Archive for September, 2011
Friday, September 30th, 2011
I’m in Akron, sitting in the business office of the hotel because the promised Wi-Fi connection doesn’t work. I missed blogging yesterday due to travel. By the time we all (sis and daughter) arrived here, I was too tired to care.
Anyway, I’m here at Romanticon, hangin’ with the supermodels, seeing old friends (writers and readers), and enjoying watching my daughter’s reactions to everything around us. She’s heard me talking about conferences for years, but this is the one she’s breaking her cherry on.
To celebrate the release of my latest “Vikings in Space” story, I’m going to give you juicy excerpts for the next few days. Comment and you’ll be eligible for a fun grab bag of swag from Romanticon! I’ve already been gathering trading cards, pens, bookmarks, and assorted “stuff”. I hope to get some autographed books along the way too!
Though proud and strong, Eirik, heir to the Ulfhednars kingdom, found himself seduced and taken from his homeworld by a bounty-hunting vixen, who sold him into slavery. Purchased by a wealthy, Consortium-backed brothel, he is kept at a heavily guarded and secure breeding facility, where he is forced to feed the lustful whims of Helios’s elite at night. He bides his time, waiting for a chance to escape and get his revenge on the woman who betrayed him…
Once a sex thrall, Fatin earned her freedom through service. Now, as a bounty hunter, she is determined to earn enough to buy her sister’s papers from the same brothel she escaped. For this, she abducts a brutishly handsome, breed-worthy specimen from the Viking planet and delivers him to auction. But her desire for justice and his desire for freedom may consume both of them in a passion neither wanted—or can resist.
Eirik tried not to breathe too deeply. The rotten, sour smells of his dark, dank prison already made his skin stink. He didn’t want the awful stench inside his lungs or belly.
He hadn’t seen the other prisoners, not after they’d been herded like cattle through a chute once the hatch had been opened at the side of the ship and his keepers applied prods to their backsides to move them out in single file.
With only brief impressions of his new home, of searing heat and blinding, harsh sunlight, he’d shielded his arm over his eyes and stumbled down the gangway, through the iron-barred alley that disallowed any thoughts of escape.
He’d been led to this cell, deep inside an enormous stone building. A brief glimpse of an open arena, and then he’d been shoved down two flights of narrow stone steps.
Once they’d slammed the solid door and slid the eye-level window closed, he’d been left alone, no sounds penetrating his prison other than the hum of the light above him, and the sounds his own body made.
His thoughts drowned it all out, screaming inside him. He’d wanted to beat his fists against the door, rail at his captors, but he didn’t know if anyone watched him, and wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of knowing how close to abject despair he was coming.
Hel, he’d even suffer Fatin’s derision, her cold, calculating touch, just to feel or hear another human being.
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
The winner of this week’s contest is named at the bottom of this post!
Hiya! I wanted to start with a quick word of thanks to Delilah for letting me come hang out on her blog today. She is one of my favorite authors, so it’s a big treat for me to be here. Damn, that gal can write!
I’m a huge fan of top ten lists, so today I thought it might be fun to share the top ten reasons why ebooks ROCK!
10 – Space in my House. Ebooks don’t call for real bookshelves, don’t need to be stored or given away once read, and they don’t need to be dusted.
9 – Novel vs. Novellas. Ebooks come in many lengths. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a quick fix, a short story to pass a few hours. Other times, I want a full-length novel, one that I can get lost in for an entire weekend. Ebooks offer both options…plus lots of sizes in between.
8 – Instant Gratification. I started reading the Twilight series late in the game. I finished New Moon at midnight one night and was chomping at the bit for Eclipse. Problem was the bookstore was closed. If I’d owned my Kindle back then, Eclipse could have been delivered to me wirelessly in less than thirty seconds and you better believe…I would have been pulling an all-nighter. Team Edward!
7 – Go Green. Ebooks don’t require that a rainforest be destroyed to make the paper to print them.
6 – The Ebook Community. Because they are tech savvy, I find ebook readers hang out online quite a bit. I’ve made some wonderful friends who share my love of erotic romance books through yahoo groups. Social networking through common interests. Love it!
5 – The Fabio Cover Factor. I’ll admit it. There were times when I was embarrassed to take a certain book to the checkout counter of the bookstore. I was one of those people would put the book upside down in front of the clerk and then blush when he flipped it over. There were even times when I didn’t buy a book I really, really wanted to read, opting to come back later. This usually occurred when the clerk was a student from my school. The beauty of ebooks is no one sees what I’m buying! Not even my husband. Go personal credit card!
4 – Travel Ease. In the past, I had to allow quite a bit of space in my suitcase for books, especially if it was a long trip. Added to that dilemma was the dreaded “You’re over the weight limit” line from the airline. With ebooks? I can take literally thousands of books with me on vacation and only add a few ounces to my luggage.
3 – Free Reads. There are lots of free read offers through ebook vendors. I’ve never seen this same deal with print books. I’ve discovered several really amazing writers through the free read program at Amazon. Since then, I’ve added some auto-buy authors, including Dominique Adair, Jess Dee, Anne Stuart, Lila Dubois and Jenna Bailey-Burke, to my reading lists, simply because I picked up one of their books for free. Would I have found them without the free read? Maybe. Maybe not.
2 – Cheaper. Ebooks are cheaper than print. In some cases, they are much cheaper. Because of the varying lengths, I can pick up ebooks anywhere from a couple dollars to around ten bucks. Considering I have shelled out as much as thirteen dollars for trade paperbacks and even more than that for hardback, I enjoy the cheaper cost of ebooks.
1 – Variety. There is a wide-range of ebooks out there. Erotic romance novels aren’t that prevalent in print, but in ebook format, the world is my oyster. I can find novels on a variety of the more taboo subjects. Ménages, BDSM, and m/m stories are but a single click away.
And…while we’re on the subject of ebooks, I thought I’d take a moment to share a bit of my latest release, Slam Dunk.
Who says you can only score on the court?
A story from the Black & White Collection.
Trey Donovan is mourning the end of summer with fellow teachers when Ellie Hunter walks into Tully’s Bar. Better yet, she’s now a former rival basketball coach and the newest science teacher at his high school. He can’t think of anyone better to fill the vacant assistant coach job. In fact, if he plays his cards right, she might end up his perfect match off the court, too.
If she stops holding him at arm’s length long enough to give him a chance.
Coming off a year of bad decisions that not only broke her heart, but cost her a job, Ellie has good reason to swear off workplace romances. Her undeniable—and undeniably mutual—attraction to Trey is a serious threat to her resolve. Especially since Trey’s too-easy capitulation to her boundaries stings just a little too much.
Funny thing, though. When she sees Trey dancing with someone else, the edges of her vision turn decidedly green. And when another man tries to kiss Ellie, Trey sees red.
Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to fudge the rules. Just a little. After all, casual sex doesn’t count. Right?
Lots of red-hot, half-dressed court presses complete with sex toys, food, bubble baths, strip poker and, oh yeah, balls.
“Hey guys,” Cheryl called out as she walked into Tully’s. “Look who I found in the parking lot.”
Trey glanced up and, for a moment, he felt as if he’d been sucker punched. Ellie Hunter followed Cheryl and Lucas to the table.
Then Trey’s grin grew and he stood. “Take a wrong turn, Coach Hunter? Harper’s Ridge is on the other side of town.”
Ellie smiled, but before she could speak, Grace answered. “I invited her. We ran into each other at school today.”
Trey frowned, looking at Ellie. “Why were you at Preston?”
“I had a new teacher meeting to attend. I was checking out my classroom when I ran into Grace.”
Jamie looked at Grace. “Why the hell would you go to school on the last day of summer?”
Grace blushed slightly. “I wanted to work on my bulletin board.”
Lucas laughed. “Nerd.”
Grace threw a pretzel at Lucas’s head while the others laughed. Ordinarily Trey would have been amused by their antics, but he was too busy trying to wrap his head around the idea that Ellie “Hottie” Hunter was now his colleague rather than his competition. She looked smokin’ hot in short shorts and a T-shirt that showcased her perfect curves. Trey felt his cock stir.
“Here,” Trey said, grabbing a chair from an empty table nearby and placing it next to his. He suddenly felt the need to have Ellie in his space, close to him. “Have a seat.”
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
by Renee Wildes
I am a true April Taurus—earthbound, practical, stubborn and temperamental. My life is ruled by fear. In true “bull” fashion, I tend to meet it head-on. It’s what drives me, not a weakness but a motivator.
I’ve always been a tomboy, preferring horses to boys growing up. I belonged to the Wilderness Challenge Club in high school (Wisconsin Academy in Columbus, WI). Whitewater rafting, caving, rappelling, canoeing. If it meant sunburn, mosquitoes and getting dirty—that was where you’d find me. Very glamorous stuff. Now, I’ve always been afraid of heights. Like—freeze atop a 6-ft ladder scared of heights. We won’t even mention airplanes. Sedatives. LOTS of sedatives…
So, the first time I went rappelling was at Devil’s Lake, from atop Devil’s Rock. Guarded by all manner of…rattlesnakes. Saw two, sunning on the rocks. So there I was on a snake-infested rock atop the world. Beautiful view. Wasted on a sixteen-year-old in a cold sweat. See, the secret to rappelling is to WALK down the rock face. Anyone who’s walked across a floor knows the easiest way to do that is to be perpendicular to the floor surface. So if the floor surface is almost entirely vertical, that means the walker gets to be the one who’s…horizontal. And that translates into standing backwards at the edge of a cliff, the true ground several hundred feet below, and LEANING back against a rope-and-nylon-harness-affair into thin air until you’re lying down on NOTHING—and then walk down the wall.
Sure. Uh huh. (Never said I was a BRIGHT kid. Well, okay, I was. Straight A nerd.) And Mr. Snyder was right there like some hairy bearded cheerleader from Buffy saying stupid things like, “It’s easy. You can do this. Nothing stops you. Just leeeeeean back and walk down.”
But it was my best friend stating “Don’t be such a chicken shit” that got me going. Okay, it took me 20 minutes of whimpering like a toy poodle in a thunderstorm before I leaned back enough to start walking. Reaching the bottom to more Buffy reject cheering felt like conquering Mount Everest.
That’s how I tackle life. I let fear motivate me into moving, defeating, conquering. It can either stop you or get you going. Being a Taurus, stubbornness gets me a long way through life. As a writer I try to let the quality bleed off into my characters. Set them up against a bad situation some would consider impossible, but the character just takes a deep breath, says “Who if not me?” and forges on to start, to try. And so the stories go.
In RIEVER’S HEART, the heroine Verdeen goes to the Icelandic-esque kingdom of Isadorykja with the hero, Daq Aryk. They have to climb a mountain and cross a glacier, and when a crevasse breaks open and an avalanche starts, she has to face her own fears:
They continued on. Rounding a clump of boulders like scattered marbles, Aryk paused and frowned as he eyed the path ahead. A fine latticework of ice crystals covered the surface, as if it had melted and refrozen. He crouched down, pointed to a jagged line transecting the snow. Valkyn studied it as well and nodded.
“What?” Verdeen whispered.
“Partial thaw,” Aryk replied. “Might’ve weakened this area. We cross above that line.”
“Spread out,” Valkyn advised.
They proceeded with caution. Verdeen watched Fiske. The dog’s fur stood on end as he sniffed the air and paced back and forth, stayed close to Aryk. Snow creaked and crunched underfoot, as if the Horn groaned at their intrusion. Verdeen shuddered. Ominous clouds crept across the sky. The dim light pressed like a physical weight against her. She tried to convince herself ’twas just her imagination, but the Horn no longer felt benign. It felt like ’twas waiting…
A sharp crack and Fiske’s startled yelp were the sole warnings as the snow collapsed beneath the dog’s paws, and he dropped. Verdeen choked down a scream as he disappeared into the ground. Aryk hurled himself to the snow, clutching the line. Slowly, he wound the line around his hands, drawing the dog back up with every coil. Verdeen didn’t dare move, scarce dared breathe, as Valkyn crept forward on his belly to the edge of the newly opened crevasse and grabbed Fiske’s harness when the dog came within range, hauling him back onto solid ground. The shaking, whimpering dog tottered over to Aryk, who wasted no time in yanking off his gloves and pulling the dog close enough to bury his face in Fiske’s red fur.
Verdeen’s heart thundered as Valkyn eased away from the treacherous opening. They’d almost lost Fiske. She’d gotten attached in just a few days. How much worse for Aryk, who’d raised him from a pup?
The sharp cracking continued. With a monstrous roar, everything on the lower side of the opening fell away, thundering down the slope in a wall of frozen white. They flung themselves to the ground as the slide fell away, shaking the Horn.
Aryk and Valkyn crawled over to her as the shaking stopped. Aryk reached across the snow to lay a reassuring hand over hers. She was grateful for the comfort as she clambered to her feet and looked down in dismay. Their way was blocked; too unstable to risk it.
Fantasy Romance Author Renee Wildes writes the “Guardians of Light” series for Samhain Publishing. She lives in central WI with hubby, 2 kids, a calico cat, a black Chow, and 2 gray half-Arab mares. She still considers herself a tomboy, although she hasn’t hoofed it down Devil’s Rock in years. Nowadays, writing, reading and scrapbooking occupy her time—when she’s not prying her kids out of a tree or off the roof…
Riever’s Heart is out in ebook TODAY Sept. 27, 2011, from Samhain Publishing. Click on the cover to purchase.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
Riverboats & Gamblers
by Myla Jackson
I admit to a fascination with riverboats and riverboat gamblers of the past. Taking a riverboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi is on my bucket list of things to do before I die.
There’s something romantic about riverboats, lazily steaming up and down the rivers of our country. Tales by Mark Twain and movies like Show Boat helped nurture my attraction. When I needed a setting for my third book in the Bound and Tied series of 1860 Historical Erotic novellas, I couldn’t think of anything more exciting and romantic than the riverboats along the Mississippi. I can still hear the echoes of Ol’ Man River in a deep baritone and Lovin’ Dat Man O’ Mine.
Like the song, Rosalyn can’t help lovin’ that man and has returned to the Mississippi looking for him in RIVER BOUND.
What do a madame and a bounty hunter have in common? They want the same man.
Bound and Tied, Book 3
When Rosalyn Smythe, aka Madame Rosie, steps aboard the Marie-Dearie, she hopes it’s the end of a year-long search for her runaway fiancé, Dalton Black. Her cabin holds a surprise: James McKendrick. Notorious bounty hunter, old lover…a man only too happy to help her clear the air—and her heart—of her murdering, thieving bastard fiancé once and for all.
In disguise as a riverboat gambler, Dalton is determined to find who framed him for killing two U.S. Army soldiers and who stole the gold they were carrying. He wants his life back—and his woman, who just happens to be on board and on the arm of his former best friend.
Convincing James he’s innocent is easier than winning back Rosalyn’s heart. Especially since Rosalyn seems to be enjoying their competition for her affections a little too much. There’s only one place to work out his dilemma. In bed.
As the sheets become unbearably hot, threads of evidence leading to the real killer are unraveling, leading toward one fateful card game—and one man who’s hell-bent on making sure Dalton has nothing left to lose.
Warning: This title contains hot ménage a trois scenes, bondage, and two men loving, sharing and fighting for the love of one woman with very specific bedroom desires and a a bordello full of experience to tempt any man beyond redemption.
Barnes and Nobles Nook
About the Author
Twenty years of livin’ and lovin’ on a South Texas ranch raising horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus left an indelible impression on Myla Jackson, one she likes to instill in her red-hot stories. Myla pens wildly sexy, fun adventures of all genres including historical westerns, medieval tales, romantic suspense, contemporary romance and paranormal beasties of all shapes and sexy sizes. She lives in the tree-covered hills of Northwest Arkansas with her husband of 20+ years and her muses—the human-wanna-be canines—Chewy and Sweetpea.
To learn more about Myla Jackson visit her website at http://www.mylajackson.com
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Pssst! Don’t forget the Coffin Clutch & Seeing Eye Hair Clip contest ends tomorrow night! Be sure to comment for a chance to win!
Well, I’m back in business! My Internet provider still hasn’t figured out what’s up, but they did give me a work-around. I’m using Vtunnel.com to access this website, and although all the promo surrounding the page is annoying and I can’t post pictures, I’m not complainin’!
Needless to say, I didn’t get a whole lot of writing done this week. I felt like I was cut adrift without being able to bounce here at will to see what was happening. I did manage to wrap up the introduction and the last edits on stories I submitted for Beastly Babes, which is being renamed to She-Shifters—yeah, I liked the orginal title so much better. Still, the stories are awesome. And no, I’m not making any announcements just yet about who made it into the anthology because nothing’s set in stone until Cleis blesses the choices. So, don’t ask!
I began work on a new sexy Western. I have just a few pages written. I really wanted to be farther along, but ah well. I’ve begun culling The Cowboy anthology entries. I have a ton of very strong stories, so it’s going to be rough choosing.
And that’s where I am with work. This week a lot of my time will be spent packing for Romanticon in Akron. If you live in the area, be sure to check it out. It’s an Ellora’s Cave event and the booksigning will be open to the public. I’d love to meet some of you face-to-face.
Oh! And thanks so much for keeping A Four-Gone Conclusion #1 at Samhain for the second week in a row!
Saturday, September 24th, 2011
Yes, I did that in my Dr. Frankenstein voice. My website has been giving me fits. No one else seems to have problems opening it, but most of the day, I can’t. Just my site. Nothing else. I swear there’s a ghost in my computer playing tricks on me.
Anyway, I’m hitting this fast and getting the hell out before it crashes again. Thanks, everyone for buying Four-Gone. It’s still #1 at Samhain’s store and rising up the Amazon chart. Yay! As for Bitten in the Big Easy, I know it’s a more difficult sale, but I’m telling you, the f/f aspect won’t hang you up. The two stories are hot and the storyline intriguing. Swear!
I wrapped up Beastly Babes this week. No, don’t ask me yet who made it into the volume. I want to wait to hear from Cleis that everyone’s a go first. I’d hate to raise hopes then dash them. I’m working now on re-reading the “yes” stack for The Cowboy. And if I can get to the comments long enough today, I’ll start making a list of titles I like to poll you with.
Sorry this is a little lackluster, but I’m crossing my fingers this darn post saves. Can’t even risk a spell check first. Later!
So that didn’t work. I rushed to my dd’s house to finish this post. Why can’t anyone figure out what the hell’s wrong with my site?
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
I’m clearing off my promo shelf! Next week, I head to Romanticon, and I know I’ll be back with more wonderful prizes to give away. In the meantime, I have two items I’ve had sitting there for a while because I didn’t want to give them away. Sniff
Both of these prizes would make wonderful Halloween accessories. Who wouldn’t look stylish carrying this coffin-shaped clutch with a beaded “third eye” hairclip nestled in their tresses? Both prizes are from Mistress Rae’s Decadent Designs.
What do you have to do to win?
Post a comment—here or on Facebook. Simple as that.
This prize package will be awarded next Tuesday, September 27th!
And because it’s only fair that I give you something to comment on, here’s a question…
What is something you really enjoy doing that is a chore or a bore to many people?