Archive for the 'General' Category
Monday, June 27th, 2016
Did you ever read “The End” on an un-put-down-able suspense novel and then couldn’t wait to tell someone about it?
Well…for those of you who cruise through a romantic suspense novel or two or fifty per week, we have the perfect place for you to swoon and rave all about it. It’s an all-new discussion group on FB that is growing by leaps and bounds as new readers discover us.
Our emphasis is on our lively book discussions. We are a NO-SPAM group where even the author members are allowed to do very little promoting.
Here’s a sneak peek at our Reader Rules of Engagement:
- DO start a discussion on the romantic suspense novel you’re reading now.
- DO mark spoilers so people can avoid them.
- DO ask for book recommendations.
- DO post only about romantic suspense books. We are a dedicated group; no other types of novels will be discussed.
- DON’T be rude.
- DON’T post about politics or any other sensitive, divisive, or inflammatory subjects. Opinions on such topics belong on your personal profile, not in this group.
- NOTE: Romantic suspense novels cover a wide range of stories, including some that contain sexually intimate situations, violence, or foul language. If you are offended by such stories, please reconsider joining this group.
Our authors include NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, and we love reading books as much as we love writing them. We also love to host fun Q&As, super awesome giveaways, and opportunities for you to get involved in our book worlds behind the scenes. This may include (but is not limited to) helping choose book covers, character names, and spending time with us at book signings, conferences, and other booklover events.
Go ahead and join us at:
We dare you!
Designed for You
Also, check out Jo’s latest sizzling release: DESIGNED FOR YOU, first book in the FOR YOU SERIES:
Jillian Lang’s interior design company soars to a new level of success after hiring the world’s sexiest, most gorgeous office manager. Holland Sparks makes everything spike — her sales, her heartbeat, her temperature…
When a pesky stalker suddenly moves his game from the cyber world to the real world, Holland becomes the one person she trusts implicitly. An anchor in the midst of her chaos. A man whose ruthless business instincts turn to devastating tenderness after hours.
Until his own secrets start to unfold, leaving Jillian to wonder if her beautiful business partner is actually the one spinning the deadly web that’s fast closing around her.
HERE’S WHAT THE 5-STAR REVIEWS ARE SAYING:
- “Heart-pounding suspense mixed with fun, quirky characters, lit by steamy scenes, and riddled with so many twists that you’ll be guessing until the last page.”
- “One heck of a roller coaster ride”
- “Gutsy heroine, alpha men, heart-pumping drama”
- “Highly entertaining. Not a dull moment. Didn’t want to put this book down.”
- “5+++ stars!”
STAY IN TOUCH WITH JO:
Sunday, June 26th, 2016
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the simple definition of a spirit is “the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power”. The full definition is “a supernatural being or essence”. These two definitions show that there is more than one kind of spirit.
The common belief is that the spirit of a living person is called a soul and the spirit of a dead person is a ghost. There are many thoughts on what happens to a person after they have died. Most talk about a life after death, but what happens to spirits who do not move on but linger here on earth. All cultures have stories about the spirits of long dead loved ones appearing and helping their families. There are also tales of spirits haunting places where a tragedy or a battle has occurred. These stories have one common point; the spirit has something that tethers them here rather than allowing them to pass over to the other side.
There are many people who actually hunt for ghosts. They call themselves paranormal investigators. These ghost hunters often use electronic equipment to help them find and record spirits. There is even an application for the Android phone that helps search and record paranormal activity.
The full definition speaks of supernatural beings. In most cultures this refers to angels and demons. Many cultures and even the Bible talk about angels who appear to men and giving them advise and guidance or demons controlling people and using them to further their own goals.
Belief in these things is a personal matter, but there is a lot of evidence that suggest they really do exist.
The second book of the Rose Series, THE THORN OF A ROSE, continues the tale of romance in the world of politics, complicated by ghosts, angels, and demons.
Have you ever had an experience with a ghost or supernatural being?
Augustina Van Hoven
Proving Love is Strange
THE KISS OF A ROSE
THE THORN OF A ROSE – Available June 30th
We are all chess pieces on a board … in a game played by supernatural forces.
TOWARD A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Newly elected state senator Ashley Halliday is over her failed engagement and ready to help make Idaho a better place to live and work. She has no time for romance … until she and Richard, a handsome state representative, take their friendship to a new level. But then there’s John, an aide to the governor of Idaho. Both hold power … but only one is a good man. The other is on a mission to destroy lives. Will she learn the truth in time to save lives and keep her friends safe from dark influences?
Sports bar owner and state representative Richard Fowler is happy for his best friend Stephen and his bride, Rose. He knows their secret–Rose came back from the dead to save Stephen from his lofty ambitions. Richard himself has no time for any supernatural goings-on or for romance, not with his work to save state education funding. Until he sees the vibrant Senator Halliday through new eyes, that is. But to win Ashley, he must keep her safe from a rival who wants her for darker reasons.
FROM A DARK PAST
A villain has returned from the dead, summoned by a demon, and given another chance to do what he failed at the first time. He’ll gladly take down anyone else who gets in his way. And his new post in the halls of state government? A devilish chance to play corrupt lobbyist, and foil the plans of those with loftier goals.
Saturday, June 25th, 2016
Two years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Norway. At one of the museums outside of Oslo on an island called Bygdøy, three Viking longboats sat mostly preserved, excavated from burial mounds nearly a hundred years ago. This fired my imagination, envisioning muscle-bound, blond or red-haired warriors marauding their way across the lands of Scotland and the islands of the North Sea. Ten men rowing across the swells of the open ocean, braving harsh weather to conquer, and finding themselves scaling cliffs of a foreign shore. The story of Harald Sigurdsen and Eivind Halvorsen was born.
As we continued our vacation and exploration of Norway, we drove along the rugged coastline of the east and south of the country. Rounding the southern tip, the rugged cliffs and long fjords became flatter and more fertile with farms as far as the eye could see. After the warriors conquered, settlers arrived from Norway and integrated with the locals, setting up commerce and trade between the new colonies and the Viking homeland.
The Orkney Landing incorporates both the warriors and the eventual settlements of the Vikings on the Ornkey Islands. Halvor and Eivind, along with their raiding party, pillage their way across the islands, taking no prisoners until they find a Pict servant cowering behind a tapestry. Halvor makes Talorc his slave, and allows him to live and serve. Talorc is a willing and enthusiastic servant, coming to Halvor’s aid in the midst of battle. Things heat up between the two warriors and their slave as the Vikings continue their conquest of the Orkney Islands.
You can pre-order Harald, Eivind, and Talorc’s story The Orkney Landing here, part of the Warlords and Warriors anthology.
In the morning, after a breakfast of rations, Harald directed Talorc in the efficient packing of the tent and its contents as Eivind looked on.
“Be quick. It’s time to move forward.” Harald stepped from the tent into the crisp morning air.
Talorc finished the packing and carried a large bag of supplies as the other Vikings disassembled the camp. “Ready, Lord Viking.”
Two of the closest warriors glanced at Talorc, and then to Harald with a smirk.
“You men have something to say?”
Both of their faces reddened. “No, Harald. We’re only admiring your new slave.”
Harald bristled for a moment, and Eivind placed a hand on his shoulder. He relaxed and grinned. “He’s a quick learner.” He watched Talorc lift the bag of supplies, his slender muscles straining. Why did that bother me? He’s a slave. A willing slave, but a slave nonetheless.
Shaking off his confusion, he focused on the march at hand. The raiding party covered several leagues over the hilly countryside, burning farmhouses as they went. At each dwelling, Harald paused to look inside.
After they plundered their fourteenth farm, he shook his head as he lit a torch. Each house deserted. This doesn’t bode well for the stealth of our assault.
Before he could light the thatched roof, a cheer arose from a far off hill. He dropped the torch and turned to his company. The men crowded behind him, facing the oncoming attack.
Grey clouds descended as Harald counted the naked Pict men painted blue, yielding swords and clubs and surging across the moor. Twenty seven. These look more like warriors. The farm woman or the children survived and sounded the alarm. He turned to his men. “Torvald, Andreas, and Halvor, take the savages on the right. Erik, Tallak and Sigurd, take the left. The rest of you with me and Eivind down the center.”
Turning, he brought his attention to Talorc. “Hide amongst the supplies. If the battle goes ill, run. If you’re needed, you will hear two blasts of my horn.”
“Yes, my lord.” Talorc scurried to the pile of wood for the tents and ducked out of sight.
Harald raised his sword as the rain fell and a peel of thunder rolled over the moor. “Forward, and take no prisoners!”
He roared as they ran toward the approaching savages. Excitement surged through his veins, and he slashed his sword at the lead Pict, slicing the life from him. Another swung a club at him, but he missed. He dispatched the fiery-haired man with a single stroke.
Harald looked on with satisfaction as more of the Picts fell to the Vikings’ swords. He stabbed another man in the shoulder, and the savage fell. Turning toward another, he thrust the blade through the attacker.
“Harald, look out!”
Brent Archer began writing in 2011 at the nudging of his cousins. His first story sold, and he was hooked! The second story in his Golden Scepter Series, Pennington’s Conquest, will release in the Summer of 2016 with MuseItHOT Publishing. Stay tuned!
Visit his website to keep up on upcoming releases, and follow him on Twitter: @brentarcherwrit.
Friday, June 24th, 2016
Release day: July 1, 2016
Where there’s smoke, there’s dragon fire.
Ordinary girl. Extraordinary fate.
Violet Winters is having a less than perfect day. Her parents are meddling with her love life (again), her wintery magic is kaput and her vivid dreams are coming far too close to reality. When she falls through the ice after seeing her fiancé all close and snuggly with a fellow polar bear, all bets are off. Is she better off dead or will she get another chance at life when a Grimare angel rescues her from her chosen fate?
Fire meets ice and passions ignite.
Dante is a dragon on a mission: fight the string of strange fires springing up around Westmore and find a mate. When his Captain decides to have the men pose for social media shots to garner attention for the station, Dante finds himself in the middle of a steady stream of women after his special strategically placed “fire hose.”
At Hot Whips Café to haggle with the owner for counter space for their new firemen calendar, he meets a woman who sets his inner scales on fire. Can he save her from the machinations of the Fates or will she die a second time by the very threat Dante fights against?
A dragon’s panty melting kiss may just be the wow this curvy girl needs.
“Come on, Dante, show us a little leg.” The smirking photographer circled in front of him and it was all Dante could do to control the dragon scraping beneath his skin to avoid reaching out and shoving the camera up his ass.
Pictures for social media. The Captain had officially lost his fucking mind. The catcalls and male laughter from the rest of the guys made him lose his footing and the fire hose he’d been using as a prop to conceal his nakedness began to slip.
“Jesus. Fix that hose. This isn’t internet porn, you know.” The Captain groused, scowling.
Dante scrambled to catch the hose and cover himself and balanced against the newly washed and waxed fire engine, trying to pretend he was anywhere else but standing like a prize bull at an auction.
“If you’ll hold still, please. The others have already contributed their shots. You’re the last one.” The cameraman huffed, turning the lens. He lowered the camera and glared at Dante. “You could smile maybe?”
Shit. He was distracted by the wacked out dream he’d had the night before. A woman he’d never met swam in front of him, dying. Her long black hair fanned out in the cold, dark water and he’d panicked. He’d told her to live.
“Fine.” Dante growled, a wisp of smoke curling out from behind his lips. He felt the change sliding beneath his skin, the dragon agitated by his distress.
“God, Dante. Come on.” Carter laughed. “You aren’t afraid of a little flashing light, are you?” The rest of the crew laughed, sharing in the good natured ribbing.
He just wanted it to be over. His beast wanted to fly and hunt and if he didn’t get out of here soon, he was going to lose his mind. Most of the men here were either dating or married. He wasn’t and the urge to mate had made his already bad temper even worse.
The Captain had lured him and the others in with the promise of a social media boost to help the department. He figured a couple of pictures for Instagram like that vet that had so many followers it was insane. Model pretty with a gaggle of women trailing behind him like no tomorrow. The guy had even been on national television recently. Cap was dreaming, but he also knew the man would do anything to save their department from going strictly volunteer.
So many in the country had gone that route and the bear shifter was fighting it tooth and claw. Dante supported that. He’d moved from his home in the mountains to come here after his buddy Carter had told him about the job. Happy and with a large family of cat and dragon shifter young, his friend would do anything to ensure things stayed status quo. So would he, and apparently that included standing naked in front of a freshly polished firetruck.
Thank God his mother couldn’t see him or he’d never hear the end of it. She’d been writing him emails nonstop asking if he’d met any promising women. Jesus. He’d never seen a woman more eager to fuss over grandchildren. But he hadn’t and the prospects didn’t look very favorable. Not that he hadn’t dated. He had. But no female he’d met even sparked his interest past the typical curves and tight jeans and it wasn’t enough. Not anymore.
He wanted a mate. Someone to come home to and warm his bed and his heart. Most of the women he’d come across only wanted one thing—to bang a fireman and brag to their friends.
“Well, that’s about as good as I’m going to get if you’re going to scowl like that.” The photographer capped his lens and sighed, stalking off toward the Captain. “You can get dressed now.”
“Jerk.” Dante swiped the robe he’d worn from the floor and shrugged into it.
“Man, you really need to learn to crack a smile, buddy.” Carter grinned as he and a few of the others approached now that the photographer had gone.
“Thank you, guys. Dante.” The Captain came forward giving Dante a narrow eyed look, then nodded toward the remainder of the group. “We should see the finished product in a day or so.”
About the Author
Erzabet Bishop is an award winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (upcoming-A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (upcoming-A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Red Hot (upcoming), Bayou Shadows (upcoming-Nola Naughty Nine) Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Sigil Fire, Glitter Lust (upcoming), Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.
Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop.
Google +: https://goo.gl/YJnNmd
The Romance Reviews: http://www.theromancereviews.com/100004193823883
Facebook “like” page: https://www.facebook.com/erzabetbishopauthor
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Erzabet-Bishop/e/B00AVSDUBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_7
Street team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1018269998190112/
Review Blog: http://erzabetsenchantments.blogspot.com/
Author Database: http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/2690-erzabet-bishop
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
On January 5, two hours before departure on a Panama Canal cruise, I dodged a speeding car during my morning walk and rammed into a cement barrier. I broke four toes, sprained my ankle, and bruised a lot of soft tissue. (All of which I discovered 6 hours later from the ship’s doctor’s x-rays).
The doctor assured me I still had time to jump ship and head back to California from Florida. His suggestion raised a dilemma. My son, DIL, husband, and I had planned this trip for a long, long time. What would I do at home in a wheelchair I couldn’t do sailing the ocean blue?
So, I accepted a soft boot, IBUPROFEN, an ice pack, and a wheelchair, agreeing to see an ortho doc in Colon, Colombia two days later. If I needed surgery on the toes, I’d decide to have it there (uh-huh!) or return to California.
The next two nights stretched into at least additional forty-eight hours. My foot looked and felt like an overfed whale. But . . . I stayed in the wheelchair provided by the cruise company, remembered two people I know who have sat in wheelchairs all day for the past twenty years, and dialed back on the whines. And my thoughts turned to murder.
Now, in full disclosure, I’d written my first and second psychological thrillers before leaving the States. I’d planned on reviewing the manuscripts on board. Didn’t happen. Visions of the multiple ways to torture the driver who’d nearly mowed me down hijacked my imagination.
Having written four romance novels (two comedies, two romantic suspense), I was a true believer in the transformative power of love. Forced to stay in a wheelchair from the moment I got up until I went to bed, I kept thinking about murder. I still believed in that transformative power of love, but I started to see where some characters never found true love. Or, they were too damaged to love and be loved.
That thin line between thinking about murder and committing murder niggled at my imagination. (Sort of ridiculous since I was being treated like a princess by my husband and kids and ship’s staff). In addition, many passengers wanted to know what had happened.
My story? I was skiing down Mount Everest blindfolded and hit a mogul. (Yep, that got a laugh). When I told “the truth,” many passengers commiserated with me about the jackass driver who never even slowed down. They agreed he’d escaped justice.
Misfits. Murderers. Justice.
The idea churned my brains while I sat on my balcony and contemplated passing through the Panama Canal. When I came out on the Atlantic side, I’d reached a decision. Writing romance had taught me a lot. Now, I thought I was ready to veer off to another path. (The jungle and heat and strange creatures fuel the imagination).
Back home, walking five miles a day again—though more slowly, trying to accept I have six more months according to my ortho surgeon before I can say I’ve recovered, I am writing the third novel in my trilogy, THE MISfIT. At this point in my life, I like being able to commit murder.
How about you? Are you a dyed-in-the-wool romance reader? Have you ever thought about that thin line between thinking and committing murder? Why do you read romance? Do you read other genres? Why/why not? I will get back to you.
Thanks to Delilah for this opportunity to travel a different path with you. Below is a brief description and excerpt from The Early Years.
OBTW, reading during my forty-five days of wheelchair-confinement, helped more than any medication.
AB Plum, author of THE MISfIT—The Early Years, a novella of psychological suspense
THE MISfIT—The Early Years
You’ve known you were different forever.
Memories of standing on the outside flood your eleven-year-old brain.
Your own parents refuse to look you in the eye.
They refuse to touch you. Talk to you. Express affection.
They lavish your older brother with praise. With acceptance. With love.
He taunts you. Disrespects you. Underestimates you.
You have one friend—and he is different too.
He’s lucky though.
He doesn’t have cold, uncaring parents.
Or a despicable older brother.
Your friend’s happy to help you exact justice.
A Deadly Accident
On January 15, 1976, the plan to kill my older brother came to me fully formed.
Everyone at Hovedbanegård (Copenhagen’s Central Train Station) wore fur-lined boots, coats, gloves, and hats. My brother, shorter than most of the god-tall Danes, stood out because of his squared off torso—an aberrant gene, most likely, from our Finnish mother. The sheer mass of the crowd made pushing him—too close to the edge of the platform—too easy.
BIO: AB lives just off the fast-lane in Silicon Valley with her husband. Reading, hiking, aerobic dancing, and participating in debates about hot-button topics propel her imagination toward murder.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys, and the only girl amongst three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature has affected every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity for a real chance to be useful. Clashing with the Alpha was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.
The oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades before wears away at him, until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left to his isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.
War may be coming for the Yukon, but Diesel’s battle is very personal…
Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | ARe
Praise for the Wolves of Willow Bend series:
“ROGUE WOLF is a fast paced, intriguing look into the world of shifters. Salvatore is old world a bit stodgy and Margo is very much new world and on top of that a lone wolf and Enforcer. How is it possible that these two could be mates? In author Heather Long’s vivid and fun imagination it’s very easy.” — Fresh Fiction
“BAYOU WOLF is in a word … amazing. All the reader can do is hold on for the ride and enjoy the fireworks.” — Fresh Fiction
“If you love sexy wolf shifters, sweet love stories and action then you have to pick up UNTAMED WOLF by Heather Long”. — Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
“It is a great story about finding a place to belong and the love that can follow if you allow it.” – Hart’s Romance Pulse reviewing RIVER WOLF
Read an excerpt from SNOW WOLF:
Riding the high of her nearness, Diesel leaned into the force of her hand on his chest. “I know my mate’s scent. I searched for you all over Willow Bend. Why else would Mason send you?” The moment the words left his lips, he reconsidered the phrasing. Her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.
“I’m a Hunter of Willow Bend. I am here to deliver a message from my Alpha—and I don’t care what century you were born in old man, but we don’t arrange matings. You don’t just get to walk in here, thump your chest and say mine.” The ferocious light in her eyes sent a quiet thrill through his bloodstream. His wolf roused to the hunt, every color and nuance sharpening under their study.
“No?” He didn’t want to miss a moment of her reaction. Her dilated pupils constricted even as her mouth tightened. Anger soured her scent and her nails bit into his muscle as he pressed into the contact. Despite a faint tremble, she didn’t shift her grip or attack him. Would she? If he provoked her enough? The idea intrigued the hell out of him. No Alpha wanted a weak mate.
“No.” She withdrew the contact then retreated one step. Crowding closer, he refused to let her abandon him. “Dude…get a grip. I came here to do a job.” A muscle in her jaw twitched. “Or maybe you are trying to prove you don’t hold the Yukon?”
Challenge wound through every syllable. Canting his head to the side, he raised one eyebrow and waited.
“What? Playing crazy, eccentric keeps the other packs at bay and allows you to dictate the terms of your interactions. You don’t want to talk; you walk away or slam a door. You want to shut me down; you declare I’m yours.” Folding her arms, Ranae raised her chin and, although the gold circle on around her gray-green irises faded, it didn’t diminish completely. “It won’t work and I’m really not interested in the games. We have serious issues to discuss with you, Alpha. You can get on board or be left behind to cope on your own should the Russian packs turn their gaze on your territory and your pack.”
Amusement curved through him. Passionate determination etched into her expression. “Our pack will be fine.”
“My pack will be, absolutely. Your pack is debatable.” The aggravation in her scent muted beneath the sting of frustration. “Now you’re baiting me.” Sidestepping him, she tried to put some distance between them. He allowed her three steps before intercepting her again. He wanted her gaze on him, nowhere else. “Seriously, you have a problem.”
“No, I have a mate, but continue telling me why our pack is in danger.”
Pausing, her lips tightened and her eyes narrowed. The curl of her fingers into a fist telegraphed her next move. Would she do it? He pressed into her space, and she rewarded his effort with fresh contact in the form of a blow. It caught him square above his heart, and the second with her elbow connected with his jaw. He accepted both blows, but refused to retreat.
“Your training is incomplete.” Whatever response she’d been expecting, his comment surprised her. “Otherwise you’d understand that two hits will not take down an enraged male, if you want to escape you have to incapacitate or kill.”
“I don’t want to fight you.”
“Wonderful. I have no desire to fight you, but if you need to beat on me to make yourself feel better, go right ahead. I’m very sturdy.”
The corner of her mouth kicked into an involuntary smile, and his breath lodged in his throat, the single glimpse of sweetness a better reward than he could have imagined. “Are you insane?”
“Depends on your definition of sanity.” The tangle of her hair contrasted with the wool of her pullover. How soft would the strands be? When she failed to respond, he reached out to test his theory. She slapped his hand away, and the sting intrigued him.
“Stop.” Command reverberated through the single syllable. “I came here as a messenger, nothing else. Keep your teeth and your hands to yourself. Am I clear?”
In all things, an Alpha could command. He could take a life. He could grant it. Wolves who pledged to an Alpha could be sent into the heart of danger and forfeit all that they owned. The heart, however, could not be commanded nor could he take what she would not willingly give.
His wolf bucked at the rejection, but Diesel withdrew three steps to give her space. Clasping his hands behind his back, he studied the beautiful Hunter before him. She would not tumble easily, nor would she accept his direct pledge. Very well, if he had to learn to court, then he would find what enticed her. “Dress,” he ordered. “Several layers. We will be leaving the guest quarters.”
Expecting obedience, he turned to the entrance and pressed the code to allow Julian entry.
“Are you staying with her or leaving?” Her presence was non-negotiable.
“Since you asked so nicely…” The Chief Enforcer’s expression barely shifted, yet a smirk echoed beneath his words. “I’d be happy to stay.”
Uninterested in the old wolf’s games, Diesel spared his mate another studying look. Ranae gaped at him, and she hadn’t moved a muscle.
“Trust me when I say it will be more comfortable if you get dressed, but if you insist on testing my patience, I’ll happily take care of stripping you first then dressing you.”
The taunt did what the order would not. She moved.
His wolf rose, stretching and raking his claws. Yes, they had the scent of this hunt.
About Heather Long
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
I know I don’t need to convince any readers here to read erotica, but, believe it or not, some people need convincing, so I thought I’d share my recent experiences in trying to do just that.
I write and edit mostly lesbian erotica, often with elements of romance, but usually marketed as erotica, and usually for Cleis Press. My publisher’s promotional staff has lately been hooking me up with romance publications, resulting sometimes in rather puzzling interview questions (more on that later,) but I did get one request, for Romantic Times, that genuinely interested me: “Why Read Erotica?” I think they wanted an emphasis on lesbian/gay erotica, but in my experience lesbian readers’ reluctance to read anything labeled erotica is at least as great as that of straight folks. There’s some difference, but not all that much, so I chose to broaden my topic, while including specific benefits from lesbian erotica. Whether my piece will see print is still in question; I was told that they were aiming for an October publication, but I haven’t had any feedback. In any case, you can have a look right now! Here’s what I wrote.
Why Read Erotica, Straight, Lesbian, Gay or Beyond?
Reading erotica is good exercise. Not quite as strenuous as actual sex when it comes to circulation and deep breathing, but with the added benefit of exercising the imagination. An erotic story that sweeps you along, draws you into the emotions and physical sensations of its characters, gives both mind and body a workout. We read for the sensations aroused, for emotional and sensual charges as well as mental ones. Pure romance can provide these, to some extent; the heart seems to swell, the pulse quickens, the face flushes, there might even be a hint of tears. No wonder we call something with emotional appeal “touching”. But taking it to the unabashedly erotic level builds on this physical response, accelerates it, intensifies it, racing toward an ultimate, overwhelming goal.
Broadening your horizons is good exercise, too. A new perspective, as with erotica outside of your own orientation, has the entertainment value of novelty and variety, while revealing the ways in which erotic and romantic desire are universal. There’s an educational component, too. Men reading lesbian erotica can learn more about female eroticism from two (or more) women than from one, and women can widen their understanding of the range of pleasures they can experience—and fantasize about. The same applies, reversed, for gay erotica, and with transgender stories the whole variety benefit is amplified.
You may also discover excellent stories and writers. Erotica has a bad reputation, some of it deserved, but there’s nothing inherent in the genre that prevents good writing. Straight and LGBT erotica can be as well-written and stimulating to both mind and senses as any other branch of writing. Erotic interchanges are essential parts of character development, dealing with heightened emotions and, in some cases, heavily weighted baggage from past experience. Shyness or confidence, impulsiveness or self-control, tenderness, vulnerability, repression, unapologetic sensuality; these are only a few of the traits that can surface in the heat of a sexual encounter. When both characters share the same gender, they can have as wide a range of personalities and characteristics as any other pairing. Women are as multi-faceted, fierce, and passionate, as men, and often better at expressing their emotions; men can be as vulnerable, complex and empathetic with each other as women.
I edit lesbian erotica anthologies, looking for stories about more than sex, but with sex flowing naturally from the story as a whole. I want a variety of voices, fully developed characters, vividly drawn settings, intriguing plots or story arcs, and originality. The complexity inherent in the very nature of life for lesbians (and the whole LGBTQ+ spectrum) adds an edge of potential risk, whether overt or unspoken.
That complexity and risk in lesbian and gay lives makes reading erotica especially important for us. The reflection of our own desires, fantasies and identities is both validation and celebration, even more essential than the physical and emotional charge.
Tastes vary, and the best writing may be hard to find, but explore a bit. Exploration, too, is excellent exercise.
Getting back to the matter of puzzling interview questions, in the context of an editor of lesbian erotica, I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but here’s a link to my recent appearance on Everafter Romance. I did my best to go along with it, and found some parts fun to work with; I did, for instance include Eowyn from Lord of the Rings in my list of “Book Boyfriends.” My publisher blurbed the link on Facebook, calling my answers “surprising and fascinating,” so I guess it worked out well enough. http://www.everafterromance.com/qa/
I do very occasionally write heterosexual erotic romance, under the name Connie Wilkins, which I used for my story “A Falcon in Flight” in Delilah’s fascinating anthology Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors.
If you’d like a brief taste of the kind of anthology I edit, you could check out the Blog Tour I’m currently running with my writers for my latest anthology, Me and My Boi: Queer Erotica. Details, and some of the writers’ posts, are at www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com. You can even comment on any of the posts to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book.
My two most recent anthologies are shown below.