Friday, April 27, 2012

Recapping RT

By: Casey Crow

I had the privilege of attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention a few weeks ago. OMG I had the BEST time. What I liked so much about this conference as opposed to others was that tons of readers attend and the erotic genre is embraced there.

I was stressing because my plane arrived at 10:30 and my Pitch Perfect workshop was at 2:00, but I made it in plenty of time and actually had a big crowd sitting in on my panel! They had awesome editors and agents there that I got to pitch too and got plenty of full requests, but best of all my manuscript HUSTLER'S DREAM finaled in the American Idol contest! There were only 15 finalists and though I didn't win, I had one of the highest scores! Yay me! (Yeah, I'm shameless bragging - deal with it.)

Okay, I'll be honest and admit the contest deal wasn't THE most fun. Can you say hot male cover models? That aren't gay? (I think). And dancing with them and my new RT author friends till the wee hours of the morn?

Cover model, TV Host, Actor & all-around awesome guy Billy Freda

                                 Len Gunn, Charles Patrick, Scott Novay & Brooks Johnson .... *SIGH*

If you've never been - start saving up now for May 1-5, 2013 in Kansas City. I'll be there again!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book to Film Done Right

I'll be honest, I'm not a big Nicholas Sparks fan. 

There, I've said it out loudbut before you boo and hiss melet me explain. The man has managed to put his foot in his mouth one too many times whenever it's mentioned that what he writes is considered romance. Of course, he's protested so much about this label, and how his books are SO not romances, that I've gotten the impression he thinks he's too good to be categorized in the romance it's something so beneath him... However, he will proudly say that what he does write is simply "love stories", I'm biting my tongue hard on that one. 

I've read (okay, mostly skimmed) two of his books that were left behind by friends. I can say that there are many many many talented romance authors out there who can write circles around him but...that's just my opinion. At the same time, I applaud him for following his dream and becoming the success that he is....he definitely has a talent for writing stories that attract a large readership...I can never hate on someone or discount the fact that he's put a lot of hard work and effort into this writing...believe me, I know exactly how difficult and challenging it is to be a writer....but it doesn't mean I have to love what he writes. That's just my own personal choice. See, there's a balance *big smile*.

Okay, so last weekend I decided to watch THE LUCKY ONE with some friends...purely because I think Zac Efron is a hottie (that's the cougar in me speaking). I had low expectations because I really wasn't all impressed with the book but wanted to see how it would translate to film. I must admit, the movie surpassed the book reading experience. I think that having an amazing director like Scott Hicks and a screenwriter like Will Fetters was the best choice for the project. Nicholas Sparks should thank these two profusely for making him more $$$$ and garnering even more recognition because it was one I totally wished I'd written. Of course, it didn't hurt to have Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling as the leads. The cinematography was gorgeous/brilliant, and I couldn't help falling in love with how Scott Hicks directed the movie. I won't spoil it for you.... I will say that the love scenes were subtle yet so HOT HOT HOT! I know it was pretty predictable at times but I didn't care. I really enjoyed the movie and  I'm glad I went to watch it. 

There have been plenty of book adaptations to film that I've thought were either lukewarm takes or have entirely missed the mark, but I would have to say this was one of the better romantic dramedies that I've seen in a long while. Sadly, I must admit defeat to Mr. Sparks on this one and endorse ticket sales for the movie. I give THE LUCKY ONE a big thumbs up...

If you're really curious, I managed to dig up a link from an old Nicholas Sparks interview  in the USA TODAY and an interesting article found on the Cracked website. I can't find the interviews that had turned me off of the man but you can at least understand why I feel the way I do....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Breaking the Rules" is FREE Today on Amazon Kindle.

I put a sassy new cover on my self-pubbed erotic short story! And it's FREE today on Amazon Kindle!

Elaine is a rules-kind-of-girl, whether it’s at work or in the bedroom.

She sets out on a journey of self-discovery when she meets the Hunter, who shows her that rules are made to be broken.

Enjoy this erotic short story for free today, April 25th, and also tomorrow, about a working girl who learns you have to ask for what you want!

At work...or in bed.

Excerpt from "Breaking the Rules:"

She smelled his scent before she saw him. Black leather soaked with a man's sweat, emitting a muskiness with a hint of citrus. Sweet and sticky.
Elaine froze at her laptop when the hunk wearing the black leather vest whisked by her in the coffeehouse and yanked her power cord loose with his muddy boot. Her screen went darker than an ebony night and her coffee cup shimmied back and forth like a kewpie doll.
The web page disappeared like it was sucked into a black hole.
Damn him. The nerve of the man. So what if he was tall with a strong jaw and broad shoulders? He wasn’t her type. Look at him. Dark and stormy, and filled with a wild streak like the critters roaming untamed through the dense woods in these back hills.
McNally’s Corner.
A way station back in the day for trappers and settlers heading west. Population around eighteen hundred when you counted the hogs and chickens. A small town doing its best to survive the economic downturn. And barely hanging on.
Like Elaine. Living on her meager salary and peanut butter sandwiches, she’d come home to put the pieces back together after a painful breakup.
Which meant no distractions from a guy with eyes so blue he could make a girl wet her pants with a hard stare.
Wait, did I say that?
Okay, think that, but she couldn’t help it. The last time this town had any excitement was when bootleggers came down from the hills fired up on corn liquor and packing shotguns. This stud was packing, too, she noticed. A six-shooter in his jeans, and not the kind that shot silver bullets. Not that she was interested. Still, clamping her legs together tight like an oyster protecting its pearl was a dead giveaway to her uneasiness.
Hunk Alert. Warning. Danger Ahead.
What was wrong with her? Acting like she was the town hussy in an old soap opera. She lifted her chin. Not her. Elaine was a play-by-the-rules girl. She liked square peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off. She preferred her men also square. Button-down collars and single-pleated trousers. Corporate guys who texted their sexy intentions, not grunted like a bare-chested warrior in need of a haircut. She knew the type. Here today, gone on his Harley tomorrow.
No one-night stands for her.
Especially with a guy who had his primal moves down to a T.
Muscular arms. Spot-on smile that made her curl her toes. Bulge in his pants that left no doubt pulling out her power cord was no accident.
“I spent an hour filling out that job application,” Elaine said, letting go with an angry growl. Her precision-wired brain screamed at the loss. “All that work…gone.”
She should have kept her mouth shut, let him move on, but she didn’t. A fire erupted in her belly, surprising her. Maybe it was the late hour or maybe it was because she was sick of peanut butter sandwiches, but she decided to play his game. If only to break up the monotony and frustration of filling out her last five years of employment for the tenth time.
She unclamped her legs, her bold gesture inviting him to find her pearl. All shiny. And oozing with salty sea juices.
So you wanna play? her look said. Her steadfast gaze locked with eyes that waited to see what she’d do. Waited with the arrogance of a man who liked a challenge.
Instead he smiled, nodded an apology.
“Sorry, miss, I didn't see your cord.” He bent down and adjusted the cable. His sly grin made her close her legs again. Tighter this time.
Look at him, will you? I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a good peek up my skirt.
He kept grinning, turning on the charm and not letting her go. Stroking the cable cord like it was a woman’s body. Up and down with an icy coolness. As if the cord were a burning fuse leading leading straight to her pussy.
She never felt more exposed in her life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Learning the Tropes

I cut my teeth on category books—I learned about romance from the huge, dusty box filled with Harlequin books my grandmother kept on her porch. I’d sit on the couch out there and read for hours. I’d begin on a Saturday morning, and by the time I finished, the sun was setting. And over the years my love affair with category books hasn’t waned.

strangers in the desertLast week I read a Harlequin Presents book Strangers in the Desert by Lynn Raye Harris. Now, I have been a major fan of Ms. Harris for a couple of years. I love her writing! It’s emotional, sensual and always satisfying. After closing a book by her, I always feel like I’ve been on a journey, a wonderful exotic journey of romance, strife and love conquering all. Strangers in the Desert didn’t let me down. But what really made the book for me was the trope. For the most part all category books surround a particular trope—y’know, best friends to lovers, millionaire falls for secretary, fake fiancé, intimate strangers. Well Lynn Raye Harris took two of the oldest tropes in romance history—amnesia and the secret baby—and did her own twist on them. And did it with imaginative flair that simply wow-ed me! She took a seemingly far-fetched idea and made it so believable that I never doubted the validity of the characters, story or plot! There was a secret baby, of course…but instead of the father not knowing about the infant, the mother didn’t! Why? Because she suffered from amnesia! I know, I know what you’re thinking! How in the hell…? But Ms. Harris, hats off! You did that! She handled it masterfully, and I absolutely loved how she took old tropes and twisted them within an inch of their long, tried-and-true lives to make the book brand new, fresh and so romantic I sighed—actually sighed—at the end. Secret baby

Well, the book got me thinking about other tropes I shamelessly enjoy. Call it guilty pleasure, and chuckle if you must, but I adore tropes. And there are certain ones that are drop-dead deal breakers for me. First, there’s the best friends to lovers. Reading how two people who have loved each other for years, have an intimacy forged in childhood by shared secrets and traumas, suddenly see each other in a new light is a wonder to me. I enjoy following their conflicted emotions as they discover that the one who knows them best is also the one who fulfills every desire they’ve dreamed about and hoped for. Sigh. See? I did it again! Then there’s the—you got it!—secret baby. Call me a sucker, but I am a fool for that trope. Especially when the father is a cynical, hard-hearted, confirmed bachelor who finds his heart melted by a baby’s guileless smile and innocent tug on his finger…tearing up here.

And what about the reunited lovers? Or the ugly duckling? Or the big-girl-who-loses-a-whole-bunch-of-weight-but-still-feels-like-a-big-girl-with-big-girl-insecurities-in-a-skinny-chick’s-body trope? Oh, that isn’t one? It should be!

What’s your favorite trope? Have you read any good books lately that has one? Do tell!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Are You Trendy?

As an author of erotic romance, I feel it's my job to check out what's hot in the marketplace. And I must tell you, the rabid success of Fifty Shades of Grey has me practically giddy. Why? Because it's my genre and that can only be good for those of us who write erotic romance and erotica.

The book is everywhere. Everyone seems to know about it. And why shouldn't they? The book has spent 6 weeks parked at the pinnacle of the New York Times bestseller list. Suddenly erotic is perfectly acceptable.

My fairly conservative internist told me she and her husband are reading it. Friends from all walks of life are asking me if I am familiar with it. It's sweeping the literary world.

What's truly amazing about this is that the book began its life as a self-published project. Granted, it has its flaws. I counted a whole bunch of repeated words and phrases, a couple dangling modifiers at which my editors would cringe. But the bottom line is here's an author who self-published an erotic trilogy and she's no doubt a millionaire by now.

Bravo to EL James. If I could change one thing about the books, it's that I wish I'd been the one to write them! So what are you waiting for - check out the trend. Or have you already?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My fun new blog

I've long been an advocate of fun promo. If the author is having fun, it shows. If it's a chore, chances are it's not only the author who isn't enjoying it.

Maybe I shouldn't tell you about my fun new blog on my fun old blog, but I'm going to. Sue me.

It's called Ask Ash and it's an "advice" column where I encourage people to ask me their most outlandish questions. I have a blast coming up with outlandish answers.
See todays' post.

You probably wouldn't see my article as promo at all...if you weren't tuned into the fact that I write super tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy. My Ask Ash column is my way of showcasing my voice and my off-the-wall way of looking at things.

I'm offering a free ebook to anyone who sends me a question I can use for the new blog. You can find it by going to my website and clicking on the 'blogs' link at the top, then click again on Ask Ash.

Or better yet, you can subscibe to Ask Ash and get the weekly column delivered to your email inbox. And be sure to weigh in with your own advice!

See how much promo I just did there? Was it painful? No, because I can't wait to share my new obsession with you. Check it out. It's fun for all!

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Release and It's a Hot Cop Menage! TWO COPS, A GIRL AND A PAIR OF HANDCUFFS!

I'm so excited to announce that TWO COPS, A GIRL AND A PAIR OF HANDCUFFS, the second book in my Badge Bunnies Series, is available! The title kinda says it all, but if you haven't guessed, it's a hot cop menage with two guys who come with their own handcuffs and a girl who can't wait to get busy with them both!

Happy Reading!

Working the late shift just got a whole lot more fun!

Cilla Garner has it bad for Hayes Prescott and Reed Lockwood, the two hot cops who come into the coffee shop where she works the late shift. When her coworker goes home early and leaves her alone with Denver's finest, she can't help but flirt. Of course, if they both end up asking her out, she has no idea how she'll choose. The idea of having a threesome doesn't even enter her mind until they hint at it, and then it's all she can think about.

She has the perfect opportunity to take them up on it when they offer to drive her home after work. What girl wouldn't be thrilled at the idea of sleeping with two guys who come with their own handcuffs?


She looked at them from beneath her lashes, hoping one—or both—of them would pick up on her interest and ask her out. Of course, if they both did, she could be in trouble. Which one would she pick?

Hayes leaned forward, resting his forearms on the table. His hazel eyes were more green than brown, with little gold flecks. “Do you have a boyfriend, Cilla?”

That was easier than she’d thought. She was afraid she might have been too subtle.


She wanted to finish her degree as quickly as possible, which meant taking a full course load every semester, so she hadn’t had much time for a social life. But now that she was just a few classes away from graduating, that wasn’t a problem.

“What about you?” she asked. “Are you seeing anyone?”

“We’re both between relationships,” Reed said.

Was that his way of telling her he was interested in her, too?

Cilla looked from one cop to the other. “Hard to believe some girl hasn't scooped up two attractive guys like you.”

“It's hard finding a woman who can handle us,” Hayes answered.


That was an interesting way to phrase it. Hayes hadn't said it was hard finding women who could handle them, or their jobs. But a woman—singular—who could handle them—plural. Had it simply been a Freudian slip, or had he been referring to what she thought he was? The image made heat pool between her thighs, and she squeezed her legs tighter together. She'd never been with two guys at the same time before. Never even considered it. But now that she thought about it, the possibility was intriguing.

“Maybe you haven’t found the right woman.”

Had she just said that out loud? Well, she had to gauge their interest, didn’t she?

Reed chuckled. “Guess not.”

Cilla’s breath hitched. Oh, yeah. They were definitely talking about a threesome.

Since they were both gorgeous and unattached, she wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity, that was for damn sure. This might be her only chance to fulfill her fantasies—with not one, but two hot cops.

“It’s almost closing time. I should probably clean up.” Her heart sank as Hayes and Reed pushed back their chairs. “You don’t have to leave.”

“We weren’t,” Hayes said. “We’re just going to give you a hand.”

“Oh.” Relief coursed through Cilla and she smiled. “That’s very nice of you.”

Reed grinned. “We’re nice guys.”

Cleaning out the coffee pots and wiping down the tables took a lot less time with their help. On the down side, it also gave her a lot less time to figure out a way to let them know she was up for that threesome they’d hinted at.

Wishing there was something else to clean up, she picked up her messenger bag. “I know you’re probably not supposed to do this, but do you think you could give me a ride to the subway? I’d really hate to have to walk all that way in the rain.”

Hayes exchanged looks with Reed, then gave her a grin. “We’ll do you one better and give you a ride home. Although I'm afraid you’ll have to sit in the back. That's not a problem, is it?”

She winked. “As long as I'm not under arrest.”

“Definitely not.” Hayes looked her up and down. “It would be a true crime if anyone ever had to lock you away.”

The heat in his eyes made her pussy purr. “And no cuffs, right?”

Reed gave her slow smile. “Only if you don’t behave yourself.”

The smolder in Reed’s eyes conveyed his message loud and clear—if you want to be cuffed, I'm your man. That image made her pulse skip a beat. This night was getting more interesting by the minute.

Cilla’s hand trembled a little as she locked up the shop. Dropping the keys in her purse, she turned to open the umbrella she’d borrowed, but Reed took it from her.

His mouth curved as he held it over her head. “Allow me.”

Gorgeous and well-mannered—a potent combination.

Cilla had never been in a police car before. It felt really strange being behind the metal cage that separated the back seat from the front. Like she was their prisoner for them to do with her whatever they wanted. The idea sent a delicious, little shiver through her.

In the front, Reed was on the radio, telling the station he and Hayes were going off shift. Was it just her imagination, or had Reed made the call so she’d know he and Hayes were free for the rest of the night?

Hayes glanced at her over his shoulder. “Where to?”

Cilla rattled off her address. She was about to give him directions, too, but as he pulled away from the curb and headed in the right direction, she decided he mustn’t have needed them. Then again, he was a cop. He probably knew every street in the city.

She didn’t live far from the coffee shop, so it wouldn’t take long to get to her apartment. Which meant she was going to have to think of something quick if she didn’t want the evening to end on her doorstep.

As Hayes pulled up to the curb a little while later, she leaned forward. “I know it’s late, but would you guys like to come in for coffee?”

As invitations went, it was lame. But what was she supposed to say? Want to come up and have a threesome?

The two cops exchanged a glance before Reed answered.

“We’d like that.”

She’d had guys at her place before, but Reed and Hayes seemed to dominate her small apartment with their presence. She could barely concentrate on making the coffee as they looked around.

“You go to the University of Colorado?” Hayes asked from the living room.

She glanced up to see him thumbing through an accounting book she’d left on the coffee table. “Yeah. I take morning classes there three days a week. That's why I get stuck on the late shift so much.”

Reed crossed the room to look over his partner’s shoulder. “Accounting, huh? How close are you to your degree?”

“Three more classes after this semester.” She switched on the coffee pot, then walked into the living room. “I'm getting close enough to taste it.”

Reed’s gaze caressed her. “I know how that feels, being so close to something you can almost taste it.”

Cilla got the feeling he wasn’t talking about getting his college degree. Her breath came a little faster, and she ran her suddenly damp hands down the front of her jeans.

Back at the coffee shop, she thought she’d be able to play it cool, but now the two men were in her apartment, that was harder than she thought.

Thunder boomed and she jumped. She used the distraction to get herself together. Okay, take a deep breath, girl. Just because Reed and Hayes were likely here for more than coffee didn't mean this thing was automatic. Neither man had mentioned having a threesome since they’d dropped the hint. If she wanted this to go anywhere, she had to give them some sort of signal.

But what was she supposed to do—rip off her clothes and throw herself naked across the kitchen table? How could she tell them she was game without coming out and saying it?

Hayes was looking at another one of her books—this time it was advanced calculus.

“Have you always been good with numbers, Cilla?”

“I guess so. I mean, I’ve always liked math.”

Now there was a sexy subject. Yeah, not so much. Maybe she should tell him she wanted to multiply with him. Nah, maybe not. That sounded creepy.

Hayes set the book on the table, then sauntered over to stand in front of her. He gave her a devastating smile. “And I bet a math-minded girl like you probably even has a favorite number, don't you?”

The funny thing was, she did. But she didn't think they really wanted to hear why she thought 3.14 was so cool.

“Actually,” she looked up at his from under her lashes, “I've always been partial to the number three.”

“Three, huh?” Hayes’s smile broadened. “And what's so special about the number three?”

Reed had come over to stand behind her. Not close enough that he was touching her, but still sandwiching her between him and his equally armed-and-sexy partner.

She took a deep breath. Now or never.

“Well,” she said softly. “There’s just so much more you can do with three than you can do with two, you know?”

Hayes leaned in close. Behind her, she felt Reed's big hand trace across her back.

“Yeah, Cilla.” Hayes’s voice dropped to a husky whisper. “I think we do.”

His lips were just a few inches away from hers when an insistent beeping came from the kitchen.

He jerked his head up, looking in the direction of the sound. “What the…?”

Cilla couldn't help laughing at the expression on his face. “It's my coffee maker. It beeps when it’s ready.” She caught her bottom lip between her teeth. “I can go get it, if you want.”

Reed’s arms slipped around her waist, pulling her back against his hard chest. “I think the coffee can wait, don't you?”

His voice was rough in her ear, his breath warm. She moaned as she felt his erection against her ass. At least she thought it was his cock. She supposed it might have been another kind of weapon. She wiggled her ass slowly back and forth to check. Oh, yeah. That was all cock back there. A seriously impressive one at that.

“I'm okay with letting the coffee wait,” she murmured.

She was so entranced with Reed's shaft and what he was doing to her that she almost didn't remember Hayes until he tipped up her chin and touched his lips to hers.

The spark of sexual electricity that jumped between them definitively got her attention.

She melted into his arms and opened her mouth to his playful tongue. He tasted like coffee and pure, unadulterated male.

Buy it at Amazon!

Buy it at ARe!

Buy it at B&N!

To check out the first book in the series, SEDUCING OFFICER BARLOWE, visit my website at

The third book in the series is coming soon!

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

In Print!

Turns out that my very first novel, Bound Odyssey, is finally available in print at Ellora's Cave. Am I a bad author because I haven't ordered any print copies for myself despite it being out a while? Maybe, but I've been busy with my own move to a new home. (Jax, are we in the same boat?)

I agree that the benefit to moving is to be able to sift through old stuff. In my case, I hope to become a more organized writer from my relocation, arranging my writing location and system as I set up shop again.

Bound Odyssey was a novel of my heart. Jace, Mira and Roman are still the triad of my heart. If you have some time and haven't visited with them before, check them out.

Now, back to unpacking. Ugh!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Guest Randi Alexander is Giving Away Lots of Naughty Goodies!

Thank you, Casey and the Naughty Author Chicks. I'm so excited to take over your blog today! I'm Randi Alexander and I write cowboy erotic romance. I'm published with The Wild Rose Press' Cowboy Kink line. My second Cowboy Kink, Her Cowboy Stud, was released March 23.

Remember when being called naughty was a bad thing? When you were a kid, it meant a scolding, a time out, or the worst - being grounded?

Now that we're adults, being naughty is fun because there are no consequences (usually!) I get to search online for sexy cowboys for my books' video trailers, and hubby just shakes his head. I log onto a fetish forum and chat with Doms and subs about their rituals. I spent an hour with the sexiest tattoo artist in the world as he told me about all the different piercings and how they relate to sexual performance. (Earning me another head shake from hubby.)

My favorite naughtiest craving is writing erotic romance novels. It's the perfect outlet for my mischievous side, and brings with it wonderful perks! I get to chat with readers on lovely blogs like this one, meet other authors at conferences, and hang out with fans and sexy, shirtless men at readers' events. What a wonderfully naughty life I lead!

How about you? Is reading sexy novels the naughtiest thing you do? Or do you indulge in some of the same semi-bad-girl behavior that I do? Leave a comment for your chance to win an ecopy of Cowboy Bad Boys.
Trace McGonagall’s quiet life on his Houston stud ranch is shaken up when gorgeous Macy Veralta arrives to claim an inheritance left to her in his uncle’s will. Trace sees her as just another gold digger, but he also can’t resist her curvy body. When she hints at being the perfect submissive to his Dom, he has to have her.

Macy wouldn’t have been three months late to claim her inheritance if she’d known Trace was sin in jeans. The cowboy’s dominant bearing and the smoldering glint in his eyes send shivers to her toes and stirs images of being bound in his bed and disciplined at his hand. But could Trace’s perfect seduction be part of his plan to reclaim her inheritance?

EXCERPT: Over 18 only, please.
Trace could barely restrain himself from grabbing and conquering. She embodied everything he looked for in a woman. Sweet and kind, blushing but sexy, funny and sexy. Yeah, he’d already mentioned sexy, but she was damn sexy.

It took him a moment of measured breaths to bring himself under control before he kissed her. He didn’t want to take, he wanted to give. To share a kiss, not ravage her. As he inched his lips closer to hers, she wrapped her arms around his neck and closed her eyes.

Beautiful. Did he mention beautiful? His hands slid down her sides, barely brushing the swell of her breasts, ending up on her back. His lips touched hers. Rocket fire lust shot down his spine. His cock hardened and swelled, his balls tingled, and everything in him begged to rush this, to make a bed in the hay and take her down with him.
She was precious. Worth taking his time on. He kept the kiss soft, easy, until she sighed and flicked her tongue onto his lips in invitation.

His tongue explored each crevice of her mouth, tangled with her tongue, sucking it into his mouth to invite her to taste him. Her taste—perfect—like sweet wine. He dug the fingers of one hand in her hair, feeling the silk, loving the thick, heavy texture.
His hand traveled from her back to her firm, round ass. He pulled her closer and shared her startled inhale as his cock pressed hard into her stomach. Unable to keep himself from testing her sexual tastes, he walked her back a step, pressing her against the gate. He ran his hands up her sides, along her arms, and unlinked them from around his neck.

Holding her wrists, he spread her arms to her sides and pinned them to the wood plank.

Her eyelids fluttered then opened, piercing him with a seductive gaze.

"Do you like that, Macy?"
He spread his feet apart, leaning the full weight of his body against hers. His cock throbbed as it engorged, feeling her heat creep through their clothes to taunt his sensitive flesh.

"I like…" she whispered, her breath panting in and out.

Trace tipped his head and spoke quietly in her ear. "What do you like?"
"I like to be held."
He grinned. That was exactly what he wanted to hear. "You like to be…restrained?"
"Yes." She turned her face away.

He leaned back to see her. Her pink cheeks and tightly closed eyes confused him at first. Until he realized she was uncertain of his reaction to her disclosure.

"Beautiful, you've found the right man."

She swung her head and looked at him, her eyes at first relieved, then heating with a tempting, teasing sexuality. "And you? What do you like?"

Kissing her, he said, "When I have you in my bed…" Another kiss. "You'll know the full intensity of my dominance."
She cried out softly, her entire body shivering along his.

Every cell in his flesh responded, pumped to bursting with desire. He took her mouth, desperate to show her what she did to him. How she made him crazy with the need to bind her and please her with stinging lashes and tight clamps. The kiss turned potent, so intense he forgot where he was, what was happening around him.

To celebrate the release of Her Cowboy Stud, I'm giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my new erotic romance short story anthology, Cowboy Bad Boys. Just leave a comment today and we'll choose a winner tomorrow. *Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.

I'm also giving away a custom-made messenger bag and a $50 gift certificate to Pureromance to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, And while you're there, you can read the first chapter of Her Cowboy Stud.

Good luck, and thank you!
"Rode Hard and Put Up Satisfied"

Her Cowboy Stud available
at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses
Kindle version is available at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Faded Memories

Moving is the number one motivator in purging old stuff that's been hidden for eons. As I started tossing things  away left and right, I stumbled across old boxes from my youth..these were cherished memories I'd sealed off and forgotten about...not necessarily because I wanted to. Being a romantic, I liked hoarding old letters, photographs, and such...maybe I knew one day I'd re-discover them and be reminded of all those emotions of a teenager. Frankly, it's going to help me out when I start penning my YA proposal. Some feelings you can never forget no matter how old you get...

Sifting through the handwritten letters made me take a stroll back in time...when crushes and puppy love was oh-so's funny how easily guys back then had no qualms about declaring their "love" without hesitation. I can tell you that guys have sure changed a lot since then, and I've even heard many of my single friends tell me how difficult it is to squeeze out an "I love you" from a guy—come to think of it—most of these guys seem like total commitment phobes. Lucky for me, I'm in a relationship and Mr. Right is seriously the I don't have to worry about wading through the dating pool, but I cringe to think how it would be if I were single again!

Oh yeah...where was I? Well, after reading a few of those angst ridden letters, I could imagine how I felt at the moment when I'd read those intimate words. How it felt to be totally elated—or terribly heartbroken. It tugs at your heartstrings....and because I've lost a huge chunk of my memory from a car accident over a decade ago, it's almost like I'm reading someone else's memories. In a way, it makes me feel like I'm a voyeur of sorts, but it gives me back those raw feelings that I've lost. Those lingering emotions are still a part of us no matter what memories have been buried or erased.

Sometimes when I write my novels, it's almost like I'm filling the hole I've lost of my past. These hidden treasures help make things seem real. I'm glad I saved the letters because it's a beautiful reminder that I should cherish the relationships I have now. Whether it's with friends or a significant other, it's important to work on strengthening the bond so that it's not a faded memory in which you wished you'd tried to sustain.

See folks, there is a lesson in all this...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Titanic Rhapsody and the Silent Film Star

Tomorrow, TITANIC RHAPSODY, my Titanic romance, is released from Ellora's Cave!!

It's been a long road to publication for this story...countless hours researching and re-writing, checking facts then checking them again...

I lived through the sinking of the ship many times and each time I'd get emotional...will my heroine, Katie O'Reilly, get into a lifeboat?

Will Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn, my hero, survive when the Titanic founders?

But imagine if you had actually lived through the tragedy just two weeks before? And you had to go through it all again...this time for a film!

That's what happened to Dorothy's her story:

Starring real life survivor, Dorothy Gibson, the silent film was called Saved from the Titanic and was shot in less than two weeks in black and white with color scenes. Unfortunately, the prints of the film were destroyed in a fire in 1912. No known footage exists. Only a few stills showing Miss Gibson wearing the same dress she wore that fateful night on April 15, 1912 when the ship sank.

Can you imagine wearing the same outfit you wore? Think about it. It would be like going to your high school reunion wearing your old prom dress.

The public loved it. They couldn’t get enough about the Titanic.

According to Moving Picture News, Dorothy was a model and belonged to a stock company before working for the Éclair Company of America (a film production company originally founded in France in 1907). She also worked in vaudeville as a singer/dancer and was a leading lady or “star” in her time, but she is remembered for surviving the Titanic.

I can’t forget Miss Dorothy Gibson, the film star who survived the sinking.

You see, Dorothy is making a comeback.

Quite a different reception than what she experienced 100 years ago when the actress returned to New York. I was surprpised what I found when I searched through the New York newspapers filled with stories about the disaster even before the Carpathia, the rescue ship, reached New York with the survivors aboard.

During those uncertain days when news was slowly filtering in, the newspapers were filled with pictures and stories about Society women, but not one mention of Dorothy Gibson.

What fascinates me is that Dorothy will be a character portrayed by Sophie Winkleman in the Titanic mini-series premiering here in the U.S. on April 14 & 15, 2012 on ABC-TV.

Can you imagine the press of today not reporting on a well-known film star aboard the ship?

My, how times have changed.


Read an excerpt from TITANIC RHAPSODY here (the Prologue).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Some People Just Shouldn't Bother!

So I’m hijacking this Tuesday since I missed my post from last week. *sheepish grin that I’m hoping everyone thinks is cute* I travelled to Chicago for a wedding and had car lag because a sista made “The Drive”! Ten &^%&# hours! Thanks to Munchies, Cherry Coke and Wal-Dryl it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been but… *sigh* Good Lawd! It was looong! I did get to see Harpo Studios (Hi, Oprah!). Aaaand I had myself a funnel cake at the Navy Pier! Below are pics of me at Harpo and me trying to avoid my hubby while I stuff my face with funnel cake. Ah. Good times! 

Me Harpo StudiosMe Funnel Cake

Well my mom took care of the kids for us…and you would think after my last fiasco I would’ve learned my lesson. But, alas, no, I didn’t. You have to understand this important factor or this story will be for naught: My mother is the kind of person who must stay busy. She’ll come over to visit and, by the time I come out of the bathroom, a load of laundry is in the washer and the living room is rearranged. Not that I mind! By all means, far be it for me to hinder whatever floats her boat, right? I read and drink coffee to relax, she cleans. So on the way back I’m all, “At least I’m returning to a clean house” because she’s had days, not hours! And I was right! The house looked gaw-geous!! The couch and entertainment center had switched places, I had new plants and clean clothes in the closet. I told her she needs to start a new career as a professional organizer. That woman could straighten up a hoard! Uh, not that I’m a hoarder…that’s not what I’m saying….

Anyhoo, she had it shining and smelling like a lemon-scented Taj Mahal! Now there’s a rule with my mother that I should have learned and remembered from last summer: Every nook and cranny will get cleaned and organized. Ergo, if you don’t want her seeing something, lock it up! So we’re back, everything’s cool…then my husband comes into the room and tosses a purple, silicon phallic toy—okay, damn! A dildo! He tosses my purple dildo on the bed. The one that has the little dolphin head and bill to tickle that special place? Yeah, that one. He tells me, “You forgot something.” Apparently my mother found it, thought it was my daughter’s and threw it in her toy box. My husband passed by her room to find her kneeling in front of the box, wagging it back and forth with a frown. She turned to look at him standing in the doorway and whined, “Daddy, I don’t get how this works.” Lord, take me now to that big upper room in the sky!!

I learned two things last week:

1. My mother must not be getting any because this makes two times that she’s come across sex toys and have no idea what she’s handling. First, the cock ring is a bracelet now the dildo is aa toy—literally.

2. I need to get rid of all my stash because obviously I am not old or responsible enough to clean my room and put my toys up!

I don’t know which was more eventful, the trip to Chicago or the what awaited me back home…

Monday, April 9, 2012

To Swag or Not to Swag

This is the question for so many authors. What promo items are helpful to drive up sales, which ones are a waste?

I've ordered loads of bookmarks, magnets, pens, posters, cover flats -- you name it. But when it comes down to it, how is an author to judge what works best?  How much time and money should you spend?

After attending many conferences and picking up everything from homemade sachets to beaded bookmarks and business cards, I've learned a few things. At a recent conference, I saw one attendee standing next to a trash can throwing away a ton of bookmarks, cover flats, business cards and postcards. What do all these items have in common? They are all paper and with the exception of the bookmarks, they have no lasting value to the receiver. And frankly, with the number of bookmarks given out at conferences and signings, most end up in the trash.

What I've noticed people keep are the durable, useful items -- the pens, the small bottles of hand sanitizer, the nail files.

All swag is not created equal. In my humble opinion, the very best promo items are those the receiver feels they get some value from. They will keep that pen in their purse and see your name over and over, every time they use it. Same with the notepad with your website on the top or the conference totebag with your book cover. The magnet very well might end up on their fridge, where they will see it over and over.

What about you? What promo items have you kept around? Which ones do you think work best for you?

Friday, April 6, 2012

More Pinterest!

Remember how I told you I discovered Pinterest? Well, I'm officially addicted! I'm even doing Pinterest Boards for my books! I already did them for my bestselling paranormal Alaskan werewolf erotic romances ANIMAL ATTRACTION and ANIMAL INSTINCT. I've got pics of he hero and heroine, as well as some cool places in the book! Check it out!



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

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fingers Crossed

Today I sent off my very first proposal to my editor, for a military romantic suspense sequel under my other pen name. Before now I've only ever sent completed manuscripts off for submission. I'm really nervous that they'll either say a) No, or b) Yes, and the final manuscript will be due on X date. Frankly, I don't know which scares me more at this point, lol.

Lots of other authors submit on proposal, and I felt it was an important step for me in my career. The test will be if they say yes and I have to get the book done by a particular date. I've always been good under pressure, so let's just hope my muse cooperates. It'll be good for me, right? If I ever wind up writing for NY someday, this is something I'll have to learn to do anyhow. (Yeah, let's go with that theory.)

I came back last week from a magical vacation to Kauai. While I was there, I found out I'd (again writing as Kaylea Cross) won the EPIC Award for best romantic suspense with my favorite book, Absolution. I have such a crush on the hero, and he's my favorite of all the heroes I've ever written, so I was really excited that he won the award.

In Callie Croix news, I just sold another hot romance to Carina Press. This one's called Covert Seduction, and besides all the steam, it includes a bit of a suspense plot.

Any of you writers out there have words of encouragement about submitting on proposal? Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Monday, April 2, 2012


This weekend I flew to another part of the country for a family celebration. Boarding my connecting plane, I made my way through the aircraft, lugging my carry-ons, settled into my seat, only to hear a voice next to me say. "That looks just like Michelle."

Seated directly across from me were two of my favorite relatives, also flying in for the same family celebration. We spent the entire flight (including the extra hour delay on the tarmac) chatting and laughing and catching up. Sharing profound life wisdoms, believe it or not. I was reminded why these people are some of my favorite relatives.

Now the odds we would have been on this same plane were not unreasonable given where this couple lives. But that we were seated next to one another? I've been having some difficult times recently, and this extra visit was exactly what I needed.

The moment reminded me of what I believe in most fervently in life. Connection. How people and everything in the world touches each other in small moments or intersections. This morning I realized that is exactly why I write.

Yes, writing is a solitary endeavor. But not really. I am creating new worlds and new characters that connect. My characters fight their loneliness to discover ways they click with friends and lovers, but even with themselves. And then these stories I write travel into the world and act as bridges of connection with readers. And a good story makes you feel a little less alone.

We all feel alone and lonely at times. Even those of us who are surrounded by people we love and who love us back. It is the nature of the human beast, I imagine. But often the skill of noticing our million moments of connection can help us overcome that loneliness. The world is a miraculous place, if we just open our eyes and remember it is.

Be well this week my fellow travelers.