED.com video. Imagine me posting a TED video? (Insert eye roll because it's become an addiction.) But the video is about lying, the prevalence of it, why we do it, how we spot it. I found it interesting research for writers because we can use this information during our stories as we paint portraits of characters and describe their mannerisms. Lying is a great way to add tension to our stories. And apparently a very realistic piece of daily lives. So watch this video as research if you are a writer. If you are a reader, you should watch anyway. Because apparently in our everyday lives we are being lied to all the time. The next time I read a novel I'm planning to notice how often this tool is used in story tension.

Now go out there and have a truth-filled day. Or not.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A cool contest I just had to share

Announcement: Go Trick or Treating with your Favorite Authors!
Want to have lots of fun and play for a chance at an iPad ereader and tons of goodies? Join me and a dozen other talented paranormal authors (lucky 13!) at Sam Cheever’s fifth annual Trick or Treating Bash on a street near you! Some of your favorite paranormal authors live on Sam’s street, and they will be waiting by the door with tricks and treats for you. The lucky winner gets a Halloween Bag with an iPad e-reader in it, books, t-shirts, candy, and other wonderful prizes from the authors who live on Sam’s street. There will also be a bonus prize for one lucky winner from AuthorIsland.com!
To play, visit Sam’s Halloween Contest page at http://www.samcheever.com/Halloween_Contest_2011.html **If you have trouble with the above link, you can access the contest through Sam’s Contest page on her website: www.samcheever.com.
Only one trip down the street per contestant and you must be at least 18 to play!
Come and join the fun and play for a chance to win an iPad and a bag of goodies. You might be surprised to learn who lives on Sam’s street!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recipe from the Gulf Coast RWA Chapter





I had the pleasure of hosting at my home the October meeting for the lovely ladies of the Romance Writers of America Gulf Coast Chapter. Everyone brought goodies to munch on, and I made a few dips. One in particular had members requesting the recipe so I'd thought I share it with you, too. I should point out that my number one criteria when selecting a recipe is that it must be EASY!



Creamy Corn Dip
Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) can Shoe Peg corn, 1/2 undrained

1 can Mexicorn, 1/2 undrained
1/2 cup purple onion

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
Paprika & salt to taste



Directions
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Great with corn chips, crackers, vegetables, or as a cold side dish.


There are several versions of this recipe. For a spicier dip, add diced green chilies (drained), diced jalapeno pepper, more purple onion, and/or cayenne pepper. I also used fat free mayo and sour cream. This is best made the day before serving.


Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Me Time


The weather is slowly cooling off and now I can finally see the change in season. I can honestly say the winter months are my favorite ones because I am a total romantic at heart! Nothing beats seeing the Christmas lights go up around town to add a special touch to the atmosphere. Those twinkling  lights always wind up in my books somehow but that's something I can't help...  :)  

More than anything, the cold weather reminds me how close we are to the major holidays...and the coming new year. Wow, can you believe 2011 is almost over? I swear this year has flown by and the jarring truth has made me realize that I've not been able to have "me time" in such a long while. Gone are those years when I used to make an effort to go to the spa and get the full treatment regularly. These days it's hard enough trying to remember to schedule a pedicure. That's why I've realized that I deserve to slow down a bit to enjoy what's left of the year. All this working non-stop has made me miss out on all the little things.

I've decided to carve out a day each week just for myself because life isn't going to wait for me to stop and smell the roses. Either I make the time or I'll regret not doing it. We are all busy with family, children, work--not to mention a zillion other obligations in our lives, but we should always make ourselves the top priority. Two years ago when a dear friend of my passed away, I realized life was too short and decided to create a goal to try something new each year...first it was knitting, then it was joining a gym to get fit again, and now it's guitar lessons. I can say that it breathed a new life into me and just one simple thing really made a difference....

What about you? I challenge you to make one goal a year and stick to it. Go out of your comfort zone and /or try something you've always wanted to do but never made time to...start now because I guarantee when you look back on your life, you'll be very pleased you've done it! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Titanic headline that wasn't true

"2,000 lives are saved off wrecked Titanic by wireless; vessel is reported sinking."

Hold on, are we in an alternative universe? Two thousand lives saved off the Titanic when every historian will tell you only 705 passengers survived the sinking on April 15, 1912?

No, this isn't some Edwardian version of the Twilight Zone. The headline above was printed on April 15, 1912 by The Denver Times.*

According to the Monday evening edition (consisting of sixteen pages and costing 2 cents), several ships including the Virginian and the Parisian were within distance of the Titanic and the Baltic "was coming up fast."

The newspaper went on to report that all the women and children had been rescued and the lifeboats were the "…very latest in the lifeboat design, wide and unsinkable." No mention was made of the fact there weren't enough lifeboats on the Titanic to save all the passengers.

The story continued for several pages and on page 5, the headline decreed: "Dreaded C.Q.D. of wireless brings rescuers quickly to the side of the crippled Titanic."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The only ship close enough to effect a rescue was the Cunard liner Carpathia and she was 58 miles away. When her captain, A. H. Rostron, received the distress message from the Titanic, he turned his ship around and traveled full speed ahead through dangerous icy waters to reach the sinking liner.

When the ship arrived, all they found were half-frozen men and women in a few lifeboats.

My heroine, Katie O'Reilly, was in one of those boats:
The glassy icebergs entombed the lifeboats.

Impenetrable guardians they were, reminding Katie of their silent power to destroy everything she loved. Something in her stomach twisted at the sight of the bergs tinted a pale gray against a pinkish horizon, but she fought back the pain. Fought hard, until all that was left was a nagging prayer that reminded her she still wasn’t safe.

She pulled the chilly air into her lungs, held her breath, then put her shoulder to the oar and tried to ignore the mountains of icebergs emerging through the darkness as daylight crept over the ice field. She wasn’t alone in her despair. Through the veil covering her face, she looked at the other passengers.

Women, mostly first cabin ladies with some steerage speaking a language she didn’t understand.

Babies, seamen.

All trying desperately to survive the night.
The Carpathia was the only ship to rescue passengers from the Titanic.

On April 16, 1912, the Denver Post went to press with a headline closer to the truth: "1,300 perish when Titanic sinks; 866 known to be rescued." (1,517 perished and 705 survived).

Also on the front page in large letters was a quote from Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) worth noting:

So fleet the works of men, back to the earth again; ancient and holy things fade like a dream."



*The Denver Times was the afternoon edition of the Rocky Mountain News, which ceased publishing in 2009.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Breaking the Rules

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm a stickler for "The Rules." I'm a champion of fairness and with most things, I find a sense of order in doing things the way they are supposed to be done.

But when it comes to writing erotic romance, sometimes the rules need to be broken. Case in point: A book I recently self-published, Employee Relations.

I first pitched this book to an agent at a conference several years ago (not the agent I eventually landed). That agent seemed interested and asked for the full manuscript. I got her feedback (and rejection) only a week or so later. She loved my voice, really enjoyed the concept of the book. But (isn't there always one of those?) some elements of the book fell outside the lines of traditional romance.

I made a few changes the agent suggested then pitched it to a publisher. The editor got back to me quickly. They liked it a lot, but the hero's troubled teenage daughter made the book a poor fit for the line. They suggested I remove that character. You can't have a kid in an erotic romance even if that kid has nothing to do with the sexual relationship of the hero and heroine. 

Now, that teenage character was integral to the story's conflict and resolution. If I took her out, I wouldn't have a story.


So I sat on the book. Then the self-publishing boom hit and I thought, what the heck? So I gave the book a face lift and put it out there. I've now made more money on this book than any of my other books. Employee Relations has garnered rave reader reviews and I couldn't be happier.

Just goes to show you. Sometimes it really pays off when you break the rules. Sometimes, you know in your heart it's just the right thing to do.

What about you? Have you even broken the rules and triumphed?

Friday, October 7, 2011

RomantiCon Rocked!

RomantiCon totally rocked! It helped that I wasn't as nervous as I was the first time! As you can tell from all the pics I took with my favorite Caveman, Angelo! LOL! It was so awesome seeing everyone again, and meeting new people!



It was also nice getting there earlier on Thursday so we could go to the Meet n Greet that night. Though it was freezing in the room, the Caveman (and my hubby!) warmed it up for me soon enough. I ran around finding everyone I knew so I could say hi. And get pics, of course. I love pictures. I mean, I really, really love pictures. In fact, we took over a hundred while we were there!

I absolutely loved that there were two costume parties, too! I'm always so excited to see how everyone is dressed! I say we do that again! Who's with me?!



For the first party, we were transported back to the stone age. Which seems appropriate since there were Cavemen in attendance, don't you think? LOL! As you can imagine, the Cavemen were wearing loin cloths and not much else! They gave two performances, which were super hot, then got together for a group pic outside the ballroom. Unlike last time, I wasn't too shy to take pics with them, as you can see on my Facebook page! Oh, hubby and I got dressed up as a cave couple, and after we spent most of the night on the dance floor, Angelo (did I mention he's my favorite Caveman?!) made my hubby an honorary Caveman. Very fun!

The next day, we had lunch with my editor, which was a riot! Then that night was the Fururistic/Steampunk party and awards dinner. We dressed steampunk, a look I could totally go for! The Caveman came out dressed as Jedi's, and I gotta say, I never thought of Jedi's being sexy until I saw them! Then they took off their robes and got the pulse racing in pair of skintight pants and boots. Yeah, they looked good! Even more so, when they took of the pants! They perfomed two dances that night, as well as a firedance.




Oh, and I won a Superstar award for Voodoo Zombie Lover for my paranormal romance, DEAD SEXY! I was so surprised and excited! Especially since that meant more pics with the Cavemen! LOL!

Yikes, almost forgot! Angelo (you know, my favorite Caveman) won the Alpha Caveman award! And yes, in case you're wondering, I voted for him!




The weekend concluded with a pajama bingo party. It was back in the freezing cold room, but thanks to the Cavemen and my hubby I warmed up quick enough! LOL!




Thanks, EC, for a great party! Can't wait until next time!


Oh, and if you want to see more pics of the Cavemen, and me with Angelo, come on over to my FB page!

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1111715782


*hugs*
Paige

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

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com

http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Romanticon 2011

I know I've warned you that I'm not a good photographer, and everything I learned in Alaska about using the camera seemed to have flown right out of my head when facing testosterone instead of nature and wildlife. Really, can you blame me?

Here's a shot from the first party, The Stone Age.










Here's Rodney. We were so thrilled to see him there, and he emceed all of the events. He's the man and always will be. And if you can tear your eyes away from him, these are the Cougar Challenge authors, minus a few who couldn't be there.



Then we come to the Futuristic party. Wow, there were some fab costumes! Here are some pics that speak for themselves.

Ciana Stone and Kathy Kulig
Tiffany Bryan



















Kaenar Langford



















Cathy M., Cover Model CJ, & Tiffany Bryan.
Cathy and Tiffany were awesome help with mom and my Stone Age costumes, and I owe them a huge thanks. THANKS! You saved me an unbelievable amount of time.



The Bitches and their new Boy Toy, Alex!










Dancing the night away









The big booksigning was on Sunday. I didn't get many pics because I was, well, signing, but here are a few. Found out that it's Alex on the new cover of Art of Modern Love. Hot Damn!

Alex is a true gentleman, and sexy as hell to boot. And man, can he dance!











Speaking of dance, there were burlesque and pole dancers who performed during the booksigning, and they gave workshops! I didn't get to attend, dammit, but I hope they'll be there next year, too. Definitely a big hit.












And then there was Pajama Bingo. Pajama Bingo was the end of the weekend, last thing on Sunday, let your hair down and enjoy yourself. And apparently your pants, too. It was fun, silly, and we laughed our asses off and won prizes. What could be better? Did I mention that it was run by Rodney?
























The O Behind the Big O

All of us here read erotic romance, so we've been exposed to many varieties of sex, kink, etc, in the books we read. Some scenarios will trip your switch, others not so much, yet there's always that undeniable attraction between the characters. It intensifies as the story progresses, the lovers become closer, more attached throughout the book. You've experienced it in your personal life, I'm sure. There's an explanation for those intense feelings, as it turns out. Chemistry is real, people.

Do you know the scientific reason of what this "chemistry" between partners actually is? Oh yeah, it's chemical, all right. One of the most powerful and important of those chemicals is a hormone and neurotransmitter called oxytocin. You've probably heard of it in terms of mothers bonding with their newborns, but maybe you weren't aware that it's necessary between lovers too. For both men and women, as a matter of fact.

How important is it for the process of bonding? According to this article,

"Once believed to confine its effects to inducing labor and milk ejection, oxytocin actually has far-reaching effects on both sexes. You could not fall in love without it. These days it goes by nicknames such as "the bonding hormone," "the cuddle hormone," and even "the love hormone." The primary conscious behavior or thought process that increases oxytocin is caring for another. Appreciation, generous touch, gratitude, and emotional connections with others also raise oxytocin levels."

The more bonded we feel to our partner, the more oxytocin we will produce. Touching, cuddling, that sort of intimate closeness increases the level of oxytocin, making us feel bonded, secure. Loved. Now I know why I crave cuddling so much! I knew there had to be a reason. 

So there you have it, the O behind the Big O. Food for thought, no? Now go cuddle your partner!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flowers, Candles and Red Box

Friday I celebrated my eleventh year wedding anniversary. Eleven years with my wonderful, supportive, sexy husband. Oh how I love thee! One of the reasons I love and appreciate him so much is he had to put up with me for over a decade...and he stuck around when any sane man would have run screaming for the Downy-scented-laundry-folded-hot-meals-on-the-table hills. Maybe I made him crazy enough to stay.

One of the odd things about our pairing is he's such a romantic and, well, I'm not. I know, I know. How can a romance writer not be romantic? Believe me. It's possible. My pastor asked me the same question when he found out what I wrote--which was right after he received a letter from an anonymous member who wanted me put out of the church because of my evil, depraved ways...Apparently me and Jezebel are kin! Hee-hee! Seriously, I think he was more shocked that the woman from the annual couple retreats who follows up the word "sex" with "I don't need all that. Let's just get to it" is the same one who pens hot and detailed love scenes. It's true though. I don't need all the bells and whistles. Flowers and candles. Ropes and feathers. The first time my husband sent flowers to my job for a birthday I later told him, it was sweet 'n all, but don't bother. Black stuff grows on the vase, the flowers die and I feel like I'm watching thirty bucks die on the vine. That's depressing! Give me a pair of shoes or a gift card to Barnes 'n Nobles and let's call it a day. He might have been a little perturbed then but with distance, I really think he appreciated my honesty.

In my humble opinion--and since this is my blog I can give it--romance is subjective. One person's candlelit dinner is another's Red Box movie and take-out. That would be me, by the way. My idea of a great time is a whole day together doing nothing but lying in bed and watching t.v. or movies. Add some take-out from our favorite Italian restaurant and I'm in Utopia. His idea, on the other hand, is a linen-covered table, candles, wine, flowers, great food and Kenny G--or R. Kelly--playing softly in the background. Sometimes I feel like pulling the Julia Roberts card in Pretty Woman and say, Hey, I'm kind of a sure thing. But I know sex isn't the reason--well, not the main reason--he loves doing these things for me. It's his way of expressing his affection and appreciation. So, as bad as it sounds, I let him. And he lets me.

Although, this weekend he did surprise me with a gaw-geous hotel room complete with flower petals from the door to the bed, votive candles, a fountain and Cherry Coke chilling in the ice bucket. *sigh* I have to admit, it was romantic. Especially that Symphony chocolate bar sitting in front of the ice bucket. But, a secret? The best gift by far was the single cup coffee maker with the huge water reservoir. Now that made me want to jump his bones!! And I did! *snicker*

Now you know my Al Bundy-esque idea of romance. What's yours?

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Doctor's Touch

As you read this I am traveling back from Romanticon, hopefully with a few pics to post in the future. So I'll cut short my blog post today and urge you to watch this inspiring TED.com video below. Although it's not directly related to writing, not only is the doctor speaking a writer himself, and with a speech that has some interesting historical nuggets about doctors which might be good fodder for writers of historicals, but he's talking about the power of connection. It's one of my favorite topics and I'd argue that even though we write in rooms far, far away from our readers, we are encouraging connection in our stories on many levels. We are "touching" from a distance.

So enjoy.

Michelle