Thursday, March 31, 2011

A very fond farewell…

by Cara McKenna

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

Job Interview Questions for Your Romance Novel Heroine

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 Tampa and let me tell you, no one gets her fangs on better than Lulu.

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.

Evelyn is the alter-ego of Jina Bacarr, The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra's Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Author - Nicole North

Please welcome today's guest author, Nicole North. One lucky commenter on Nicole's post will receive a book. Thanks for coming, Nicole!

Sexually Assertive Heroines

In romance fiction years ago, the experienced hero usually pursued the virgin heroine, and that’s still often the case, especially in historical romance. But what about those forward, slightly experienced, assertive, unusual, strong heroines who pursue their heroes? Are they sex addicted hussies? : ) Not necessarily. In my previous release, Beast in a Kilt, the virgin heroine pursued the hero because she’d been in love with him since she was a girl, and now it was time for her to marry. She’d much rather marry him than the horrid man her mother chose for her. (Marriages for young ladies were usually arranged by parents at the time.) The heroine of the story tries many things in order to seduce the hero. He has his own reasons for resisting because of the consequences. Finally, aphrodisiac in his drink destroys his resistance. What a naughty heroine.

My recent release from Carina Press, Laird of Darkness, is set in late medieval times in a Scotland filled with fairies, kelpies, and magic. The heroine, Alana, makes it clear she wants the hero, Duncan. She isn’t necessarily pursuing him, but he’s there, calming her fears of the dark, and he’s so tempting. Plus, she is no innocent virgin. She had a lover briefly three years before, so she knows a little about sensual pleasures. She wouldn’t have sex with just any good-looking man. Even in a short time, she can see that Duncan is someone special, a dark soul who is misunderstood, with hidden vulnerabilities. She quickly feels an emotional connection with him. But he has taken her hostage to exchange her for a magical bow that he needs. At one point she wonders if she can seduce him and gain her freedom. But when it comes down to it, seducing him has nothing to do with freedom.

How do you feel about heroines who do the pursuing in a sexual relationship, or heroines who are slightly unusual such as a historical heroine who has a bit of experience?

Here is an excerpt of the first kiss of Laird of Darkness.

“Are you thinking to share my bed?”

Heat scorched her face, while a different sort of flame licked through her body at the image his words evoked. “Nay. I would never!”

He lifted a brow and moved closer. “Are you certain of that?”

She nodded. Somehow she must find the strength to resist and deny him. Anyway, he did not frighten her. She would not back down from the knave but faced him head-on. When he stopped, his chest was an inch from her chin and still she glared up into his heavy-lidded midnight eyes.
“You will get into the bath,” he said softly.

With him watching? She shook her head. “Not now.”


“I require privacy.”

His scent was pure masculine enchantment, spicy and musky. Slowly, he lifted a hand to trace a line along her cheek with a roughened fingertip. His thumb brushed her chin and her sensitive lower lip. Tingling awareness shot to her breasts, then deep into her core. She forced herself to hide her response, to lower her gaze from his, to breathe normally. But he trailed his fingertips downward, along her throat, over her frantic pulse, to her collarbone and the exposed skin above her breasts.

“Silk,” he breathed.

“What?” She could not think for the shivers of delight coursing through her.

“Your skin is like silk. Bewitching. I desire another taste.”

Her legs almost gave way, but she managed to stay upright. If she fell, she’d fall into his bed.
Did she want to fall into his bed, or resist him?

Unquestionably, she should resist. Kick, scream, run. Aye, that would be the wise thing to do. But Alana hadn’t known men could be like him. This enticing Lucifer was a man full grown, nothing like her stable lad lover. Duncan possessed a warrior’s hard muscles. Shoulders broad and strong as a rocky ben. She had viewed his unclothed body. Powerful.


Now he breathed against her temple, the heated puff of air stirring her hair and tickling her skin. He took a deep breath, then released it like a moan he was trying to hide.

Could she seduce him and gain her freedom? It had been a few years since she had touched a man. She might have forgotten what little she knew of the sensual arts.

Since her sexual initiation years ago, Alana had often craved a man’s touch, a man’s hard body. And now here was a delicious one before her. He was not her future husband…but he might be a hundred times more appealing.

She lifted trembling hands and pressed them against the linen shirt covering the solid muscles of his chest. She stroked her hands down the ridges of his abdomen then slid them around his trim waist. Since he was more than a head taller, her lips were even with the V opening of his shirt. She kissed him there.

“You are tempting fate, lass,” he warned with a hiss.

“Am I? Tempting fate, or tempting you?” Tightening her arms about his waist, she tugged herself closer to him and flattened her breasts to his chest. Alana wished her corset was removed so she might feel him better. She’d like to brush her breasts back and forth, taunting him. What would he do if they were exposed to his view, to his hands?

Determined to find out, she kissed his chest again and inhaled his manly scent.
Growling, he buried one hand deep in her unbound hair, leaned forward and drew her earlobe into his mouth. Chills showered her body.

“Ooh,” she breathed.

His hand fisting in her hair, he tugged her head back and captured her mouth with a relentless kiss. His lips and tongue consumed her with fire and male domination. Heavens, what rapturous torture was this? She clung to his shirt, attempting to hold herself upright. He thrust his tongue within her mouth, taking her will, claiming her as his property. ’Twas clear in his masterful touch. No man had ever kissed her thus. Her experience was more limited than she realized.

Published by Carina Press © 2011 by Nicole North

Blurb: Half-Fae Laird Duncan MacDougall is cursed. His nights are haunted by Otherworld creatures sent to kill him. The only way to stop them is to possess the magic bow currently in the hands of his enemy half-brother, Kinnon MacClaren. In desperation, Duncan plans to take MacClaren's bride-to-be hostage and exchange her for the bow.
Lady Alana Forbes has never met her intended, but she hopes he is handsome-and a good lover, for Alana is no innocent virgin. On her way to Castle Claren, Alana and her escorts are intercepted, and she is kidnapped by a man with extraordinary abilities-and every attribute she longs for in a mate.
Duncan didn't expect the woman he thought of as a mere pawn would be so beautiful, and so arousing. Alana is drawn to him as well-but Duncan still needs the bow, and Alana is betrothed to another. How far will Alana go to save the life of the man she's come to love?

Available at Carina press
Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers as “exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious and pure romance.” Her stories contain “heart and heat, killer love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters.” She has sold four stories to Red Sage Publishing. Laird of Darkness is her first novella for Carina Press. Nicole’s stories usually focus on her favorite things: Scotland, Highlanders and hot men in kilts. She and her husband live in the Southeastern US, but she wishes she lived in the Scottish Highlands at least half the year. As she puts it, Scotland is a beautiful, magical and enchanting place where anything seems possible. She teaches online workshops about various aspects of writing, including sexual tension and how to write great love scenes. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love.



Friday, March 25, 2011

SQUEE! New Contract with Ellora's Cave!

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!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hot Weimar Berlin: What you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask: A Man named Sophie

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.”

Eve took this photo on her return trip to the Berlin museum houseing the bust of the famous Egyptian

Eve took this photo on her return trip to Berlin in the museum housing the bust of the famous Egyptian queen

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
Berlin 1958

Cleopatra’s Perfume

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When I Grow Up...

Recently, my daughter had Career Day at her school. You know the day. The kids dress up as who they want to be when they grow up. Once I explained to my daughter that being a princess was not a day job and that she already was our little princess, she chose to go as a teacher. Suddenly, I was transported back to that time *garble garble* years ago when I used to play “school”. I created attendance sheets, grade books and homework for my stuffed animals/students. I’d scold Raggedy Andy for not turning his assignments in or give Laura Jane, the Cabbage Patch Kid, an “F” for on her spelling test. *sigh* Good times… Career Day started me thinking. What did I dream about being when I grew up? The decisions changed with every hairstyle and fashion fau paux it seems. Topping the list were:

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!

Dish on your childhood dreams! C'mon! I won't laugh...much...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review Magic!

Reviews. We love them, we hate them. We wait breathlessly until notice of the first one arrives for each of our books. We complain when, sometimes, they never arrive because there are so many books out there that the competition is stiff.
If they're wonderful our eyes light up and that warm feeling of validation steals over us. We crow about it to the world, publishing the news on all our loops, our blogs, our newsletters etc... If the reviews are less than wonderful we try to find the positives, brush off our graciousness skills, or point out that not everyone can like everything we write. That sometimes a reviewer is a bad match for a book. Or, less graciously, we curse out the reviewer, imply their stupidity or lack of moral fortitude, and find the nearest voodoo doll to work out our aggressions. If we're smart, we avoid these last behaviors in public and never let a lick of it appear on the web.
I'd say, overall, I have been lucky with my reviews. No voodoo dolls have been harmed following my notice of a book rating. And of course I'm proud when I receive a stellar review. But I do in fact believe there is a somewhat arbitrary component of this process. Why else can the same book receive five stars and one star and everything in between in one fell swoop. Or maybe the random part is how we as individuals internalize the news depending on how secure we are about ourselves as writers and as human beings.
I'd like to say reviews mean nothing to me. I'd be lying. I want the attention, the validation, the soothing of my doubts about my worth as a writer. But, ironically, good reviews make me feel uncomfortable as well. There are amazing reviews for many books which I do not personally consider well written. So what does my review actually mean? Is there some sort of grade inflation at work?
Like with almost everything that happens to us in life, we make meaning of these events and tuck them into our particular world perspective. A glass half full mindset keeps our cups on the cusp of brimming over no matter what the reviewer says. A glass half empty attitude means no matter how positive, the liquid is always in danger of draining away and is doing so at this very moment.
So what do you think about reviews? How do you handle them, the good and bad? As a reader, how much do they matter to you?
By the way, I did happen to receive my first review of Fettered Love from Night Owl Reviews. 4.75 out 5 stars and a Reviewer Top Pick. Not too shabby. It must mean I'm hot shit. Maybe you should pick up a copy. (Grin)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Consistent pickles

I'm writing two books at once. One is for my erotic romance publisher, so I've got to put the sex in there. In a way, it's not as difficult since I know the expectations.

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

Favourite Naughty Lines

Today we have a special guest - the very talented KC Burn. Please welcome her with some Naughty Chick love!

Thanks, Wynter & the Naughty Author Chicks for having me here!
My new Carina Press release, Spice ‘n’ Solace, is a sci-fi erotic gay romance (blurb at the end of the post) was released this week. Yay! On or around release day, Carina posts the author’s favourite lines as well as interesting tidbits about the author and/or book on Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t liked Carina Press on FB or you’re not following @CarinaPress already, go and do it! Personally, some of the things I’ve found out thus far are quite fascinating.
When it came time for me to choose lines from Spice ‘n‘ Solace, I had a problem! Most of my favs are completely unsuitable for general consumption! Not only do I write erotic romance, I write male/male romance. There are TONS of naughty words sprinkled in my book!
The two lines below are the ones that I ended up choosing.
- Jathan slid a glance down that tight body, with the strong, lithe build of a cat burglar. He was welcome to rob Jathan blind, as long as he gave it up, gave everything up, first.
- A single kiss, and he’d lost his boyfriend, his best friend, his dignity and his father’s love. Trust never came easy afterward.
Since this is the Naughty Author Chicks blog, I thought I’d share a couple of my fav R- & X-rated lines, the ‘censored‘ ones.
- He’d hire Auralian stink worms if he thought someone would pay to fuck them.
- Jathan loved the symmetry of this man, the blue hair matching the blue eyes and rosy cheeks matching rosy cock.
- “You’ve spent too much time hanging around the fuck pit you own—you’re starting to act like those bottom boys who work for you.”
- “Strip, Kaz.” Jathan was certain Kaz heard the implied or I’ll do it for you, but he didn’t move a muscle. Not voluntarily, anyway. Jathan didn’t miss the twitch under his soft workout pants. The man looked like he’d rolled out of bed a moment ago, and Jathan had every intention of rolling him back in.
What do you think? Do you prefer the clean or dirty lines?
As for favourite naughty lines that aren’t mine… I love the movie Lake Placid (total guilty pleasure) and in it, Betty White’s character calls someone a cocksucker. Classic, absolutely classic! If you’ve got any lines you love, please share!
Available from Carina Press (, Spice ‘n’ Solace.
Every year, Jathan One-Moon faces increasing pressure that he marry and have children. What Jathan really wants is a male mate that can enjoy both playful sex and his more dominant nature. To tame his stress, Jathan orders a male escort from Spice 'n' Solace, the premier male brothel in the Galactic Alliance—and is thrilled to be sent a man whose air of innocence and obvious desire for Jathan arouse him like never before.
Jathan doesn't know he has mistaken Kazha Deinos, the owner of Spice 'n' Solace, as his escort. Kaz doesn't intend to pleasure Jathan personally, but his powerful masculinity is irresistible. Kaz has dreamed of a man who'd take charge and indulge his hidden cravings—a man just like Jathan.
With their explosive passion and unexpected tenderness, Jathan and Kaz soon want to stay together—if Jathan's position and Kaz's secrets don't tear them apart...

Copyright © 2011 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get Lucky!

by Cara McKenna

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, 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

St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us... 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?

Here are some pretty pix of Ireland taken over various trips...just for the Irish of it!

Next time you put your heroine in a castle, remember to add central heating.

The sign says "Stop Check Point." This was before the Belfast Agreement was signed...

Happy Patrick's Day from my Irish Maid Doll!

And in case you missed it last St. Patrick's Day or you'd like to read it again, here's the link to my erotic short story: A Naughty Victorian Lady tells the tale of a naughty Irish maid on St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wynter's Addiction

My name is Wynter and I'm a Scrabble-aholic.

They say the first step is denial. I did deny the power for a while—the power a word game held over my life. But I came to realize that the addiction had a life of its own. Not only had become a fun way to procrastinate instead of writing certain difficult scenes in whatever WIP I happened to be struggling with, but I started playing even when I wasn't in a writing quagmire.

I usually stuck to the safe and convenient computer version, but when my parents arrived one year for their annual snowbird stay, the disease took hold. Since I work with words all day long in my writing, my skills as a Scrabble player had skyrocketed. My mother was no longer a shoe-in for the three-way board game version in which we jointly partook. Only a few years into my journey as a full time writer, I was winning at least seventy percent of the time. My folks regularly gasp when I go out with words like couture, ruinous and plethora.

The extent of my addiction became clear when my tech guru took my recently deceased desktop with my Scrabble CD stuck in the CD drive. He had the machine for weeks. I started searching for online word games and yes—I even bought a brand new game CD because I couldn't live without my old friend.

I'm trying a new approach now. I limit myself to three games a day. So far, it's been keeping the monster at bay. What about you? What addictions keep you from working or doing things you should?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Special Guest—Shoshanna Evers!

A very warm welcome to my friend and fellow Ellora's Cave author, Shoshanna Evers! By happy chance I sat next to Shoshanna at dinner during RomaniCon last fall, and I can say without exaggeration that she is a delight—a mix of sweetness and edge…but not in a creepy, tampered-with Halloween candy way. More like one of those gourmet chocolates with curry or chili powder in it. Or perhaps ginger, if you're already acquainted with Shoshanna's work.

Without further ado—Shoshanna Evers!

First Drafts Are Not Salable

Thanks for having me on the Naughty Author Chicks!

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.”

* * * * *

Sexily *Evers* After…
Titles at Ellora’s Cave

Friday, March 11, 2011


I'm so excited to announce I have a new book out with Ellora's Cave! It's a paranormal romance called GHOST HUNTER, and it's got a hunky hero, a kick-ass heroine and a serial killing ghost that's scary as hell! Not to mention a smokin' hot cover!

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.


No answer.

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.

“In here.”

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!


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

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NAC Welcomes Author Mari Freeman

I am soooo excited to welcome EC author Mari Freeman, here to tell us the story behind her new release, Hot, Hard and Howling! And hot damn, if the title doesn't grab you, wait until you get a load of the cover and excerpt. Yowza! I'm still scraping my jaw off the floor. Take it away, Mari...

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.

Hot, Hard & Howling
by Mari Freeman
Buy Link

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.

Chapter One

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

The Japanese Art of Sex

Last week I posted about e-books and how older books can find a new home on the digital page: Naughty Paris a la Kindle.

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.

Which made me remember a funny video I made about the day my book (not me!) made its debut on Playboy TV...

The show was called "69 Sexy Things 2 Do Before You Die"--segments around the world featuring sexy models and hunky guys doing all sorts of well, sexy "Japanese Art of Sex" book was chosen as the resource for a segment called "Dining on Naked Sushi."

Yes, naked sushi--an erotic version of the three-martini lunch where the model's nude body is the blue plate special. (Delicacies, flowers, etc. are placed on the model's body and diners use chopsticks to pick their favorites.)

I was invited to visit the set in a beautiful home outside Los Angeles, where I was interviewed by the producer for the "talking points" and script that would be used by the actors on the show.

I filmed a short podcast of my adventures in the valley with the producer and the crew. Here it is:

The Blonde Geisha on Location from Jina on Vimeo.

Lunch, anyone?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Last night was the second annual throw Michelle a surprise party in our household. I probably blogged about surprise parties roughly a year ago when my dearest husband threw me one to celebrate my publishing successes. This year the little devil tried to do it again. What a better way to throw someone off the scent than to throw another party the very next year. Who would expect it? It wasn't anywhere near my birthday and although I've continued on with my publishing, there was no new hallmark I'd reached.

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 Carlyse is our guest today

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.
Chapter One

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.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skin Game

by Cara McKenna

I gots news! A couple of weeks ago I sold a new erotic novel to Ellora's Cave…a long one. Long like, if it were a paperback it'd be pushing 500 pages. Anyhow, it's called Skin Game, and although I don't yet have an official blurb written up or a cover to share, here's the gist:

Twelve strangers travel to the wilds of interior Alaska to go head-to-head in a series of physical and psychological challenges. As they compete, they'll be monitored and taped and analyzed by a team of unseen "doctors", and at the end of the battle royale-style competition, the last man or woman standing will walk away with half a million dollars. Naturally, all that adrenaline and animosity also results in a bunch of gritty m/f sexx0ring in the woods.

I love this story. I don't know if all of my readers will…it's very different from my other erotica titles, which have all been all fairly quiet and intimate. This one is complex and chock full o' plot, stars seven and a half point-of-view characters, and features a mix of romance and intrigue and occasional hate f*cking between consenting adults. It's being released under EC's Exotika line, but I must say, I think it's got a properly happy ending…which isn't something I can always guarantee. Then again, depending on which characters readers are rooting for to win, they may disagree. I'll take my chances. It took me ages to write, largely because intricate plotting and I do not mix…not without a lot of screaming and hair-pulling and heavy drinking, anyhow.

But to celebrate the sale, I'm going to play my favorite author game—Fantasy Casting Couch! Here are the folks I had in mind as I wrote my magnum opus, those playing the roles of the seven lead characters in the movie inside my noggin:

1. Jason Statham as Daisey, the unapologetic meathead.
2. Rachel Bilson as Mac, the good-natured go-getter.
3. Jessica Szohr as Leah, the easy-target fish out of water.
4. Martin Freeman as Rory, the seemingly mild-mannered Kiwi.
5. Ken Leung as Pike, the broody, snarky army medic.
6. Kate Winslet as Chloe, the cutthroat man-eater.
7. Jakob Dylan as Ian, Glasgow's handsomest sociopath.

Looking forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks. Thanks for visiting!